the lesson I learned about rest…
I’m NOT good at it.
I don’t really do it because the entire time I am resting, all I can think about is what I should be doing instead of resting.
I prefer to run full speed. To get stuff done. To knock out my to-do list like a prize fighter.
Most of the time, that mentality is an asset because it allows me to accomplish much.
However, I’m realizing that not resting has drawbacks too. Like:
Loss of joy.
A short temper.
Lack of connection with others.
You know how I realized these things?
I was forced to rest.
Our family was the recipient of an awesome act of generosity and we spent the week living in a beautiful RV off the coast of Lake Michigan.
A gift from God that I didn’t know I needed.
It’s amazing the clarity that comes with a little sunshine, sand and sleep.
Don’t judge me for saying this, but for the first time in a long time, I enjoyed my family.
I think maybe it was because I didn’t clean up messes, make meals, do any yard work, wash any clothes, or do any writing or studying. I didn’t DO.
I rested instead…and enjoyed being with my tribe.
I laughed when they were silly because it wasn’t making me late to anything.
I took deep breaths with my face tilted up to the sun because I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to notice it’s warmth.
I snuggled with all four of my kids because I wasn’t too busy working.
I stayed up late laughing and talking with my hubby because I wasn’t stressed about getting up early.
Basically, I allowed myself to have fun instead of get stuff done.
I will admit that, at first, it felt uncomfortable and lazy – all that resting.
It hit me when I was watching a movie and felt guilty about it.
I am uncomfortable with resting, I thought. I feel like a bad steward of my God-given resources when I rest.
But then I had this correction immediately come to mind: that’s not the truth. The truth is that it’s ok to rest.
God, in his infinite wisdom, determined from the very beginning that we would be creatures who needed regular rest. He called it a Sabbath, and he declared that we are to do it weekly. Exodus 20:8 says,
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work…for in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.”
I’m not sure why, but it’s been easy for me to justify not following that command. I have come up with some good excuses, too:
But… I will get behind if I don’t do something today.
But… If I get more done, I will feel less stressed.
But… I like to be busy, so it’s not really work if I like doing it.
While on vacation, God gently corrected me. He showed me that as a result of my “I don’t need to rest” mentality, I have faced extra weariness and frustration. He reminded me of his truth and helped me experience the benefits that come from taking time to rest. I’m so thankful he did. I feel so much better.
Rest is necessary, friends. It is good for the rejuvenation of the heart, mind and soul.
Therefore, I’m determined to incorporate regular rest into my schedule. I’m committing to rest one day a week, and to take more than one vacation every six years.
Join me in reclaiming a Sabbath.
BONUS: A dear friend of mine, Angie Nippert, wrote an excellent ebook about taking an extended Sabbath rest with family. It’s super practical and fun! We used a lot of her tips on our trip. Guess what? I got her permission to share it with you! Click here to download and read it:
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