The Rest of the Time

Some mornings I wake up and I don’t feel tired. My hair isn’t frizzy and I had the forethought to iron my shirt the night before. I exercise. I pack a healthy lunch. I read a devotional. I drive the speed limit. But, the rest of the time…. I skip a few or all of those steps. I spill my coffee. I hit snooze. I wear mismatched socks. Everything about me is tired. I snap at a co-worker. I drive through. I stumble through my day and into the next. 

Most people see my life on social media. They see vacations, sporting events, conferences, and highlights. But the rest of the images…. are mostly boring. My dishes are piling up. I’ve watched 3 episodes in a row on Netflix. The most exciting trip I took today was to the grocery store. 

Some nights my family of four laughs loudly around the table. We play games and joke. Someone voluntarily does the dishes. We give each other thoughtful gifts. We watch movies crowded on the couch or play pickleball or share the last brownie. But the rest of the time (and in this case, most of the time) my kids fight. Someone is mad about what we are watching or eating or not doing. We are in our own rooms doing our own thing. And glad for it. 

Some people I know seem to have found the magic balance that has always eluded me. They volunteer at their kid’s school. They go to the gym religiously. They drop off casseroles. They are winning at work and taking dream vacations. They never forget birthdays or leave texts unsent. But the rest of us have seasons where work overwhelms, or sickness does. We go a month without checking our kid’s grades only to realize by then that they have three zeros. 

Sometimes I go to church and I feel God. The words feel like they are spoken just for me. I feel connected and full of emotion. But the rest of the time…I am distracted. I write a shopping list. I open my eyes during the prayer. 

Many people know me and what they think is my story. They know I have a great job, funny smart kids, and a kind husband. All true.  But the rest of the story is just as true. There have been struggles and loss and counseling and illness. I’ve gotten it wrong almost as many times as I have gotten it right. 

Some days are hard. Some days are a joy. 

Most days are a bit of both. 

Truly my soul finds rest in God;

my salvation comes from him. (Psalm 62:1 NIV)

I’m sure the psalmist meant relief and physical rest.  A God that promises rest for a weary world and a light burden when most of us carry around so much unnecessary heaviness is one I want to know. One I want to know me. Beyond a physical reprieve, there is also something of a relief in the recognition for the rest of us and the rest of the times

In the days and times and stories that maybe aren’t our best moments. The rest of the ones that we keep hidden. 

My soul finds rest in God. 

All of me. 

The in-between, the frizzy hair, the snooze button, the missed emails, the distracted me in my pew, the story of hope and the story of loss. All of my soul finds rest.

Michelle Hurst
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3 thoughts on “The Rest of the Time

  1. Your writing is honest and uplifting. Thanks for putting to words what we are living.

  2. Thank-you, Michelle, for making space for us here in your honesty and vulnerability. It is a gift.
    PS: If you find a way to get your kids to stop arguing – please spill that too! Grace, peace, solidarity, AND rest, sister . . . so glad you stepped into The Mudroom!

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