What the Rocky Mountains Have Taught Me

Joining in with the online discussion on the book “On Being A Writer” by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. Today we are working through Chapter 11: Rest.

Can you believe we only have one chapter left to go?

But onto today’s topic for now….REST! Having attended seminary “self-care” is something that was ingrained into every fiber of  my being. Professors continually reminded us of the high percentage of burn out rates for clergy and individuals who work in the church because they don’t care for themselves. They don’t take time to rest! So, self-care is something that I think I am pretty okay at, but I would say it is also something that I could work on too. (Does that make any sense at all?)

I am pretty good at noticing when others need time to rest, but I am not always so good at recognizing it in my self. However I have been blessed by a continuing education experience the last five summers. Every June, I head to the heart of the Rocky Mountains, just outside of Estes Park Colorado to learn but also to spend time in Sabbath and rest. Every morning, we have class but then we have the remainder of the day to simply play or rest or whatever one feels like doing. Every evening, there is a fun event since it is a very family oriented event. One night they even have a square dance caller come in and teach us how to square dance.

There are lots of things that I love about this event, but truly the reason I have come to LOVE it is because it forces me to put down the phone, the computer, etc and simply take in God’s amazing awesome creation. Where we stay, there is no Internet, no computers, no television (unless you count the one in the main lodge—which to be honest, most of us forget about!). I find myself spending my time reading on the porch with the gorgeous backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in front of me. I also find myself listening and taking in the creatures around us. I find myself taking in every sight and sound of God’s creation. I simply find myself taking the time to rest!

I’m telling you it doesn’t get much better than this! 

Yes, sometimes I will drive into town to go to a coffee shop or the grocery store. But what I have found is a lot of times, I will throw my phone in my purse and completely forget about it. It is so healthy and healing for me to take the time to simply be…to be still and know that God is God! And in the magnificent Rockies of Colorado, I cannot help but know that!

When I return home, I immediately find myself turning on the tv or scanning Facebook or whatever. I need to be better about taking what I experience in the Rockies and bringing it home especially in relationship to my writing. I am going to be better about taking time to simply just be..whether that means going for a walk on a cool crisp Fall day or sitting in my backyard listening to the creatures scurrying about or enjoying my beloved prairies where I always feel at peace and like I am standing on holy ground.

I think, Ann and Charity are right….not only do we need to take time away from our words, we need to take time just resting and remembering that even God rested. In Genesis, we read “And on the seventh day, God finished the work he had done and he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done (Genesis 2:2).”

It is important for us to take time away and to rest; to live out Sabbath in our lives. I have come to realize that society isn’t very good at living out Sabbath in our technology fast-paced world! Let’s be examples of living out Sabbath in our lives! And also let’s not forget to play a little too! (Children sure have a lot to teach us when it comes to taking the time to play, don’t they?!?!)

Because when we take the time to rest, I believe God can use our words even more fully. God can take our time away to help us see where our words need work or if our words are exactly what God wants us to share.

10 thoughts on “What the Rocky Mountains Have Taught Me

  1. I love the Rocky Mountains also! I've been to Estes Park back a few years ago…truly lovely! Neat that you go there as a reprieve from ministry and to appreciate time away from technology and your everyday stuff/people. I love traveling for that reason too! We'll be heading to Utah this Thanksgiving so I look forward to that. I haven't been there in nearly a decade so the mountains will greet me with grandeur as well. We live in FL so all flat here!

    This was a good chapter on rest. It really is necessary for people of all ages! I hope you have a restful work week. Love in Christ, Jenn Cook

    • Jennifer, it is so good for my soul to go to Estes area every summer. I look forward to it every year and then when it is over, I am sad that it is over. Luckily I haven't finished my annual Shutterfly book for that trip. So I will get to relive it as I work on that scrapbook. Utah sounds like a great trip. It really was a good chapter on rest. So important for all of us to take time to rest.

  2. I also find spending time in beautiful places, enjoying God's creation, a great way to switch off and rest. The Rocky Mountains look amazing. And I especially love your last paragraph. I think rest gives us space to listen to God and it can help make our words more effective and make sure we are sharing what he wants us to.

    • The Rocky Mountains ARE that AMAZING! 🙂 And that last paragraph is one of my favorites too. You are right…rest does give us space to listen to God and can help make our words more effective and that we are sharing what he wants us to share.

  3. Loved your post and very much like the idea of God adding something to our words when we take the time to rest and 'be away' from our writing for a while; it's my experience, too, that the fresh perspective this brings does strengthen my writing. Great post. Loved it. Thanks. Helen

  4. I LOVE Colorado! We've been blessed to visit Colorado Springs several times and have gone to a family camp twice in Westcliffe (the opposite direction of Estes park). It's a beautiful place to REST!

    • Christy, oh my goodness, yet another thing we have in common—OUR LOVE FOR COLORADO! Before I moved to Minot, I interviewed at two churches in Colorado. God had something else in mind for me, but I really wouldn't mind living in Colorado. What a wonderful place for you to REST as a family! Sounds awesome!

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