Moments of Rest for the Weary and Spent

by | Sep 9, 2016 | Uncategorized


If they could bottle youth and sell it we’d all be rich.

How many times have I heard that phrase from a weary mother wrangling her kids. A woman assigning worth to a stage of life by the straw lines around her puckered lips. A man who uses salt and pepper to describe the hair on his head instead of spices he uses to cook.

We’re all a little tired, a little more than spent. Some of us haven’t slept eight hours straight in years. Quiet, stillness, and thinking thoughts to completion is for the bored, not the board room, yes?

Not so much.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1a)

It turns out we’re already rich.

Maybe what we need more than the secret for staying young is to accept the gift of Sabbath when life becomes a blur.

How do we rest from adulting? We remember that we are children in God’s capable hands.



Who said you have to fly from a string? You are free, walk around and laugh at convention. Slip off your shoes and feel the grass under your feet. Bend down and hunt for four leaf clover among leaf litter. What is the worst that can possibly happen?



Why is it wrong to nap in the hammock instead of cleaning up the peanut butter and jelly smeared on the kitchen cabinets?

“I don’t do guilt,” I hear my mother-in-law say, so I wrote it down in the first chapter of my book.

Allow the laundry to remain in a heap and your car seats crumby. Look up, notice the elephant cloud floating against a blue canvas.


Does a dragonfly tickle or sting? Show and tell. Let me see your finger.

Cup wind-wings in your hand and protect what God gave you. Cherish, protect, and relish your smallness. Release your gifts instead of holding them captive and what is yours will eventually come back to you.




Corny. Remember how you once used that word to describe the log of yellow kernels on your plastic plate instead of the jokes your boss makes in the break room? Sit on the front stoop, pull husks back and watch silk scatter into the crevices with a gust of wind.




How do you recapture youth when energy is what you buy in a powder to swirl in your orange juice? Allow your standards to collapse and cultivate a Sabbath heart. You are free to fly because you will always be a child in the heart of God.


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  1. Celeste

    “Allow your standards to collapse.”
    I like that. Fits with my week so far.

  2. Nancy Ruegg

    So many layers of beauty here, Shelly: the photos, of course, but also in the poetic way you express your thoughts, and then the thoughts themselves–thoughts like, “Cherish, protect, and relish your smallness.” In this stage of early-retirement, with the addition of grandchildren to the family, it has become easier to cherish, protect, and relish smallness. We follow the lead of our young ones! Thank you, Shelly, for helping our hearts to soar free on the wind of Spirit-rest this morning.

  3. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Oh Shelly! such exquisite beauty here in wing-and-wind words and photos that capture true beauty. (And what lovely children). I don’t so much count straw lines as laugh lines. How pathetic is that? As I age, I should love to see a whole series of parentheses permanently etched and embracing my smile! I love to smile. I just don’t love to age, and this has bothered me a *lot*. This post means so much to me, and I thank you from my heart for it. This line here means so much to me: “Maybe what we need more than the secret for staying young is to accept the gift of Sabbath . . . ” For me, Sabbath has come to mean so much more than resting from toil, but resting in Him. If I truly do that, He will so consume me with ageless joy, that I won’t care about an aging body. I long to have a green and flourishing heart and for God to use me in such a way to point to Him, to His love that is eternal and ageless. It’s been my prayer of late. Thank you for this reminder that I will always be a child at heart, always loved by my Father!! Bless you, dear one.

  4. Jody Ohlsen Collins

    Oh, the kite. The kite says it all. Resting on the breeze is what brings the heights, far above everything else, close to the Father. Beautiful, Shelly.

  5. Mary Gemmill

    I don’t do guilt….boy oh boy is that a phrase I need to adopt today and for always….thank you!

  6. Katie Andraski

    Thank you so much for this. I asked this question in my latest blog post that talks about: If every day is Saturday, how do you get the day off. I too came up with being mindful to the world around us. I love your reminder that we are children of God. My husband stopped and looked at the kites the other day at Farm and Fleet. I think I’ll we’ll get one and try to fly it…thank you again.

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