Last July I was introduced to Cassandra Frear via a link my mother sent in email. From my spot on the couch, my leg up and iced, I clicked to find Rest, Mama. Since last year I’ve followed Cassandra, first on Apple Pie for Homeschools. Then I’d find the coziest spot and settle in at her Moonboat Cafe. I anticipate her posts. Her writing encourages, challenges and inspires me. Cassandra is a trusted mentor, a powerful example of a successful homeschool mother, an experienced writer and a friend.
This July I have the pleasure of introducing her to you. She’s kindly shared with us her most popular post.
“When my mama sit down, it’s like the whole world be resting.”
- from a poem by a second grade-student,
quoted in Word Painting by Rebecca McClanahan
It’s been a long year. But you have rested a little while, and there are tasks calling. You might, just possibly, gain a bit of leverage by starting to work now, filling your sacks of heavy sand and beginning the line of a wall along the river of next year’s demands. The river will rise. We all know it. Not next week, but maybe in a month, certainly in December with the storms of busyness over the holidays, and likely in the spring with all of its expectations.
But now, at this moment, your world is calm. The house rests, because you, Mama, are resting. Didn’t you know that? That your family can’t really rest, not sink deep into comfort like a downy pillow on a rainy afternoon, unless you are resting, too? Your body at rest, and your mind at rest, and your heart at rest, cast a blessing of rest over your small world. It breathes when you rest, and smiles while it breathes like a child sleeping through a happy dream.
Rest a little longer than you need to. Still that nervous tick which makes you get up to clean the closet, or order the books, or put away shoes left out in the hall. Instead, when you awake each morning this week, notice the dance of green leaves outside your window, the small sounds of your children over breakfast, the rope of muscle cascading down your husband’s forearm, the warmth of a chuckle deep in his throat, and the feel of your bare feet on the floor. Savor your first cup like you have all the time of a lifetime. Let the flavor of your fresh fruit charge your senses. Listen to the music around you. Can you feel it? This is the sweetness of home.
Drink in the moment. Your children will never be this age again. One day, they will have forgotten what they were. But you can remember it, and wrap it about you in years to come, if you dare to stop moving and notice it now.
Soon, it will be time to work. Soon, the year will come bustling in with its heavy load of packages for you to open and organize. But no one knocks at your door on this day. The packages have not yet arrived. You do not have to work, not yet.
Most of the advantage you could gain by resting is found here, in the last week or two of summer break, if you know how to use it. The biggest problem you face is not a tired mind or a tired body, but a tired heart. Raising a family is not just a physical battle. Your heart is probably more weary than you know. You may have rested your body, caught up on some sleep, done a few things for family fun, even taken a trip or two. But your heart – how is it? Have you been quiet long enough lately to see what’s there?
What does it show you? What are you longing for? Take some time for it. Nourish the secret places of your soul with stillness, with beauty, with music, with words, with joyful things. Make some personal changes, if you need to. Perhaps you should find a sitter for your children, in order to have some time for yourself.
Often we move out to do more as soon as we begin to feel better. Often, it’s too soon. Rest, instead, just a day — or a week — longer. You’ll be glad you did.
Find Cassandra at The Moonboat Cafe, a place to dream. Currently, she’s venturing on one thousand hikes!
Looking for a break and a breath of fresh air? Step into my bookstore coffee shop. The Moonboat Cafe is a place where you can drop your burdens and your busy pace for a few minutes. Walk over to the counter and order a cup of tea or coffee and sink into a tall chair by the window. Read a book or movie review. Chat with a friend. Or just gaze at the view.