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After spending a restful past 2 weeks scumming through good books, taking leisurely car rides, finding winning bagel eateries, and getting a good dose of fresh air, I am finally settling back into a missed little home space. But I’m also realizing it’s too easy to invite the pre-vacation wildness right back in.
I needed to hear this. Maybe you do, too.
“All things not God, all things made by God need rest…And maybe especially us. Because, unlike goats and beetles and flies and lizards, we try to outrun and outwit our limits. We think we’re the exception, the one for whom busyness will translate into fruitfulness. We think, because we’ve figured ways to build impossibly tall buildings and dig immensely deep holes, to spy on babies in the womb, to tease out strands of DNA, to send whole computer files from New York to Nairobi in a split second-we think because our industry and ingenuity seem boundless, we can also figure a way around our God imposed need for stillness. We can’t. The need is not conjured away by medication, technology, discipline, cleverness, sheer willfulness. It always comes back to take its due.” -Mark Buchanan
We need to rest. Play. Feast. Enjoy family. Take in art. Have a glass of something. Put up the feet. Let the weeds grow. Be known. One day a week.
Redefining necessity is both a science and an art.
It is official. Summer time.
There is no real place to be most days ( don’t hate…). This feels pretty freeing. For the first time in a while, I’m making a schedule of my own: reading, writing, running. Studying, cooking, swimming. Gathering with good people, gathering…data. Cleaning up messes, test-taking, sunning. Coaching, being coached, and trying to take it semi-slow. It’s only for a small piece of time, but rest is certainly what summer affords.
But summer is kind of restless, too. Longing for some coast. Boats. Fresh air. Things that are growing. What makes you restless?
Maybe there is a good amount of peace in restlessness too. It’s a reminder that there are good things, better things to come.
Take a listen to Josh Garrels. Joyful.
No machine, the human body included, can work at 100% efficiency. Thanks for this simple truth, kinesiology.
With athletes, we hear “Fuel the machine.” Eat regularly, don’t eat crap.
With workaholics, we hear “Work like a machine.” Keep motivated, don’t stop prematurely.
But when we look closer at a machine’s core, these phrases are not too relatable. Or praise-worthy.
Maybe it means that we are made to be much more like trees than like machines.
Every once in a while, I realize I am creating my future.
And no matter how much of it I think I have figured out, I have very little figured out. And I think that’s okay. Our lives are kind of like a crazy gospel song, and maybe we do not give it enough space to breathe the way it is meant to. But it is never too late to make room.
So where does s a girl start when trying to circle up everything she couldn’t do without this Thanksgiving?
I think of the calm of mornings and the warmth of my favorite wool socks (they totally have a hole, are a size too big, and yes, they are my camping man apparel). I am thankful for the makers of my blanket and the roasters of my coffee.For musicians who create scores and string together lyrics that make you feel the world is right and someone understands you.
And for the people who actually do understand you. The ones who aren’t just fans, but love you truthfully.
For green space when you’ve had too much street, and street when you just want to be in a crowd.
I’m thankful for authors, everywhere, who are brave enough to write. And photographers, who capture specific moments that we’ve never taken in.
For the spontaneous yet anchored way that friendships work, and the potential truth that we don’t ever really meet a stranger.
I’m thankful for oatmeal, lentils, kale, and peanut butter…though not combined…but wait, that actually sounds like a crazy breakfast of champions…
I’m thankful for Christ, who has pulled me off of an approval treadmill and wrapped me in grace. I will never have to feel alone or battle alone for as long as I live.
I am thankful for running trails, and the fact that I am a runner because I run. Simple.
I’m thankful for unfamiliarity: for having expertise, but not truly being an expert on anything. Experts have it all figured out, so they don’t have to pay much attention to what’s going on. Pity.
And to close, I am thankful and overwhelmed with the term comfort . So many sources, such privilege, and the discernment to know true comfort from false (for real…fellow Black Friday recovering addicts, give someone your keys.) Wrecklessly take in your comfort space, whatever that means for you. Few things feel so rich.
