Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your business and working with your hands. 1 Thessalonians 4:11
The weeks following my poolside silent retreat were typical summer days full of family fun, play, work, chores, travel, packing a freshman for college, church responsibilities, piano lessons…. you know, stuff.
But burning beneath was a knowing – change was coming. An ache began to surface inside that I had never experienced – a constant awareness of my pace of life contrasting an invitation to quiet.
It was a season of sensitivity to the hurry and hustle of modern day life verses a potential pace that could be more peaceful.
At this point, the Lord’s prompting to re-access my life was so loud that NOT entering into rest would be an act of disobedience.
It was that loud.
And growing louder daily.
Stress had taken its toll the past decade. Its impact effecting my emotional and physical health… tanking hormones, disrupting sleep, increasing anxiety and lowering energy. My body would certainly concur with the ache of my soul – to do less and make it my goal to live a quiet(er) life.
Last August I began working with a life and career coach. Her name is Joy and she brings me just that. And though her job is to help me transition from point A to point B, her demeanor is calm and serene, creating space for me really listen to my deepest desires.
One day this summer I came to our call with an unusual unease. The day prior I attended the funeral of my precious Great Aunt Marty. She was a wonderful lady. Marty died at 93-years-old and had devoted her entire life to her husband, two sons and grandchildren. She served at her church, she taught school for several years, she invested time with the family sitting outside by the lake and knew the value of a good crossword puzzle before bed.
I sat in the pew of the funeral home. Listening. Weeping.
My tears not necessarily because of Marty’s death, but more because of her life.
Marty would not have been an Instagram influencer or know thousands of Facebook friends. Her life wasn’t glamorous according to the world’s standers.
But to me… I was the most beautiful.
She lived a quiet life. Minding her business. And working with her hands.
Here it was before me. The abstract ask of a “simple life” condensed to a ten minute eulogy.
Her husband. Her family. Her church. Her home. And a crossword puzzle, too.
All the things that mattered most, mattered most to Marty.
What would be said at my funeral? As life stands today?
Mom was fun. She loved her bathrobe, Brent, the boys and a good scroll on Insta. She built an incredible business! Hitting top of the company year after year. At night she crashed hard on the couch with her dog, indulging mindless TV because her words were spent on everyone but her family.
She was super fun. But tired.
I wept on the phone with my life coach, Joy. Feeling up against an ask too big for me. I tried to explain how I felt inside…
So I painted a word picture: A little girl, a little Becky, on the school playground jumping rope with friends… Double dutch, remember that? Big ropes. Fast ropes. Lots of children circled around. Lots of noise. Lots of onlookers.
The jump ropes twirling faster and faster, so fast now that I couldn’t find my moment to jump out.
She asked me….
“What are you risking by remaining in the ropes? By continuing to live in the double dutch?”
I sat in silence. Thinking.
Then the answer.
(This blog is part of a series I wrote while on a six week sabbatical. I am excited to share. Check back periodically as I share more of an unfolding that has changed my life.)