Monday, January 14, 2013

Worn, Weary and Threadbare (for when you need permission to Rest)



"Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." - God

I came into the retreat like our old cat Samson used to come into our house after a string of nights out on the town.  Samson would just disappear and refuse to show up for nights on end as we leaned out the screen door, peering and calling his name into the darkness.  Then, a few days later, he would come dragging in, thin and dirty, walking slowly with a limp. 
That’s how I felt that morning - I arrived completely exhausted.  Life with four young children is like drinking from a fire hose, all struggle and gasping and refreshment to the point of drowning.  The discipline of a monthly retreat has revealed the intensity of life lived between those moments of rest and I often arrive haggard, gasping for breath. 

The day opened with an opportunity for each participant to write on a scrap of paper three words that described how they arrived.  Then a large ceramic bowl was passed from hand to hand around the gathered circle as we named our words and laid our papers into the bowl. 
It felt to me that others had much nicer words, like “rested,” “eager,” and “waiting.”  But as I lifted the heavy bowl and dropped in my small scraps of paper three words escaped my lips like a cry,

worn,
weary,

and threadbare.

I passed the bowl quickly and sat quietly.  I listened and prayed throughout the morning as the tears rolled down. 
Later I found a sunlit window and sat curled in a chair soaking it in.  I ate a quiet lunch that settled in me like a bowl of warm milk, full of soothing comfort.  Then I returned to the retreat house and stretched out on a long cushioned bench.  I wrote a little, read a little too, but eventually I gave in and, leaning to the side, I curled up there in the lap of God and drifted my way off to sleep.

(This post is linked with Playdates With God and Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday. )
(This image was found here.)

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Kelly. Somehow in reading this a calm swept over my mind. I think that learning to let go and rest without guilt is a very difficult task.

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    1. Yes, it is. But I wonder if it's one of those things we knew as children, but forgot somewhere along the way. I think that's one of the biggest blessings that's come with Mom's illness - that's it's forced you both to rest more and take care of yourselves. Love you guys!

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  2. Love that you curled up in the Fathers arms and went to sleep. We all need to learn to do that. Love how you shared the your rare feelings and the peace at the end. Beautiful
    Visiting from Wellspring hop
    Blessings

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping over, Bethe, it's encouraging to be part of community.

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  3. There are times we are just that--worn, weary and threadbare. You found the cure--resting in the SON.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Pamela!

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  4. thank you for reminding me to rest in Him, and not of my own making...big difference. His rest is healing and complete

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  5. A monthly retreat sounds like an awesome discipline to have! It's hard, as a Mom, to walk away from your kiddos and home and relax. Good for you for making it a priority!

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    1. It has been so life-giving, a real God-send. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Love that picture.

    And love that you're asked to write 3 words about how you arrived. I would guess your three are probably pretty common. It'd be interesting to know how those three changed as everyone was leaving the retreat.

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    1. Lisa, I know, it's adorable! Once the bowl went around the room, the leader poured a pitcher of water over the pieces of paper and prayed that we would receive what we needed that day, and we did. Thanks so much for your words.

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  7. The image of life with four littles as similar to drinking from a fire hose--brilliant! And absolutely true:) I wish I'd had the good sense to rest every once in a while when my kids were small.

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