Tuesday, March 26, 2013

R&R: Learning to Abide

This past week, John and I had the opportunity to spend time just resting. Since we had already blocked off our calendars for our trip to Uganda, we decided to still take the time off even though our trip was postponed. Instead, we spent the week in Vero Beach, FL, where we were literally the only ones on the beach for a mile.

It was such a time of rejuvenation and just what we needed after the stressful past few months. John and I spent the days waking up late, reading on the beach, throwing the football, playing Bocce ball, going for long walks, and making dinner together at night.

Gluten free chocolate cake that we made
Shrimp tacos with homemade guacamole 

If we had a rainy day, I was planning on writing but the weather was gorgeous the entire time... that not too hot, not too cold feeling. And instead, it was refreshing to have nothing in particular to do at any time.

In this busy, fast-paced society it is difficult to incorporate rhythms of rest in your day, your week, or your month. And this constant striving is exhausting.

Something that John and I talked about was how to bring a rhythm of rest home to Atlanta with us. We're starting with going through our calendars with each other at the beginning of every month, and setting days aside each week for downtime together, evenings with friends, etc. Intentionally blocking off days on the calendar to stay home we think will help us incorporate more rest into our schedules.

The week was such a needed time of R&R, and when we returned home the importance of rest was reiterated during the sermon on Sunday:
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." -John 15:4
Abide: remain; hold onto.

So often I find myself going, going going and doing, doing, doing as I try to "produce fruit" from my own efforts. Yet I was reminded at church that we are simply called to remain in Christ ("in the vine"),  and fruit will be produced through us.

This gives us the freedom to rest, knowing that One more powerful is doing work through us.
"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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30

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