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.