Why I Don’t Want to “Rest in Peace”

September 2, 2011 | 42 comments


Can you do me a favor, my friend?

If I die before you, can you make sure they don’t put the letters RIP on my gravestone? Can you ask the preacher not to say the words: “May she rest in peace?”

Yes, I plan to go to Heaven, and no, I don’t want to live in eternal UN-rest, but let me tell you something: The phrase “RIP” used to scare the daylights out of me. I think it’s because it left me with the feeling that the Real Me would be stuck locked in a box for approximately forever.

My mom — I wish you could meet her sometime — she jokes that when she dies, she’ll be taking her “dirt nap.”

But trust me, Mama D. won’t be napping. And neither will I.

You know why? We’re going to be whoopin’ it up on the streets of gold. We’ll be dancing and hootin’ and hollerin’, and I envision heaven as a humongous banana-split, with friends to share it with. (Hey, you’ve got whipped cream on your nose.)

My idea of heaven is a double-ferris wheel to ride and a giant oak to climb, one that scrapes the clouds, and a whole library to read where you can climb the shelves and rappell back down. I’m going to catch rainbow-colored fish, and ride on the back of a Lion. I want to take water-walking lessons from Peter.

I’m done with the tired, old stereotypes of Heaven with cloud-sitting harpists. (Though, I do plan to job-shadow one of those musicians one day.)

Yes there will be rest. But not boredom.
Peace. Not sameness.
It’s going to be a Holy Ghost Party!

What’s your favorite thing about Earth? Today, might we see it as but an earlier Heaven? Take your favorite earthly thing, ramp it up to the gazillioneth degree, and maybe that will give us a wee hint at what Heaven holds?

That’s what I think anyhow.

Maybe because my idea of rest doesn’t necessarily include being still in the body — but  in presence of heart. Rest is to have inner peace, even while in motion.  

And that’s why I’m more into a gravestone etching that reads like this: PIP.

Party in Peace.

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
C. S. Lewis


I’m participating with Gypsy Mama’s Five-Minute Friday, in which we write for five minutes flat — to write freely and unscripted. But today, it was a Ten-Minute Friday. Oops! I got all jazzed up talking with you about Heaven, and suddenly discovered 10 minutes had passed. 🙂  … Her word prompt today: REST.

by | September 2, 2011 | 42 comments


  1. Nancy

    Looking forward to partying with you. I plan on wearing my feather boa!

    • dukeslee

      I’ll bet you will, Nancy! Love it! I’m wear fuzzy slippers and obnoxious sunglasses two sizes too big for my face. 🙂 Oh wait. I’m already doing that here on Earth…

  2. Brenda

    Love your eternal perspective. I’m ready to party after reading your post! Thank you for spreading the joy.

  3. Tay

    here’s my 5mf piece:

    the minute I saw the topic for this week’s 5mf, the first thought that came to my mind was sleeping.

    this weekend is a four day weekend. and it makes me happy. four day weekends mean sleeping in. every single day. rest is exactly what i need. rest for my body. but mostly my soul.

    this week i have just been feeling weary. i read somewhere once that you shouldn’t trust your feelings or your thoughts when you are tired. i have been having some negative thoughts and doubts this week, and honestly, i think it has something to do with my tiredness.

    father. i. need. rest. give me rest so that i can focus on You.

    are you tired? worn out? burned out on religion? come to me. get away with me and you’ll recover your life. i’ll show you how to take a real rest. {matt 11:28}

    • dukeslee

      Tay! Way to go! I’m so glad you participated. And I love the verse you selected. Enjoy your weekend of rest, dear-heart. Do you have any plans? Enjoy your sleeping-in mornings! 🙂

  4. Lori

    I soooooooo agree with your sentiments!!! When the “lights” go out on earth – it’s party time in Heaven!!!!!

    • dukeslee

      Woot! Woot! We’ll be Gettin’ Down, won’t we? May friend Deidra Riggs once wrote about “getting her praise on.” I think we’ll be doing a whole lotta that. Thanks for stopping, Lori.

