Life as Lou

Rest

  • March 29, 2012 7:08 pm
Anyone want to recommend a good concealer?  Holy under eye circles, Batman

I stink at resting.  I have the type of brain that doesn’t like to slow down or zone out, and the type of body that will refuse to sleep at night if it sleeps during the day.  Add that to two sick kids home for much of the past few days, and a type A personality that can’t stand watching things pile up and I’m going crazy.

Also, I am in pain, because I am doing too much, even though too much happens to be the bare minimum for parenting a three year old.  Yes, I have had help. I just haven’t had a full me replacement, or gained the ability to clone myself (if I had one super-power, that would be it), so I’m still doing too much.  I’m trying not to.  I really am.  This picture is from the hour and a half I spent laying down yesterday thinking of all the stuff I could be doing if resting weren’t what I was supposed to be doing.

I am so grateful for the people who have come and taken my kids and picked up some slack around the house; without them I wouldn’t just be annoyed and tired and hurting- I would be sobbing, annoyed out of my mind and totally exhausted and hurting even more.  There’s always a worse scenario, right?

I’m also bad at resting because busy is my best coping skill. Tired? Frustrated? Grieving? Depressed? Dust off your boots and get to work!  Serve someone else! Go clean something! Make something, help something, DO ANYTHING!

Most of the time, frenetically charging from one thing to another and filling my life so full of tasks and to do lists that I don’t have time to feel any sort of hurt or pain or deep seated frustration works for me. The counsel to “forget yourself and get to work” is sound advice.  Many times a case of boredom or simple melancholia can be cured by looking around and seeing what needs doing and doing it.  Work is a blessing- serving others serves our own well being. The Savior didn’t just promote loving and serving your fellow man to help others- it was advice given to heal us and make us more complete in the process.  Selfish people are not happy people.

That being acknowledged, there needs to be some Mary/Martha balance as well.  There was nothing wrong with Martha serving and preparing her home for the guests that came to hear the Master teach.  She was accomplishing wonderful things- the little things that make a house a home and make us walk in and feel welcomed and at rest. Someone has to work hard to provide that rest, and Martha’s efforts were a gift to all around her.  I love Martha very much.

But Mary’s ability to embrace stillness and partake of the quiet reflection and counsel offered to her, even if it meant the dinner got cold, and the floors were dirty and her sister was peeved with her is also a talent.  We need to learn to rest and renew, and we need quiet time alone so we can hear what our bodies and our hearts and the Spirit is trying to tell us. We need that time alone with our thoughts, even when being alone with our thoughts seems like entering dangerous territory. We cannot be healed, changed, or made better without it.  Sometimes feeling like you’re falling apart is a good thing, because it means you can give God a chance to put you back together even better than you were before.

Ultimately, (and yes, I am writing this to the convincing of myself, in case you are wondering) it boils down to charity. This quote comes to mind,

“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet.  Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.” -Marvin Ashton

It is much easier for me to extend charity to someone else than it is for me to give it to myself, even though I am in dire need of it. I need to be just as patient with myself as I know a good friend would be with me, accepting my weaknesses and shortcomings, patiently refusing to become offended by my own limitations and generously offering time, experience and rest until I can do better.

Charity being a refusal to take advantage of someone else’s weakness rings especially true, because I have felt spiritually and emotionally picked on over the past few months of ups and downs.  A wise friend of mine pointed out that Satan loves to hit us when we are down. When we are weakened in any way, he stands a slightly better chance of messing with us, so of course things were going to seem just a bit more difficult and negative, and of course my ability to cope wasn’t going to be as shatterproof as it might typically be.  Because he is not a gentleman, and is the fundamental opposite to charity-which, according to the New Testament is the pure love of Christ- he certainly isn’t going to fight fair.

It really is good warfare.  A person can be pretty effectively beat if you simply get her to bow to the weapon of discouragement.

I’m so grateful the Savior is always there, extending His loving assistance, charitable to the end, even when we don’t really deserve it.  I’m so grateful His is the power to win, and that we can enter into His rest in this life and in the next.

5 Comments

  1. Tiffanie Judd says:

    Love this!! Leah, this is so correct!! Thank you for your inspiration!!!

  2. amie says:

    I’m so glad you have many people willing to help you! How do women survive without Relief Society, sisters, family, and good friends?!

  3. Barbara Wyly says:

    Leah, since you are so anxious to be doing something, would you like to have next year’s seminary books on the New Testament to read while you recouperate? We got them in today. You may have more time to read them now then in the summer. We will be at General Conference until Monday evening, but if you are interested, let us know and we will bring them out. that way you can rest and do something useful, too. When my Mom was in bed for 6 months before I was born, she read Jesus the Christ and a ton of other Church books which made her quite the gospel scholar. Jesus the Christ is recommended reading for teaching seminary next year, BTW. I could also bring you the Isaiah DVD to watch. but I dod need to share it with a few other sisters, too.

  4. Sanisi says:

    You are so a ‘Martha.’ Now remember the lesson: sometimes there are more important things than what you think you should be doing. General Conferences are soon, too; you’ll just have to sit/lie-down and stay awake.

  5. Sue B says:

    What a wise sister you have Lou.

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