Resting peacefully. That is something I've always sought, and yet always struggled with. I want to have times of being still. I know how refreshing it is for my mind, how rejuvenating it is for my body. I know how healthy it is to let all the cares of the busyness of life fall away, to get the focus clear, to "be still and know that He is God". I purpose to do that, but I struggle to do that. My mind is always busy. Always making lists. Frustratingly, my most productive mental time is in the still of the late night or early morning, when I should be sleeping. I try to empty my mind and rest, but my mind loves to work things out when I should be sleeping. And it's really good at it, too. I've problem-solved so much during that time. I've been struck creatively so much during that time. And I've lost so much sleep during that time.
I know that the reason my mind works so clearly at those moments is that it finally relaxes. It goes still. So many times I'm wondering why I can't hear the Lord talking back to me, responding to my questions. Then I realize I just can't hear him over the chatter of busyness. There's loudness everywhere. Even in church. In my car alone, I most often turn on the radio. Why is silence the last thing I listen to when it sounds so very good? But that time of the night provides silence, stillness. I love it. I need more of it. Being comfortable in quiet is something I need to practice.
So this vacation, I went loaded with books I was eager to read. I set myself up to purposefully find stillness. I forgot to put my favorite beach chair in the van before we left, so we went to Wal-Mart and bought a new one. I parked myself on the beach in various places we went to, pulled out my iced coffee and book, and took great pleasure in it. I read less than I intended to, because I found myself just relaxing my mind. Reading a little bit, thinking about what I read. Soaking in the stillness. Absorbing the moment.
One of my favorite sayings is "Wherever you are, be there." I accomplished that fully during this week. I was there, in the fullest way.
This was my view in one spot. Below is the view I have above my head. This is what Pooh would call a "thoughtful spot".
Iced coffee, good book, poolside....perfect.
Full belly from Blueberry Hills, good book, soft sand, lake waves crashing at my feet...perfect.
Even Beth - BETH! - found some stillness. Perfect.
And Brad found some of that himself. Oh, did he need that. His last day of work before vacation was a 14-hour day. His first day of "vacation" he worked from home half the day. He left with a buzzing mind. He usually transitions quickly and smoothly, but this year it took him awhile. We were on day four when he said he felt like he was finally on vacation, and I had no idea. But he relaxed fully, and his face physically softened. You could tell he was rested.
Today is Brad's first day back at work. The busyness begins again, so this is a perfect day to reflect on the gift of being still. The playing? Stay tuned...