A letter to my husband during the quarantine. | athenaandcamron.com

A letter to my husband during the quarantine.

Tomorrow is the last consecutive day at Home. 63 uninterrupted days with you, here.

We’re leaving for Oregon to visit your family, and you have a sweet, childlike excitement that is contagious. We’ve been away from them for six  months because of our time in Australia… and the government forbidding travel. And now, 2 months and 2 days into the Stay-At-Home order, we are finally visiting them.

This last day of our consecutive time at home has me reeling.

I will be spending years (truly, years) unpacking the indelible ways I have changed, the way our marriage has changed, the way our worldview and futures have changed, and the way our prayers and faith have changed.

I long for the hindsight of 2030, when we look back at the decade of our post-pandemic lives. Will we really be slower, valuing home and health and selfless love and sacrifice as much as we have during this time?

One thing for me is sure – stillness, slowness, and sabbath rest have never been more treasured in my heart. I need them to be fully human. I need them to be your wife. I need them to stay sane in a world where everything feels like it’s out to get my mental health.

When we embrace sabbath, rest, and slowness, our phones go to bed earlier, our morning reading lingers longer, and all the time in between is more connected and at peace. We can hear God’s voice when the chaos of noise is put down for a day, an hour, a minute.

One day, we’ll hopefully have a crowd of tiny children pulling at our legs and talking and laughing and crying and emanating more noise than we can even fathom right now. And if we’re given those miracles, I want them to grow up knowing we are mum + dad who rest, and who take a day off once a week that is full of celebration and sabbath pancakes and walks in the park and our complete and undivided attention and delight.

I always say sabbath is a day for delight, for being like a child again. It’s a gift we’ve never embraced and our hearts truly ache for anyone who still doesn’t believe they deserve a day off each week. I know, I was there. You were too. We’re no sabbath-experts – we are just two people who have tasted the sweetness and can’t go back!

Now, something we’ve been talking about a lot lately… We’ve heard it said that this quarantine was like an enforced sabbath. We pretty much disagree with that, though we see why people would say it. Sabbath is a choice. You can’t accidentally sabbath or have government-ordered sabbath. The greatest rhythm of our marriage and our lives is that every single week, without fail, without questioning if we deserve it or can afford it, we stop. We cease. We feast. We delight. We rest from worry, from planning, from fear, from not-enoughness.

Sometimes it’s so hard. Sometimes I don’t want to turn my phone off. Sometimes you are restless and hate that the house is still messy. Sometimes I fall into the sabbath so exhausted from screen-time and working that I have a migraine the whole time. It doesn’t matter though.

“The sabbath is a day for the sake of life… The sabbath is not for the sake of the weekdays; the weekdays are for the sake of the sabbath. It is not an interlude but the climax of living. The sabbath is the Inspirer, the other days are the inspired” (Abraham Heschel)

I think it’s fitting that our final consecutive day at home in this quarantine is our sabbath. I think it’s beautiful that although we’ve been here for 8 weeks, we experienced 9 beautiful days of sabbath rest that anchored our souls.

Tonight, we’re going to embrace one of the greatest gifts. Our Sabbath, our ceasing, our resting together. It still feels undeserving, especially on harder weeks. But you always remind me, ‘we can rest as though everything in the world is done. You don’t have to hold everything together; you can let God be God, and just rest.”

I love you for that. I love you for partnering with me in this wild journey towards a restful life. I love you for treasuring the Sabbath with me. I love you for making me coffee every morning of this quarantine. I love you for reading me poetry in the park and brushing my hair when I’m tired, for holding me when I cry over the loss of my trip to Australia this June. I love you for loving my mess of a self, in cozy clothes with unwashed hair and no lash extensions. I love that you love me exactly as I am, in the quiet AND in the chaos.

Shabbat Shalom, my love.

x

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