Who else is completely terrible at taking breaks? I swear, I am the queen feeling the need to be productive every second of the day. If it’s not progressing me forward, I feel like I’m missing out and going to be stuck in the same rut forever. But, oftentimes it’s the break that helps move us forward and pulls us out of the rut we seem to be stuck in — even as I’m writing this now, it’s all starting to sink in and make more sense to me… I told you I’m always preaching to the choir when I share with you.
As I was reading my devotional this week, I came upon a prompt by Ruth Schwenk called “It’s Okay To Rest.” This is what I’ve been trying to force myself to do for months, and I just can’t seem to justify it to myself. I fell it’s almost physically impossible for me to slow down lately. Anyone else in this season too? And, it made me think: Why? Why is the concept of slowing down so hard for us last times? Then, it hit me…
When do we often feel it’s the hardest to slow down or take a break? For me personally, I always find it hardest when I’m struggling with something. Why? Because I feel like I need to fix it, and, I can’t fix it if I’m taking a break. If I take a break and stop pushing towards my goals or stop trying to fix the problem, then I’m not going to get anywhere, and things will remain the same. I’ve got be going “balls to the wall” (sorry for the lack of better words) for me to succeed. Does this sound familiar to you too?
Here are a few things Ruth’s passage opened my eyes to this week that I am currently struggling with:
- When you’re struggling with something, it’s often uncomfortable right? So, naturally we’re going to do anything we can to get out of that un-comfy situation. But, that’s when we need to stop! When we’re given one struggle after the next or we feel like nothing is going our way. God is doing it on purpose. He wants us to sit with our struggles for a bit. Why? Because he is trying to teach us something and to help us grow in our faith, which ultimately brings us closer to him. But, how do we do this? We slow down, and we take a break of course. Be present in the moment. For example, let’s say your children are misbehaving, whining, not listening, fighting with one another…etc. slow down, and take a break. There’s a good chance you’re frustrated and overstimulated at this point. Take a deep breath, and pray for God to help calm you down in that moment, and open your eyes to what your children are really wanting from you. Chances are once you have stopped yourself, you’ll be able to handle the situation much more calmly. Have you been busy with household chores all day? Maybe the reason they’re acting crazy is because they’re in need of a little more attention for you.
- Taking breaks can be hard, especially if you’re a mom. It’s actually something lots of women have to work at each day — myself included. I have to force myself to take breaks away from my kids. I don’t like to do it because it feels un-comfy for me. Oftentimes, it comes with mom guilt; “You don’t need to take time away. That’s selfish. Your kids need you.” “You’ve always dreamed of being a mom and now you want a break from it all. Be grateful.” “So many other women would give anything to have the family you have, and you want to leave?” But, it’s when we force ourselves to take that much needed break that we’re able to slow down, and sit with our mom guilt. We’re able to persevere through those uncomfortable feelings, and once we return, we’re a better moms because we were able to fill our cup and take care of our own personal needs.
- Finally, when we slow down and take a break, God is still at work. He never stops. He is always present and working things for our good. Just because you’re not working everyday to grow your small business, that doesn’t mean God isn’t helping you while you rest. Maybe that rest will make you more productive during the week ahead. A more personal example would be me stepping away from social media and truly unplugging. When I’m taking a break from posting on stories or to my feed, that doesn’t mean that God’s not working things for my own good, putting out other content I have shared in front of those who needs to see it or hear it.
Words to remember for the week ahead: You were never meant to handle it all on our own. When you’re struggling, it’s not solely on you to figure out the solution. God is always present and always working, so we don’t always have to be. Slow down and take the break when you need it this week. Have faith + trust that God can handle whatever it is in your absence.
Verses to Remember This Week…
Exodus 14:14: “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Psalm 61:2: “From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
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