Those who know me probably laughed at my title because you know that REST is not something I do well. It’s a new discipline I am being intentional about in my daily life (between the interruptions of me yelling at my kids to STOP FIGHTING!!!!!) Ahhh…. back to a restful disposition. Oh wait, there they go again…
My question: “What does it look like to be a mom in rest when your kids are causing a chaotic ruckus?!” “What does rest look like when you’re in the middle of a project where enormous amounts of money, responsibility and people are at risk?” “Is rest stand-off-ish and aloof to deadlines and what needs to get done?” “How does one stay on the cutting edge of creating culture and REST??”
Do you have the same questions? Read on.
Here’s a great read: “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero. Did someone really just put “Emotion” and “Spirituality” in the same sentence? And “health” right in the middle. Finally. For many years, many have been sold a religion that has been destroying emotions rather than encouraging health and wholeness. This book is gold. Here are some thoughts from Scazzero on the idea of rest that I’m pondering at this moment. He speaks of contemplative spirituality rather than striving.
I want to highlight two gifts that Scazzero says emotional health and contemplative spirituality bring.
1. The Gift of Slowing Down: now there’s an alien concept to our culture. In North America, the way to succeed is to work long, hard hours; rushing home to get your kids off to all their activities, ending the day by passing out from exhaustion. Scazzero states, “We are too active for the kind of reflection needed to sustain a life of love with God and others.” Isn’t that the truth? I’ll use myself as a perfect example. In certain seasons I have projects that take up much of my time and energy because they are often accompanied by large teams, a budget beyond my understanding, and responsibilities that demand my time. The first thing to go is contemplation. It’s full on survival mode! And I’m always amazed at the fact that there’s no one in need around me when I’m in my busy seasons. Or maybe I couldn’t see them past my tunnel vision mixed with strategic speeding techniques. (don’t underestimate a momma in a mini-van)
Christ and His kingdom work completely opposite than my striving to keep up with demands. It gets things done with productivity beyond comprehension through rest. Through slowing down rather than speeding up. Through listening to the voice of God throughout demanding responsibilities. By listening, I gain perspective and strategy that were not in my reach while overdosing on coffee and anxiety. I can be productive AND love my family and any others put in my path without running them over with my mini-van. Scazzero continues, “Another way to discover how much we need to slow down relates to how attentive we are to God during our activity… When we gain the ability to integrate activity with contemplation, we find the arrow of our lives has a beauty, a harmony, and a clarity that makes ‘doing life’ strait forward and joyful.”
I love the idea the presents to know when to move on an idea or not (and isn’t that the question we all have?) If the activity would cause so much frenzy that it would take away from paying attention to God, ourselves (self-care) and others, it would be a “no”. I like that. I will be adopting that into my decision making.
The other gift (I’ll cover tomorrow)
I will cover in another blog for two reasons: One: I don’t want to overwhelm with too much information. Chew on this for awhile. Secondly: You have no idea how many times I’ve been distracted while writing this post.
I clearly need to chew on this too…