Strangely enough, that’s one thing that I’m learning now that I’m at home and on bed rest “for the duration.” We hope it’s several more weeks so that these girls can fully develop, and yet I’ve noticed that there is still the pull away from true soul rest. I could spend each day engaged in lots of activity that would leave my soul more tired instead of more rested. There’s the almost infinite pull of the internet — blogs to read, online shopping, news websites, youtube videos … and none of these are bad in and of themselves, but I could quite easily spend an entire day doing just that. And not to mention wearing out my eyesight, it could be a bit of a soul-depletion rather than rest. Then there’s the endless TV shows and movies to watch. And magazines and newspapers to read. And “preparing for twins” books to read. Not to mention trying to plan the nursery and think through what’s needed for our new home (and then ask others to do what I am limited to do by bed rest).
Ironically, rest is a topic that I’ve read a lot about and longed for in the past few years of busyness. The kind of rest Jesus invites us into when he says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28) The rest spoken of by the Psalmist in Psalm 116:7 – “Return, oh my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” And so it seems that all the study and teaching on rest now has the opportunity to be fully experienced.
Yet I must still be intentional to rest. To remember that it is more important for me to communicate with my Father in prayer than to promptly answer every phone call and email. To allow my soul rest by soaking in God’s Word daily instead of exclusively devouring entertainment literature. To not have to fill each moment with “noise” but to allow my soul to rest and be restored in these moments of silence and solitude. To take time to reflect and capture the unique lessons of this season in writing instead of wishing the days and hours away.
This is not to say that any of those other activities are bad in & of themselves, but I must remember “everything in its season.” And I don’t want to miss the truly important things Jesus has for me to learn during this season. It’s kind of like boot camp preparation for being a mom to twins. I will certainly wish I had soaked up each moment to rest as I look back on this season (perhaps even wistfully) on the other side of the twins’ birth.
For those of you who have been on bed rest, what helped you to cultivate soul rest?