Thursday, April 14, 2016

Permission to Rest


Lately I have been pushing through, getting things done, checking items off the list, and just grinding through my day. I'm a tad tired (maybe more than a tad!). And I know I'm not alone. Can you relate?

My daughter is graduating from high school in a few months. My son will be entering high school next year. Wasn't it yesterday I was crying as I packed up their size 2T clothes? Sending them off to preschool with a wave and a prayer? Watching their elementary school plays? Driving them to birthday parties and the zoo? Okay, now I'm getting teary again!

In a few months, life won't be as busy and I won't be as tired. At least that's what I tell myself. The reality is I will still be tired. July will be busy, too. And August. And every month after. You know how it is!

As much as I want to cram it all in, a voice in my head says, I can't keep up like this forever.

All year I've been studying devotional books on being enough, embracing vulnerability, and, yes, thriving. The messages have been sinking in. It's easy to get caught up in performance. Sometimes I attach too much value to what I'm accomplishing as opposed to who I am. It's one thing to say "I'm worthy." It's another to look at my peers--who seem to be superstars--and believe I am worthy.

Comparison is a major culprit. I see pictures on Facebook of beautiful homes, a beach vacation, a multi-book contract, a child going to a well-known university on a full-ride scholarship, another child's team winning the league championship, the adorable couple who just celebrated their happiest anniversary yet, and let's not forget the friends who donate tons of time and money to worthy charities. I try not to let myself, but often, I feel inadequate.

When I'm feeling weak, I tend to push harder to be better, but I only end up exhausted.

It's good to have goals and to strive for them. It's not good to be motivated by insecurity.

That's why I'm actively fighting the feelings of not-being-enough. I pray. I slow down. I pray some more. I realize this is an ongoing issue in my life, and I accept that.

Since being physically tired makes me more prone to insecurity, I give myself permission to rest. If insomnia bites me, I take a nap the next day. If I get a request (even one I would love to say yes to), I pray about it before automatically agreeing. I remind myself  that this is a season.We all struggle in areas of our lives, and that's okay. God loves us just as we are. He couldn't love us any more or any less than He does right now.

If that doesn't give me permission to rest, nothing will!

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Are you tired? Do you give yourself permission to rest or are you hard on yourself?

Have a lovely day!!

11 comments:

  1. Great post, Jill, and exactly what I needed to read today with two deadlines this month plus a huge project due for my other job. I've been stressing, and it's taking a toll. Thanks for reminding me what is really important. And to slow down and rest in the Lord.

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  2. This was such a timely word for me. Rest seems to be the theme for this point in my life. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to help me stay the course.

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  3. You are definitely not alone in that. I feel the same way sometimes and then, often times, my motivation kicks in too. I have to stop, breathe, and take things in often.

    ...And sometimes get poked by the husband to slow down and that things happen in their own time.

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  4. I feel for you, Jill, and I can empathize. Life seems crazy busy these days. We've always had plenty on our plates, but I think social media had made it too easy to compare ourselves to others. As a person my husband refers to as an "empath" (think Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek, the Next Generation), I feel others joys and sorrows deeply, which can be emotionally wearing. This is one reason I don't have a smart phone. When I leave my computer and my work behind, I don't want the pressure to keep up on everything following me. I want to be fully present when I go for a walk with my husband, have lunch with a girlfriend or spend an afternoon browsing in a favorite store or two. Sometimes I just need to be and to breathe freely.

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  5. Christine Johnson: Two deadlines and a project? I just want to whisk you away for a coffee date to refuel! Busy doesn't describe it!

    Lenita: I feel it, too, Lenita. We both must be needing that "rest" prod right now. Bless you!

    Sandra: Good point! My motivation kicks in just when I need it. I need to hang on to that thought. :)

    Keli: That doesn't surprise me about your empathy. I tend to soak up the emotions of those around me. It's a blessing, but it's also something I have to actively combat if it affects me too much. And I love your point about being fully present! The last thing I want is to be in such a rush to get more done that I don't listen to what anyone is saying!

    Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  6. I thought the older I got, the more free times I would get. Nope, if anything, I'm busier. Arg.
    Great post. I needed it. I do the comparison game, too

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  7. Pamela, don't tell me that!! Haha!! But you remind me to get my toolbox to fight insecurity full. I'll need those tools forever!

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  8. Thank you for the encouragement. My daughter is graduating this year, too...so much to do with everything else. Thanks for the reminder that resting is good and okay.

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  9. Jill, this is so true. Fatigue has always been my enemy. If I get too tired then my mood and my outlook turn dark and sour. Thankfully, the Lord helped me to adopt a new perspective. I had to back off on agreeing to serve on every committee, join every event, accept invitation I didn't want. Once I accepted that I didn't have to feel guilty about turning someone down, I started to find contentment. It's one of the things about getting older I like. LOL

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  10. Allison: Congratulations! It's stressful, though, isn't it? So many things to think about. I'm trying to just take it one day at a time. :)


    Lorraine: Same here--I get ugly when I'm tired. Prayer has helped me keep my schedule from flying out of control on many occasions, too. Sometimes I just have to step back and ask God to help me with the big picture! Thanks for the encouragement!

    Have a great day!

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  11. Love it, Jill. I think we all need to hear its okay to rest from time to time. Especially with deadlines looming.

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