When I raise my eyes from the computer, former procrastinators, I look out a double window. The view rests me and offers gentle pleasures. Across the street, a swing hangs from a tall tree. The lowest branch is almost at the peak of the two story roof. I remember the day the dad managed to get the ropes over that branch and hang the swing. Three boys have fun on it.
I can see the sloping hill from their side yard and the one next to it. The slopes meet and form a little valley. At the end is a fence and a friendly gate. I’m rested when I look out there.
God created us to need rest. Of course, we need hours to sleep and periods of down time. But I’m finding that if I notice, there are also moments of rest that refresh my soul- such as gazing out the window.
What rests you?
Notice moments of pleasure that you can savor, brief relief from the hubbub of mental and physical activity. Pause to enjoy and be refreshed. If we put off those opportunities and blast past them, we miss a sweet gift from God that serves as a little valve to relieve pressure and increase joy.
It’s very practical to be refreshed by restful moments. Add to this list from your own life. I’m rested by
- Being grateful in a warm dry house when it’s storming outside.
- Riding in the car, dozing off to sleep.
- Stepping outside to breathe fresh air.
- Touching and studying the leaves of a potted plant or a single bloom in a vase. Giving it water.
- A walk when I’m tense or just for fun.
- Realizing as I drive, “Heart, you can slow down. We left in plenty of time.”
- Crawling in bed early enough to read.
- Lingering in the backyard, inspecting new growth (my husband’s town version of riding in the truck to inspect crops)
- Quiet – when there’s been talking, TV, or music. Or music that soothes.
- The thought that dinner is in the oven or in the fridge ready to be heated.
- The thought that “Hey, we can have pancakes for supper!”
- A job completed – a note mailed, a call made, a flowerbed weeded
- Petting the dog. Our daughter says stroking him is therapeutic. Probably for both of us.
- Green stretches of our driving route, especially along the water. Each season takes a turn rejuvenating me. (This rest is increased if I leave home with margin and drive at a speed that enables enjoyment.)
- Taking a bath. This one comes from a friend who relaxes best this way.
- Closing my eyes and breathing deeply while waiting in the car for a child or in an office.
- Arriving early to church and focusing quietly on the prelude and the Lord.
- Saying thank you and thinking about the kindness that prompts it
Every day this week, notice a restful moment. Whether you plan it or it comes unexpectedly, peacefully enjoy.