Simply Sather

resting or recovering?

I left my previous job of 18 months and just began a brand new job this past week. For so many reasons, I’m ecstatic about the opportunity and eager for the sweetness that seems to be a part of this season as well as the flexibility and growth that will come with serving in this capacity (I promise to share more soon!).

Between the last day of my previous job (26 March) and starting this new role (10 April), I had some time to slow way down and rest. Or what I thought was resting.

In my previous job working for the church we attend, the culture very much encouraged and supported the importance of taking a Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 16:28-29, Exodus 20:8-11). There was to be no work – one pastor shared that he and his wife even used paper products for the food they ate so there’d be no dishes to clean (it’s Biblical y’all!) It wasn’t difficult for me to set aside the day each week – it was expected and modeled by our lead pastor – but what I don’t think I ever got the hang of was true “rest”.

I’m not blaming anyone but myself for this.

I thought that because I wasn’t doing laundry or running errands but instead was watching a show on Netflix that I wanted to catch up with (which meant binging) or read a book that I wanted to finish (which also meant binging), that I was resting. I could paint my nails and toes or flip through magazines, have an extended time of prayer, Bible reading and journaling and even take a nap and somehow at the end of my day, I still did not feel “rested”.

It was only after I had time between both jobs that I understood that I was still tired. Not as tired as I might have been had I not taken a Sabbath at all, but the first few days, I needed to sit and rest and collect my thoughts and do nothing. I needed to slow down. Waaayyyy down.

And it was on one of the days between one thing and another that I realized I had been interchanging the words “rest” and “recovering” and not really distinguishing between the two. I had coming out of the day of rest wishing for more of it. I always wanted more rest.

Here’s why I was only recovering not fully resting…

Because I treated that one day, set aside by God, as if that was the only time that I could give myself permission to do the things that settled me and made me feel most like the woman He’s created me to be. I went break neck speed into busy the rest of the days – partially because there was a lot of work to be done and also because I’m built as a driven doer who likes to cross all the things off her to-do list (in break neck speed) – with no room for even moments of rest during the rest of the days in the week.

Even my time in The Word, in the early mornings were laced with a bit of Regina-created tension focused on “getting it done” (the study, the devotional, the book) which was draining me. It was zapping and warping instead of refreshing and strengthening me.

I don’t care what you do, who you work for/with – if you don’t work this out within yourself – you too will struggle to make and take time for rest in your everyday life.

Like I said before, I do not blame anyone outside of my lovely little self for how I rolled into my weekly day of rest (tired and selfishly wanting to guard all of my every single minute of the day). In fact, now I see it as a gift to get a new perspective and understand the importance of resting with God a little bit everyday.

Right now, this looks like shorter to-do lists (if there is a list at all) that can’t be created until after the quiet of the day has happened. And for me, in this season and with this new serving role, I get to spend a lot of time most mornings resting well, for real, before even drafting a to-do list. I can look at the whole week and see where I may get less rest time because a day is full of wonderful things. Or when I will have a few days in a row where there will be quiet, upon quiet, upon quiet and God will fill me with many opportunities and thoughts to text, email, call, Vox or send snail mail to those He places on my heart. There is room!

I’ve found the margin to make meals and desserts and deliver them for those who could use a bit of encouragement. And because I’ve already TRULY rested, I can linger with them. And listen to them. And hear them. And pray for them.

Practically, there has been less television watching and more joy-walking (where you walk with the intention to see new treasures, looking for things that bring joy to your soul). There has been more baking and less multi-tasking. Even less focus on myself and more energy, thought and consideration as to how I can bring light into the life of someone else. All of which refreshes me.

It feels so great to be able to love others well from a refreshed, rested spirit rather than a constantly recovering one.

I’m still learning. I don’t always get it right – it’s been only a few weeks; I figure it’s gonna be an ongoing thing. One that I am grateful to be stepping into – one restful moment at a time.

Simply Sather

stepping into slow space

Sooo…um, hi.

Again with a long break from writing in this space (another post to share why for another time) but during this time away from writing – I’ve gained some insight on creating more space, decreasing my busy and making room for the peeps and things that matter most.

