When I think of vacation, I think of the epic vacation, that I usually need another vacation to recover from!
You know, the ones like . . . covering every inch of Disney land or hiking for hours because turning around means not knowing what magical or life changing thing may be just. . . around. . . the. . . very. . . next. . . turn (gosh, I feel bad for those who struggle with that).
I find, when I try to have a restful vacation I get swept away in ideas to:
re-landscape the entire back yard,
or the sudden vital need to remodel the bathroom.
Resting is hard for me. . . and. . . from what I see on social media. . . resting is hard for others too.
Rob and I are in-the-midst of resting right now.
The first days are the hardest for me.
On Monday, I was struggling with physical and emotional letdown.
Yesterday, I was struggling with a bit of discouragement and lies ripping through my thoughts.
My brain feels jittery,
My fingers feel wrestles,
And I feel slightly bored.
Yesterday, I went to God’s Word to let him remind me of his view of rest:
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”
When I read these words, I am thankful God led the way in resting.
Work hard and rest hard!
“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”
If true rest is a sweet time to refresh our hearts in the love and steadfastness of our Lord and Savior. . . .
Then sign me up for resting!
Over the last few years I have wrestled with rest.
Rest that is . . .
Gratifying and fulfilling.
Rest that is rich and refreshing.
Here are three ways that I have found transformative in finding that sweet and rich True Rest:
For years. . . I was that person who threw routine to the wind while on vacation. Nothing was going to dictate any tiny part of my day.
Not a calendar!
Not an alarm clock!
Not Bible reading!
Then. . . I had a baby.
Did you know. . . they not only dictate your schedule Monday thru Friday. . . but also. . . on Saturday and worst yet. . . Sunday.
The real shocker for me was on vacation.
Caleb did not get the “sleeping in is a mandate on vacation” memo.
Caleb wanted to eat every meal at the exact same time.
Caleb did not (and still does not) care about watching uninterrupted shows.
Surprisingly. . . the needs of a child. . .has helped me learn the value of a routine while on vacation.
I have come to realize a routine keeps me from. . . chasing my tail on vacation.
Feeling constantly behind . . . and . . . sometimes feeling like I wasted a day.
Routine helps us win the day!
My routine looks like:
Getting dressed every day. Caring for my appearance filters into caring for my entire body.
Early morning kid free walk gets my body moving and my brain going before being bombarded by the needs of others.
Daily time with Jesus. Lavishing my heart and mind with his love refreshes my soul and helps me be. . .
the parent I want to be.
the spouse I want to be.
the person I want to be.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
A good routine empowers true rest on vacation.
2. Grow YOU!
Like you. . .I really do not like doing anything that I “should” do on vacation.
If I “should” read. . . I won’t.
If I “should” exercise. . . I won’t.
If I “should” eat right. . . I won’t.
When Rob and I lived in the States, we spent weeks leading rafting camps on the Salmon River.
11 hour bus rides.
Cooking without electricity.
Scorching sun and lobster burns.
Crazy rainstorms and wet sleeping bags.
Late night Bible studies and talking under the stars.
but. . .
At the end of the summer. . . we were so tired.
We would come home, order enough pizza for a few days, and binge watch tv.
We thought this was true rest.
However. . .
I always gained weight.
I rarely felt rested.
And I struggled with discouragement.
Disengaging from one’s life and entering into the fake fantasy land of Netflix does not help any of us to feel fulfilled.
I needed a true rest mindset change.
Moving Personal growth from the “should” category to the “transformational” category has been life changing.
The last few years I have found I love reading a good book. A book that. . .
Expands my thinking,
Challenges my personal development goals,
And reminds me of God’s vision for life.
Within the first waking hours of the day, I spend a few minutes listening to a book that challenges the person I am today so that I become the person I want to be tomorrow.
Now. . .the rest of the day. . . (like today) I am neck-deep in a fun mystery novel!
You and I are created by the hands of God.
Our brains are easily distracted by who we are not.
True rest comes from enjoying who we are today and dreaming about who God might want us to be.
A few great reads:
-Grit: How to keep going when you want to give up -https://amzn.to/3lic1jc
-Fresh-Brewed Life: A stirring invitation to wake up the soul - https://amzn.to/3aZLH8X
-The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership - https://amzn.to/2EzphPI
-The Magnolia Story- Chip and Joanna Gains have such a fun and sweet marriage - https://amzn.to/2EtpXq1
3. Roast a marshmallow. I know, I know. . .you are like WHAT?
Roasting marshmallows. . .
Entices us to come outside,
Allures our focus,
Gives our hands something to do,
Draws our gaze up to the intoxicating stary expanse,
Brings peace to the heart,
and. . . (as my kids would say) are just delicious!
Places of true rest naturally find freedom from shame.
Shame is a big true rest destroyer.
Feelings of shame can come from. . .
Not putting down the phone.
Not making more memories with the kids.
Not eating healthy.
Not sacrificing the budget and going on that epic vacation.
Shame. . . shame. . . shame.
Shame is a downward cycle that will ruin your entire vacation and desire for true rest.
Instead, let us find sweet spots.
Slowly rotating a marshmallow for that perfect golden brown gooey goodness takes
attentiveness, and . . . laughter when it goes up in flames or falls into the fire.
Sweet spots. . .
Engage our jittery minds,
Gives our wrestles fingers something to do,
And captivates our slightly bored feelings.
Maybe, your sweet spot is. . .
listening to music and dancing in the living room
or roasting a marshmallow.
True rest is found in sweets spots that engage our senses and are naturally free from shame.
True rest is vital to our health. Keeping with a routine, engaging personal growth, and finding sweet spots will transform your vacation and help you experience sweet, rich, and True Rest!
I would love to hear from you! Please comment below and tell me your favorite sweet spot.