Rest is an interesting thing. We all need it. We all know we need it. But nobody seems to ever get any.
I am not talking about sleeping. While I am sure we aren’t getting enough of that either. No rest, where you do something that restores your soul. Gives you perspective. Refreshes you. Where you slow down long enough to breathe a little and straighten yourself out.
I’ve just come through a pretty crazy season. At 7 months pregnant, working 3 days a week, leading a very time and talent intensive team the other days of the week, and still trying to find time to not be a shitty friend and wife, life was slightly overwhelming.
I could definitely feel that I needed some rest. I was uninspired, cranky, and exhausted.
But do you think I took the time to take care of my spirit and rest and recharge? Nope. I just kept plowing ahead. Slightly hating waking up every morning and trying to convince myself that it would get better.
The funny thing is that is always seems to happen that way. Life gets crazy and the thing that would help you win goes straight out the door. Because we are too busy. Too busy to slow down and organize our life and make sure that our spirit is doing ok.
Because our spirit really is our responsibility. The quality of what we put in directly correlates with what we get out. Its true with our relationships with our friends and family, its true with the quality of our work, and its definitely true when it comes to our relationship with Jesus.
What you chose to tend to and invest into, is what will grow and flourish in your life. No one expects a strawberry plant to produce strawberries if it is never planted in soil and given water and sunlight. It just wouldn’t work. So why do we expect our relationships to grow if we never spend time talking together or for us to be inspired if we never spend time taking in whats happening in the world around us or for our relationship to grow with Jesus if we never actually spend time with him? Why do I expect to be able to keep on doing what I am doing if I am not putting back into me what I am giving out? Rest sustains us for the long hall. Its the sunlight and the rain to longevity and joy.
Last Monday was finally some time to rest. Michael took that picture of me at the top. Thats what I look like when I am resting. It doesn’t look very typical. I spent my rest day organizing my apartment, getting ready for baby girl and doing inventory. Someone commented on the photo that I should take a bath and actually rest. So, because I felt a little guilty for not “properly” resting on my day off I took a bath. And it was awful. I have a terrible bath tub. It takes an hour to fill, leaks immediately, and give you a terribly stiff neck if you lay in it to long.
But thats the thing about rest. It looks different for everyone. And what it looks like for you will change depending on what season you are in. Maybe sometimes it will mean a long, hot bath. Other times it will mean reading a book. Other times it will mean finally organizing that pile of stuff that has been collecting in the corner of your bedroom for far too long.
It’s not what it looks like that matters. Its that you ACTUALLY do it.
Rest. The lesson I have been trying to learn. The fight I have been fighting. The thing that I need most. To stay inspired and happy with a healthy spirit and the capacity to lead well and with longevity.
What about you? How do you incorporate rest into your life?
Photo courtesy of Michael