August 11, 2008

Giving it a rest

A friend told me something surprising the other day. "You look so rested!" she said. I was kind of surprised. I didn't realize I was looking unrested. But I definitely felt unrested. Before our camping trip, I was not getting enough own fault from not being disciplined with my sleep habits.

And usually camping trips are not restful for me at all. Like other wives who camp with their families, I usually felt the stress of having to pack, then prepare three meals each day while camping, taking care of child issues (not so much now for me as ours are getting older) and then keeping everything organized, dry and somewhat edible after sitting in an ice chest for days. I didn't feel that way this time though. And I had really been wondering what it was that made me enjoy this trip more than in the past.

As my friend and I talked about it, she said it was hard for her to rest when they go on camping trips because they go in groups with friends and there is always noise: 4-wheelers, people talking, music. I realized that's what it was for me. We love to go camping with other families, and the girls and I love to get out of the campground and go into the towns we're near and window shop or go to a cool coffee place or ice cream shop. But this year we went alone, just our immediate family. And we never left the campground except for one morning when we went to another beach 8 miles away to beach comb. So there was no stress of coming and going, fun as it is to do that. And there were no other families to talk with during the day. A lot of the time we sat in our camp, reading the books we brought or going for walks or hikes, and we sat a lot at the beach, just watching the waves, the birds and some sea otters.

I think the restfulness was from the lack of stimulation. No information constantly being driven into our minds from internet, television, radio or daily interaction with strangers and friends. We rested our minds and hearts. At night the creek lulled us to sleep, so we slept very soundly. During the day, although we enjoy visiting with our kids and each other, we mostly spent our time together silently enjoying nature, our light reading novels and just relaxing.

It was so good to really rest. The Bible talks a lot about resting....a Sabbath rest each week even. And it's this kind of getting away from routine stimulation and stress that the Sabbath rest is all about. I wonder if it is even possible in this this pace of life...with teenagers who want to go, go, go.

It woud be good to try though. It is really going to be needed after this first week back at school for us. I think I'll try. I will report back later. It may not be on Sunday (busy day for a pastor's family). But I will make some time for this.

Psalm 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life:
Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Psalm 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.


Leann said...

What magnificent words of wisdom!!! I have found lots of stress in camping with my family, too, for many of the same reasons but there were two days on our recent trip where we were the only ones in the campground and it was so relaxing just to be there and sleep and play cards and read. I loved this post and will take it truly to heart! :)

joannmski said...

That sounds really lovely!! I am glad you got a chance to do such a fabulous thing. Thanks be to God, for leading you to a wonderful place and time.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad it was a restful and enjoyable vacation for all of you. Sounds like just what you all needed. i hope you have a great first week at school!

Ash Fork Painter said...

Your vacation sounded so perfect! Thank you for sharing your relaxing moments.