Monday, June 07, 2010

Happiness Beyond Writing

lambs ear

I was supposed to take a bath, then run, not walk, to make a list of things that make me happy.

That was Julia Cameron's advice.

I took the bath. It seemed like a perfect Sabbath thing to do.

Should I rush to the page like Julia advised? It seemed counter-Sabbath. I did not rush. In fact, I did not go to the page at all.

Why list the things that make me happy? Why not give the day to acts of joy instead? I thought about God's idea for the Sabbath. Rest. Rest and rejoice.

Downstairs, I made a cup of green tea. I poked through the fridge and found herb-butter my children had made the night before. I slathered it on crusty brown bread and cut a few slices of fresh mozzarella. Simple Sabbath morning.

I took my time. One of my girls sat quietly on the couch, writing. The other was off with Daddy to church. I did not go to church, but instead slept in after a late Saturday night. And woke to Julia's advice. And took my bath. And took my time.

The rest of the day I gave over to friends. A picnic. It rained before we were finished. We moved on to someone's home. I had more tea. This time mint, fresh picked, fresh brewed and iced. We played cards, talked, laughed.

Several times throughout the day I felt drawn to the computer, but I listened to a deeper sense that said, "Not today. Today I do not want to see news, or answer questions, or feel responsible." I played the piano, played guitar, started reading a new chapter book to my kids.

Sabbath. Rest.

Lamb's Ear photo, by L.L. Barkat.

HighCallingBlogs' At Least the Potential for Happiness
Cassandra's A Page At a Time
Glynn's Writing in Place, Writing to Place
Marilyn's What Were We Waiting For?
Nancy's Makin' a List
Melo's Day 31: Missed the Boat
Erin's How I Dodged the Writing Police

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Blogger Glynn said...

A grandson, a bike ride, reading a good book -- that was Sabbath rest for me. It's important, more than we know.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds like a you had a lovely day.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

This is really what it should be, isn't it? We take what we need and go from there. Sounds like it worked for you. :)

8:14 AM  
Anonymous heather said...

During Lent, when I gave up social media, I found new rhythms (or, old rhythms, rather). Amazing how quickly I lost them. I need to instill a Sabbath day to remember the Lord my God as Creator and Redeemer. Leave the computer shut down. Open the piano lid. Pray through my fingers, striking the keys as one would move through the rosary.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

Because I work outside the home all week, weekends are my time to do things for me. yesterday I only left the house for a dog walk. I read and wrote and even cleaned house -- and I did it all consciously, with my heart filled with love and gratitude.

it was a perfect day :)

Love your day -- it too sounds perfect!

9:13 AM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

Wrapping ourselves in the cloth of Sabbath rest. Yes, taking time, because it is one of His many gifts. I found beauty in your simplicity.


9:48 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Like how you re-wrote Cameron for yourself.

I gave myself to art, looking at it, listening to it, being quiet with it.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those breaks from demands and routine are good for the heart.

the fuzzy leaves on that plant look so soft.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

It really does take discipline for those of us who like/need to feel productive to just rest and soak in the moment. How good of God to create a day just for that. I too, yesterday, felt drawn to the computer. I could just jot down a little blog post, start editing my shoot from Saturday, but I too forced myself to just be with family. How much better I am for it!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds like a great day. I don't know about the mint tea, but the rest of it is just fine.

1:52 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

Can I tell you something funny? I always experience a little jarring when you talk of your husband, you do such a good job of keeping him out of your blog.

I really love that you experienced happiness rather than wasted time writing about it. Sounds like a perfect day :-)

2:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When I finished reading this I thought,
kind of like a love note to Yahweh without the written word.

and to finally get back to my comment, if you remember, I try to let the interruptions be life, but I struggle so much with this. That's why I was afraid to add my true colours at the moment. I've been trying to come out the other side of some differences in the rhythm of the house lately, and was in a less than graceful mood that day.
Today... things are different and better , and of course the irony of the whole thing makes me laugh.

2:44 PM  
Blogger ~*Michelle*~ said...

I have such the desire and need for my own Sabbath rest/day....this was such an encouragement for me to simply just slow down and make the time. Not only time for myself, but for Him. I hope you felt a sense of renewal with your day.

I wanted to thank you for popping in my world today and for the kind words....

...and oh! I have a different kind of lambs ear in my garden...the leaves are broader/longer. (living in New England) I really like the variety you shared as well.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Sherri Murphy said...

A peaceful Sabbath rest that I think would be pleasing to God.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I love your day. It sounds like a perfect sabbath rest. I felt much the same yesterday. My daughter came for a visit; we talked and talked. In the evening I resisted the pull to the computer and sat and worked on my cross stitch project and later read a little.
A good day.
I think we need those days so that we can be filled and refreshed.

6:34 PM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

I watched a doe chase her little fawn into the woods when she saw me watching her ... then she returned to distract me and ran the opposite direction. Her final hurrah was to stand in the middle of the road and watch me drive away down the gravel country road with a rather triumphant look at having chased off her perceived enemy. I smiled as I saw her in the rear view mirror.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @ said...

So nice.

And attending the Church of St. Mattress is mighty fine every now and then. ;-)

Love the perspective on that lamb's ear photo. It's one of the most prominent plants in my landscape. Love the texture of the plant, which you captured.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Duane Scott said...

Oh, yesterday I took one hour and decided to read. It is the things we do, not the things we write, that bring the ultimate happiness.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I think it's a great practice that you talk about to maintain the Sabbath, a Sabbath. It often takes constant reminder that Sunday should be a day of rest. I think it's a very good habit to make to seperate yourself from outside distractions like Facebook and other sites that take away time which could be better invested in other forms. This posting serves as a good example of how all of us can modify our Sundays to better serve God in all of our actions.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Sandra Heska King said...

I haven't been on the computer much all week. On Sunday, not at all. Recovering from all the new baby excitement and drama--and just enjoying her and family. And it felt good.

I wish I'd started this study.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

That is a good Sabbath rest.
Think upon Wendell Berry and his Sabbath poems. Done with a notebook and paper!
Great blog!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Michelle DeRusha said...

This is awesome. A heavenly Sabbath day. I like the fact that you admitted you skipped church to rest your weary body instead. Sometimes that is imperative -- but I feel so guilty when I do it!

9:47 AM  

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