At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about rest. Little did I know that “rest” will become my word for the year – a lesson I must learn continuously.
I have been tired for months now, and recently my doctor diagnosed me with borderline burnout, due to a complete imbalance of my hormones. I was coping relatively well until a few weeks ago when my energy levels hit rock bottom. It felt like I suddenly hit a wall – my body, soul and mind were exhausted. No pill, vitamin or any amount of sleep helped.
So, I decided to stop.
I decided to take a week “off”. I gave myself off from any extra chores or responsibilities to take the time out to rest. I changed my strenuous 5-6 times a week workout regime to a combination of walks with the dogs, yoga and stretching. I bought ready-made meals from Woolworths instead of spending hours meal-prepping a few days a week.
I disabled the notifications from my social media apps and removed them from my home screen in an attempt to default to any one of them when I have a moment. I have been comparing myself endlessly to the perfect social media lives of those I follow, and I needed a break to focus on my own precious life.
I took my off-day off. I made no appointments; I wore no make-up and I didn’t wash my hair. I didn’t rush anywhere. To top the day off, we ordered pizza on a weeknight and sipped gin and tonics! It felt like Christmas!
I even took the weekend off from work and used the time to make my blog beautiful and have a long luxurious lunch with my mom.
During this week I spent a lot of the extra time in God’s word, asking Him to show me how to change my heart posture to that of rest in Him, instead of striving after my own goals and desires.
I would love to share with you what I learned during my week of rest:
One week is not enough
It takes about a week to start relaxing and I was still working the rest of the time. I also had some extra-mural responsibilities, so complete relaxation wasn’t achieved. However, I understand now that I must learn to listen to my body and have the freedom to take time out of my busy schedule without feeling guilty. Even without a vacation or leave, there are times when a person can say “no”, even to yourself.
I don’t have to be perfect
Sometimes it is okay to say no to some chores like meal prepping or spring cleaning. My husband still loves me, and I will not be struck down by lightning for being a bad wife and homemaker.
Rest is an attitude.
As I mentioned in my first post on rest, rest can be mean to stop working in order to recover strength or health; or it can mean to place your hope, trust or confidence in something.
The Lord brought this podcast series on my path this week to help me understand rest better.
For the whole week, the hymn “Rest in the Lord” was looping in my head. The lyrics are based on the words of Psalm 37:7:
The ESV translation says
To fret means to be constantly anxious. I am very good at fretting. My type A/perfectionist/ Enneagram Type 1: Improver personality wants everything to be perfect all of the time. It is so exhausting and depleting to try and control the outcome. I am constantly comparing myself to others and falling short.
In the book The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types By Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson they describe how Type One reads in Genesis: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 and “intensely feel that “It wasn’t—there obviously have been some mistakes here!” This shook me to the core because it is true. When I read it I stood ashamed before the Lord. I need to become still and stop fretting. God’s got this.
The ridiculous mentality of scarcity also spreads the lie that because others are prospering, there won’t be enough blessings for me. That is simply not true. God has the right blessings in store for each of us at the right time.
So, the journey continues to overcome restlessness and find that posture of rest. I ask my Heavenly Father daily to replace my fretting and fear of the future with more faith. I beg Him to open my eyes to see his glory in my life and to recognize his love in every aspect of my journey.
Take a deep breath with me, and let’s remind ourselves: God is in control. I can relax.
Enjoy Worn by Tenth Avenue North while you ponder this post.