August has arrived and I am tired and in need of rest.  Summer has been a buzz of activities, some of which have been fun and others of which have been unexpected and stunning.   In my mind’s eye, the picture of a swarm of honeybees around a honeycomb comes into view.

Still, love has been present in the midst of my swarm.  It is love that has reminded me of my need to rest.  Rest sounds really good.

Resting and taking time and space for my own heart to be comforted has not always been what I have chosen for myself.  My default is to stuff my needs, buck up, be a tough cookie and just handle things all by myself, thank you.  Rest for me means departing from the swarm, letting go of control and depending on someone bigger than myself to provide for needs, not only for others but for me.   It means being kind to my own heart.

So, today, I am listening to love.  Today I am taking a break from the swarm.

I am at a river park that is called The Island.  It is early in the morning and the coolness of the shade of night is still present. I can breathe the air, taking in nature as it awakens.  The sun has just risen and the light is reflecting off the water, highlighting the slight movement of the current just underneath the surface.  The water percolates from an underground spring, bubbling up from the bottom of the river, reminding me that there is life happening, even underground.  My eyes are distracted by two ducks and I can feel my smile.  What a funny hairdo! They linger with me, hopeful for crumbs of food…

ducks

My heart is beginning to settle. I have all the ingredients in my recipe for rest today…I have my tube, I have my hat, I have the book I am currently reading, and I have my heart. I am anticipating that this time will hold spaces of delight, grief, and comfort.  Yes, I am a glorious mess and I am filled with gratitude that I can trust the One who loves me in the mess (and provides the delight of a duck with a funny hairdo!).

I wonder…what would be your recipe for rest?


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Ellen Oelsen lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband of 24 years. She is a mother of 4 children and loves their 2 dogs and 1 cat. Her hobbies include cooking, nature, reading, plays, and two stepping. She delights in offering hospitality of the heart and creating spaces of care, rest, play and reflection to inspire hope. She is beginning to expose the writer within her.
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