As we near the end of September and prepare to embrace the "Fallidays," as I like to refer to the upcoming months, I can't help but reflect on this past season of transition and change.
The last three months have looked very different in our home with my recent decision to leave my previous career role to focus on our family and developing Creative Habitat. Ever since getting married to my, then, medical student husband who is now in his last year of residency, I have worked outside the home to help support our family during his medical training years. The years prior, I was busy living out my college years working toward a double major and myriad of internships and campus involvements.
Now, my days revolve around an almost 2 year old boy who blesses and challenges me daily. For the first time in years, I have no set schedule which also blesses and challenges me on a daily basis. I am slowly learning how to let go of knowing the plan and instead allowing moments to unfold before me. Our spontaneous trip to the dog beach this week (shown above) is a perfect example!
This change of pace has been restoring in many ways and a needed time of rest and rejuvenation from all of the balls I was juggling. As I've been looking into articles about mindfulness, rest, and well-being this year while developing Creative Habitat, I learned something very interesting about the history of "rest" in Jewish culture.
In biblical times, Jewish farmers were expected to work their land for 6 years and let it lay fallow every 7th year to allow for restoration of the soil and also as a dicipline to trust God's provision for them during this season of rest, called a Shemitah or Sabbath year. After 7 Shemitah cycles (every 49 years), the year following the last Shemitah in the cycle (the 50th year) is considered a year of Jubilee.
A Jubilee was intended to serve as a year of freedom and mercy where debts were forgiven, slaves returned to their families, and land was returned to the original owner. Based on historical records, we have been in a Jubilee year (September 2015 - September 2016). Pope Francis has announced this season as the Year of Mercy (December 8, 2015 - November 20, 2016). Ironically, November 20 is my son's birthday, but that's beside the point!
I have been fascinated as I have read more about the significance of the Shemitah and Jubilee years and their global impact both historically and in current events. I am convinced now, more than ever, that we were designed not only for work, but also for rest.
Rest is so counterintuitive to our "Go, go, go" culture, yet so important for the serenity of our souls which fuels our creativity. After all, a soul at rest is free to create when it is not burdened by burn out. I can personally attest to this truth in my own creative process.
Ladies, as we near the end of this Jubilee year, I hope we can carry on the creative habit of rest and restoration into the weeks, months, and years that follow. Allowing ourselves rest may be one of the most significant creative habits we can establish to fuel our creativity and live abundantly in our creative gifts. Like many changes in life, this change will surely be a challenge, but oh, SUCH a BLESSING!
Wishing you creative and restful days ahead.
Rain drops and a muggy hotel room were not on the agenda for the start of our vacation this week and yet we found ourselves doing our best to keep an antsy toddler entertained in a confined space when the rain decided to put a damper on our plans yesterday.
We were relieved to wake up to sunshine this morning and I was also relieved my camera captured this playful moment of my son dancing in the sunlight considering my SD card malfunctioned and corrupted all of my stored photos yesterday as well. Sadly none of them were backed up.
To say yesterday was frustrating would be an understatement but today was a chance to begin again.
"Always we begin again."
This famous quote by Saint Benedict has played over and over in my mind after hearing it at a women's retreat I attended at my church a few weekends ago. This statement is so simple and yet so profound. The word always is what gets me. When you really stop to consider that we always have the opportunity to begin again, it is incredibly freeing.
No matter what frustrating situation we may find ourselves in, we always have a choice to start a new, begin again, and trust the best is yet to come.
Ladies, perhaps you had a frustrating day yourself. Perhaps life rained on your plans and now you are faced with the choice to sit in your frustration or let it go and dance in the sunlight. I hope you will allow yourself the freedom to begin again because this is the first step in any creative act and key in developing creative habits to refuel in daily living.
So next time life gets frustrating and you want to throw up your hands, I hope you are reminded as I have been today,
"Always we begin again."
ALWAYS in ALL WAYS!
Wishing you new beginnings and creative days ahead!