We live in a world of busy; a world where we are judged on our productivity, our speed and efficiency.
Already, today I am sure that when asked “How are you doing?”, most of us have had at least one of the below responses:
- “I am so busy.”
- “Busy, but good.”
- “You wouldn’t believe how busy we are.”
- “I just can’t wait to go on vacation.”
And the responses go on. Where do you stand on this spectrum? When is the last time you took time to slow down? Have you ever felt like you needed to go on vacation in order to reset, only to come back to feel even busier? What are you saying yes to?
This spring break, for a myriad of reasons, we stayed in Raleigh. It was a forced rest, a forced slowing down and it was fantastic. We didn’t have any real plans, but we filled our days with whatever came to be. At one point, several days into break our youngest asked us why we had forgotten about lunch since being on break. You see we had slept in and often did some sort of brunch-ish later in the mornings and then went straight to dinner without even realizing we had skipped a meal. Her kindergarten brain asked us, “Can we actually have lunch today?” My adult brain said, “This speed is what we needed!”
We didn’t have a list of to-do’s, although trust me I wanted to make one. We did not bolt out of town, although there have been plenty of years where we did that. One year, we fit three different beach trips into twelve days! Don’t ask, it was NUTS and I am someone who loves the beach!
This spring break, we intentionally switched gears and are praying that this rest will carry us through the remainder of the school year and beyond. It was a rest we needed. It is a rest so many of us need, but we put off changing the system.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.-Matthew 11:28 NIV
Realistically, we cannot walk away from our jobs and cancel everything on a regular basis, as tempting as that may sound some days, but we can learn to filter what we are saying yes to and create pockets of rest in our daily routine. For our family, years ago we realized we had to intentionally create those spaces of rest in our days. Our activities will often grow into the space we give them. For me, last week, it meant choosing between spending all Saturday cleaning, cooking and prepping for Easter Dinner, or spending all day Saturday on an adventure with my girls, and then allocating two hours Saturday night, while enlisting help from family and making it work. Stress free for me might look different than what it means to you. So, find what makes you slow down. Create space for those things in your life and rest before you are weary.
What are you saying yes to these days? What filter do you run your activities, events and trips through? If we approach our yesses with the intentionality that God has given us the potential to use, we will truly find our best yes. Lysa TerKeurst, of Proverbs 31 Ministries, challenges us to assess whether we are saying yes to everyone, or saying yes to God and in doing so be better able to discern what is our best yes. We are challenged to say yes to too much, but in reality, we are not called to say yes to everything nor everyone. We are called to say yes to God.
“The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; They break forth into shouts of joy.”Isaiah 14:7
So today, I challenge you to start a new routine. Embrace rest, for it is in rest that you will find peace, you will become closer to God in that peace and that space. Our days on this planet are full, but we are not called to be busy all the time. We are called to rest. The energy we bring to our days can be mindful in the midst of the chaos. Our yesses can be intentional so that they align with who and what you are called to be. How will you be intentional with the space you create? For some it might be as simple as waking up a bit earlier and having a cup of tea, or coffee before the day’s routine officially begins. For others, their rest looks different. Find your rest and use your best yesses to grow closer to Him and leave the busy behind.
~in His name, michelle anne