It’s a funny thing, taking off on a two-month road trip with one of your greatest goals being to find deep rest–only to discover that living in a 208-square-foot space with your husband, three young boys, and pregnant self, is not exactly restful. Imagine that.
My perspective on “rest” has shifted in monumental ways over the past few weeks. I feel as though humankind is constantly in search of the “balanced life”. I have been, anyways–on pursuit of a balanced life for years now. Can we really find a balance, when the circumstances of life tip from one side to the next so constantly? Only now do I see that rest and balance depend not so much on our circumstances, but on the state of our heart. Rather, I am coming to believe that this “balance” is more about finding a right relationship between rest, play, and work.
September 1 – 6
We parked our camper in the yard of some (very gracious) friends. Grayson knew them years ago from Bible school. It was so good to fellowship, break bread, hike, and share stories together over the week.
“Zeke, there is so much that I want to tell you about here.” Four-year-old Ellis told his big brother from the back seat. The day before, Daddy had taken just Ellis out to Seattle for the afternoon. And now Ellis played tour guide as we all ventured into the city, telling us all the details of the Space Needle, the tour cars that go into water, and the bike shop where they had discovered vegan donuts that he could eat. He sounded as if he had always lived there, just like his Daddy did for three years, two decades ago.
We watched the boys learn about combustion, what plants astronauts grow in spaceships, and what butterflies eat while exploring the Pacific Science Center. Then had lunch at Gasworks Park, where Gray took me eight years ago on our honeymoon.
We woke up on our fifth morning to ash falling from the sky. The hills of the Columbia River Gorge, where we stayed two weeks ago, are ablaze in fire.
Rest takes time.
When you are around someone who is doing something you want to do in life, ask them all the questions. Don’t waste time or shy into small talk. Interview them. Learn from them. And in so doing, make friends.
Apple crumble needs sugar. Not honey. That’s just how it is.
For The Children’s Sake: Foundations of education for home and school, Susan Schaeffer, Macaulay
The Dark Tower And The Gunslinger, Stephen King
Gluten Free Marionberry biscuits from Issaquah Coffee Shop
Breaking bread with friends: Grilled pork with potatoes and green beans. Instant pot minestrone with ceaser salad. Apple crisp with ice cream. Chicken and rice with vegetables–so thankful for friends feeding us.
Found gluten free, vegan cookies, local strawberries, blueberries, and peaches at the Issaquah farmers market.
As I observed our friends over the week, and how they homeschool and lead their children, I was humbled–and honestly amazed. This work, rest, play thing–they seem to get it. Their home was calm–well, as calm as it could be with three extra little boys running around!
I think that this trip is giving me the crash course I wanted on rest this year. I wrote it in my journal at the beginning of the year: “Get really good at work, rest, and play.” Of course, back then I had no thought of this trip, or the opportunity I would have to learn deep rest through two months on the road. But here I am.
It doesn’t come from our surroundings. It comes from a deep understanding of when rest is most important, and a habit of placing work on hold for more lofty things. It comes from holding fast to Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11:28, “I will give you rest.” It comes also from a never-giving-up pursuit of that rest, as the author of Hebrews instructed, “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest”.
It comes from finding the most purposeful work, the kind that fills us up while serving others. It comes from knowing how to walk a trail in the woods long enough for tasks to fade from our minds, left behind with each step forward in the dirt. It comes from knowing when to untangle the mess of thoughts in our mind, and go play with our kids–Or that playing with our kids is exactly how we untangle that mess of thoughts.
It comes from time–rest does. Time practicing it, pursuing it, and never giving up on it.