From my feeble Google search, I determined it was Banksy, an English artist, who coined the phrase, “If you get tired, learn to rest. Not to quit.” It was about a month ago, in the middle of the month of May, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and this message popped out at me and has been swirling around in my head since.
The last month at times has felt like life is going in 10,000 directions at lightning pace all while I am just trying to not lose count of how many scoops of coffee I am putting in my coffee maker so I have strong enough coffee to power me through the morning.
I have not written a blog post in over a month. I am not sure about you but sometimes I can get into a funk. It typically happens when life goes from being “busy” to like an ultrasonic speed busy. Usually when I am overwhelmed, having to make major decisions or multiple small decisions that feel monumental I develop “decision fatigue.” In my pursuit to do ALL the thing now Or just in having to face the things life throws at us unexpectedly, I start my trip to funky town and it’s not all disco and dance. When this happens I tend to get more cynical in my response to life and develop somewhat of a Debbie downer mindset. As I get older I am starting to pick up on this and realize I need to chill out, rest and gather my thoughts. Previously I probably just would have thrown in the towel on things like this blog, with the mindset, who cares, it’s not worth it, I don’t have time. But it’s different this time. I am learning to rest but not quit.
Might I add, it was in the middle of the month of May when the end of the school year is fast approaching. And no one really prepares parents and teachers for the end of the school year madness. No one. And it sneaks up on us every. single. year. My daughter did good to get a piece of meat in her lunch each day, let alone a full meal. I feel for you teachers during May. God bless all of you, I could not do it. Y’all need a tax-free weekend in May on chocolate and ice cream, just for teachers.
Getting back to my original point, in my efforts to rest and not quit, I have had to remind myself of promises I made to myself in coming back to writing on this blog. A promise I would not pressure myself to writing if I was starting to feel overwhelmed. I would not quit just because life got in the way.
In the last month in my effort to rest, I have focused on stepping back and focusing on the essentials of life, like breathing. I have made time to read more, started exercising again, focusing on getting adequate sleep, listening to podcasts which deal with rest and taking a break. I took a few days off of work last week and spent a day with my husband, just the two of us, something we have not done in months. We finally starting digging into some of the boxes stashed away in our garage from our move a year ago. We took the bikes out and assessed what repairs needed to be done so we can start riding them again. I hung up a picture we received as a wedding gift from my parents over 2 years ago.
In my proactive effort to get more rest, I realized once again, I was my own worst enemy. It wasn’t my schedule or what I thought life was requiring of me, but it was me. I was creating the madness.
In listening to the podcast, The Next right thing, by Emily P. Freeman this past week in episode 40 entitled “Keep Your Rest” she spoke of how rest for the children of Israel was a requirement to keep not an option. I realized I had been making rest an option in my life, and as a result I was turning into someone no one wants to be around. In our Western society where you are deemed “blessed and highly favored” the more you have to do, I am on pursuit to find another type of blessing that is fouund within rest and unhurriedness in my day-to-day life. I know I may falter sometimes but the more I study and read on this the more I am encouraged to pursue it. I pray you too may find time to keep the rest God has given each of us.
“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” – Psalm 116:7 (NIV)
P.S. By the way…. Two podcasts which have really helped me are “The Next Right Thing” by Emily P. Freeman and “Unhurried Living” by Alan & Gem Fadling.