I’ve been going to the North Carolina Mountains since I was in eighth grade. My mom says she built the house there, because she fell in love with the scenery. Which I get, because the view from that little lake community nestled in the midst of the Blue Ridge peaks is breathtaking. But for me there’s another pull—in our crazy, whirlwind, hectic, busy, overscheduled lives I’m drawn to the simplicity of the mountain house as if by a magnetic force.
No one has practice in the mountains. Or rehearsal. Or meetings. Or homework. The majority of the time our phones read “No Service.” In the mountains I don’t wear jewelry or perfume or eyeliner. Everything I need for the week fits into a small duffle bag. Mostly I wear my hair in a braid.
We play outside all day—going on mountain runs, playing Putt Putt and scrambling after tiny lizards, watching their colors change as they land on a leaf or skitter onto mulch. The kids shoot hoops and play soccer tennis. My mom and I talk for hours. When we head inside it’s for home cooked meals, Scrabble and movies (this is a no streaming zone). Three of us finished the books we brought with us and dove into new ones.
I’m not saying I could do this all of the time. I wouldn’t even want to. For one thing I’d miss Starbucks, the Internet, and lipstick too much. My kids would go through withdrawal from their soccer teams and bins of Legos. But for a week here and there it’s so lovely to unplug and slow down. To not be a slave to email or texts or social media, because it’s too hard to even check them with a wayward signal. To never look at the clock, because there’s nowhere to be. To eat when we’re hungry and sleep until I wake. And when I do wake it’s to the sound of birds warming up their vocal chords in song and church bells echoing through the valley instead of the ringtone du jour I’ve set for my alarm. I walk out onto the deck, breathe in the mountain air, and open up my Bible to just talk to God until someone else rises or the urge to make a pot of coffee in the Mr. Coffee overtakes me. For me, spring break with my mom and kids is a refreshing reset from the scampering of day to day.
But I do love day to day. I love the things I do, the places I go, the things I’m responsible for. It’s just that sometimes, the amount of them, the intensity of them, the urgency of them, the fullness of them? They wear me down and stress me out. So inserting a week of Sabbath does my body and soul good.
As I re-enter reality it’s key for me to remember to take deep breaths, to admire the views, to slow down and savor even in the midst of the busyness.
When was the last time you took a real rest? How do you slow down? Where is your peaceful place? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear. Let’s work together to try and find that still, quiet place this week. And when we do, let's breathe peace in and exhale it out to the world around us.
In the beginning of The Lego Movie everyone in Bricksburg starts their day by reading identical instruction manuals. The instructions include things like getting dressed, doing your morning exercises, greeting your neighbors, and buying ridiculously expensive coffee. Sound familiar? Sounds like any one of any of our days, doesn’t it? And what’s so wrong with exercising and being kind and drinking Starbucks? (Inhale. Exhale. I’m not implying there’s anything wrong with drinking Starbucks. Stay with me.)
The main character of the movie, Emmett, is a regular, instruction reading, rule abiding kind of guy, completely unaware that anyone, anywhere would watch a different TV show than the one the government puts on continuous feed, “Where Are My Pants?” or groove to any song other than the ever popular President produced hit, “Everything is Awesome”.
Until he meets WildStyle.
WildStyle is a rebel with a cause, a Masterbuilder who can take any spare Lego brick and turn it into something amazing. She is brave and bold and has magenta and cyan streaks in her hair. And she is different.
How about you? Are you trekking through life, conforming to the instruction manual of your group of friends, class, team, club, neighborhood, family—going with the flow? Or do you have your own Wild Style?
Let’s face it, trends can be fun. I wear my leather riding boots almost daily, adore funky nail polish, and am right behind you in line ordering my nonfat mocha. I love watching the Academy Awards and seeing what all of the stars wore, how they did their hair and the fashions inspired by the hottest movies. There are some songs played on the radio, at halftime of the basketball game, at the mall that are so catchy, I can’t get them out of my head. And the newest iPhone is pretty cool, isn’t it?
But what about when the trends, when the general consensus goes against your instinct? True confessions? I look ghastly in the pastels that are rocking the runways this spring, so I stick to black and white. And, my feet get too cold in flats, so I don’t own a single pair. I watched the first five minutes of The Wolf of Wall Street and was so offended I left. It didn't work for me. At all. Even though it was nominated for the Oscar for best picture of the year. So I didn't stay.
And this is a good thing. Actually a great thing. We can’t all like the same things. Not only would that be a snooze fest, but by following the general consensus we can make poor decisions or miss out on choices that make more sense for us. God made each of us as individuals. Unique. With different tastes and styles and preferences and strengths and weaknesses. So whether you prefer indie music, or creating your own films, or sewing your own clothes, or sweet tea instead of coffee. Whether your hair has streaks or braids or feathers or is perfectly straightened with your iron each morning, just be you. Because God made you. And He loves to see you shine. God wants us to use our talents, flaunt our style. There is only one instruction manual He wants us to follow, and that’s the Bible.
What’s your inner Wild Style?
Laura's Recent Coverage in ...