Embracing Simplicity and Rest

On my 30th Birthday in 2021, I was suffering from “burn-out,” and decided to run away from home.

But of course, with a husband, 3 children, and a small business I couldn’t just run. I had to figure out the logistics first.

In this season of life, the never-ending list of things to do is just that –  never-ending. It seems in this day and age, even my single friend’s plates are just as full. The world has taught us if there’s a plate, fill it to heaping portions!

Over 2020 and 2021, I was determined to do it all and have it all. I worked harder than I ever had, in every area of my life. Intrinsically, I knew I couldn’t ‘do it all’ without rest for long, but that didn’t stop me from trying. A 3 am bedtime and a 7:30 am wake-up call from my toddlers were the norm for months and months on end. I figured out the hard and emotional way that God doesn’t just suggest rest… He commands it. When we ignore this, burnout is inevitable. So I surely hit a wall. AND HARD.

A few weeks before I turned 30, in the thick of emotional, physical, and spiritual exhaustion I decided I’d run away to a quiet place for my birthday. With the help and support of my husband, I was finally able to get away for a long-overdue rest. Let me tell you, the sleep I experienced those first few days in solitude was LEGENDARY!

After 7 days of solitude and moving at an unhurried pace, my eyes were opened to the hamster wheel I’d kept myself sprinting on, and by God’s grace, I stepped off.

When we live in constant motion, our attention is stolen from Him who gives us peace and rest.

Over my week of rest… and in the months following, I found the wisdom in saying no and the joy found in moving at an unhurried pace with God.

The best part about walking with Jesus is that he commands rest, every seven days. The Sabbath, as John Mark Comer says in The Relentless Elimination of Hurry, “…Is an ‘act of resistance’. It is a way to stay free and make sure you never get sucked back into slavery or worse, become the slave driver yourself.”

What a good God we have to remind us weekly that in Him alone we can find contentment and to offer us rest.

When I was operating from my never-ending to-do list, feeling perpetually behind and increasingly stressed, it felt like the sky would fall if I said no or dropped a ball. I couldn’t wrap my head around everything not being as important as it felt. But in my quest for rest, I found that the beauty in saying yes to God is the clarity He gives on what is important and what is not.

When you say yes to God, He shows you when to say no. There you’ll find the beginning of rest.

[verse reference=”Hebrews 4:9-11″]There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.[/verse]