Since having knee surgery over two months ago, I’ve had a lot of down time. Literally. It’s been the sitting-in-the-recliner-with-my-feet-propped-up kind of mandatory down time. As far as I could tell, I was well-rested and relaxed after being down for that long.
But all that changed yesterday.
Our friend invited us to spend yesterday at his family farm. Emma was incredibly excited to pet the goats, watch the baby pigs, and anticipate the surprises the day was sure to hold. We also planned to check out a restored historic house at the local state park. Overall, we were all looking forward to a fun day with a friend.
Emma thoroughly enjoyed all the animals. I can’t count the times I heard her say “They’re SOOOO CUTE!” as she watched the pigs scurry around their pen. It was heartwarming to see a little bit of farm life through her nine-year-old eyes. Of course, one of the highlights of her day was making friends with the dog and cat in the back yard.
After lunch and a bit of exploring the farm, everyone got ready to head to the park. I found myself alone on the back porch swing. Alone with the birds, the quiet, and my own thoughts. The serenity was overwhelming, and I found myself feeling at peace for the first time in a long time.
After exploring the state park for a bit, we took some time to drive around and visit some of our friend’s family landmarks. The rain began to fall, alternating between pouring buckets and lightly sprinkling. The motion of driving the winding country roads, the stories flowing, and the raindrops pattering on the car set my heart at ease. I found myself breathing deeply, closing my eyes, and soaking it all in.
Yesterday I realized that while I had been physically ‘down’ for a couple of months, I hadn’t taken time away for true relaxation. The break from the computer, the phone, the almost-constant noise of life made me realize that I desperately needed some true rest. I hadn’t been dealing with any overwhelming decisions, major stress, or life-threatening situations. But the day-to-day had taken its toll without me even realizing it.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock
If my story sounds familiar to you, I encourage you to find a way to experience some true rest. You don’t have to plan an extravagant beach vacation, drive hundreds of miles, or spend a lot of money. Just find a quiet place where you can leave behind the laundry, the computer, the projects on your to-do list. If you’re blessed to have a friend like ours who will let you come and rest, by all means go. And maybe sometime down the road, you can return the favor.