  5. Nancy

    I have already seen you play a mean “air guitar” and I SURE you will play it in Heaven, too! So I guess I got a slice of Heaven in the crazy, fun, wonderful worship times that we have been a part of here on earth. God has me here, but honestly there are days that I can not wait until the day that I enter Heaven and see what we all wonder about, as well as see people who have gone before me. I guess that while I wait: Party On!

    • dukeslee

      LOL! Yep, we’ll do some air-guitaring there won’t we, Nancy? I too have enjoyed our worship times together, with our feet planted on Earth. Think what it will be like in the heavenlies! Love you… xoxo

  6. Kendra

    Okay, Jennifer. I LOVE this! Heaven has been on my mind a lot lately and this just seriously made me smile. My picture of Heaven has now gotten brighter. 🙂 Thank you!

    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Kendra! Blessings to you. xoxo

  7. Solveig Engh

    It seems you showed another side of yourself today and I loved it. In fact, when watching the video I turned up the volume and danced as well as a grandma with arthritic knees could dance. I’m not totally healed–as per the song–but something inside was healed when I joined the “party.” Thanks. This was pure joy.

  8. Cari K

    LOVE IT! Party in Peace…I’m adding that to my ‘weird’ things I request of my family when I pass on list! Fantastic post! (btw, I love your blog 🙂

  9. Wendy

    I am so going to PIP with you. Jam it up. I love this sentiment and understand it entirely. My God is comedian, dancer and partier extraordinaire. He is the creator of a good time!

    ~ Wendy

  10. Audra Krell

    You got yourself a new subscriber sister. Love your blog. It’s clear you answer to a higher calling, the kingdom could use a whole lot more like you. Can’t wait to read more.

    • dukeslee

      And I? Yours. 🙂 I subscribed last night. Wow, girl! You can WRITE!

      • Audra Krell

        I really appreciate your kind comments. Thank you for the encouragement!

  11. Eva

    PIP 🙂
    Good thinking!

  12. kells

    Party in Peace with the Prince of Peace! You are a trip! And I loved your post. Very awesome and child-like but still so real. God Bless you this weekend! And thanks for the pick-me-up.

  13. Missie

    Holy Ghost party! I love it!!!!

  14. Linda

    What joy Jennifer! I love the idea of all those books. I’ll bring my knitting too. And walks – lots of lovely walks by crystal rivers and beautiful gardens. And maybe I’ll even play the piano well enough so someone will recognize the tune! No RIP for me either.

  15. S. Etole

    I think the colors may be beyond anything we can comprehend or even name!

  16. Glynn

    We are not going to rest.
    We are going to ROCK!

    • dukeslee

      Glynn … I had to click on the “Glynn” to see if this was “our” Glynn. Indeed… I love when you rock it out. I’ll beat you do a mean air-guitar.

  17. Megan Willome

    Well, I certainly feel like I know you better now!
    I also love the vision of heaven in Leif Enger’s “Peace Like A River,” the chapter, “Be Jubilant My Feet.” Rather familiar.

    • dukeslee

      I hope that knowing me better is a good thing. 🙂

      I think that when a person only has five (or in this case, ten) minutes to write, a lot of the stuff comes straight from the gut. It’s pretty raw … and maybe these five-minute posts shows a little more of my wacky side than I generally show.

      But we’re still OK, right, Megan? We can still be friends? 😉

  18. Cindy Bultema

    I love it!!! Woo Hoo! Thanks for sharing (and yes, I’d love to meet your mom, she sounds like fun!)
    Sweet blessings
    Cindy 🙂

  19. Carey

    PIP! Love it! Being raised with the idea that we’ll float around in peace only because we don’t know any better, I love reading on the subject of Heaven…and that Biblically, cloud sitting in a daze isn’t included.

  20. Diana Trautwein

    Oh, yeah. Rock on, Jennifer. (However, about 2 minutes of the video was sufficient for me…9 seemed like a bit of overkill!)

