Deep Peace and Rest

Today is the very wonderful first day of winter! Welcome to the sun, and although this is the shorest day of the year, daylight will be lengthening from here onward.  I love winter, although it has not been exceptionally cold down here in the Deep South, nor has it snowed.  But I love and enjoy the idea of a seasonal rest; the inwardness and quiet. Animals hibernate, and as I watch the natural world I always feel that we are being nudged to rest and to find deep restorative peace.

We were not made to labor and toil every minute of the day.  We were not made to become just the person who diapers children, cleans, cooks, and cleans again.  We are so much more than that.

And to discover that, we need rest.  Not only do we need rest time each day, but we need weekends of rest and we need seasons of rest.  How do we get that, you might ask?

Any number of sources can offer to you a “how to” : make a rest/nap/quiet time after lunch; add more margins into your schedule and rhythm; cut back on outside the home activities;  figure out the essential priorities and values of your family and focus on those; go to bed earlier and sleep in a little…

I hear mothers everywhere groaning in their heads….the laundry…sports practice and art class and guitar lessons…food that needs to be cooked and dishes that need to be done...And meanwhile, we do it all with a cranky, irritable attitude because we are tired and there is never any “down time” until we flop into a chair at 9 o’clock at night.  And the day is over, and begins anew the next morning like a never-ending hamster wheel.

There are usually a few hills that parents would choose to die on in their parenting.  You know, the few things that really, really matter in this huge way.  And rest is one of those hills for me.  I cannot run and run and run.  I have to be home (some).  My house has to be reasonably clean and our meals cooked (which means I have to be home because I do those things).  And if I cook and clean and do laundry and do daily parenting things, plus homeschool on top of it, then I sure do need my rest. It is a priority.  So I plan my rest with quiet times, early bedtimes, and yes, seasonally.

So, this is the beautiful season of rest and of wonder as I go outside and listen and am still.  This is the beautiful season of rest as I look at this year and what I loved and what I didn’t and think about what ways, the ways that are within my control at least, that 2017 might be nourishing.

If you are running around and irritable and cranky, yes, it is the holidays, but the chances are that YOU need your season of rest!  Cancel some things.  No one ever died from saying “no” to that volunteer commitment or to that one more day of homeschooling for this year.  Nourish yourself with what you like to do; with rest; with love…you know, the way you treat everyone else.

I would love to hear what restful things you are implementing in your life and in your home.  Let’s rest together and enjoy this winter season. Together, let’s look for the sun.

Blessings,

Carrie

 

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7 thoughts on “Deep Peace and Rest

  1. Beautiful post Carrie! I’ve been sleeping in more these days (even if it’s just until 8am) and letting go of a lot of the to do list in my head. The house is messier some days but I’m enjoying my new baby.

    Blessings to you!

  2. Carrie,
    This post is spot on! I am not able to teach or parent well when I am tired or overbooked. I have started saying no to more church things. We are only doing one co-op class(gym) this spring instead of 3, and I take a nap almost every single day because I wake up at 3:00am and by 1:00pm I have nothing left to give. I also try and get some craft time in each evening. My daughter uses that time to build with her LEGOS. I need my house to be clean and I cook all our meals at home as my husband has celiac. In 2017 I am going to try and have a minimum of 3 days a week when we don’t leave the house. I also intend to take the bus as much as possible. I realize that I hate driving. It makes me miserable and our buses are wonderful. My daughter also loves the bus. It is a small change that will give us more time to connect while we ride. I have made my 18 year old responsible for getting himself where he needs/wants to be. That has helped.
    Sorry to ramble so. I hope we can all look forward to a more relaxed year full of peace.

    Blessings,
    Melissa

    • Melissa,
      Exactly! Sometimes the smallest changes brings the largest amount of relief and happiness. I love that!
      Blessings,
      carrie

  3. Definitely plan to make it a point to have a nap/quiet time in the afternoon so I will have the right energy for my daughter when she comes home from school. Prioritize my to do list so it is not as long as my arm each time 🙂 and fine tune my time a bit better so I am not feeling rushed the last minute – after our first semester of public school I am starting to get a feel of a better and more realistic home rhythm. May all find the time to rest and self nourishment that we need and deserve. I think the week after Christmas is perfect for this.

  4. I couldn’t agree more! While taking moments for yourself you’re also setting an example for your children. They’re learning from us! In this week of finals and hard studying both my teenagers enjoy starting their day with breakfast at the lit up Christmas tree in silence befor hopping into their stressful day.

    And both kids had planned to have coffee with friends after school with friends, lunch with their mom and secret Santa events with friends before studying for the next day. They did something fun every day! As a mom it’s wonderful to see they won’t let the stress get to them. You’re so right, it’s so important to slow down and find peaceful moments throughout the day! Not just with Christmas, but all year around!

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