Unconventional Rest: Going to the Movies Solo

I don’t know anyone else that goes to the movies alone.

(I know you’re out there, ok?)

Almost every time I tell someone that I go to the movies by myself, they respond, “Oh, you should have told me and I would have gone with you!” I try to smother my laughter because I know they are trying to be nice, but I intentionally go to the movies by myself. I look forward to it. I put it on my Powersheets as a goal almost every month. It makes me giddy all day anticipating going after I tuck the boys in bed.

I turn the music up louder on the drive because the kids aren’t in the van. I don’t chit-chat while I stand in line, and nobody says, “mom, mom, mom,” not even once. I order a large Dr. Pepper and a medium popcorn and I sit in silence. Once the movie theater was completely empty except for me. The best part- the reason I’m going- is to get lost in a good story.

Over the past few years, I’ve fallen in love with storytelling. I love how there are visual and auditory aspects of storytelling on the screen that aren’t there in written stories. Written stories require more imaginative work myself, but I love watching how others decide to piece together parts of the story to present it. There is so much to gather about the human experience from other people’s real or made-up stories.

This is a way that I refresh myself to enter back into the work God has given me. Justin and I spent a few years waiting on things to slow down. Waiting on the kids to need less correction and love; waiting on our ball teams to magically take less time and energy; waiting on pockets of time to lie in hammocks and stare at the clouds, I guess. A rather magical view of life that I’m not sure many people experience.

I’ve stopped that. I’ve decided that it’s possible that life will never slow down. We will move from one emergency to a sickness to a decision to a fun trip to an opportunity to another sickness or two. Some of that is due to the number of small people God has blessed us with, but part of it is just the nature of being adults and trying to do good with life.

Instead I’m looking to thrive in the craziness. I want the crazy to be the crazy that God has for me and not unnecessary things I’m doing. I want to hold the heaviness of life in hand with joy. For me, this takes a lot of intentionality.

I believe God provides refreshment. There is no measure of vacation or hammocks or naps or “me time” that will ever truly hold up my spirit or speak peace to my weary mind. I could search frantically for something that cannot be found in things or breaks from my mission. Refreshment is from God.

But I also believe I do have to do my part. God provided refreshment to the Israelites through the Sabbath. They had to actually quit the work though. It’s a both/and. God provides; I have to do my part.

For example, if I need a job (I don’t; I think I have about 5), I believe that God will provide for me. But He might not provide a job for me by dropping one in my lap while I sit on the couch. It seems likely that I will need to get up, turn on the computer, fill out some applications, and go to some interviews. I believe that God is my teacher. He is the one that reveals His Word to me. But I have to open my Bible to read and study before that happens. I have to do my work, trusting that God is doing His work at the same time.

Therefore, God provides my rest. But sometimes, I have to do a little bit for it as well. Sometimes this means I turn off the tv and go to bed. Few things are as appealing as those hours when all the little people are asleep and don’t need anything. But sleep is important.

Sometimes this means I learn what refreshes me. Some people are refreshed by shopping or a bubble bath or painting their nails. Some people want to bake or read or nap. Learn about yourself. God made each of us individually and it’s silly not to learn how He made us work. For me, this means I regularly go to the movies by myself to drink a Dr. Pepper and get absorbed in a story.

2 Comments

  1. I love going to the movies solo. You’re not alone. 🙂

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