This past July I (Briana had the privilege of participating in a girls’ getaway with one of my dear friends, and the founder of this ministry, Candice Coates.
While we had anticipated our trip being a work trip full of progress on the business plan for the ministry, maybe a model created for our creative retreats, some articles written and revelation given, much to our surprise, this trip had a different agenda from Jesus.
Fittingly, this trip took place in the middle of a teaching done by Candice on resting to success and I think Jesus thoroughly enjoyed giving us an active portrayal/example of what that looks like.
And while great progress on our to-do lists was certainly made, we quickly recognized that progress flowed from naps in the sun, quiet journaling while watching the sunset and the fireflies appear, walking through a bookshop or stumbling upon another artist’s historic shop and creative life work.
Progress was made as we laughed through the night about foolish movie lines. It was made as our souls were restored over growing friendship, cake for breakfast and talks about the future and what Jesus has done in our pasts.
Progress was made because we honored the role of rest in creativity and recognized rest as an active part of creative work, and choosing not to diminish its constant role in our lives and work.
I know that for me, I have long struggled to acknowledge the importance of rest in my life, and for many years, due to cultural norms and false religious beliefs, I brushed rest in every part of my life to the side and ignored its presence altogether until I hit a crisis mode.
Unlearning these inhibiting beliefs about rest and its place in my life has been difficult. But as the Lord used this weekend as an illustration of how valuing the role of rest in my life brings nothing but greater creative flow as I honor the true work of connections friendship and faith, I have finally been able to come to the place where rest is a joy and necessary part of my life that I am learning to honor and preserve.
We were never meant to run a rat race that burns us out and destroys us. We were meant to live from a place of rest as our Lord did. Not because we hope blindly that as we laze about He’ll magically make things happen for us, but because we honor Him and trust Him and have faith in Him that as He cultivated the habit of constant rest even during times of storm and chaos, we can too.
We resist His desire to bless us and shower us with gifts and kindness when we refuse to rest and when we tell Him with our actions that we don’t believe in His process that doesn’t make sense from a human perspective.
There is much joy to be found when we finally agree with Him and His heart and let go and allow Him to take us where He wants us to go, without resisting rest.
WHERE DID WE GO
I (Candice) would like to take you on a tour of where Briana and I had the blessing of rediscovering the fruitfulness of rest this past summer.
We chose the quaint town of Granville Ohio. If you are not familiar with Granville Ohio, it is a village located in Licking County. It’s surrounded by farmland and breathtaking rolling hills. And is the home of Denison University.
The village was founded in 1805 and still embodies its charm and beauty from bygone years. Much of the original architecture has been preserved, from stately homes to the town square, to the two-hundred-year-old renovated farmhouse that Briana and I shared for the weekend.
Finding this beautiful renovated Historic Barn via AirBnB was nothing short of divine. The renovated, two-story barn bosted 500 square feet of private living space fully equipped with a flat-screen tv and access to free WiFi.
It embodied a cozy Scandinavian feel with blonde woods and modern but minimalistic furnishings and concrete floors on the first level and blonde woods on the stairs and second floor.
The second floor was large enough to house not only ample space for a large king-sized bed but even a lounge area with a full-sized leather couch, chairs and a table. Both levels of the barn had AC units, which is always a bonus. The owners even provided comfy robs and slippers just to make the entire experience more relaxing.
WHERE WE ATE
Although the kitchen area did have a microwave, it did not have a stove. But with the heart of town literally less than a pleasant ten minute walk away, finding something satisfying to eat was easy.
Although on our first night, we enjoyed our packed meal of homemade curry chicken salad, accompanied by broccoli and cheddar soup from Panera Bread, we did venture into town for something unique to Granville.
After a breakfast of chocolate birthday cake and smoothies on our first full day in Granville, we took lunch at Mai Chau. The food was a surprising marriage of Vietnamese street food with American comfort. While Briana enjoyed summer rolls, packed with veggies and served with a peanut sauce, alongside a healthy serving of mixed veg atop steamed noodles and housemade sauce, I partook of the Three for $9, steamed buns.
With the capability of mixing and matching the buns, I happily enjoyed the Thai burger, with pickled veggies and thai ketchup, the fried portobello bun with wasabi slaw, cilantro, and house-made spicy mayo, and the Japanese fried chicken thigh bun topped with miso ginger marinated cabbage and creamy yum yum sauce.
For a drink to take with us as we strolled town, we visited Prospect Smoothie. Although we took dinner at the barn with more of our leftovers from our packed offerings, we finished our visit to Granville by eating at Steamroller Bagel.
Briana enjoyed a Rueben-style bagel sandwich and I partook of an egg, turkey and cheese bagel, both of which had us both eating in delightful silence.
WHAT WE DID
The two of us spent time exploring the town, weaving in and out of local shops, enjoying the bookstore, and especially Kussmaul Gallery, a shop of goodies that also was owned by a local artist, James Young, who used the adjoining space as a gallery. Both spaces had endless beauty and wonder and happen to be on of the places we most recommend that you visit.
The morning of our departure, the owner’s of the barn, recommended that we visit the local farmer’s market that was right in the town square. We enjoyed the sounds and smells as well as sampling some local, organic fare, from honey to cheeses, and even purchasing succulents and specialty teas.
Our weekend in Granville was one packed with wonder and brimming with joyful rest and peace. If one could imagine a place that rejuvenated your being just by you being there, Granville, Ohio, the historic barn, was definitely the places to go.
*This article was a shared writing experience of Candice Coates and Briana Lassiter.
By Briana Lassiter
I’m married to my dearest friend of 8 years and mom to an energetic 6-year-old. My greatest joys come from traveling with my little family, cooking for appreciative recipients, learning herbalism and natural medicine, and every experience I get to have in prayer ministry. I’m an avid tea and book lover and can’t get enough of either. I love Jesus and the daily adventure that comes from walking in friendship with him as he arranges and rearranges my story.