Reminders at St. Mary’s

This past Saturday, I spent time at a *Seminary that also acts as a monastery for those who are craving solitude … or anything other than the sounds of roaring city ambulances.

St. Mary's of the Lake Seminary
St. Mary’s of the Lake Seminary

Henry Nouwen's - The Way of the Heart
Henry Nouwen’s – The Way of the Heart
Most of what I felt and heard from God remains in a journal for only me. However, what I did find that I believe is worth sharing, is that my definition of “rest” needed to be adjusted.

Over the past couple of months, I have noticed that I’m only becoming busier. Whether this has anything to do with summer, and its short lifespan in Chicago, or my lack of boundaries, I’m not resting well.

Physical rest comes extremely natural, but I believe that spiritual rest is just as important, if not most important.

I think I have believed that finding any kind of rest means that I am being restored. It is easy to have an intentional lazy Saturday spent watching a marathon of Felicity episodes, but there is no true rest for the mind and soul during this time. Saturday was an awakening to what rest should look like in my life.


From sleeping in the grass, journaling, praying, and just being to be a human without any distractions, I found a sense of restoration come over me. It was this for five hours in Mundelein, Illinois, and it was wonderful. I did not have a dreamy Ben Covington to distract me or even some novel that isn’t exactly spiritually filling to read.


Instead, it was the silence of the water, the stir of the leaves, roaming deer, the ant on my toe, and my head in the grass that served as a beautiful reminder that these are the best distractions. My humanness finds this so hard to understand, but my mind, heart and soul are already so familiar with nature – these moments are like bringing myself home again.

I am convinced that Heaven is a giant greenhouse.



The funny thing about this particular weekend is that, exactly a year ago, I went to Wisconsin to find this same rest and came back so full.

Jesus, you are so good to me. Even when I don’t fully abide in the rest you desire with me, I am deeply grateful for spaces such as these, and for your easy reminders to be all around.

*This trip was initiated through my small group. We are currently going through “The Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth” by Richard J. Foster. One of the Disciplines is Solitude, and we thought what would be better than to bring our girls to practice. University of St. Mary’s of the Lake is located at 1000 E. Maple Avenue, Mundelein, IL.

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