    I’ve always believed (based on Revelation 21 and 22) that heaven will be very familiar to us – related to earth, but new and completely redeemed. And I’m with Ms. Etole, the colors will blow us away. And I think there will be wonderfully good work to do, too. Praising God – for sure – but other things, too. Music classes, science we can work through and understand, great writing, sharing stories of beauty and grace. Adult sized play equipment maybe?

    And, of course, joyous reunion…with our good God, with those who have recently gone before us and those who’ve been gone from this earth for centuries. And most miraculously – a total ‘re-union’ of ourselves…so that we are, at last, all that God had in mind when we were conceived. Wow. LOVE this fun writing, Jennifer. (But fess up now – 5 minutes only??? If so, I am truly, deeply impressed. But then I’m impressed if it took you 30! Let’s face it, I’m just impressed, period.)

    • dukeslee

      Hey sweet friend … I sent you an email, too, but I had to say it here, too: Your comment made me laugh. YES … a 9-minute song is far too long! LOL! Honestly, I only listened to a few minutes of it myself.

      As for the five minute post, this one actually took me 10 minutes to write. (I have my disclaimer at the end.) 🙂 … I think this post is kind of wacky and crazy, but it comes from the heart, and I appreciate your kind words here. xoxo

  21. Stephani

    I so agree! Not only will we be having fun in heaven, we will be working, we will have responsibilities. This life is a dress rehearsal. We are here to become holy, to become like Jesus, which we finally will be when we see him face to face! I wonder what responsibilities I’ll have when paradise lost is restored? I’m just glad that my primary function won’t be to float around on a cloud, although that might be fun on occasion!

  22. Joan

    We need to start calling you PIP now! =) I love your perspective. I think of Heaven as a wonderful place beyond our imagination…the best of the best and more, you know? I agree. We won’t be still as we “rest”. We will be celebrating and praising our Father!

    Blessings, Joan

  23. Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama

    Reading your five minutes is one of my favorite parts of this Friday ritual 🙂


  24. Beth Werner Lee

    Party hearty!
    Thanks for the reminder, the joy!
    I’ve been taking those walk-on-water lessons and failing more than Peter did! Ah, but the unseen hand is strong.
    My theology professor husband likes to remind people that the new heavens and new earth is what we are waiting for, not some completely unknown reality. I often think of streets of gold and remember, “oh yeah, it’s a metal. Duh” Anyway, fun direction you take here. Thank you.

  25. floyd

    Jolly good then, Pip it is!

    I want mine to say, “HE IS NOT HERE.”
    This is but a memorial for the life that was paid for by Jesus Christ Himself. He is with Him now…

  26. Sandra Heska King

    Climbing library shelves and rappelling back down? I’m so in!

  27. Cassandra Frear

    C.S. Lewis has some intriguing things to say about this — that heaven will just be more vivid and more real.

    The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about it. There are glimpses and hints at what is to come. But I admit I have a hard time coming up with visual images. That’s good for me because then I am led to focus on the Person of our Lord and what I know of him and that I will be near him.

    “…the nearness of God is my good.”(Psalm 73:28)

    • Cassandra Frear

      For some reason the comment above linked to my husband’s email and picture. How weird is that?

  28. Karen W

    How about DIH…Dancing In Heaven
    or PIH…Praising In Heaven!!!

    Glad to be doing either with all of you!

  29. Mari Mayborn

    Jennifer, You made my day! I can’t wait to join in the dancing and praising. Maybe we can take a spin in the double ferris wheel and get stuck at the top for a long time so we can take in the incredible view of all heaven holds and shout glory from the heights.

    Ya know, I think it would be soooo incredible if God shows us how he made the heavens and the earth and all he created. That it would all be played out before us. To see and respond as Wisdom did [Proverbs 8:27-31] blown away and rejoicing in God’s presence.

  30. Sarah

    And I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of chocolate (streets of gold, maybe more like dark dark chocolate).

    Thanks for whooping it up. What a joy it will be. Let’s find each other at the party okay?


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