Thursday, May 21, 2009

S.IESTA!: A Challenge

I've been thinking a lot about the concept of rest

I go round and round on this subject in my head.  I've written about it before.

I am not a good rester. 

Somewhere along the lines I equated "rest" with "unproductivity"... maybe even "laziness". 

Which isn't true. At all.

God created us to rest. He knew that our desire would be to overcome the things of this world, and that we would grow tired in the trying. 

I often find that I burn the candle by both ends of the wick. Somehow I am always surprised when I feel overworked and over tired. Suddenly, all those things I wasn't going to sacrifice have been thrown in the fire while I was too busy to keep watch.

The Mister and I were watching a news program a couple weeks ago regarding the study of geographical locations where people live longer than average lives. The Blue Zones were where people lived to ripe old ages, not just living but being engaged in life!

One of the Blue Zones was Sardinia, an Italian Mountaintop island. What struck me as so amazing was not what they ate (cuz the good Lord knows that the last thing we need is another diet plan!), but what they did, and didn't, do:

They worked hard, and they rested.  

The reporter spoke of the several hours after lunch when no market would be open, no farmer on the field. The village was on siesta.

This concept (although I heard it before) has been swirling in my head for weeks.

This world is full of awesome things that will willingly suck us dry if we let it. Rest has to be intentional. Especially for those of us who thrive on busyness. 

You know how I feel about being intentional...but somehow when it comes to rest I forget...I always think I will get to it, next week, next month. Often its illness or an emotional outburst that forces me to be still.

How I desire to rest before I need it! And judging from the comments and emails I received over my last post, you do to.  

So, I thought I would implement S.IESTA! time here at the La Vida house, and offer you the opportunity to join me.

Here is the gist of this summer challenge displayed in a lovely acrostic on the word Siesta, spanish for: a nap in early afternoon (especially in hot countries) .



I've decided to take my S.IESTA! between 2:00-3:00p every weekday. I have set an alarm on my cell phone, and the kids and I drop what we are doing, go to our rooms/nest, shut the door and read (or something that requires being quiet and still). For the La Vida house, there will be no TV, or computer, or telephone, because that's what we need right now. 

Other than choosing your S.IESTA! time, and committing to practice it, there is no agenda. If you decide to join the summer challenge you can choose what you need to do for rest in your life. 

For example, you could do what CPQ did yesterday, or you can take a cat nap, or read an article you've been wanting to read. You could pray, or write. Whatever. As long as you remember that to rest you must Stop. (and acknowledge that) Intentionally Establishing Stillness Takes Action

You might not have the luxury of an hour, so your S.IESTA! might be only 20-30 minutes, while you're on break at work. 

Or it might be in the morning, or evening, or in that bathtub you keep meaning to get into...

(As a side note, this is different than the 20 or so minutes of  devotional time I usually do in the early morning.)

Honestly, the kids and I have done this for just three days, but let me tell you what I have observed thus far:

I have gotten more accomplished. At first I was afraid that once I sat down, I wouldn't ever want to get up again, but the opposite has been true. I have worked more diligently during the day knowing I get to S.IESTA! in the afternoon. And when my hour is up, I am able to go right back to my work with a new spring in my step! 

So, think about it. And then come back and let me know if your up to the challenge. Will you S.IESTA! with me this summer? And from time to time write about it on your blog* so we can see how rest is changing our day to day lives?

Come know you need it.

La Vida CoffeeGal

*if you don't have a blog, but want to S.IESTA!, your invited to join too!


Gretchen said...

I'm in. This requires no real thinking (any more thinking, actually) on my part, because it's an answer to prayer. Thank you, friend.

stephanie j. said...

I'm just afraid I'll never wake up! Ha ha ha!!! :)

Seriously, good suggestion. I need it today. It was Ingrid's last day of preK, and even though we are thrilled to be homeschooling her now, I'm surprised to be feeling so melancholy.

Jewel said...

Well, being that I just read this after getting up from a nap, I'll gladly join you and hey, I got a head start;)

God has been gently speaking to me about this same issue and I love how his ways are so often what we would not expect, but they work! His ways are higher than our ways right?

really.truly said...

Rest. S'iesta. I like the sound of both. I'm in.

Carpool Queen said...

I love the siesta. I need to build in reading time. I want to be in - need to do some serious looking at my schedule to see when it's going to be.

Jackie said...

Kellie, this sounds so good. I have been feeling run down and tired and overwhelmed lately, and I know this is so important. I just woke up from a little afternoon nap a little while ago - something I don't do often, but my body just wouldn't let me keep going anymore. I am going to do my very best to join you in this, as many days as possiblew.

jen said...

Yay - fun! I was actually already planning this sort of thing. I was actually going to plan for 2-3 to be a rest time, like you talk about, and 3-4 to be a play quietly time, time to play board games or Legos or that sort of thing. I will be playing quietly at some of the projects that I have been dying to get done. I actually decided that I was going to do this a few months ago, but I wanted to wait until summer's change of schedule made it seem "normal" to throw something new at the kids.

And what do you know - here I sit, sick. Perhaps I should have rested last week!

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

What a lovely idea!

C D said...

I take a 20-30 nap at work (usually between 2 and 3) as often as possible. Sometimes just going to another room and looking at the outside is all I need.

Napping is one of my favorite things... and yes, being intentional about resting *is* vital...IMNSHO ;-)

Anonymous said...

I want to take the challenge and probably need S.IESTA more than ever, but I also know my schedule is going to be out of my control over the next few weeks with the move, etc. I need to think creatively about how I can implement this.