The Bread of Idleness & the Spinach of Rest
Oh, those long gone days when my babies would fall asleep anywhere, anytime, all the time, and transfer without stirring from person to person, from carseat to crib and back again. Such thick, deep sleep. Such trusting rest. Ironically, even as I’ve been mulling over thoughts of rest today, even as I rediscovered this sweet old photograph, these same dear children have joined forces to wage ultimate war against nap-time and bedtime. But I digress…
I got thinking about rest, and the concept, after reading this last night. (It’s good, check it out.) I know my blog has been a big cheer-leading camp for Ann Voskamp lately. But there’s something about her writing that both surprises me and resonates with feelings I’ve yet to articulate. So I was thinking about rest, real rest, and then I came across these words today, concerning a wife of noble character: She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. -Proverbs 31.27
And it occurred to me, how often, in need of rest -genuine restorative rest, I opt for idleness instead. My heart longs for connection, for meaning, for purpose in the midst of the often mundane tasks of housekeeping and mothering, and instead of allowing myself to enter into the rest that would fill my heart with life and ease the burdens and shed the light of grace on those tasks, I take a break to check Facebook or (my newest addiction) Craigslist. I make another cup of coffee or, if I’m lucky, like tonight, escape for some retail therapy to recharge. Not bad, in and of themselves- coffee, shopping, social media- but not life-giving, burden-lifting, or grace-filled either. The bread of idleness. The carbohydrate of idleness – the most common source of energy, but no essential nutrients.
I’m weeding out these lesser loves. I am longing tonight for a heart that rests – with the trust of a newborn baby and the fierce intentionality of the Proverbs 31 woman.