Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking. – Frederick Buechner

At this exact moment, I’m sitting on our couch, a baby basset hound tucked in beside me, Meander napping just a cushion over, tired and adjusting to her state as a big pupster.  Philip has just gotten out the door just in time for work, breakfast uneaten on the counter.

Mosey, the basset, and Meander, the black mouth cur.

Mosey and Meander Show Me the Way to Rest

Outside, the pasture is the deepest golden it gets in winter, all the nutrients from the grass have slid back down into the earth, resting up, waiting for the final frost and the first bounding of spring.

I woke this morning long before dawn, when Mosey decided it was time, and made my way into the dark of the pre-dawn – the darkest part of the night, they say – in the hopes that I would hear first then see the glow of snow powdering us.  Instead, we woke to rain.  I am grateful as I look at the northeast prepare, and I am disappointed.

***

I’ve grown tired of the word hustle and all it’s variants – side-hustle, main hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle . . . not because I don’t think that our dreams, our work, our goals require us to work and work hard.

No, I’m tired of the way that word makes me feel – like I’m lazy if I take rest, like I’m not doing “enough,” like it’s really all up to me.

So much, I could “hustle” to sell books, to find clients, to build my platform. So much, I could write more, read more, engage more.  So much.  So much more.  All the time.

I don’t want to do MORE. I don’t want to hustle MORE.  I want to carve contentment in my days, to trust that when I do the work I have before me to do, that I – like the winter pasture – will come to life as needed.

I want to remember that my way to the life gifted to me – the best life – will come if I just accept the invitations, the way Mosey the basset arrived a week earlier than we thought.  There is great grace is taking what is offered rather than trying to always “hustle” and make it happen.

***

Today, I am accepting the invitation of rest.  I am taking the opportunities – like this nap-filled moment – to do the work before me.  But I am also putting aside all the hustle and all the voices – as Shawn so eloquently noted today – and tending to puppies – big and small – and to myself, too.

We do not have snow and the gift of rest it brings, but we do have blessed rain, golden fields, and puppy snuffles . . . and that, my friends, is more than enough.  That is everything.

What do you do with all those voices that say you should hustle more, do more, achieve more?

On Saturday, the new session of the Painted Steps Writers begins.  We have 5 spaces available, and I’d love to have you join us.  Please check out this link – http://www.andilit.com/painted-steps-writers/ – and let me know if you’re interested in some gentle accountability, a whole lot of encouragement, and a taste of guidance.