Today I know that I could make many of you jealous! I am sitting by candlelight, sipping coffee listening to a melancholy instrumental cd while sharing a breakfast soufflé with my dearest best friend, Sarah! (and it is only 9 o’clock in the morning!) After conferences and travel and wearing ourselves out, and homeschooling all along the way, we always plan something fun in March. March is that middle of the spring season time which is neither spring or summer and not a holiday time—cold and snow still abound for us in Colorado—and usually the moms I know are a little bit weary of the school year and “feeling” no inspiration ahead! That is exactly why I almost always take a break in March. I make up my own holiday time for just a few days—because my soul needs rest and refreshment. This is a long journey and if I am to make it to the end with resilience, I have to plan for refreshment along the way!
Once, a friend told Sarah that her love for beauty seemed a bit frivolous. However, I have always told my children that they are responsible to keep a light burning in their souls—whatever it takes. Creating beauty and joyful moments in the midst of a fallen, sad world is what gives light to others and nurtures light in our own soul. I am not ignoring the pain or difficulties, as the still abound in my life—but admitting that in order to keep going and giving endlessly for many years to come—I have to take responsibility for replenishing my soul and seeking to fill the spiritual, emotional and physical cup of my life with nourishment. Spending time with Sarah—my sweet daughter—or with one of my dearest friends who really knows me—always fills my soul. Filling my mind with encouragement and truth always gives me guidance. Resting and exercising (walking is my therapy!) gives my body a boost. Clay and I had a lovely dinner all by our selves last week. Joy and I went shopping and I gave her a small budget for taking us to shops and for a treat—we had a blast talking. I took both the boys on dates alone to Panera’s for coffee and a treat of their choice. I used to take the kids when they were little on a drive to the mountains with a great book on tape in the car and hot chocolate at a little café—or breakfast out at a fun mountain eatery.
Going for long walks or hiking, reading a magazine or frivolous book, sleeping in, having a tea party or lunch in the middle of the week with kids and moms for no reason, creating a scavenger hunt in the house for kids, hiding wooden painted Polish eggs all over the house for my friend’s kids while the moms gather for gabbing, taking a long extended bubble bath with divine music and candlelight and not answering the phone or the door; going to a favorite café in the middle of the week in a downtown area—even if we all share meals or just get soup (which we are likely to do with our budget tight from 3 college age kids with cars and jobs and school costs!) Whatever sounds good and within reason, I do because I know the principle of the Sabbath—God designed for us to have and to take rest because without it, we do not endure well or see Him clearly or have the strength to believe in order to get perspective.
This is the third year I have been able to get away with Sarah for a few days in Asheville, NC—one of our favorite cities in the world. Wonderful trails to walk, great cafes in which to have savory food or a sumptuous treat and time to breathe in the goodness of long quiet times and walks amongst old, beautiful Victorian houses. Clay graciously assented to our several day trip as we look for places in the south for a potential mom’s conference next year, as well as working on a new book 4-6 hours a day. Very sweet friends are hosting Joy for a week long of total pleasure and fun while we are sequestered away to write. But mostly, just investing rest and pleasure and goodness and beauty so that we can go back home to give and give and give again—but with a smile on our face! So, take time this week to do something unexpected that will indeed celebrate God’s goodness and that will bless everyone in your home! Give your body and soul and mind a rest and time to refuel!