Mrs. Martin, she was my grade 2 teacher, and she said I couldn’t keep any rhythm to save my life.
She’d be standing there in that red pleated dress of hers, tapping glossy black patent leather pumps:
“For there to be rhythm — there has to be rests. You’ve got to listen know where the rests come,” and she tried to show my little grade 2 self in my scuffed up Mary Janes and green polyester pants, how to clap it out.
Beat, beat — rest. Beat, beat — rest.
But I’ll just straight up confess that I never quite got the hang of the rhythm of music and moves, and I am far older now than Mrs. Martin was then — but when I saw Mrs. Martin the other week in the produce section of Zehrs grocery, checking out the firmness of the tomatoes, I wished I’d been brave enough to tell her what I kinda get now:
Life beats you down unless you get the rhythm of the rests.
Wished I’d slipped up beside Mrs. Martin and helped her pick out the best tomatoes and told her how I’m still a slow learner, still learning how to still, so I hear the music in rhythm of things — still realizing:
Rest is a rhythm
you have to keep
so your soul can breathe
all the notes your life was made to sing.
life loses its meaning.
But? If we make S P A C E in the middle of the PACE of things we find P E A C E.
It’s true: Work has its own rhythm — a steady pace of 30 minute work session, 60 minutes, 90 minutes.
And then? After the work beats — there are rest beats. There are Rest Rhythms — islands of 10, 15, 20 minutes — to sit in a hammock, a bit of time suspended in space, close your eyes, listen to the wind make a song of its own through chimes, pen something that speaks the language of your soul, breathe long and deep and be more about being — and less about doing.
I’d tell Mrs. Martin that I am daily working on these:
5 Secrets to DAILY Master the Art of Rest & Recharge
1. Daily Glory Soak: Sit outside and stare at the sky.
So there is this rest rhythm — even 5 minutes in the middle of the day to: Look up into the limbs of a tree and stretch out your own arms and breathe in deep. The Japanese call it “forest bathing.”
And yet maybe —
If the whole earth is full of His glory, maybe our souls need a daily “glory soak.”
2. Daily Gratitude List:
It been a habit of more than a decade for me and it has profoundly transformed my life in every way: Curl up with your journal and write down just three things every day that you’re grateful for you and you increase your happiness by 25% — for free!
“Joyfulness is a function of how we see, and how we see is a function of how we look at everything with gratefulness.” One Thousand Gifts
Take time to give thanks to God — and you give your soul what it wants most: Joy in God.
3. Daily Good Tunes:
I’m telling you: Good days need a good playlist.
Music reduces the stress hormone cortisol, strengthens one’s immune system, and decreases one’s sense of pain. Music is free medicine and soundtracks can help keep your soul on track.
Feel the rest between the beats, and your heartbeat gets the rest it needs.
Good tunes, good times.
4. Daily Givenness:
It’s a true thing: Taking the time for intentional acts of givenness, instead of merely the one-off random acts kindness — is how to intentionally let your soul exhale.
“The best way to de-stress it to daily bless.” The Broken Way
Live given, be the GIFT and give it forward today: Speak words that make someone stronger, give someone a coffee, choose Fairtrade and live a fair and good story and give someone the gift of empowering hope.
Live given with your life, live given to the wind of His spirit and rest in the music He makes through your life.
5. Daily God Meditation:
Turns out: A recent study indicates that Bible readers are less stressed than the general population, which is what His Word promises: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you“ (Isaiah 26:3).
Meditate on a verse from His Word all day and you rest in the rest of God.
I’m thinking Mrs. Martin was one of those who already knew it in her bones:
We are not human doings
working at looking supernatural,
but spiritual beings
doing what is humanly possible
and looking to Christ to do the supernatural.
We are not human doings working to make ourselves spiritually acceptable. We are spiritual beings resting in Christ to do what is humanly impossible.
And the music can come even now, and you can feel the expanse of it right within you, the way twilight seems to exhale at the end of the work: A soul doesn’t work without a Sabbath.
and know God —
to not forget who you are.
There’s a rhythm that can save your life.
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