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Tag Archives: Rest

While You See a Chance, Rest

by SweetMidlife

Hi! It’s Lynne.

An old picture of me watching tv in bed because I was too tired to take one when I wrote this post.

So I think God speaks to all of us in different ways. Some hear audible voices, and some hear a warning or encouragement from a friend about something that we never told them but has been on our hearts. I believe God talks to me through pop music. Yes, I’ve heard Him in other ways over the years, but often I am going through things in my head and a song will come on the radio that speaks to me in a targeted way. And the song that has been my kiss from above, more than any other song, is “While You See a Chance” by Steve Winwood. Maybe it’s the organ he plays, or his amazing voice, but this song has always gotten to me. Then it really GOT me.

See, there have been times in my life where I was facing big decisions about moving forward into opportunities that could change things significantly for me, and out of the blue, this song came on. The first was 20 years ago, when I was offered the chance to be in a show at the Kennedy Center in DC. It was an amazing thing, but taking it meant I would have to leave the theater company I was on summer break from, and it meant joining the theater professional union. This opened me up to work at a new set of theaters and would include health care and open doors and the chance to tour in this same show the next year. But it also meant less certainty in between because some theaters don’t hire union actors, and it meant looking for other jobs between gigs. I was about to get on 395 South in DC, headed to my dinner theater show, batting all the possibilities around in my head, when that song came on. And it got to the chorus, the “While you see a chance, take it” part, and I swear I heard a “Lynne!!” in there somewhere, and it seemed like a push. And I was grateful, and took the job, and it changed the trajectory of my life. In wonderful ways.

And over the years, I have heard that song when I was wrestling with things, or about to venture into new territory: I heard it in a restaurant while very pregnant, heading to the last meeting for the teaching artist job I had, and pretty much one of the last professional things I was going to do before the baby came. It seemed like a nice segue into a the next season, and to rest in that.

So speaking of rest, this takes us to this past Thursday. That baby is now 6, and he has his own social schedule and things that he needs rides to, and my husband and I have church commitments, and I am teaching drama and directing a show and about to be in a show, and leading worship at church and there is also dinner to make and things to do and although I am trying to order things in an orderly fashion, it’s a lot.

So Thursday, it was a snowy and rainy day here, and my kid had school, and I was preparing for an after-school drama club that I am excited about. I was on the way to a meeting about an opportunity next year, and I was thinking ahead to drama club, and another lesson my son had that evening, and also a networking event I was supposed to go to while he was at his lesson, and I just felt tired. And right before I left, I got notice that the school system was cancelling after-school events because of the weather, and that was sad, but also took something off of my plate. And I thought to myself, “If weather is stinky enough for them to cancel things, maybe I should not go to the other things we had planned tonight.”

I got in the car, and Steve Winwood came on.

And relief and organ music came over me, and that was conviction. I rearranged my son’s lesson, and I sent regrets to the other event. And we came home after school. And I ate dinner in bed.

Sometimes taking chances means going towards something active and exciting. And this time it meant the chance to recover from excitement, and to embrace safety and rest.

Which actually is pretty exciting too.


Resting In the Knowledge That Rest Is A Thing That You Need

by SweetMidlife

This is Lynne, by the way. And I am going to use some words that might gross some of you out. So proceed if you want.

So, about 2 weeks ago, I had an hysterectomy to relieve bladder and uterine prolapse, which means that those things were, umm, hanging where they should not have been. And it was very uncomfortable, and had been for a very, very long time, and I decided that to improve my quality of life,. This was a good thing to do. I will probably write a post later about all of the emotional things that come along with this surgery, because I think that this is important, but I am early on in that part of the journey, so as I walk that path, I will tell you more, okay?

What I wanted to tell you about right now is actually the first part of the emotional and physical thing that this surgery takes you on, and that is the fact that I am tired. So very tired. And actually, I think, that many of us can relate to this whether or not you just had a hysterectomy, or are recovering from the flu. or you have been working a bunch to support your family and you realize that you are about to pass out. You’re just freaking exhausted. And you have been told that you need to give yourself some time to rest and to heal. And that sounds amazing. Because who wouldn’t welcome the chance to, on doctor’s orders. to, in the words of my surgeon, “embrace your inner Cleopatra” and let people serve you and do things for you as you let your body heal?

