I hope you’re enjoying these trips with me down memory lane because we’re about to go on another one! Often times when I have an idea or am processing through something I’ll just open up a document on my computer and begin typing, word-vomiting my thoughts and feelings all over the blank page. This is one such session from about 6 months ago.
Rest is something I feel we don’t talk about often and when we do, we discuss it in a not so healthy way. I’m pretty sure I just heard about half of you groan when you saw the word ‘rest’. Our society teaches us that we can “have it all” if we just work and work and work and work a little more. Sure! You’re a powerful woman in the 21st Century, you can work and have a great marriage and a great family and great friendships and a great spiritual life. But is that really possible?
I don’t know.
But right now I’m learning about rest. I’ve always been a very restless human being. I’m guilty of consistently multi-tasking and I struggle to sit still. Even when I’m working on one thing I’m usually thinking about something else; there’s always a problem I’m working through in my mind.
For the first nine months of this year I was working 50 hour work weeks, all while making time to write and paint and go to church and spend time with friends. I was exhausted. I had little time for me, I read maybe 3 books during that whole time, rarely exercised, and neglected my relationship with God.
I find immense joy in writing, but it was becoming a chore, another thing on the to-do list that I had no energy to do.
But now I’m trying a better way. I’m learning how to work from a place of rest.
I took a vacation earlier this month and it was probably the first time I’ve truly vacationed. I’ve traveled before, but every time I would still end up working every day, though I would still reserve plenty of time for vacation appropriate activities. I had planned on working a little bit on this trip, mostly in the mornings before my travel buddy woke up, but I only did that one day. During the whole 5 days we were gone I worked maybe 6 hours, which is unheard of for me.
Instead of worrying or checking in on what others were doing I chose to relax. I chose to dream. I chose to enjoy. I chose to laugh. I chose to recharge. During that time I reminded myself consistently that it was okay and that I was allowed to soak in every glorious minute of it. I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to have a taste of what rest looks like. More than that, I’m excited to begin to apply these same principles to my daily life.
For most people, it’s easy to rest on vacation, but much harder to do so during regular life. I encourage you to schedule a time this week for you to relax or rest. It may look like taking a bath one night before bed or going to see a movie or blocking off an hour to go for a run in the morning. Whatever you find relaxing, build some time in your schedule to do that. I believe that if we can learn to rest throughout the week our productivity, relationships, and countenance will improve. Let’s experiment with the concept of rest and see how our world changes!