And Now… The REST of Your Story
Rest. It’s such a pleasant word, isn’t it? Even typing the word makes my shoulders fall away from my ears, causes me to sigh, and makes me wish I really had the balance of work and rest in my life more regularly. I remember when both of my girls started going to school and thinking to myself, “Now I’ll have a little more ‘me time’!” LIE! All it did was create more ways for me to be busy because now I had the time during the day. I could go workout, grocery shop, have lunch with friends, get the house clean, run other random errands. What once sounded like an ideal day was now stressing me out because I could never get it all done in those few hours while the girls were at school. That dreamy “alone” time was actually just me being alone and being focused on the task at hand without distractions (as wonderful as the distractions of my children are), not a time to do any self-care like time in prayer, taking a nap, going on a long stroll, etc. It seems my rest these days is in the form of me just going to bed at night… for less than 7 hours of sleep most of the time.
The other issue I tend to face about myself, and maybe you can relate, is that I am a world class people-pleaser. I over-commit myself to things for fear of disappointing the people that need my help. I tend to think that since they asked for my time, there’s no way anyone else could do what they’ve asked me to do.
Guess what, friends? We need rest. Without it, we begin to let the expectations we put on ourselves affect how we treat others. If I’m frustrated or stressed-out about something and don’t take the time to process through it, I totally take it out on other people by being grumpy, unloving, and selfish. Besides over-committing myself, another culprit I have identified in keeping me from rest is modern technology. Oh, the power of the screen! There are so many ways for us to have our faces planted in phones and computers to keep our magnificently created brains from getting the reboot it needs!
We wear so many “hats” during the day. The busier we are, the more we must build in time for rest and recalibration of our hearts and minds. Without making the time for ourselves, we will continue to find ways to fill our days with busy work. If we do this for too long, frustration and burnout will inevitably set in.
Take a break from the phone. “Airplane Mode” is one of the greatest creations in our world of technology, in my humble opinion. Use it, at least 30 minutes every day, if possible, and use that time for prayer, journaling, lying down for a moment, or whatever you consider yourself to be in “resting mode”. The world will still spin on its axis while you let go.
A typical parent doesn’t have more than a few minutes’ break in a normal day. Maybe you can’t take a full sabbatical or even day away from the grind. It’s still incredibly important for you to take a bit of time to rest. Find it whenever you can. For me, sometimes it’s just sitting on our porch with a glass of wine after dinner and reflecting on the day, looking up at the sky, or watching the breeze move through our trees. I take a deep breath of gratitude in, and breathe out the things I didn’t get done, knowing that those things will get done tomorrow or sometimes, much later.
Life gets busy and distracts us from what’s important many times. I can’t find who said it, but I love this quote, “Ask yourself what is really important, and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.” In doing this, I think you just may find that rest, however you choose to find it, will bring more purpose in the things that fill your day.
How do YOU choose to rest? I would love to hear your response in the comments section of this blog. You may be the inspiration someone needs to make it happen!
Jennifer Kieta is a native Texan, born and raised in Houston. She graduated from Texas Tech University and has lived in Fort Worth since 1996. Jennifer worked as a Child Life Specialist at Cook Children’s Medical Center for 9 years before becoming a full-time mommy to her two daughters. She currently serves as a worship leader alongside her husband at Christ Chapel Bible Church. In the fall of 2014, Jennifer started training and soon became a spin instructor for Zyn22, a boutique spin studio here in Fort Worth. Her love of and belief in taking care of your mind, soul, and body has always been a priority, and she looks forward to sharing that love with her community!
Even at my stage in life, a grandmother, I am tempted to fill my day being busy. Productive. Accomplishing. I believe that it can be the enemy’s way of keeping me from spending time with the source of all my time and blessings-Christ. Time with the Lord is essential. He wants to fill us with His goodness and mercy so that we have enough to give to one another.
I am overwhelmed to have a Savior that loves me and only desires that I spend time with Him. He is not interested in what I am accomplishing. He is really concerned about what He is filling my heart and soul with each day. The catch is, I have to rest and let Him fill me. Many days I forget this truth.
All is grace, Sara