My ideal vacation is not going to an amusement park, having a schedule-packed week filled with fun events, or constantly traveling to see new places. Not that there is anything wrong with those things. In recent years, whenever my husband and I have a 2-3 day getaway without the kids, I sleep. Like all night and half the day.
Murry laughs at me because honestly sleeping is a vacation to me. To not have to meet every demand of being a mother, a teacher, a speech-language pathologist, cleaning, cooking, and the list goes on and on. I can finally rest. Not that I mind my “job”. It is an awesome one. But I really have a hard time taking time to rest when I am “on the job”. And as most moms can tell you, they are “on call” from the moment their eyes open until their head hits the pillow at night. I’ve often felt like I don’t have time to rest. Everything won’t get done if I take a break.
Earlier this year I had to slow down a bit though. I had been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue a few years ago. Basically this means your body is on the go so much that your adrenal glands which make adrenaline get burned out to put it simply. I pretty much ignored the whole “adrenal fatigue” thing until this year when I found out that my thyroid was not working properly. After a little research, I found that adrenal fatigue and thyroid malfunction are often linked and usually adrenal fatigue happens first and then the thyroid gland is taxed next.
So, I had to make a few changes. I had to force myself to sit down/lie down more during the day. It helped! I hired a babysitter to help me a couple of times during the week just so I could have a break. The first couple of times she came, I literally drove away, parked the van at my husband’s office and crawled in the backseat and rested for two hours! Just resting some actually helped me feel better. So simple, right?
I think it’s pretty clear that I work too much. I don’t like to think of myself as a workaholic, but maybe I am. But is that the right thing? Yes, hard work is important. But at the cost of your health? Is that what God wants?
The Bible mentions that God the Father rested on the seventh day. He must have known the importance of rest. A story in the Bible that always bothered me was the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was running around trying to make sure everything was done and she complained that Mary wasn’t helping her. Sounds like a valid complaint to me! Then Jesus corrects Martha! Say what? Martha was working the hardest! She was helping the most! But what did Jesus say? Mary had chosen the better thing!! Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him. The better thing was spending time with Jesus. The better thing was relationship/time spent with Jesus. So is relationship and rest with God and family more important than work? Actually yes.
I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. We have to work to provide for our family. We have to daily care for our family. But are there times where we can stop and spend time on our relationships with God and our family? Those things are the most important.
My mom is famous for saying, “the work will wait on you”. Another good quote she always says is, “the work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.” How true those words are!
I don’t have it all together. I am, however, trying to have the perspective God wants me to have. I don’t need to feel guilty for taking a break to rest, to hear from God, or spend time with my family. Those are the better things. Those dishes in the sink….they’ll be there when I’m finished with “the better things.” It’s okay to rest.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”