We women are ALL tired and busy. Am I right?
We are juggling:
- Taking the kids to soccer practice
- Helping out with that fundraiser
- Serving on the worship team at church
- Doing school work
- Training for the 5K
- Keeping up with our friendships
- Finishing off an extra project at work
- Planning a date night with the hubs
- And much more!
Sounds exhausting just reading that list isn’t it?
Our lives are filled to the brim with these things. They are GOOD things – but, how often do we end up stumbling into bed bone tired and frustrated at all the things that are still on our to do lists? It sometimes feels like life is running away with us.
One of God’s HUGE promises to us is the promise of REST and the invitation to WORK with him. The word “rest” is in the bible over 500 times. Interestingly enough, the word “work” is in the bible just over 500 times as well! It speaks to the importance of living in both realities and having a rhythm of both in our lives.
The big question is…
How do we live our lives in a way that swings into both worlds? How do we not neglecting one or the other? If we are going to talk about rhythm of life, how can we have this rhythm swing in a healthy way? Swinging fully into actual REST – where we are recreated, refreshed, restored, reconnected. And then swinging back fully into actual WORK – not striving and stress-filled, but moving out in God’s power, where there is an ease to our work because of Spirit’s power behind us.
See we can have all the best plans for REST, but often something at the core still keeps us from it. If you are feeling worn out, stressed, and tired today consider:
What are the thoughts behind those feelings?
Those thoughts are fuel.
Just like in a car, they end up driving many of our decisions and actions. When we can identify those thoughts – we can begin the process of allowing the Lord to renew our minds. We can’t do battle with something that is nameless. Identifying the thoughts is the first step.
Some of the common thoughts that we may thinking about rest that Jessi shares are:
- We may believe that rest is not productive or helpful or moving forward.
- We may believe that rest equals laziness.
- We may hear that we should find rest in Jesus, but we feel we are lazy if we need physical rest.
- We may believe that rest is deserved only in proportion to how crazy full our life is.
- Maybe rest is impossible if we have young children.
- We may believe that rest is only found on the beach with a drink in hand and no children around.
- Perhaps, we think that rest is “me” time.
- We may think that rest is simply being selfish.
Are there ones you identify with there? Many of them I have recognized and struggled with.
Here’s what it comes down to
Jesus lived a life of REST and WORK. We are all called to be his disciples (be with him, to learn from him, how to be like him) and make disciples (teach others to do the same), but to do that we must look at ourselves FIRST.
We need to recognize, with compassionate curiosity, the thoughts and feelings we have about rest and work. Only then can we allow the Lord to speak to us, heal us and bring freedom from renewing our minds.
It begins with us because we can’t lead others to places we’ve not gone.
If we allow the Spirit to work in us, then out of that overflow we can give to those we are leading and influencing. You will not be the perfect example, but you can be a living example.
The long road
Personally, it’s been a lengthy journey of engaging with these realizations. I could go through and tell you all the steps I took. The decisions I made. The systems and routines that I found helpful.
But unless you see where it all began and the heart behind it, it’s just going to be a bunch of calendars, systems and rules.
So, I want to start by sharing my story with you. The heart behind it all. And from that place we can talk more details. So look for my next post where I share what really knocked me off my rocker, what the Lord said and did through it all.
For now I want to leave you with one of my favorite verses from The Message:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”