Four weeks. No work. No demands. No schedule. That’s what I was given this summer. Of course, the break was not to travel or vacation or work on a project. And it wasn’t given me because I earned it, like a sabbatical, or because I would make up for it later. It was for rest and healing, because I finally admitted my need.
God’s grace is like that, isn’t it? Freely given. No earning it. No questions asked. Just mine to rest in.
This beautiful bouquet is another symbol of lavish grace. I’ve never been sent flowers before, but my sister wanted me to feel loved, especially in this difficult season of health problems.
Do you know, it’s often the simple things that best express love? And that evoke strong emotions . . . I was a puddle of tears when it arrived! And then more gifts came and there’s a stack of cards on my table from friends and family members. I definitely feel loved.
If you want to make me smile, take me to see fireworks. I’m like a kid. It never gets old. I can never get enough. I thank God that childlike pleasure in good gifts is part of the Christian life. And I thank God for colorful explosives. Also, are fireworks this popular in other countries? I can’t imagine why not.
I can think of no better way to get rest than from atop a mountain. What a view! Warm and sticky though this day was, it was exactly what my soul needed.
God’s creation is so incredibly peaceful. I breathe a little deeper just looking at these snapshots.
Dusk. The reminder that God is not setting with the sun. He’s out there, beyond the sky, but He’s also right here with me. Truly comforting and amazing.
As is this friend of mine, standing with her head in the clouds. :) She was so patient and considerate of me while I stayed with her, allowing me to rest and dictate the menu. (And I promise, you wouldn’t pick my diet if you had a choice!)
My mama took me to this little hideaway on the water. She’s so good. She made the eleven-hour trip TWICE just to take care of me. Why is God so good to His children?
Having this designated time for rest allowed me the opportunity to read (or listen to) several good books on days my brain fog allowed for such concentration. Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry, Enjoy by Trillia Newbell, The Boy Born Dead by David Ring, and Emma by Jane Austen (again) are some titles I enjoyed.
And on the rotate-between-bed-couch-and-hammock days, when a movie is more appealing than a book, I indulged in a few favorites like “Newsies,” “That Darn Cat,” and “Emma,” and some newbies too, including “Seabiscuit,” “The Shop Around the Corner,” and “13 Hours.”
I also began regularly listening to the podcast Front Porch with the Fitzes. This is Elyse Fitzpatrick and family and well worth your time, unless, of course, you don’t like gospel grace with a healthy dose of Southern California humor.
Though the days passed oh so quickly, and I didn’t see significant improvement in my health, (though that was not entirely unexpected) I look back on these weeks with much gratitude.
There’s still much room for growth, yes, physically, emotionally, and spiritually; but this did me a world of good. Just to pause. To be honest with myself and others about the struggle. To give myself some grace. To look for joy in the little things. To find something to be grateful for.
I might not ever again find myself with a chunk of time set aside just for resting and healing, and hopefully never under the same circumstances, but I hope I continue to find time to consider creation, worship my Redeemer, and learn to love the way He does.