Umm. me, it turns out.

It has been an amazing, amazing thing, a blessing, actually, to have family fly in or drive in to stay with me and my husband and occupy my son and take him to school because I could not. and to have my pastor’s wife organize a list so that people can supply my family with meals while I recover, and to have my friends, some who I literally haven’t seen in 20 years, fill that list up in about a day. Whoo, I am still swimming in the love that we have felt that people come running with casserole dishes and soup and car keys so that we could get what we needed.

The yummy fruit that my cousin Pat sent me.

The yummy fruit that my cousin Pat sent me.

But for some reason, it has been really hard to actually just sit, and just rest. I should be welcoming this opportunity to have “chill” as my occupation for 6 weeks, and to not feel bad about Netflix-binging, and wondering if I should be somewhere else. Because I shouldn’t be anywhere else. But there I was, about 22 hours after my surgery, asking my surgeon when she came into my room to check on me, if I was going to be able to be on the treadmill in 2 weeks. And she said “No!”, and looked at my husband and said, “She’s going to be one of those, isn’t she?” And he nodded, but wanted to say, “She sure the heck is.”

And in this day and age where we value work and moving and doing over everything, that seems like something funny, or admirable, that I am ready to go and looking forward to the next thing. And there is nothing wrong with that in theory. Goals are good, but not if you are ignoring the process, and the value of it, and part of this process is to actually rest. Rest is an action, y’all. Letting your body and soul and spirit heal is a good thing. We have such an issue, we do, in recognizing the value of the season that we are in, to the point that we spend the whole time complaining about not being in the next one, then we get to the next one, and complain about not being in the one we just left (Think of parents who can’t wait for their kids to go back to school in August, but then are bemoaning their absence in October and longing for December break.).

It’s not cute, and it’s not good. And every time I get up to show somebody where the ketchup is instead of just pointing them to the fridge where they will figure it out, I am putting extra stress on my body. And when I forget to get my beloved grabber thing to pick up things off of the floor, since I am not supposed to be bending, and I decide to try to bend as far as I can, I wind up hurting myself. And I think I do these things in some part out of guilt because I feel bad that I need help, and I doubt my worth in actually getting help. And I also actually think that I do them sometimes out of ego, because we get some sort of pride out of thinking that things can’t go on with out us, and that nobody can find ketchup as good as us. And I think it’s also, again, about the fact that we value doing more than resting, and daggone, even God rested after He made the flipping world. so surely we can, right? Whatever the reasons are, they don’t trump the fact that I need to let God heal ME and trust the process.

One of my former pastors, Pastor Mich, shared this amazing story on his Facebook page last week. He had been sick, gotten a little better, gone back full-steam to work, then relapsed again. He never gave himself time to really heal. And he said this:

“(Maybe) you want something to be back the way it used to be, or when you just want something to be over with, but God says, “not yet”. Been there?

I have a few ‘not yet’s’ in my life right now. How about you?

You can’t rush healing.
You can’t rush answered prayer.
You can’t rush maturity.”

Right? Boom. There it is right there. You can’t rush the process. And we really shouldn’t want to. Rest is a gift if you can do it. Healing is a gift. I am going to stop taking that gift back, and I am going to revel in it. I have been using this downtime to work on my new business as I sit, but I was also reminded by the nurse practitioner at my 2-week post-op appointment last week, that this is a time to quiet my mind, too. So I am going to end this post and go back to Netflix, now, but thanks for reading, and I hope that if you have some time to rest, you do it, too. It’s a thing. Do it.

Me chilling int he fluffy robe my grandmother got me and brought over the day I came home from the hospital. But she didn't stay long because she knew I needed rest. Trust your grandma.

Me chilling int he fluffy robe my grandmother got me and brought over the day I came home from the hospital. Because she values rest and being comfy while you do it. Listen to your grandma.

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