Rest…real rest? What is that? Do you even remember what it feels like to be rested? The other day I heard the word and simply yearned for rest in my life.
It is my hope that you can say “yes” to my above questions with the assuredness that you are indeed making time to rest. Margaret Feinberg, author and speaker, says “we are to be ferocious in finding a rhythm of rest in our lives.” Ferocious…really? Oh yes…hurry, busyness, mommy guilt…all these things can creep in without us even knowing it.
Before Lucy went to school, I envisioned my schedule with some downtime. Just enough each day to recharge and refuel so that my husband, kids and friends would not always get my sloppy seconds. People told me I would fill up each moment with activity, yet I always said I would never do that.
Well…here I am…busy…unrested…running on empty…yearning for down time that seems to be so elusive. It finally hit me…I feel guilty when I do something just for me. My husband could not be more supportive of me…this guilt is not from him…just me. Self-induced and very powerful. In fact, the other day, after doing something for me (having tea with a friend and loving each moment), I felt I needed to rush and get things done to “make up for it.” Where did this faulty thinking come from?
What fills you up? What rejuvenates you? I have a list of things that fill me, many of which I have not done in way too long. Even today, as I rested, I wondered what else I could be doing that is productive…yet, I fought the need to “do” and simply rested. So grateful for that! In fact, I feel I am being called to rest each day. Not all day of course, but for a time where I actually have to trust my day to God and let Him lead it. Where I have to trust that it’s more important for me to rest and refuel than complete my to-do list. I don’t like running on empty…do you?
I hope all of you are not like me and have avoided this trap. However, if you are sailing along in the same boat, let’s help each other carve out moments of rest, even 5-minute segments. Moments without being “plugged in, turned on, and running”…what about sitting in silence, reading a book, taking a walk, making a call to your friend, meeting for tea, or…gasp…actually napping. (I napped the other day…heaven!)
The things we feel we have to do will get done. However, I believe with rest, was can fulfill our jobs, roles and other obligations with more love, fulfillment, and joy. I know I can be very idealistic, but in this I am trying to be very practical. If we don’t fill up, we will run dry and we have no excuse other than to admit we gave in to our culture’s lie that we must “do, do, do.” One of the greatest things my husband taught me is the beauty of “being”…I lost that in the throws of parenthood. I am reclaiming that today!
Maybe sharing it here will help hold me accountable and encourage you to do the same. Maybe sharing this will give me the courage to trust my day to God and let Him lead. If all it does is give you and me the desire to carve out moments of rest each day, then this was worth every word on this page.
Sadly, I think many others are just like me…stuck on a merry-go-round with no way to get off. Don’t get me wrong…it’s not all bad. I have many great days and enjoy my life. But what joy, wonder and awe am I missing? What moments of being truly present with family and friends pass by without my notice? Life goes so quickly…I don’t want to miss it.
So, if I say “no” more often, just know it’s because I am saying “yes” to rest and, as a result, to God, my husband, kids, family, friends, callings and you.
Real rest…may we all know what that feels like today.
© 2014 by Brooke F Sulahian