Just a couple of days ago, I sat on the balcony of my hotel room in Rosemary Beach, just me, my coffee and my thoughts. My creative juju has been lacking lately, which makes me feel off kilter in all aspects of my life. I know having a baby is enough to throw anyone off their game, especially having a baby, going back to work after 8 weeks, and also continuing to help run a shop. My little ole blog, along with my sleep levels and most of my creative energy, has taken a major hit. I feel myself being pushed into a hard place, for lack of a better way of explaining it. Maybe it’s a sign of getting older (I turn 30 in just a couple of weeks!), but I can recognize now the signs of being overworked and being pulled in too many directions and having far too many irons in the fire.
I keep a tab in my notes on my phone, along with a notepad I keep in my purse, where I always jot down little bits of inspiration I glean from podcasts, blog posts, articles, television, etc. I realized a couple of days ago that the last time my notes tab had been edited was in July. JULY. Definitely a sign that I’m being drained.
To take at least one thing off my plate, I’ve mentally drafted my blogging resignation post a hundred times, but I never can seem to sit down and write it… I’m guessing because I don’t truly want to do it. I won’t lie, it’s been a bit liberating, not feeling obligated to write about everything as I do it. However, I’ve learned that when I’m not writing, I’m not truly happy, and this blog has helped me fill that space in my life for the past few years. I’m not quite ready to give that up. What I am ready for, however, is a creative refresh. Or just a refresh, in general. I got a small chance to do that for just one night this week. Although I wasn’t completely alone, I did have a chance to reflect for a couple of hours on what rest means to me, and what I need to do for myself to ensure that I am my best self. You cannot pour from an empty cup. (Or champagne flute, for that matter.) What is it that I need to do to make sure my cup remains filled? Not just for my own sake, but for my family and friends and business and job? On top of all of those reasons, I came to the conclusion that I also need to set an example of self care for Adella Grace.
It is important to care for one’s self, and I want her to see me live that out. So often, we as women (men too, but it seems to be a special sort of beast to tame for women) are trained to put off our own needs until we’ve ticked off all the items on our to do lists.
“When I finish this load of laundry, I’ll sit down and rest.” (Never happens.)
“After I wash these dishes, I’ll knit a row or two.” (Never happens.)
“I’ll do some yoga if I find a few minutes in my afternoon.” (Never happens.)
If we leave resting up to chance and fate, resting will not happen. Whatever “rest” means to you, you must make it a priority in your day/week/life. You (aka I) have to be intentional about resting. I have always felt guilty about this for some reason. I LOVE to have my house neat and tidy and orderly and my laundry done and put away and the bed made and the dishes washed and the counters free of clutter and let me just send this one more email… But will I get some kind of award at the end of the week if my laundry hamper and email inbox are empty but my soul is, too? No. No I will not. I’m trying really, really hard to let some of these things go and stop apologizing and feeling guilty for taking time for myself. There will ALWAYS be work to do. And I’m grateful for good, gratifying, challenging work to do and a home to keep. But are they my first priority? What am I worshiping here?
My first priority is my faith, my family, my sanity, and my health. Everything else will be better served if those things are well tended.
My devotional for the day I sat on that balcony, sipping coffee, praying, and thinking about this elusive concept of rest was so God-given and perfectly timed that I have to share it here, unedited.
The art of resting.
Then God blessed [spoke good of] the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.
Holy simply means “set apart.” To set aside a day for rest is quite foreign in our fast-paced, drive-thru society. However, our God in all His glory and majesty, took a day to rest and He said it was a good thing.
Take some time to rest and reflect on the good that you are creating. Carve out consistent time to rest. Perhaps take a baby step such as decided you will not do laundry on Sundays. When your family asks you why, tell them, “Rest is good for God and it is good for me.”
We need to look to God for our example and follow His lead. I want to be a mom who is engaged with my children, attentive to them and loving, but in order for me to do that, I need to rest every now and then. God wants you to take care of the body He has given you, so don’t feel guilty.
God, please give me the strength to follow Your example of resting. I don’t want to be so busy that I forget to rest and take care of myself. Gently remind me throughout my week to take time to rest and help me honor You by setting aside a day to reflect on Your goodness and provision. Amen.
So right now, I’m getting intentional about the art of resting. I’m making plans – real ones, written in pen on my calendar – to do what it takes from here on out to fill my cup up. I’m looking to God as my example – if He can take a day to rest, who am I to think I don’t need it?
Let’s all set aside the guilt, let’s quit glorifying “busy,” and let’s grab the moments that fill our cups and hold them fast.
When I say, “take care,” friends, I mean it.