Keeping Sabbath Rest in our Daily Lives

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For a long time in my life, I neglected things that made me happy. Not by choice, but by neglect. My life was all about denying myself and pushing my own needs aside for others. Feeling tired and burnt-out, but still pushing on. I never stopped to think I was unhappy and unhealthy or suppressing who God made me to be. There is nothing in the world wrong with denying yourself, or even pushing your own needs aside for others; This is the life of a mother. This should be the life of a Christian. In fact, it should just be a natural way of life. It is a life that the Lord calls us to.

But the Lord did not give weeds for the work. He has given us many many pleasures along the path, and we should enjoy them for the glory of Him. When we are off-balance–not taking the time to care for ourselves, to do things for ourselves, then we will burn-out. We will die, we will shrivel into martyrdom and perhaps depression.

Think about who God made you to be. Are you starving for a break? Some people need more breaks than others. Our personalities are not all the same. But I do believe God made us ”for His own glory.”  If we, as mothers, are living a life tired, depressed, angry, burnt-out, unhappy, grouchy, guilty, ad nauseum, then are we truly glorifying Him?

It might take some time to refocus; to refocus your purpose in life and embrace joy. It truly is ok to take some time out to do things that make you happy. Stumped on what to do?

 1. Sleep. Make sleep a priority in your life. You are more productive and bring more quality to your work when you are well rested.

2. Schedule a two-minute break 2-3 times a day to spend time alone and just “be”.

3. Schedule time to exercise.

4. Do something “just for you”. This is not selfish, this is restorative. And again, ask yourself who God made you to be. Some people are fine without time alone. Some people need it more than others–(that is me!) I like to find that balance. If my life is full of “must-do’s and busyness, then I get burnt-out easily. I am sensitive that way. Making time to sit and breathe and do nothing is restorative for me.

5. Eliminate energy drainers in your life: energy-sapping relationships, unfinished projects, paperwork, clutter, negative images and information, news, depressing movies and books…

6. Dream. Take time out to dream. It’s healthy and restorative! It forces us to look inside and see what desires the Lord has put in us so we can give them to Him to do what He wills with them.

I pray that if you are struggling with burn out, that you will ultimately find rest in Him.

“God isn’t calling you to be exhausted, He’s calling you to rest.” ~Sally Clarkson

 

artist: Sybil Barham 

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Comments

  1. flyinjuju says

    This is so perfect for today as I am in the process of finding things to do daily that allow me to breathe and fill me up.

  2. says

    So encouraging; I’ve seen all of these things work to keep me going well and strong. I like the reminder to ditch energy drainers/things that get me down – fantastic! And I love that you included dreaming. I’m not a natural dreamer. Maybe I’ll make some time for that today! :)

  3. says

    Andrea, Thank you for these life giving words. I’ve just entered the busiest season of my life this far (we started a school this year!). The work is worthy and often urgent, but burn out is staring me in the face. I am really going to think through how I can begin to apply some of these ideas – I’ve always been a dreamer, I hadn’t even noticed that I’d quit. May many souls be inspired and restored through these words of yours!

  4. says

    This is so perfect Sally. Thank you for sharing this. So many women feel guilty for taking time to rest, but I have also learned that it is so important. I am finding much rest by purposefully ‘SEEKING THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD.” No time is ever wasted in seeking the LORD and resting in His presence.

  5. Challis says

    This topic. This topic of taking time to “dream”… it has been something I have rejected throughout my life with Christ. I am SUCH an extremist! (notice the CAPS?) I have served with my husband in ministry for the last 17 years. Denying myself has become a mantra in my life. At times, self-denial has been the thing which has fueled me to keep going. I have, no doubt, “shriveled into martyrdom”, unable to dream. Jesus is patiently and graciously working to lead me out of this mindset. He has shown me that in order to dream, you must let yourself HOPE. Life, even life in ministry, can bring your mind down paths of cynicism, leaving you jaded even. Both cynicism and jadedness will deplete a person of hope. I will read and re-read this post often I’m sure. Thank you for sharing these beautiful truths, truths I desperately want to embrace.

