Sunday, November 01, 2015

Simply Sunday: A Rest Spot

Photo by Kathy Hillacre
Work is not always required.
There is such a thing as sacred idleness.
~ George MacDonald, Author

It's grey and quiet out this early Sunday morning, the first day of November. It seems a day for simple things ... for quiet moments of reflection before rushing into a new month. Maybe to tie up loose ends in our mind about what we worked on and thought about last month; maybe to dream ahead about a new month's worth of possibilities and opportunities; maybe to remind myself of my focus and what really matters in the greater picture and to see if my life reflects it. Certainly to focus on the Divine One and listen for His kind words that bring me life. And, maybe it's just to sit without any particular thoughts and simply be aware of my own quiet breathing. In a place that's peaceful and quiet.

In this season of my life right now, I don't have hugely hectic days. I no longer rush off to work somewhere else and I'm purposely keeping my life less involved 'out there' so that I have more time for my home and family, for writing, and for listening ... for the Still Small Voice, and to those things that still bring delight and beauty and hope in the world around me.

Even so, the days get busy and fill up with the business of every day living. And I find it needful to take little breaks away for restoration.

Every once in a while I reach for my old and well-used copy of Gordon MacDonald's Ordering Your Private World, where among other things he talks about the need for 'away' time from the regular routines as a way to rejuvenate and be ready for the new demands of a new week. He calls this time Sabbath rest.

One thing he says that sticks out for me is that we do not rest because our work is done; many of us think resting is something we do after our work is done. But if we assume that, we'll be in trouble, for how many of us ever have all our work done? We've probably all noticed, there's always something more to do. So rest is about taking regular, fixed times to come away and rest even though the work is still undone.

I've learned over the years, that to keep pushing through when we're dog-tired only frustrates us more, as it takes longer to get things done, we make more mistakes, we start to feel agitated, even angry. That certainly doesn't help.

Here in North America work seems to be always required. But when I look around in other cultures, I see that outlook and attitude is not so prevalent. I do lament that even members of my own family have to work such long days and hours if they want to work in their profession, to the point where they are exhausted and become unwell. I don't know how to fix that in our society, and that's certainly too big a topic for this little post. Perhaps small changes begins in our own minds when we recognize it's okay -- it's more than okay -- to stop and take a break. And to do so whenever we have control of our time and environment.

Here's another thing Mr. MacDonald says that catches my attention:

"A rest-less work style produces a restless person."

I don't think I've ever stopped to think about that word 'restless' in those terms before, that restless is about having less rest. Little rest or no rest. Interesting. The author goes on to say: "Work that goes on month after month without a genuine pause to inquire of its meaning and purpose may swell in the bank account and enhance professional reputation. But it will drain the private world of vitality and joy. How important it is to regularly close loops on our activity." 

The opposite of a rest-less work style would be a rest-full one ... producing not a restless person, but a calm and gentle spirited one. I like that better than being a restless, sharp-spirited person that comes as a result of exhaustion. 

So I take delight today in thinking that some idleness is indeed sacred, absolutely necessary for our health and well-being and our joy in living. And, as I mentioned earlier, to do so whenever we have the control of our time and environment -- to take this little bit of ownership for our well-being -- we will be all better for it.

All that ... as a result of sitting in my imagination in that peaceful, quiet spot on an empty bench in that lovely photo above. By the way, that is my sister's picture taken at a recent family wedding. Isn't it lovely?

Wishing you a beautiful day
and a rest-full work style in the month ahead,



  1. Love this Brenda! I'm with you in agreeing that things should change in our over worked culture. To truly take time for ourselves and be mindful of that could make all the difference in our health and happiness. A more rest-full plan to our weeks would be a welcome change. Blessings on your week ahead. xoxo

  2. That is an intriguing quote. Your post is one to ponder.I am guilty of thinking that rest comes when the work is done, though as you say, when does that ever happen? Yes, the photo is very nice and complements your thoughts well. Have a blessed November!

  3. Rest is a necessity for living a life of wholeness. I can't imagine a life without resting, but there are so many who do and, I dare say, they're lives are filled with chaos and noise.

    Great post.

  4. Lovely post, thanks Brenda. All this technology to streamline our lives and save us time and what do we do? Work harder! Doh! something has gone terribly wrong. Worth remembering, thanks.

  5. I am fairly new to your blog, maybe a month or so? I really enjoyed this post. You captured so well, the essence of where I am right now in my life (we must be about the same age ☺) and wishing that I could stress how important rest is to those around me that are still working and living at a break-neck pace. Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving month.

  6. Dear Brenda such a lovely and insightful post. I certainly believe in that Sabbath rest. It seems like we need it even more in our hurry up world. Take care and may you find time to rest sweet friend. Hugs

  7. A favorite quote: “If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live” - Lin Yutang.

  8. What a beautiful photo and post. You are so right about other cultures. When i was in sales for a printing / distribution etc. company I had many international customers who were always off on vacation. Multiple long vacations were part and parcel of their culture. It amazed me as even on my days 'off' I was always available. Ugh.

  9. So many people are caught up in work environments that are stressful and full of long hours, and it's hard to know how to change that. That's one reason I like to be able to provide a home, a shelter, of rest for friends and family who do lead such busy lives. We all need that re-creation. And I do feel this constant attachment to cell phones and other technology is to our detriment. We all need to unplug and re-boot. Lovely picture, Brenda.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo