As many of you know, I took last month off from writing and my usual “to do” lists. I was burnt out, and since December is one of my favorite months of the year, I knew it’d be the perfect time to take a sabbatical. I love the holidays, the movies, the songs, and the cooler temperatures that allow me to sit by the fire.
So I made a mental list of the things I believed would bring me rest, and I started checking them off.
- I took part in a fantastic Christmas concert, and my daughter joined me in the alto section of the choir. Fed my creativity.
- I made time to drive the countryside with my Silver Fox and our kids to take in the beautiful light displays. Heart-warming.
- I read books by my favorite authors, and let their gift of words lift my spirit.
- I cooked comforting, whole foods while Christmas music played in the background.
- I took time to sit quietly, listening to my favorite cello album. I allowed my mind to merely daydream and de-clutter. Sometimes I’d have long conversations with God.
- Tom and I walked every day, even when we had to pull out our winter gear from Wisconsin. (Long underwear in TN? Gasp!)
- I sat down at my piano and played my favorite pieces. Classical music makes my body happy.
- I made a point to see a few friends face-to-face. There’s nothing like it.
All of those things fed my body, soul, and spirit.
So what didn’t bring rest?
Watching too much TV or surfing the web too long.
I love all the Christmas concert broadcasts and the cheesy Hallmark movies, but I noticed if I spent too much time indulging in them, I felt sluggish and scattered. Unsatisfied. And if I surfed the web too long, or scrolled through too many Pinterest or Houzz.com photos, I felt like 100 chickens were clucking in my head, trying to get my attention. Feed me, feed me, feed me!
True rest only came when I was deliberate with how I spent my time.
Deep rest is experienced when your heart is at peace. There are many ways to achieve peace, but peace for me was found away from all the screens.
I understand why mental health experts encourage people to regularly schedule time away from their computers and phones. Even when doing scripture study, I found it more restful to be off the computer.
Maybe that’s why Jesus encouraged His followers to come to Him when weary and burdened. He provides rest.
Our spirits need food from a life-giving source, and screen time just doesn’t do it. At least not for me.
How do you find rest? I’d love to hear.
Have a great weekend!