It’s a little quiet over here. Thank you for being patient and sticking around. It’s been one wild summer for my family and this week we are setting shop in our hometown preparing for our trip to NYC in a few days! Robbie and I have been anticipating this trip since March so I’ve been in NY mode for awhile. I’m taking advantage of this time of rest.
Speaking of rest, if you haven’t picked up Shauna Nequiest’s new book, Present over Perfect then stop what you are doing and go get it. It’s that good. Her books always fall into my lap at the perfect time. In this one, her words and essays are changing my perspective on rest and simple living.
I’ve shared recently how Robbie and I have had a crazy summer working hard- in and outside of our church. I shared how we’ve seen amazing things take place in peoples lives but ministry can takes a toll on us if we aren’t careful. And especially if we don’t take the time to rest.
Rest means to remain in a certain state or to take a short break from one’s activities in order to relax. Rest isn’t always predictable but for many of us we know we need it.
My husband heard once from a sermon that many of us tend to rest from work, but what could begin to impact our lives greatly is working from rest.
When I think of the word work, I can’t help but sing Rihanna’s song, “Work, work, work, work, work”. It’s so catchy, right? The world tells us to hustle, work hard, and when we are tired, out of energy, and in need of vacation then rest is necessary.
Yet, what this sermon is trying to point is by taking the time to rest even before we know we need it, our lives would feel less exhausting and less frustrating. Choose to rest in advance because it’s good for our bodies, our mental health, and our families.
Shauna Nequeist says it best, “Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for resting your body and soul. And part of being an adult is learning to meet your own needs, but when it comes down to it, with a few exceptions, no one else is going to do it for you. ”
The is hard truth. No one is going to rest for me. Not my husband, not my parents, not my friends, not my pastor, or my church family. I am responsible for my rest and only I can take care of my mind, body, and soul the way that it needs.
Just recently I was sharing with a friend how exhausted I was. I knew I needed to proactively incorporate rest in my life but felt great guilt because I was going to disappoint people. Rest for me looked like spending more time at home, writing less, and saying no to things but guilt still stuck around. She told me something I will never forget,
“Pay attention to your season.”
She explained to me that if my season is telling me to rest then do so. Not when it’s convenient but because I need it and I choose it to be important. One cannot avoid life’s pressure, responsibilities, or needs but we can pay attention to our season. We can discover what we must do for the betterment of ourselves and our families.
Unfortunately, shame and guilt may follow when we begin to pursue rest. The enemy wants nothing more than to see God’s people work themselves so feverently into exhaustion and frustration.
Jesus shows us the opposite. We find many scenes in scripture (Luke 5:16) of Jesus retreating, stepping away from his ministry to pray and seek his Father in one of the busiest seasons of his life. He rested, prayed, breathed in fresh air and set out to continue the work God called him to do. He told his disciples to imitate him. He showed them how to work from rest.
This week I am resting and it feels like I can breathe again. I am breathing fresh and new air into my lungs. I inhale and feel new energy and life rushing through me. I am spending more time cuddling, praying, resting with the kids and less time hustling and yelling. I know that when this time of rest is over I can go back and continue to do the work God has called me to do with a healthy perspective and refreshed soul.
You are responsible for your rest. Maybe it looks like saying no to things, letting go of some responsibilities and involvements for a season. Maybe it means taking a vacation, spending more time at home with your family, stepping down from a position, or taking more time for yourself. Speak up about it, ask for it, and fight for it.
Isn’t so amazing that we have a Father who encourages us to rest and sit? He shares our burdens. There is no room for guilt when we rest with Him. If you are exhausted and running on empty, take time to rest this week. Pay attention to your season and allow yourself to breathe again. In doing so, you will come back to reality ready to work wholeheartedly and joyfully from much deserved rest.