i can hear rain falling. it's falling on my roof, hitting the myriad of petals and leaves in my front yard, splashing into the creek that is filling filling filling. it's loud. it's romantic. it's the soundtrack of my life now, living in what is basically a rain forest.
i can also hear my children calling to the neighbours. riding their bikes in the ally. dropping sticks and leaves into the creek and watching them float under the bridge. they hear a call for deeper freedom, for independence and space, and so do i.
next wednesday is my birthday. not only will the day mark my 38th year, but it will also be my first day of having both of my children in full-time school. suddenly my life is folding open, like a crumpled piece of paper that's been pressed in on all sides and then finally released. the thing is, even though i feel like i've been looking forward to this moment for years, i find that i have no idea what to do with myself. i've been tossed in the air with this move across country. i have no committees or bookclubs or ministries. i have baby friendships. i consult my gps to get to walmart. i feel like a fragile newborn.
so, last weekend was my annual weekend away with four girlfriends of mine (though only 3 could come). we shopped, we ate, we watched a movie, we hiked a mountain, and we prayed for each other. it was, as it always is, delightful in it's purpose and in its silliness. we practiced listening prayer together, where we each took turns bringing our lives to God and asking Him the tough questions, and then listened together for His answer.
this was my question for God: "what's next?",
and this was my answer from Him: "rest".
even speaking the word out to my friends brought tears to my eyes. i feel profoundly tired. weary in soul and body and emotion. i think the stress of the move, and the overwhelming nature of the house renovations, have beaten me bloody. i am in desperate need of restoration.
which is the problem. "rest" for me lately has truly been "escape". i sleep. i watch tv. i read fiction. i do nothing that truly restores, but i feel such a compulsion toward forgetting life for a period of time. good thing i don't do drugs. no, seriously.
when i think of next wednesday i picture myself alone on my couch and wondering what the heck to do, and i must admit it's a little terrifying.
so, here's the plan: i must paint. i must listen. i must read some non-fiction AND fiction :). i must pray. i must meet with friends and find a mentor (or two). i must remain honest with God and others about how i'm doing (that's where you come in!). i must enjoy the beauty of my new home and homeland. i must say no. and, sigh, i must exercise.
i must not wallow, turtle, give up, procrastinate, or sign up for anything.
this is my sabbatical.