  6. says

    Sp appreciate this. As someone working my way out of burn out I find this so refreshing. I am very tired of the implied shame around mothers taking time for themselves in Christian circles. The best thing I can do for my kids is to demonstrate how to live and love in a healthy
    way and that isn’t by killing myself. When I stop dreaming I know I am in trouble. That has become my red flag. Thanks again for this honesty!

  7. says

    Thank you for sharing this. I say this through tears. I needed this reminder. I am so weary right now. I am thankful for the children God has given me to mother, but I am just so worn out. I am not sure that it is even possible for me right now to get a break, but I am going to ask the Lord to provide an opportunity for one. I want to be a good mom but right now I am not at my best probably because I am stretched so thin.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom. They are an encouragement this this mama’s heart.

  8. Anne says

    Dear Andrea, thank you for your words of encouragement. I get so caught up in the needs of my family that I feel like I am barely “maintaining” myself. The irony is that the most energy-sapping of my relationships is my marriage. I am like water and he is like fire. We love each other deeply but I am trying to learn how to live without feeling like I am walking on eggshells. To be honest, we’ve both been through quite a rough year with me having had my fourth miscarriage recently, which resulted in a D&C yesterday. He’s been under a lot of stress, but it often bubbles to the surface and I feel the “fight or flight” rise up in me.

    Tonight, I asked him to be calmer since I get physically stressed (nausea, increased heart rate) when he expresses himself in an irritable manner, and explained my need for him to be calm while my body heals, but he said my feelings didn’t matter, that only facts matter (he’s been trying to get a call-back from the doctor since yesterday for him to explain the details of the surgery). What does me in is that it’s very difficult for me to approach him for my needs. He’s admonished me in the past for not making the right decisions to take care of myself. I took his words to heart and came to him with what I needed, and got shot down.

    What to do? I feel like hiding in a hole, but I know that’s not what God has called me to do. But it’s gut-wrenching to experience this sort of rejection, too, and I’m painfully tempted to not come to him with my needs to avoid devastation.

    If you have words of wisdom for me, how to be who God wants me to be, and how NOT to melt when the heat is high, I would really appreciate it. I would also be grateful for your prayers. And, I do apologize for the “verbal diarrhea” on your lovely blog post! It just struck a timely chord with me and sometimes a girl just needs a little anonymity with a listening ear.

    Blessings,
    Anne

    • Myra says

      Dear Anne,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I will be praying for your healing both physically and emotionally, and also for your husband. When I was experiencing difficulty in my marriage, I happened to see a broadcast from Joyce Meyer. It really helped me to put things in perspective, as there are usually so many factors at play in marital issues. One thing she mentions is how we need to learn that we should ultimately seek approval from God, and that our joy comes from Him first and foremost. I will post a link to her website and hopefully you can watch both parts 1 & 2 of the “Making your marriage work” broadcast. I hope that you will continue to seek God’s wisdom and rest. Blessings to you!
      http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=making_your_marriage_work

  9. Jamileh says

    The title of the article is Keeping Sabbath Rest in Our Daily Lives. The word Sabbath isn’t used in the article so it’s a bit confusing. The Sabbath has nothing to do with rest in our daily lives. Read the Scriptures. Perhaps another title would be more appropriate.

  10. says

    This is a great reminder to make time for things we enjoy and pursue the DISCIPLINE of rest. I liked #1 on your list. I realize that it’s easy for me to neglect getting enough sleep. Such a simple remedy for a lot of our burnout ailments.

  11. Janey B says

    This is me and I often feel ashamed of my needs for alone time. I feel selfish that my needs require others to wait or go without. But it is so hard to do well as a mom when I am exhausted and depleted. Such a great post!

  12. Cherie Werner says

    Andrea, Great reminder that we need to take care for ourselves. Just today my PT was fussing at me as I gave him all the reasons I wasn’t doing my exercises daily. He said, “you come last but you MUST make time for yourself and exercise.” I laughed at him and then came home to read this. Guess someone is trying to get my attention. Blessings

  13. says

    Andrea,

    This is an all time favorite for me! I will keep this for future reference.
    You stated the most important aspects of embracing the limitations God has in place for us as human beings. So many moms {like me} need to be reminded of this timeless wisdom.

    Thank you!!

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