A Reflection On Rest

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“Rest and be thankful.”
― William Wordsworth

I am totally your classic ‘always something to do’ gal; I would have been your nightmare manager at McDonald’s (never actually worked there…I was a Pizza Hut waitress through my university days though) singing gleefully on an early shift ‘if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean’ and all that – I’m a little exhausted just thinking about it! My University friend, Claire, would despair at me for never being able to relax and watch a film unless I was doing something else; writing a letter, writing in a journal, making my life goals etc.

A few weeks ago my son, Micah said “Mum, please come and sit with me and watch a film…and DON’T bring your book”. I laughed (cried a little inside) and met his request; we snuggled under a big Mexican blanket (which of course invites other little ones…and the dog) and melted into a film together. After a while Dave appeared at the door after being out, with a look of shock and awe on his face and said “wow, Mum is watching a film with you”!

Okay, okay – it’s not quite my jam to sit and watch any old film,  I really don’t like T.V and I am very intentional with my time – but I have had to learn to add into the baseline (and schedule) of my life a rhythm of rest.

And before you start to feel really sorry for my kids and plan to whip them off to the movies without me; I am with them 24/7 people! We sit with piles of books, we linger over tea and conversation at the table, we walk together and I hold them, kiss their little Boden faces and tell them emphatically that I love them many times a day!

BUT, I am learning to rest on their terms at times. We have a such a mulch of personalities and love languages in our home (moi: INFJ, Acts of service and time come out pretty high on my love tank needs) and as much as I need to be energised and fueled for life, so do my family – with me in the mix!

A few times a week I like to bring them over to my side (insert evil laugh); twice this weekend I planted myself sprawled full length on the sofa with Big Magic in hand and shouted ‘it’s quiet (book) time’! My 4-year-old grabbed a couple of Donaldson classics and found a nook between my body and the sofa we were on and wedged herself in; the dog snuggled on my feet, my husband read the newspaper, my (almost) teen flicked through Spotify on my Kindle Fire to plan her birthday playlist and while Joel napped upstairs Micah adventured through his favourite dinosaur book. I could hear a gentle hum of a child, the flicking of pages, the deep inhale and exhale of a black Bassadore heavy on my feet.

The left-overs remained on the table for a little longer, the dishes were piled up in the kitchen and who knows if anyone had clean underwear for tomorrow; that moment, right there is where I was fully present.

Over the top of Micah’s hum and Sienna’s quiet recitation of ‘The Gruffalo’, I looked up at my husband and said “this is a thousand times better than watching T.V”.

And it was.

Podcasts And Periscope – My Top 5 Picks!

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My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence. – Edith Sitwell

So I’m a stickler for using my time well, you know the vibe; if you’re doing dishes you can listen to an audio book, if you’re doing your hair and makeup you can listen/watch a periscope video, if you’re driving you can listen to a podcast or your favourite preacher! Yep, I’m all over this, everyday!

If you saw my post last week you’ll know I use audio books, I’ll keep that list updated every month, but I’m not including that info in this post!

So here are my top 5 listening loves right now:

Podcasts

 1.  Read-Aloud Revival

This podcast is all about building your family culture around books. This is not just for home educators although the host does homeschool her children she’s careful to be inclusive in her questions and content.

Two of my favourites are her interview with Susan Wise Bauer and her lovely chat with Sarah Clarkson from Storyformed – check it out book fans!

2.  On Being with Krista Tippett

On Being is a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation and podcast, a Webby Award-winning website and online exploration, a publisher and public event convener. On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact. 

I just LOVE this podcast and I feel like I’m passing on a treasure by sharing it with you but it’s too good to keep to myself (smile). These conversations that accompany me whilst cleaning my kitchen and doing my dishes feed my poetic soul, stretch my capacity for language and constantly remind me why I took sociology at University! I also love this conversational style of broadcasting and I try to emulate it in my small community radio show. Two of my favourites are her treasured interview with poet Mary Oliver on ‘listening to the world’ and her inspiring conversation with Mary Catherine Bateson on ‘composing a life.’

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3.  Charlotte Gambill

“So much of the growth we could have had is lost because of the people we feared, or the opinions we allowed to redirect us.”
― Charlotte Gambill, The Miracle in the Middle: Finding God’s Voice in the Void

I love Charlotte; she’s a Yorkshire girl doing it large for Jesus! We both started life in the same church in Bradford many moons ago, and she’s now Senior Pastor at Life Church with her husband Steve. I like her down-to-earth style, her straight from The Word content and her lovely, lively personality.

She’s a mother, author and a mighty fine preacher – I learn from her style, her content and her leadership.

Here she is in action if you want to take a look! You can find lots on YouTube of course; there’s no regular pattern to her content on the web but I keep an eye out most weeks.

Periscope

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.

So, if you haven’t discovered it yet, Periscope is the new phenomenon launched this past summer that has just gone wild! Periscope is a new live stream video app linked with Twitter that allows you to do live broadcasts about anything you want! I tried to start broadcasting myself but either my android phone or my home wi-fi doesn’t like it and it has been unsuccessful, but I can still watch them!

I don’t give Periscope a lot of time and I only watch scopes that have good content and are worth my time; so here are two I watch regularly:

4.  Money Saving Mom (Crystal Paine) – this is linked to her Katch account so you can catch up on her scopes.

Crystal is a mother, home educator, author and successful business woman; I’ve actually been reading her blog for around 10 years but only recently has she sprung to ‘success’ and I’m cheering her on. Her scopes talk about blogging, business, time management and book reviews – so right up my street!

5.  Chalene Johnson

Chalene is a fun, inspiring entrepreneur and business woman. She’s a leader, amazing communicator and a forerunner in the fitness industry! I find her motivating; her content isn’t always what I need so I don’t check in every day but there are generally a few a week that have really helpful content around ‘getting it done’ that relates to me right now!

There are a few more podcasts that I’m trying out at the moment but haven’t heard enough to put them on my fav’s list, but I am enjoying them…I’ll keep you posted!

I’d love to hear from you, who are you listening to at the moment?