Preparing to Rest (as a Hurricane approaches)…

William, Penny, their cousin Bo, and Marilee, all prepared to enjoy themselves

We usually rest on Sundays, well, as much as any family with three young children can rest. We avoid stores (except for yesterday, when, in preparation for Sandy we not only went to the mall to retrieve my computer but also went to Walmart, bought some wine at the liquor store, and secured a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at our local book store). We avoid running our appliances (again, yesterday providing an exception that involved the dishwasher and two loads of laundry). And we have a pattern that involves a family walk in the morning, church, a big lunch, some down time in the afternoon, and usually another outdoor adventure before dinner.

All of this resting takes work. Or perhaps I should say it takes preparation.

First, I need to be mentally prepared to let go of the work I could otherwise be doing. Second, I need to be physically prepared–food in the refrigerator so we don’t need a last-minute stop at the store . . . ideally, a meal prepared ahead of time so I don’t spend all afternoon working towards dinner . . . clean clothes and dishes . . . And third, I need to be emotionally prepared to enjoy the time instead of thinking about what I could be producing.

As Sandy approached, a friend of mine commented on how he looks forward to days without power because he can’t email anyone. He is already preparing to enjoy the days ahead, without work, without the possibility of work. He will take some time to himself, I’m sure. He will be cold at night, I suspect. But he is already looking forward to hours with his three-year old son.

I, on the other hand, have been scrambling in my head as I think about all the writing I won’t be doing this week. But I’m trying, as the wind picks up and the lights flicker, to prepare myself to enjoy our children. I’m trying to look forward to playing Go Fish (Penny’s new favorite game) by candlelight, to helping William be “kerative” with the empty shoe boxes we’ve been storing for just such a rainy day, to cuddling with Marilee as we read through her favorite books “adain!” and I giggle as she fills in the blanks with her ever-expanding vocabulary (the highlight being “pah-amus!” for hippopotamus).

This week is different than most, of course, and I very much hope we won’t have any more major storms for a long while. But it has helped me to think about my posture towards our day of rest and what it means to prepare to receive it as a gift instead of seeing it as a necessary disruption. With that said, I suspect this blog will experience disruption this week. I will be back in touch when I can, when enjoying my rest is over.

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).

Comments

  1. I love your preparation for rest. Could have used it THIS Sunday, but as I was scrambling to get to church and lead prayer time, my husband was on the roof with our two oldest sons trying to finish shingling! He made it just in time for potluck!

  2. Oh, and the hurricane!

  3. “And third, I need to be emotionally prepared to enjoy the time instead of thinking about what I could be producing.”
    Right there with you, AJ.


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