Minimalist Believer

A blog about minimalism and the Christian life

Month: July, 2013

Rest

This is the last day of my vacation here in Playa del Carmen. I spent the last three hours or so in a chaise on the beach. I had a nice conversation with a gentleman from Denver. I wrote in my journal. My main activity, however, was sitting and looking at the water and the passersby. No running around. No shopping. Just rest.

As I lay on my chaise, I was struck by the importance of rest. I live a busy life. We all do. The ever-growing To Do lists and the demands of work and family are enough to keep us going for days. This is precisely the reason that we should make rest a priority.

Rest is so important that God himself set aside a day to rest. He also commanded his people to rest on the Sabbath. This time is needed to rest from our physical labors, but also to take a break from all of the things that consume our mental energy. We need time to relax and also to reflect and plan.

Sometimes things get so busy that it seems that I have no time for rest. The opposite is true. If I try to go too long without resting then I am less efficient. I get irritable. I am easily distracted. Adequate rest enables me to produce quality work; usually in less time.

The key for me is to do things that are truly restful. Activities like checking Facebook, playing games on my iPad, and watching TV are not restful for me. These things consume time but they are not restorative. For me, resting is reading, sipping a cup of tea, talking with family, or journaling. These are the things that fill me up so that I can give attention to my work.

I used to have a teacher that would always thank God for rest and refreshment over the weekend. And I now thank God for times that rest and refresh me. This vacation has been a wonderful respite for me and my family. I am grateful for every minute.

Simple Pleasures

Life can get crazy. Our To Do lists are too long and our stress levels are too high. For me, life is difficult right now. I have a lot of unanswered questions and there are a lot of things I’d like to see happen in my life. Sometimes, I can get caught up in the stress, frustration, and uncertainty I feel about the future.

Then I bring myself back to the present moment. All I have is right now. I can’t control the future. There is no sense in getting worked up about it. All I can do is make my best effort to enjoy right now.

For the minimalist, pleasures abound. I don’t need an elaborate scheme and a whole bunch of stuff to enjoy the moment. Today, I’d like to share a few of life’s simple pleasures that you can experience right now:

 

  • A steaming cup of good tea
  • Perfume
  • A good dinner
  • A hot shower
  • Writing in a journal
  • A nice walk outside
  • A long nap
  • Reading a good book
  • Talking with a good friend
  • Reading your favorite blog
  • A cool drink (Especially if that drink is a margarita)
  • Time with family
  • Holding a baby
  • Listening to your favorite artist
  • Learning something new
  • Polishing your fingernails
  • Going to bed early
  • Making a fruit smoothie
  • Doing yoga

 

There are a thousand ways to enjoy the moment. Many are free and don’t require anything special. When I focus my time on doing what I can to enjoy my life right now, it makes a huge difference. My mood is better. I am more productive. I am more hopeful.

These are some of the things I turn to when I need a pick-me-up. What are your favorite simple pleasures?