I can't believe our last published post was almost 2 weeks ago. I've been back from my weekend rendezvous in Colorado for more than 5 days now and I'm still processing all the places my mind traveled during the get-away and upon my return. I had booked my airfare for the weekend at least two months prior to take-off and I remember thinking as I clicked "book ticket now" that this weekend would essentially be the kick-off to my summer break. While the summer season does start a bit later in the year up here in the great northwest, this kick-off was most closely associated with the conclusion of my first year of grad school (which actually won't technically be completed until I turn in my last paper this Wednesday). This break has finally arrived, a much needed break I should add, and yet I find myself in a state of confusion- not knowing what to do with myself when I have this much time on my hands.
I certain that this month will fly by and I'll wonder how the heck I ever wasted so much precious time, but right now I'm trying to figure out how to truly rest while I have the chance. What does it look like to rest the mind, to rest the heart and rest the soul. I have a list of at least four books that I want to read (books that aren't on a required or recommended list for my courses), but is that what it means to rest? I'm not sure, because I've never really been good at resting. Lauren McCleary posted a comment on my facebook wall describing my time off as a "thinking sabbatical." It's funny, because I have thought about this time as a sabbatical...and yet my stomach gets all twisted into knots even as I say that odd word. At the beginning of my school year here Dan Allender spoke about his year-long sabbatical (which actually only ended up being about 6 months) and he said that taking a sabbatical was a horrible idea considering he had never consistently maintained a Sabbath. I wondered at the time what he could have possibly meant by this comment, and now I think I'm learning the answer through my own experience.
Rest seems to require the ability to be present to yourself. This concept of presence has haunted me for quite some time now. It's so abstract, and yet there is a weightiness to the concept which reassures me of it's validity. What does it mean to be present to yourself? At this stage I'm learning that it has something to do with being comfortable in your own skin. It is about being aware of where you are, why you are and who you are. These three questions have been whispering to me rather sneakily over the past few days. Where am I? Am I here...in Federal Way, Washington? Or am I anticipating where I think I'll go from here. Am I here...in my poorly treated body that's birthed three children? Or am I remembering what it was like to be in shape and stronger. Am I here...in this moment? Or am I a stranger to the here and now. Why am I? Do I believe that I simply am for Him...or do I suffer from a daily dose of dementia forgetting that I was created for a purpose I can't quite see, feel or touch right now? Who am I? It seems that when I am able to actually BE where I am and trust that there is a WHY to my own existence...then I'll know WHO I am.
I have more to say about my recent discoveries, but this is enough for now. It is time to be still once again.