Sometimes you have to get away to realize how much you had to get away. We have been pushing it between moving out of our house in Memphis back in June, relocating to our new home in Gallatin, meeting a lot of amazing people, getting settled in a new church, and starting school without catching a breath. So, we took Labor Day seriously and turned it into Labor DAYS! We spent the week with Travis’ family in SC and made a lot of new memories. The kids got to spend time with their cousins, explore Nana and Poppa’s house and backyard, and take in some new sights like the Sky Top Apple Orchard in NC.
We come home well into September anticipating birthdays, projects, Autumn, and a happy visit from Mimi and Poppy. I am learning that the kids need rest as much as their parents, and sometimes stopping in the middle of everything, even as life picks up speed is necessary to keep a clear perspective on goals and on the work itself. Family grounds us, and reminds us of who we really are- that no matter what goes on “out there,” here at least, at home, we are accepted and loved. So when we return to the work we are refreshed and strengthened with a renewed sense that we are right where we need to be doing what we are called to do.
Jesus modeled this best for us. He retreated to a mountaintop to be with the Father alone. He pulled away from the crowds just to be with His few disciples for closer engagement. Jesus knew rest and He gives us that same rest, particularly through His finished work on the cross. So in our labors we work not in vain, but with purpose knowing that we will reap a harvest one day. And we can rest because the reaping is not up to us anyway, but the relying is. Rest reminds us that we rely not on our efforts, but on our All-Sufficient and Sovereign God.
After Jesus rested, He returned to the crowds. So, I return to my small crowd of littles and the work to which I am called. It is a good thing, and a blessed thing to live life unto the Author of Life. He truly restores my soul.
How have you made rest a part of your yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily routine? Are you intentional with your time? Do you ever feel guilty for taking a break? I struggled with false guilt over rest, but I have come to learn that rest is obedience. Even God rested after He created the world. He has given the Sabbath for rest. And He tells us to come to Jesus for rest. Rest is a necessary discipline that not only renews us spiritually, but physically and emotionally as well. So, my encouragement to you is to fight for rest. Make it a part of your lifestyle, and put it on your calendar. You won’t regret it, but you might regret it if you don’t. Recently, I read that if you don’t plan your life someone else will for you. I think rest is something that we have to plan into our lives, otherwise our schedule is up for grabs. Take time to rest- to be with family, to be alone, and to be with God. Resting is relying. What does your calendar say you are relying on? Consider how you can rest even this week and see it as an act of obedience- as an act of worship unto the One who calls you to rest solely in Him.