By Lori Freeland –
Let’s be real.
There’s a season for everything, right? Even rest? So why does it feel like rest is something to be equated with lazy?
Do you wake up wondering how long until bedtime? Wonder how you’ll get everything done by the end of the day? Do you rush to finish things early in the morning before your energy level tanks below barely registering?
Maybe you’re a ragged mom, who spends more time in the car than at home. Why can’t someone just hurry up and invent a washer/dryer set that fills itself, washes, and switches loads?
Perhaps you homeschool numerous kids in multiple grades and spend your life repeating K-12. The good news is fourth grade math gets easier every year you practice it. At least remember to cheer yourself on for the A’s you’re finally making now. Fractions are hard.
Could you be a desperate-to-be-published novelist lost and obsessed in her fantasy world, staying awake until four am to churn out pages because that’s when it’s finally quiet?
Or maybe you embody all three like me.
I push myself too much. Feel guilty when I don’t. Terrified that if I let go for a second, everything will fall apart. No more clean underwear in the drawers. No homework graded and set up for next week. No name on the cover of a book. Not my name, anyway.
But I can’t run full-speed forever. None of us can.
Not retirement-like rest. Just a few hours off here and there. I’m talking about rainy days spent in smelling the roast cooking in the crockpot. Weekends used for recharging myself and reconnecting in my relationships. Nights curled up with a good book in my footy pajamas and some hot tea.
After a while, rest, like sleep, loses its optional status. I have to do it. Or I pay the price. My body gets rundown and my mind spins in confusion. Might as well take rest on my own terms.
I expect to find guilt in the cutting out process, but I know it needs to be done. Otherwise, in twenty years I’ll look back and wonder what happened to my life.
Do you know what makes it easier for me to rest? Knowing even God took a break. And He is far stronger than I am. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:1-3).
That slashes more than a fraction of guilt over carving out some down time.
Just so you know, I’m typing as fast as I can to get these thoughts on paper before I have to run out the door, yet again, to drive some kid to some thing and then go back and pick him up.