Restful November | Digging Deeper


Since we started our #RestfulNovember series, we’ve intentionally mentioned that “resting is part of the doing.” Today, I’ll be digging a little deeper into that and telling you why Amanda and I feel so strongly about it. We struggle with the demands of life, with ourselves and with the expectations and obligations set by others. We have all heard the expression about people being wells…. and I think we can all agree that when our well is dry, our soul aches for more and our life suffers because of it. There are lots of ways to empty a well, and there are also lots of ways to fill it.  
It’s so easy to get hooked on the traditional definitions of “rest” — a nap, a spa day, or propping our feet up and binge-watching our favorite show. While those are great forms of rest, we tend to forget that doing the things that bring us joy are restful, too! Let me share a couple examples…  

One Sunday afternoon in October, I was just so ready to crash on the couch, because weekends don’t feel much like weekends after crossing off all the to-do’s (can I get an Amen?!) Anyway, just as I plopped onto the couch, Matt came up from the basement and stuck his head in and asked me to go for a drive. West Virginia is beautiful in the fall, and long drives with no true direction is something we used to do a lot in our dating years. I mean, I did wanna see the changing leaves, but UGH! I was tired and just wanted to be lazy and lay around in my sweats… I had that internal conversation with myself that probably went on for far too long. Even with all that, I still just wanted to sit and watch Netflix. But after some persuasion from him, I got up, got dressed and we went.  After a few hours of driving, scenic views, + some great conversation, I realized saying yes to my husband’s offer was a far better form of rest than what I would have chosen. (sometimes I hate admitting he was right 🙂 ) 
The few hours we spent driving around in silence, listening to music, laughing and talking… it’s moments like that, that allow me to get through the hard times in my life. Essentially, we were doing nothing in the best possible way. But the difference was there was no mental clutter, no Pinterest, Facebook, no e-mailing or laundry… and it was all still there when I got back. That’s what I want more of in my life… a rested spirit that allows me to be non-fragmented and totally in it, regardless of what I’m doing. 
The week we spend at The Outerbanks in the summer is a social-media-free one for those very reasons I just mentioned. There’s no posting the play-by-play of our trip, and limited phone calls and texts to our friends and family back home. It’s a vacation. And to me, they’re made for fun and rest, respectively. It’s easier for me to allow myself to be completely present when I’m surrounded by gorgeous pink sunsets and the sound of waves crashing along the shore. It’s intentional for me: I set boundaries within myself so that I can get what I know in my heart I need out of something. 
We have many wells within our hearts, and when we feel depleted, we can’t just limit ourselves to one way of filling back up.  Stop and ask yourself what part is feeling depleted. Asking ourselves to define how we are feeling can offer insight to what we need most. Lonely? Staying in bed is not the answer; call a friend for coffee, ask your partner to go have a night date. Restless? Go for a walk or run, just get out and move your body… Think outside the box. Ask yourself what part of you needs the rest?
My creative side, my spiritual side, and the side of me that craves connection + unity… those are big ones for me that constantly need refilled. There are so many different ways to feel a little more put-together, a little more “me” and I am learning about what works and what doesn’t. When was the last time you evaluated how your heart was doing? It’s something I’ve started doing more and more of and it’s been a game-changer.  

A few things Amanda and I do together (and also with our groups of girlfriends) is get together and paint, or invite some of our friends over to make + decorate cupcakes or maybe just sit around, eat pizza + chips and salsa and catch up. Those things are restful, too. They just fulfill different parts of us. Amanda told me that spending quiet time doing a devotional early in the morning before her husband and son wake up is how she gets time in for herself and encouragement for her busy day. I love the concept of taking a few minutes to refill yourself before your life starts for the day.

Realistically though, sometimes you just really really need to shut off the world and take a nap. And that’s okay. 

We hope you’re joining us for #RestfulNovember as we prepare our minds and bodies for the busy Christmas season. Let us know what you’re doing to “rest” in the comments below or give us a shout out on social media. We LOVE to hear from our readers!

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