( Didn’t plan on this shot to being uncomfortably close to my face, but while we’re on things we’re thankful for, I couldn’t help but include this insanely biodiverse window sill: rainbow swiss chard, mini tri-color hot peppers, pansies, and strawflowers. Life is beautiful, even/especially in the city.)
All you need is to have one person believe in you to make something beautiful happen.
I think I felt like that today as the Dean of Doisy College (the college was named for Edward Doisy’s Nobel Prize winning discovery of vitamin K) informally spoke to new interns on her belief that the profession of nutrition, more than any other, has the potential for impacting the public for positive change.
I feel energized with the hope of offering myself not to a job or career, but to a calling. I think successful people run after their calling unabashedly. They are filled with joy and gratitude because of it.
Let’s be running partners.
Integrity is huge. Simply, it’s defined as a quality of honesty and uprightness.
Or a state of being whole and undivided.
Although these two definitions are seemingly distinct when applied to people (morals) versus objects (wholeness), fusing the two ( moral wholeness) might be a definition that really hits the spot. With applications from ethics to shoes to nutritional soundness, I trust it’s worth concentrating on. Without it, you cannot do much.
I think we are all attracted to integrity. It’s one of those qualities that’s mysterious because it’s rare, and when you’re around it, it invites safety and confidence. It isn’t always glamorous, but it’s inviting. It doesn’t settle. It’s gives others dignity.
When we practice it, it invites an integrity infused culture. If I have a little, I want to be trusted with it. If I have a lot, I want to be able to be trusted with more. Does it take time to learn how to trust yourself or just practice? Maybe a lot of both, but more importantly start acting as if someone is looking. It is ridiculously beyond picking up trash, but it might start with picking up trash. Where would the world be then?
Maybe I feel this issue is pressing because my bike was recently stolen. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s not like losing a sock, either. A good bike is like a reliable friend. You spend a considerable amount of time with it, and it gets you through a lot. You take care of it, and it takes care of you. It’s comfortable….and always around when you need to escape.
This is my official grievance of Mr. Fuji (Jen, I think you officially named him awhile ago)….that’s the bike, I often lack clarity. So we learn to give the offender grace, and then hold ourself to a higher standard of integrity. The world goes on, and we learn to appreciate what we have even more. I’m definitely okay with that.
Why is it that of all the things that are incredible in our lives, it is human nature to blow up the one miniscule piece that is not “quite right” ?
It’s like a distorted magnifying glass with the inability to put focus on meaningful, satisfying pieces that we hardly deserve. I think finding a way to redirect this messed up focus (that our world effortlessly invites) is more simple than we think. Maybe it’s called thanksgiving. And naming things we are doing right now that we’d never thought we would do.
I also think it is naming what could dare be called a move towards a good practice: this is beautiful, this is you being more alive.
Whether “what you’d never thought you’d do” is simple or complex or crazy, whether you feel supported or not, it is growth.
Today I found myself confidently putting my hands in my pockets and smiling. Life is very real: give thanks.
( Enjoy the great color and texture of these rocks. I took this picture in Moab, Utah. Also enjoy the simple fact that people are hands-down interesting. The guy at the top is Forest Gump in five shades of neon, and I love it. Wear you color. I think confidence is hugely tied to wellness. )
“Deep summer is where laziness finds deep respectability.” - Sam Keen
I love this line. I read it while out at breakfast and just thought, “SERIOUSLY.”
We all have hugely different definitions of “lazy”, I’m sure of it. And there seems to be a blurry line between laziness and rest. I think that’s where rest gets a bad reputation, when truly, it is not laziness at all.
I had this fear today…what if summer passes and I don’t feel rested? I refuse to leave these wonderfully hot months behind without being able to recall one single over-the-top lazy day.
So if you are a self-condemning rester (our culture teaches this) for today (or a specific one this week), whatever lazy means to you, cross the line.
It is old fashioned self-respect.