What am I doing? What I love! I have an hour before a couple critical appointments for my dad today, and I am pausing…resting…for a few minutes and gathering thoughts about My January Rest. I’ve been consumed with the affairs of my father, and that has left little time for reflection. That is what The Rest is about: stealing minutes, carving out time, focusing on who and what matters most.
My dad matters greatly, and that is why I am all in as far as his care. But friends have shared, there isn’t going to be me to help him, if there is no me left. One wise friend, a caregiver herself, sent me a great article about caregivers. The article opened my eyes more clearly about the load we carry. Other dear friends observed (then boldly shared) that they see the toll my role is talking on me and my family.
So I pause and reflect. I write a few words that help me process. And, I think of you who have encouragement me in My Rest by reading, responding, and reporting on your own. Thanks for those who have stopped me and asked how My Rest is going. Today I hope to carve out the time to post this*, inbetween Social Security appointments and signing papers for my dad’s long term care. My heart is heavy, but it is time.
How is My Rest going? Overall it is going well! I haven’t had much downtime between care for my dad and his needs: insurance, medical equipment, overseeing medical care, appointments, cleaning, and the rest that goes along with all of this that has nothing to do with rest! And true confessions, I find that the most important part of being with my dad, spending quality time with him, falls short adding to the list of why I feel I’m failing. And many days, I feel like I am failing everyone, including God.
That is how I feel. While the truth is, I am struggling and some days I struggle horribly, I am not failing. There is a difference. God teaches me that my true source of rest can only come from Him. And I do fail, every day, but He covered each of my failures on the cross. I hang on dearly to Him and those who remind me of His goodness, in the midst of the hard. That is where I find true rest. I show up and do what is next (not mindlessly) and somewhere throughout the day, God meets me. I have had many blessings that I never would have experienced, if I hadn’t shown up for this season for my dad.
Today I showed up to write and reflect. My Rest is going well, yet I long for quiet, peace, and space. While I don’t have as much of that as previous Rests, quiet and peace, and space exist: I have to look for them, and sometimes make them.
To make quiet, I need to turn off noise, tune out distractions, and put down my devices. My iPhone Screen Time said my usage was down by 19%. That is nearly one-fifth! And that is without intentional set times of non-use!
To make peace, I need to deal with things that are within my control: things that cause my a lack of peace. For example, is there conflict with my dad, husband, daughter or friend? It is within my power to reach out to restore. And, it is within their power to accept or not. True peace is accepting that you have done what you can, and leave the rest alone.
To make space, I need to clear non-essentials from my calendar, from my home, from my life. And, that takes time and discipline. Also it takes wisdom to know what and when, and even how much of whatever needs to go. Yesterday, after a tearful meltdown, I felt like I needed to make supper for my family last night. But, I was trying to get paperwork together for my two critical appointments today. What to do? Order out, and skip the invested time and mess to clean up…but, I am not ordering out in January because of The Rest. I took the load off myself and focused on the paperwork. Then had the thought that when my daughter and her friend got home from school, I’d borrow them for 10 minutes: I did and together, we through together an amazing Instant Pot of Taco Soup! Both problems were solved, and that carved out extra time I needed on a day I thought I was going to melt like a snowman in a fire.
My day ended well. God met me. Friends encouraged me. I had a lovely dinner with my husband, daughter, and her friend. I made big strides in the tasks set before me. I loved the best I knew how. And for today, my day ended in peace.
I look forward to sharing specific My January Rest victories and bombs soon!
*This post was written yesterday, but I wasn’t able to post it until today! Thanks for reading!