You might recall that one of my goals for 2018 is to work through the A Simple Year course.  I purchased it and planned to work through it in 2017 and only got sort of part of the way into 2.5 modules. Fortunately, once you buy, you are a member for life.

So, I’m not only working toward completing all 12 of the modules in 2018, but currently, I’m hustling to get caught up – I’m only two months behind if you don’t count April. Progress!

In the February module on “busyness”, I am into my second part this week – having to do three a week to get caught up (which isn’t as stressful as it sounds because I have more time than I did three weeks ago) – I came across this section that almost made me burst into tears.

You see, I’ve been pursuing simplicity in my life longer than I knew what to call it.

I was the mom who told her son that he could only choose one activity all year – not per season, per y-e-a-r – because I could decrease busy and sort of seem like I had my act together keeping up with one thing.

But, there have been blind spots for the things I enjoy or that seem to feed my soul and when I read the section on “boycotting busy” this morning, I saw a glaring need to go back over our cozy home, with the least amount of stuff I’ve ever owned and start again.

This “simple living” thing is no joke.

The two areas I’m tackling now are:

  1. My Morning Routine

I’m not working right now and am married to a wonderful man who gets up at 4:30a most days to make his commute to Dallas. I have a reliable internal clock that tells me when to get moving but most mornings I don’t even recall his sweet peck and goodbye. I do hear the coffee maker that goes off at 4:45a (ummmmm coffeeeee). Ahem…

My point? My morning “routine” had become non-existent.

And this introverted, needing to re-charge quietly – away from people, even those that I love and enjoy – has been sleeping into her quiet time then kind of running half-fueled into the day ahead.

It’s not a huge deal to have been in this space for the past bunch of days – there’s grace – but I am wanting to be intentional moving into this next season; whatever it’s going to look like, being sure that the quiet time I so desperately crave, I make time, room and space for.

So here’s my idea for creating a morning routine. This is simply an idea of the time frame and things I hope to experience during this time (not all of it every morning, I’m not trying to be legalistic) during the weekday mornings.

We’ll see how it goes the rest of April…

My fellow introverts get it!!!

2.  My First Step into Space – My Nightstand/Bedside

So, the author of February’s module – Courtney Carver – really got me when she recommended taking a small first step and then had the nerve to use the nightstand as her example.

And I knew she’d touched a nerve because well…

We’ve only lived here together for 2 months and 2 days and already my bedside looks like this. Ms. Courtney went straight for the jugular. I want to proclaim the creative in me as a reason for this, but…

Nevermind, I got nothing. It’s a mess.

So, I went in. And reminded myself that we want our home to be relaxing and calming. That it should add value to the space and be a blessing when I’m in the space. Since it’s considered a reflection of how calm or crazy my life is, I was forced to also consider what else has been piling up in my life and address it; but first – I had to take this step toward creating more space.

And you’ve probably already caught on.

It’s not just about making physical space, but space in your mind, heart, emotional capacity; it’s about being intentionally open – making room for what may be coming next, what you are hopeful for.

I have been struggling with having margin to love people well.

It’s been difficult because I have often been irritated when people are sick or need more of me than I think I have to give, but have come to realize the difficulty is one I created because the busyness in my life drowned out room for margin. I have been frustrated that I’ve been too busy (in my schedule and my mind and my spirit) to be there for other people.

Margin to be there when a friend is hospitalized.

Margin to go for a walk with a friend who needs someone to help her see the sunshine in her life.

Margin to listen and listen and listen while a friend or loved one talks through their roller coaster.

Margin to wait on the phone – patiently – for almost two hours to get a question answered from a governmental agency – during tax season.

All this margin and space I long to have for others, needs to start within myself and it helps to see how our physical space is a reflection of what is happening inside of us.

So I went and took my first step and removed everything from this tiny nook and before putting it back asked myself will having this here (or in our home at all) help me have a “big, beautiful, intentional, happy life.”

I took a step!

Cheer me on, I think it can last.

Now, it’s your turn to take a step into a slow space and lessen your busy.