I need to learn to REST.

Living in a state of Exhaustion…

Ever notice that when you are REALLY tired – everything seems like a MUCH bigger deal. Even when I know I’m tried (and grumpy) – I don’t want to admit it or recognize it…until it’s too late. For a week, I’ve been on the verge of tears (or letting them flow freely!)…and much of that is a result of being tired.

Currently I’m at my office – not because I’m SO busy that I “need” to work on July 4th weekend…but because I’m escaping my house. It’s been 3 & ½ months and my sweet man is still unemployed. While we have been trusting God to provide and give us peace (and believe me – HE HAS!), this past month has been one of little sleep (for both of us) and the stress is starting to show (Wait…who am I kidding…IT’S SHOWING BIG TIME!) . So – due to a “discussion” that we had earlier today (and the need for it not to continue!) – I felt it best to escape to the office to do some thinking, reading, and writing.

This past month I have just not felt well…two trips to the doctor and several prescriptions later (for walking pneumonia and a bladder/kidney infection), I am “better” but still not “great”. I have literally coughed (and peed!) for 6 weeks (was that too much info?). My dad had knee replacement surgery that resulted in complications/other health issues and he’s spent the last 4 out of 5 weeks in the hospital. I’m trying to juggle keeping a teenager occupied (and where she needs to be each day), keep a house “clean” (I use the term VERY loosely!), laundry done, food on the table, and be an encourager to my husband…oh, and try to give my all to my job! I realize that MANY other people have bigger issues and I, truly, am blessed…but the bottom line is – I’m exhausted from feeling the pull of being too many things to too many different people.

I’m hosting a bible study at my house this summer and I’ve LOVED it – God has revealed some important truths to me…one of which is on this subject of our NEED to REST.

Matthew 11:28 – “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you REST.”

I wrote under this verse, “When I am overwhelmed and tired –I should be going to Jesus for comfort/rest. Do I turn to HIM for SOUL rest or do I expect a couple of hours on the couch watching mindless TV to do that for me?”

Ouch – that was convicting…I think I have bought in to the world’s perspective of “rest”. I have begun to think of “rest” as sitting and watching TV…or spending an hour (or two…or three) on facebook to “veg”, spending an hour every Friday reading my newly arrived “People” magazine…or dreaming of going on a “vacation” (that takes weeks to plan, has us running from activity to activity while we are there, and weeks to recuperate from).

A week ago my girls were home and we were all together…I noticed that even when we planned to relax and watch a movie, I was jumping up to switch the laundry and they were either looking something up on the computer, texting, or flipping through a magazine – all while “focused” on the movie?!?. It was so “sick” to me that none of us could even just “sit” and be “still”. No wonder I struggle so much with REST…even when I plan to do “nothing” – I end up doing 3 things at once (and just because I’m sitting down, I call it “rest”?).
I think Jesus has another definition.

Rest: “quiet, silence, pause, peacefulness…relief or freedom from anything that wearies, troubles or disturbs….A period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude or tranquility…MENTAL OR SPIRITUAL CALM.”

The bible is clear that even Jesus rested (and hello…HE’S GOD!)….and that He commanded His disciples to do the same.
Mark 6:31 – “And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”
I’ve been thinking about my “secluded place”…and if I really have one? When was the last time I was there? Today, it happens to be my office – where the only noise I hear is the little fan blowing on my desk and the tap from my fingers on the keyboard. I spent an hour just sitting here – thinking, praying, RESTING. I need to do MUCH more of this…my soul needs it – especially in times of stress like Tom and I are experiencing now.
So – my question to you is –
“Is your soul in need of REST? When the last time you were in a “secluded” place…by yourself… with no distractions (phone/facebook/texting plan?)?”
I need to read the definition of REST above…DAILY…and then seek the ONLY one that truly offers it – my Savior, Comforter, Redeemer and Lord – Jesus Christ. He alone is the restorer of my soul.

6 thoughts on “I need to learn to REST.

  1. Totally agree with you. I've felt on the edge of a breakdown for over a month now. So so overwhelmed by … everything! Just so tired, that it's hard to really concentrate and do anything really well.

    I hear you on the REST. Why, why is it so hard for us to just be, to just rest?

    Lori, thanks for sharing with us. Hope you fell “rested.”


  2. That'll preach! Imagine me over here, raising my hand and announcing that I too have been totally overwhelmed and under-rested for the past couple of months. ugh. and you've been sick too?! so sorry, dear.

    I look at my family and worry that we are amusing ourselves to death. We have a hard time just sitting still without doing something else (and yes, sitting on the couch while our brain is occupied by the tv is totally doing something. not the kind of rest that we are craving, i think).

    A couple of weeks ago, I started making myself sit for about 20 minutes in my room, by myself, with no book, no folding laundry, nothing. Just sit. I do it after I put Jack down for a nap, while the older kids are eating lunch. I try to focus on the fact that God is present. That in that very moment, He is right there with me. I don't try to solve the worlds problems. I don't focus on my never-ending To Do list. I don't let myself worry about ANYTHING or complain to God. I just sit and enjoy Him being there with me.

    I struggle to make the time to do it because when I have time like that to myself, I feel the need to complete some task or at least to amuse myself with FB, a book, or a show. But I've been feeling a bit better since starting it.

    I do hope you get back to feeling 100% soon, and that you get some more really nourishing rest soon!


  3. Lisa: Wow…that's AWESOME! The older I get the more I CRAVE silence and “quiet”…but I still allow my mind to race from one thing to another. I'm going to try to be more “empty” so that he can fill me up! 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion/example!


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