Rest. We must succumb to it, or we burn out.
Psalm 127:2 says this:
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Good rest = good mental health.
And I guess I’m not just talking about sleep.
Rest is that which is refreshing, rejuvenating.
The walk along the beach, or picking up that book, or drinking that cup of tea while it’s hot.
It’s the working out what are bucket fillers, and what drains you and leaves you empty.
And then (and this is the hard part) going and doing those things that fill your soul.
And that’s the hard part, at least for me, because I feel guilty.
Guilty for prioritising myself above the laundry, or the mopping, or the weeding.
But we shouldn’t! It’s time to stop being the martyr.
Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen that which was good.
Sitting at Jesus’ feet; she paused, listened to the gentle rhythm of his speech, breathed it in, was present in the moment… that’s what Mary chose.
But if I’m honest, I’d say too often I’m the Martha. Buzzing about, always intending to sit [create, read, drink, nap, walk, jog, write] and let my soul be refreshed, but never being quite finished working. And I love this quote, typography by Susanna April.
“I’m tired of people romanticising overexertion. Exhausted is not the new chic, coffee (though a delicious necessity) is not a food group, and running on fumes is not admirable. Why do we hold pedestals for sleepless nights, breakdowns and inner turmoil? Are those things really to aspire to? Self care, balance, the ability to know when your body, mind and spirit need to take a step back. Those are things we should admire. We have to stop blurring the line between ‘commitment’ and self endangerment. Because too many people are burning out before they get a chance to truly shine”
We do value productivity, over a rested and whole person.
And we value sparkly clean houses over children who are secure and emotionally intelligent because we are.
And I think that needs to change.
I need to be more mindful of true rest.
I need to say yes to spontaneous lunches with friends, and be okay with the groceries not being put away yet.
I need to go for that run along the beach, instead of greedily counting and re-counting every hour in my day and spending them all hard at work.
I need to swing on the hammock more often and watch endless trampoline bouncing kiddos.
I need to prioritise my own mental and emotional well-being.
I need to learn how to play. And I need to learn how to rest.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Put My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me,your weary souls will find rest. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”*
Am I the only one that has a hard time simply stopping?
What do you do to prioritise rest? What refreshes your soul? I’d love to know.
For one friend it’s knitting, because her phone is out of her hand.
Another friend makes running a priority.
I love to just read a novel, or watch my favourite tv shows.
Regardless of what it is, lets not be exhausted to burn out.
Lets stop, and rest, and shine.
* Matthew 11:28