William-Adolphe Bouguereau - "Rest" (1879)

So much going on this week. Yowza! Busy, busy, busy. 

In preparation I had my day planner out last night and my to-do lists to make sure I had written down everything that needed to be covered. The lists are long and detailed. My mind was so full that I was beginning to hyperventilate. I could feel the pressure to get it all done.

Whatever happened to the "lazy days of summer" when I would spend hours reading and the rest of the time in the pool. Oh, how I miss those days. I miss that feeling of rest and relaxation. One of my friends pointed out to me this morning that I "wouldn't know "resting and relaxing" if it hit you in the face with beach bag and pool boy!"

You know what, she's absolutely right.

I hate admitting that, I really do.  I want to be peaceful and balanced. I want to be filled with sweetness and light. Unfortunately these days I am filled with vinegar and water. No sweet, just sour. Most days I am just wrung out by dinner time.

So this morning as I was struggling to remain balanced on my exercise ball during my cardio and core class better known as "how can we make Mary feel like an overweight elephant trying to stand on a ball" class, I tried to just breathe.

No, I am totally serious. This class was so difficult that that's ALL I could do. Concentrate on breathing AND not falling on my bum and making an absolute fool of myself.

While the sweat was dripping down my back and face, I was breathing deeply and evenly, my mind began to wander and I thought about "how do I rest?".

REST is curling up with a hot cup of tea and a wonderful book.

REST is snuggling with my daughter and watching a "bonnet movie" as my husband calls them dreaming of Mr. Darcy and the ball gown I would've worn had he chosen me.

REST is sitting on my front porch as the sun rises reading scripture from the Bible in awe of God's splendor.

REST is meeting my girlfriends for nibbles and a drink laughing and encouraging each other wherever we are in life.

REST is sitting in a quiet adoration chapel my eyes gazing upon my Lord soaking in all the grace that's there just for me.

REST is walking hand in hand with my beloved on a beach while the waves kiss our feet all the while basking in the love I have for him.

All these things mean rest to me. With doctors appointments, therapy appointments, writing deadlines, home engineering duties, husbands work travel, cooking and exercising, life gets crazy.

So, I decided that once a day for the rest of the summer I am going to try to do at least one of these things. If I can't get the the shore, than a neighborhood stroll will work just as well with my guy. If I can't watch a whole movie than I will turn it into a mini-series. Flexibility is key.

I also came across these great blog entries from the spectacular Sally Clarkson that spoke to me and where I need to be. Maybe they will help you to:

Rejuvenating Rest...a mandate from God--part 1
An Ode to Tired Mamas
Rest, part inner attitude of the heart--

It's time for some rest. Now if I could just find a pool boy to bring me something with an umbrella in would be just grand.

Where do you find rest?