I like to get things done. I find deep satisfaction in checking things off my to-do list. But sometimes the best thing I can do is leave some things undone, and even allow myself to be undone.
That’s where this modern-Martha found herself a few weeks ago. It felt like I was walking through molasses, or sticky tar, whichever one makes you think of moving in slow motion and it being difficult to put one foot in front of the other.
The cold gray sky, the remembrance of loss, and the conclusion of a demanding season were the backdrop for this fatigue.
I needed a hiatus of sorts—not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
The Gift We Desperately Need
Rest is a universal human need. Our bodies may require more or less of it, depending on numerous factors, but one thing is for sure: rest is a necessity we can’t afford to ignore.
I have tried to downplay my need for it and ended up depleted.
While I think we can all agree that rest is crucial to our well-being, it also can be exhausting to feel guilty that we aren’t getting enough of it, according to the experts. Can we please kick guilt to the curb and reframe the conversation?
We grab hold of the good news of grace and unwrap its contents with sheer delight. The same is true for rest. It is a gift to be freely enjoyed, not a punishment inflicted on us. When we are young, we nap. We don’t always like to do it, but we need it. We fall apart without it.Rest is a gift to be freely enjoyed, not a punishment inflicted on us. Click To Tweet
When our children need something, we do everything we can to meet their needs. Let’s say your son needs a pair of shoes. You search for a pair that will meet his need and make him smile. You bring home a pair just his size, but a puzzling thing happens. He chooses not to open the box. He sets it down and never opens it.
What if your daughter has a cavity? She is in so much pain yet refuses to let you take her in for the necessary treatment. She kicks and screams, even though the procedure would significantly improve her quality of life. Getting a filling might not be pleasant at the time, but it is able to alleviate great discomfort long term.
Do you have need yet haven’t opened the gift that has been provided for your benefit? Is your body in pain or your mind in a constant state of stress, yet you refuse to undergo what is necessary to get back on track?
I have been foolish and stubborn when it comes to rest. I have discounted the gift and refused its benefits, viewing it as punishment instead of provision.Rest is an opportunity to exercise faith that we will be taken care of in the absence of our “doing.” Click To Tweet
Rest is an opportunity to exercise faith that we will be taken care of in the absence of our “doing.” It is an opportunity to renounce the hired-help mentality and walk out the beloved daughter’s reality.*
Join me over on Proverbs 31, as we continue this conversation about the gift of rest…
*Excerpted from Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done.
This season is particularly stressful, so I’ve curated some tips to help you experience more peace, without compromising your productivity. Sign-up for the “Stress Less, Smile More” video series to access these tips.
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Alison Hill says
This is such advice we should be reciting in front of the mirror. Why I can easily recommend the necessity of rest to others so quickly and reversely deny it just as quickly to myself turns me into a walking contradiction. Thanks so much for this post .
Katie Reid says
Thank you for reading, Alison. And yes, you’re right, it’s easy to prescribe but difficult to apply to ourselves. So thankful for HIs grace and patience as we grow. 🙂