Sunday, June 25, 2017

When You're Craving Rest but There's None In Sight

I kinda hate to write this today, but it's my reality. My grandmother used to say, "There's no rest for the weary," and I believe her. 

Being a long-term caregiver is hard. It's exhausting. It's a struggle, and I don't know how to find the balance between taking care of someone else and taking care of me. 

I need to find that balance, though, or I'm likely to collapse. 

A few days ago, the study I'm doing now asked, "What are you truly craving?"

I wrote one word. "REST." I meant it, but I didn't know how to get it and I wondered if, in this busy world, anyone else does, either.

"Rest today," my friend messaged me yesterday. As if that was possible. Rest for me involves quiet and solitude. I don't have to be still to rest, but I need to be alone for a while. 

Yesterday, I intended to rest. Really, I did. 

I had planned the day out perfectly. I thought. I had errands to run and a lunch meeting, then home to rest. I prayed it through. All my errands were completed with three minutes to spare before the lunch meeting. 

The two-hour lunch meeting was a sweet time of sharing and learning. I left refreshed. I'm gonna make it, I thought. Rest is just ahead. 

As I drove home, I made my plan. Long walk with the dogs. Read a book on the porch. Listen to the ceiling fan. Watch the geese on the lake. Be still.

When I returned home, I unloaded my shopping and put everything away. Cut stalks of greenery for vases and arranged them. Changed into shorts. Made a glass of tea. I estimated that I had a full 90 minutes before an interruption was likely. 

I was wrong. 

I had just settled in on the screened porch and was almost through the first chapter of my book when someone stopped by. 

After they left, I went back to my book. I was nearly to chapter two when the dogs started barking. There was another car in the driveway. It was Sam.

I met him at the door. "You working?"

"No. I'm reading a book and resting."

"Oh, good. If you was working, I wouldn't bother you, but since you're just reading... I'm bored and need some company." He took his place in a rocker and I took mine. Thirty minutes later, he headed home again.

I went back to my book and rest. This time, I made it through a full chapter before Sam was back. "I thought I'd feed the horses now." We had another visit in the rockers. 

Time with Sam is short. I don't want to waste what we have left, but I'm tired...

This morning, I awakened and, probably for the first time in years, thought, "Oh, God, I'm too tired to get out of this bed. You'll have to help me." 

You need to rest...

The words were loud in my heart. Tears welled up in my eyes and threatened to spill over. The world won't let me rest, I thought.

Maggie was at the bedside, making her, "Hurry up, Mama," sound. My attention turned to the dogs, and I rolled out of bed. 

When the dogs need to go out to potty, they leave no doubt that's what they need. When they need to rest, they lie down and sleep. When they need to play, they do it. 

Maggie loves to be outside. At least twice a day, she has porch time. If I don't open the door for her at the appointed moment, she doesn't stop pestering me until I do. She takes porch time, without fail.

If dogs know how to rest, surely I can figure it out.

This morning, I read about the Feast of Booths in Leviticus 23. After the fall harvest, the Israelites took a full week off to thank God and celebrate. No work was done during that week. None. 

I have a note in the margin of my Bible. "God has attended to every detail, including the rest needed after harvest." I read those words and was struck again by the truth that rest is part of God's plan, and it's not optional.

Rest is not optional. Consider those words for a bit. Resting is an act of obedience. When I think of rest as obedience, it becomes a little more imperative. A little less optional. 

I need to be more intentional, despite all there is to do, despite my to-do list, despite my responsibilities. I can't go the distance if I don't figure out how to be still. 

Do you struggle with a busy schedule, too? Are you having trouble finding time to rest? Today, let's simply obey God's mandate for rest. STOP the busyness and be still. Know He is God. Rest. 

Today, I'm going to do more than "try" to rest. Today, I'm doing it. I don't know how I'm going to balance my need to rest with Sam's need for company, but, somehow, I will. 

"Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work..." Exodus 20:8-10 nasb
PS - I'd love to hear what you do to rest. Comment below. Thanks!

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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When What You Need Most Has Been Prepared and Waiting for Fifty Years

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#rest #sabbath