Monday, May 30, 2011

Rest Part II

This is part of a three part series on Rest.  To read the first in the series, click here.  The third in the series will be live by Wednesday, June 1st.  Thanks for reading!

Lately, I’ve been feeling impatient. 

I have asked God for grace, because impatience isn’t Godly no matter what the reason, but I’m also paying attention to what’s driving my rather harsh responses.  I think the impetus behind them is actually Godly (though, as I have readily admitted, the way this Godly response is coming out is definitely not Godly – bear with me as you read on).

Here’s the deal…

Lately, I’ve read a lot of women’s blogs.  I’ve read a lot of feminine voices – specifically Christian, feminine voices – and I find a similar, recurring theme.  (If you go back and read my blog, you’ll find the same thing – I do not exclude myself from this pitfall!) 

We all talk about the importance of rest - how we're craving it, how we know it's important, etc - but few of us actually do it.  In fact, most of the time, we're actually spending energy we could be using resting complaining about how busy we are!

I know this is hard to do – hard to choose.  I’ve lived (and sometimes still live) with the frantic busy-ness that serves to occupy time and space.

But I’ve also – by His grace alone – lived with the opposite.  During this last year of health battles and coming to the absolute end of myself, I’ve simply had no other option.  I can’t be busy.  I have to rest. 

And do you know what I’ve learned as I’ve said no to things?  I’ve learned that the belief that I can’t say no is actually a lie.  And not the kind of lie that makes me a victim.  Not the, “oh, I’m so sorry I’ve been believing a lie, please forgive me,” kind of lie. 

No.  The kind of lie that makes me the culprit.  I am actually to blame.  The lie is, ultimately, rooted in my own pride.  It is the, “I can do anything,” kind of lie.

Now, I know that most of us don’t consciously say to ourselves that we can do anything.  We don’t believe that we are all-powerful.  We believe quite the opposite.  We pontificate about our utter lack.  We blog about it.  And yet, we keep doing.

This is where my impatience comes in.  If you know you’re tired, if you know you can’t, then stop.  Don’t bemoan your busy-ness.  Stop choosing busy-ness.


No “but’s”.

Just stop.

What will happen if you don’t?  Are you that important that the world will end (the end-of-year PTA meeting will fall apart, VBS will not happen, your Book Club will be disappointed, etc – insert your own issue here) if you opt out of your activities and take time to just sit and be?

I think a lot of women choose the lie of busy-ness.  For different reasons, perhaps, but to the same end: it serves to make us feel better about ourselves.  It keeps us from truly acknowledging what we often say out loud: the truth that we really are utterly, completely, 100% dependent on His gifts and not our own. 

Let’s not just say we depend on Him.  Let’s actually do it by letting go of some things and seeing what happens. 

Who else will get an opportunity to exercise their gift muscles if I set aside my pride and let her take “it” up instead of me (“it” being leading Bible study at church or coaching my son’s t-ball league or whatever)?  What things will get realigned if I make them less important?  When I make room in the soil of my life, what new buds will spring up?  What will God be able to reveal to me about my heart, my life, my choices?  Will the Body work more efficiently if I’m not trying to do things I’m not made to do?

I think it is really exciting when we let go.  There is so much life and grace in that place.  But I also think it’s important that we call a spade a spade and confess in the process.  For it is, often, quite simply pride wrapped up in a nasty knot of insecurity that keeps us holding on in the first place.

May the God of grace meet you as you sift through your commitments this week.  I pray you have time and space for true, meaningful rest.

 Linking up with Jen and the ladies at Soli Deo Gloria this week.  Be sure to pop over!


  1. Ah, it is good to pay attention to our energy level and make changes. I did that this week, in preparing for company.


  2. Jenny, what a challenging season in life you've been through! Thank you for wise words; how often we "choose the lie of busyness" when GOD would give us rest in Him.

  3. I agree with a been there/done that knowledge. Ten years ago we left a ministry we were quite comfortable in...and crashed. We chose the lie of busyness for 19 years. Little by little we are finding ourselves in the same position -- weary beyond words. We are taking steps to change that. We have found that nothing has fallen apart--there are others God can use to fill our positions. And sleep is blessed!

  4. Sooooo much great truth here, Jenny. I'm a teacher who's out for the summer, so I won't be complaining about busyness...until September. You are so right and thanks for the honest reminder.

  5. Wow...if you only could read the post I have ready to send off tomorrow....about choosing to be busy and not saying no. Wow...It is almost we are having a conversation! Can't wait to read #3 of your postings!
    Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

  6. I think everything you have said here is true. I've been in the process of letting go of busyness and discovering why I was busy (how much it was tied to self-worth). And even though I'm letting go, there still remains the core issue of what the busyness was all about. I think God will be talking to me about this in the down-time. How do I accept myself without the titles? Without the jobs? Without being productive?

    It is hard to stop being busy when I don't want to face up to the fallacies. And even though I know that my jobs and "to-do"s and efforts do not make up my worth, I clearly have brokenness about this that needs healing because my actions do not support what I know.