Sunday, July 16, 2017

Learning to Rest

I've been sitting here for an hour writing, deleting, writing again.  I've been trying to work through my own bad habit of taking on too much.  Professionally.  I get about 5 paragraphs in and decide it's not really what I am wanting or trying to express.  So, here we go again.  We'll see if this sticks.

I was determined this morning, since Kris has forbidden me to work this weekend, to write again.  To try to get back to what I have always loved - this blog.  It's therapy for me, really.  And by neglecting it, I believe I am neglecting my own mental health.

For someone who has battled depression my entire adult life (and likely adolescence though I didn't identify it then), you would think I would make mental health a priority.  Sometimes, just taking an antidepressant isn't enough.  Truth be told, it is never enough.  When you battle depression or mental illness of any kind, medication only gets you so far.  You have to work at it each day.  You have to know what your triggers are and you have to do the things that you are able to stay  healthy.

My anxiety has been higher than it has been in years.  I think these days my depression shows itself in the form of anxiety.  And if I could just learn how to slow down and do what I used to always tell Kris: Take it one day at a time.  You are only one person.  You can only do so much - if I could take my own advice, I think that I would find my anxiety would be held in check.  My stress level would be lower, which would in turn lead to a more stable mind.  A calm heart.  And very likely, far less physical pain than I have been in these last few months.

So, as I was sitting here trying to think through what I wanted to say, Kris sent me a chat with a Bible verse in it.  It was as if he knew what was going on in my mind.  He knows I have been pushing myself beyond what is reasonable, and also, God just does these things where he gives you what you need when you need it.


The sermon last Sunday at church was about God giving us these lifelines.  His word is a lifeline.  No matter what place you are at in your life, there is a verse, a story, something that will give you just what you need to go on.  And for me, sometimes it comes in the form of a gentle reprimand.  A reminder of what is really important.

This is what Kris sent to me:

The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught.  Then Jesus said, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile."  He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat.
Mark 6:30-31 NLT
Jesus was a smart man. He didn't fault the disciples for working tirelessly. What they were doing was a good thing. They were teaching the world about true life. True love. They were busy, but for a good reason. He didn't tell his followers to stop in their ministry. He didn't chastise them. But he did know better than they what mattered and what was needed. He knew that they had all been working for a good cause and had been so busy they didn't have time to think about one of the body's most basic needs. He knew that they could only go on at that pace for so long before they would burn out. He knew that they needed to slow down and tend to their physical and mental needs. So he stepped in and helped them step back and rest.

The same Jesus in the New Testament is still alive and well today. And he is saying to me now, "Slow down. What you are doing isn't bad in and of itself. But you can't keep going at this pace. Some days, you don't even take a break. Some days you forget to eat. You are in so much pain physically by the end of the day, because you didn't get up from your desk. You are more anxious because you never stop thinking about work. You are hurting yourself physically and mentally because you are too busy. You need to stop and rest awhile."

So, I am listening. And I am not working this weekend. Kris and I just hung out yesterday, doing nothing but relax. Today will be much of the same.

Rest.

It is necessary.

It's hard to force, but so important. And something I need to get better at. I can't do it all. I know that I have to stop working this life away. In the end, that's not what matters. It is important, but I don't want my kids and husband to feel like all I ever did was work. It's good to step back and have a reminder to slow down and rest. I don't want to be so focused on my professional life that I neglect my spiritual life. It doesn't do anyone, professionally or personally, any good. So, I will continue to try to find a balance between doing my professional job well, and being the best wife and mother and lover of Jesus. It's good to have Kris and timely Bible lifelines as reminders.

It should come as no surprise that a song comes to mind. It's exactly what my soul needed this morning. Especially verse 2.


Verse 1:

A little too much
Today was a little to much for me
A few falls to many and one win to few

A little to long
Today was a little to long for me
But someone is calling, calling my name
Calling

Chorus:
Come, Come
And rest, all who are weary rest
Come, Come
And rest, All who are heavy rest
Rest

Verse 2:
Sometimes I try
Sometimes I try just a little to hard
Fighting the current and losing the fight

Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming alone
But someone is holding, holding me up
Calling

Bridge:
Calling me softly and sweetly
Calling me like I'm a child
Calling me though I'm not worthy
Calling me even now

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