My family had two weeks off together over the holidays. On the eve of vacation, we had a family meeting to discuss all the things we wanted to do over the vacation and then we made a schedule of events. But, by the end of the weekend, my daughter was sick and ended up being sick through most of the holidays. It completely derailed our plans. Instead, we spent most of it at home. The kids rested and my husband and I used the time to catch up on things or just lounge around. It wasn’t action-packed or exciting. At times we were restless or, simply put, cranky from spending too much time together. But there was breathing room in our days. And, by the end of vacation, we all felt rested and refreshed.
It wasn’t the holiday we had planned, but it was exactly the holiday we needed. It’s funny how that happens sometimes.
As we head back to our normal routines, it’s a timely reminder about the importance of rest. I’m not talking about taking a nap (although I’m for that, too!). I’m talking about stepping away from the chaos, the rushing, and all the busyness. Even when the chaos is good chaos and the busyness is good busyness. If I take a break from all of it, then I have time to daydream, formulate ideas and plan out some goals for myself. I have time to feel and think about my life. When I’m doggie-paddling through the day and barely keeping my head above all the to-do items, I’m not feeling. I’m just trying to survive. And I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I’m off the treadmill and have a chance to poke at myself and realize there’s actually a person in here, not a machine. It reminds me of a post-it note that I wrote to myself. It says, “Feel Your Feelings.” I didn’t write that down as a reminder because I’m an introvert that doesn’t show any emotions (I am an introvert, but I do show my emotions – often!). The reason I wrote that down is because for as long as I can remember, I use busyness as a way to avoid my life and to avoid myself. The more I rush, the less time I have to feel and think. Then I rush myself right into an exhaustion that lands me close to depression. It isn’t healthy and it’s something God is really trying to rewire in me. He won’t let me keep falling into my same old traps. As I head into the New Year, I’m going to keep reminding myself the importance of rest.
One day I might get it right. I’ll find a healthy balance in all of it. In the meantime, I will continue to make my plans and life will continue to blow those plans into the wind like the little seeds of a dandelion flower. And, as they float away, God will do what He always does: He’ll lovingly urge me to come sit with Him for a bit and rest.
Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.