heart rest

hearts over a large heart

I vividly remember a comment left regarding

this post comparing the Sabbath to low tide.

I could feel the excitement rising from the words

used throughout the comment as she

realized observing a Sabbath didn’t have to be

a difficult undertaking after all.

No matter whether you call it, a break, a rest or a Sabbath,

our family has determined this time non-negotiable.

We spend the majority of our Sunday relaxing and doing nothing

or anything which brings rest to our hearts and souls.

We sleep in and when we return from church, I can tell

each one of us releases an audible exhalation.

No one expects anything of one another.

There are no to-do lists flashing before our eyes.

There are no obligations or “shoulds”.

There is just sweet unhindered time.

I feel strongly about inviting others to rest for two reasons.

I spent years packing too much life into the small windows

of my calendar, I came to dread whole months at a time.

I have learned the richness of  issuing a halt notice to the crush of busyness.

Once you start putting brackets around one chosen day of the week,

you won’t easily return to the old way of life.

It can be a half-day or even a few hours.

From time to time, I thought I would present a

snapshot of our Sabbath.

I am sharing it not as something to duplicate rather

to illustrate the simplicity involved in our Sundays.

I want you to see that it’s not perfect and there

are Sundays when our best intentions

collide with life.

Mostly I want you to know that I see you

with your shoulders hunched over and your spine in the

form of a “C”.

I know you are weighed down by the demands of life.

I wanna whisper to you the most beautiful

four-letter word,

REST.

Here’s what our Sabbath looked like last week:

  • we slept in
  • extended pajama time
  • took a break from church (God understands)
  • read books
  • watched sappy movies
  • Carl and Caleb baked and created brownie cookie sandwiches
  • clearly the above means low carb living goes out the window
    on a day of rest
  • watched and played hoops
  • Helen worked on Project Life
  • captivated by a sky show of blue to charcoal gray to rain to hail.
  • listened to thunder claps
  • foraged  through the fridge for a potpourri
    we deemed a dinner feast thus making room for Monday’s groceries.
  • watched The Amazing Race

It always looks different.

Your Sabbath will look different and it should

as there are no rules and of course no “shoulds”.

It is always the freshest air inflating our souls to capacity.

Please don’t make it difficult or consider it an additional chore.

It’s not rocket science,

it’s simply rest.

The week empties our strength,

let the Sabbath saturate your dry vacant places.

 

give thanks for dreams

may-14-may-your-dreams-come-true-nocal-1024x1024

I hardly notice my clenched grip around the steering wheel

as I speed to make a coffee date.

Late I am and questions are being lobbed around my head, such as

will there be enough to make dinner out of leftovers,

did I ever return that email 

and a host of other items on my invisible to-do list.

Suddenly my eyes scan farther in the distance than the next stop

light and catch a glimpse of a beloved sight.

A dream vaults into view.

The reality of a dream now absorbed into daily life.

I suck in my breath as I behold my dream.

There is no missing Mt. Hood in all its snow-clad glory lifting out of the hazy blue sky.

Growing up among rolling hills and wheat fields,

I had once dreamed of being in the presence of mountains

and near enough to see the ocean without needing the assist

of an aircraft.

Oregon has provided these wonders and tosses in waterfalls,

lush trees and great food beyond measure.

I am living and breathing in a dream yet I forget and lament

those dreams which lay unfulfilled.

I  loosen the curl of my fingers on the wheel and lift my eyes up.

Up to the hills where my strength comes.

Up to the place where every blessing and good thing

has its origin.

I say thank you.

Oh how I want praise and gratitude to be a non-negotiable in

my life.

I wish I could tell you that it is my default response

and that it didn’t take a mountain to cross my path to remind me.

It is so easy to rehearse my perceived lack and not the

blessings strewn about my head to toes.

If giving thanks was a non-negotiable in our days,

how different would the world look?

Give thanks for dreams.

Simply give thanks for this blessed life.

**********

Happy May Day!

Enjoy the following May desktops.
Some are available without a calendar like
the bike image above.

One (dozens)

Two

Three

Four

non-negotiables

20140422_214825

The Portland Trailblazers playoff game against the Houston Rockets

went into overtime, pushing our “required” viewing of

The Good Wife until past bedtime.

I know, deeply difficult problems.

Monday morning would arrive sooner than we would desire

but despite this inevitability Carl and I began our routine.

I have discovered any morning but especially Monday morning

is made more manageable with a non-negotiable in place.

We always tidy our living room and if need be, our kitchen before lights out.

Most nights, I estimate the whole process takes less

than 5 minutes.

But those 300 seconds are key when faced with heavy-lidded eyes and bed

hair the next morning.

There are any number of routine things we do each day…

shower, brush our teeth, make our beds, or kiss our loved ones

goodbye as we part company.

It’s quite simple.

We put away what doesn’t belong in the space and straighten up

what should inhabit the surroundings.

(Oh the spiritual connotations in the above sentence,
but I will refrain to keep this post within 500 words. Sigh.)

A toss of the pillow here and a newspaper filed away there.

An empty mug is sent off to the dishwasher and ottomans

which earlier propped tired legs are stowed away.

Half read books may be closed or taken by the hand

to be consumed under covers.

We didn’t always have this routine in place.

We had years of babies and unbending schedules which

meant we didn’t waste a moment picking up the aftermath

of the day before limping towards our mattress.

Life remains busy but I never regret those few minutes

at night ushering me into the freshness of a new day.

I don’t have to clear a space to sit on a couch or chair

to read.

I’m not kicking plates full of the crumbs from the snacks

of a day ago.

In many ways it helps put yesterday in the past and

embrace the day presented before me.

We have never discussed this “ritual” but as Carl and I have

practiced it nightly, we have observed our kids observing

the same routine.

Well, most of the time, with the exception of discarded shoes!

All I know is it has become a non-negotiable part of our nighttime habits,

not in the way of a mandate but a pursuit aimed towards

drawing tranquility into a day not yet born.

Our desire for our home is to be a sanctuary of rest,

a haven of peace.

When pillows are fluffed and furniture is set right,

we walk into order and not chaos.

Let chaos ensue when we cross the threshold to

the world or get behind the wheel 😉

What non-negotiable actions do you practice which

deposits peace into your life?

Or is it time to add one into your days or nights?

This week, I am going to share a couple of my

non-negotiable habits that help me exhale deeper.

Happy last day of April and if you live in Portland,

you might think it is the last day of August,

there’s a mini heat wave brewing here!

What can you do in 5 minutes or less to 

enhance the day to come?

Do it!