May is a very intense month. For those of us with school-age kids, summer break is just around the corner. We are also now almost to the halfway point of the year. (Just let that crazy thought sink in!) Time is flying, and it’s no surprise if rest isn’t high on your priority list.
Which is exactly why we needed to discuss rest this month.
Think back to the questions we asked at the beginning of the month. Are you waking up feeling rejuvenated yet? Have you made time to get together with friends and just laugh for an hour? Have you been able to draw close to God and dig deep into His Word? We hear about the importance of rest all the time. “Self-care” is a topic we are all quick to talk about (and maybe criticize) but actually doing it? … *crickets*
We loved what Sheri Sullivan said about your body getting that rest for you, even if you try to put it off. That’s why overwork is directly related to burnout and getting sick. Thanks to the world in which we live and operate, taking a break and giving rest time to shine is seen as a weakness and like you’re failing to keep all your plates spinning. WRONG!
As our founder Diane said, rest isn’t a suggestion from God; it’s a command from Him. He rested after putting in the work of creating, well, everything. If God, the Creator of all, can find a way to incorporate a rhythm of rest into His schedule, you have absolutely no excuse. (Thankfully, Diane shared a few tips for how to get started!)
“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” – Psalm 127:2
We bet that if you’re reading this, you’re probably a woman who’s up before everyone and going to bed last. Your days are full and your energy tank is not. “But I take time to rest!” you might argue. Let’s talk about quality of rest…
Resting needs to be something that you give 100% of yourself to. “Rest” looks different for everyone. Some of us need interaction with others to feel more like ourselves, so hanging out with friends for dinner or coffee is exactly what we need to make more of priority. For others, a good book and your favorite beverage on the couch after everyone has gone to sleep might be life-giving to you in a way that nothing else is.
Rest doesn’t have to be a big production. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, and it shouldn’t be something you view as a chore. God values rest. Like the verse above said, rest is something that God gifts to us. He views it as something that is good for us. Don’t feel guilty about being spread paper-thin and needing a break. Don’t buy into the lie that busyness and pushing yourself to the max every day is a sign of strength. (It’s more like a sign of disobedience!) Don’t keep putting off taking care of yourself because you have everyone else to take care of, too.
We are all human. We are all finite. We are weak creatures desperate to do things in our own strength. You cannot be a help to others if you do not help yourself and grant your body and soul the rest you need regularly. You cannot excel at what you do if you’re constantly scraping the bottom of the stamina barrel. You cannot keep going if your body is crying out for you to pause.
What drives you? What motivates you? Think about what brings a spark to your life, and that is where you will find your perfect recipe for rest. Don’t make rest into a “thing.” Your life is already full of enough of those. Get serious, listen to and obey our Heavenly Father, and give yourself permission to rest. The more you commit to resting, the sooner it will become as natural as breathing. Just as God intended.