Find Rest Even in the Overwhelm of the World
This previous month has been a doozy. We had several hurricanes this season and between evacuations, gas shortages, power outages, I was ready to throw in the towel. While I sat there, typing and recycling my thoughts, I realized that yes, I was stressed as heck. I needed to do some deep soul searching and time with the Lord to get things all straightened out. My problem was, there was just so much going on. My desire to find rest grew to infinite proportions and there seemed to be no escape from the physical exhaustion.
It was time to reassess everything I had previously known.
In this post, I discuss my transition and how I made peace amongst the chaos. I explain how I learned to let things go and fought for my joy. I’m happy to say I can breathe again, and my hopes are to carry my knowledge to help others. Continue reading to learn more.
By the time you are done reading all three steps, I hope that you will understand how to find rest in a longer lasting way.
What do we do about the concept of time?
There is a saying, “Good moms have dirty overs, sticky floors, and happy kids.” Whole-heartedly, I love it. It rings true in most of what I do. I’ve talked before that prioritizing is the key to living life. Unfortunately, you know who else loves this saying? The ants. Yes, they run a muck and gobble crumbs every time I sit in YOLO by not sweeping. When we need to find rest, what do we do about the unplanned things in life? Where do we set our concept of time? The answer my friends, is to think about the long game. Not your tomorrows. Not your quarterly goals…. much, much bigger.
Time does not matter to eternity. So, when you are seeking a breather, or a moment to get away, you truly have to lose the concept of time.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” -James 4:13-15
There will be seasons for everything, but not according to our clock. Throw the concept of time out the window. Stop staring at that clock, hoping to see tomorrow change. Make the best of it right now!
So, if there is no time, how do we find rest?
By living in the here and now; and knowing that it only comes from the loving heart of Jesus. If you seek only physical rest, you will find that the effects extend to only the body. However, if you lean in and seek beyond what you can see and feel, you will find a peace that can be everlasting.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30
Do not get me wrong, I am a total advocate of calling for help and avoiding the burn out when needed. I also do my share of sitting still. I’ve just come here, on this post, to stretch out my true feelings and explain that there is a much greater love to life than quick fixes.
Step 1: Don’t let anything steal your joy.
To begin, the notion of hoarding joy is a tricky one. That’s because everyone is different. You have not walked the paths I have. I have not walked yours either. It’s easy for me to find rest because all of my life I’ve felt blessed. 5 years before my family’s house fire, the city built a hydrant in my front yard. At the time, I thought it was a nuisance. I never understood the reason for the placement until the night the fire department used it. No one knew it would one day come to use; and frankly, it’s more than a coincidence. My heart feels with upmost conviction that it was God’s way of saying He is in control and He knows what He’s doing.
So, to tell you to grasp onto joy anyway you can might seem a bit unreal, or cliche. However, know that it is with pure sentiment. If you want to find rest, you are going to have to choose to be happy no matter the circumstance.
And don’t worry. I get it. Life can suck sometimes.
We all fall short and have outbursts.
Reign it back in my friend. With every fiber of your being, hold on tight. Do not let anything steal your joy. Even if the kids are screaming, and you’re knee deep in the mess of motherhood, do your best to push through. Even if you need to cry because there’s too much flippin’ noise and your body aches to find rest… Push, sister, push. The same way you labored that child into the world, push! Joy is a gift, just as everything good is from our Father. Do not let the thief rob you.
Step 2: To find rest, accept that accidents will happen.
This ties closely to step one. Rest comes to those that are not afraid to take life by the horns. Remember, we are talking about mental peace and happiness. All the physical things of this world are finite. If you truly want to find rest, you will need to understand that accidents will happen. No one has a drama free existence. (Example, household sibling rivalry.) There is not one person that has not had a real life challenge. Sure, some bad decisions can create more chaos than necessary; but even if you “do all the right things”, you still have to prepare yourself for the unfortunate.
Now, let’s pause real quick because step two is not an invitation for doom and gloom.
It’s not trying to scare you, or make you always walk on egg shells. Accepting that accidents will happen is just part of the pie. Use it as a fact to have a healthy fear of The Lord.
The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun. Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility. Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting. -Ecclesiastes 11:7-10
Step 3: Let them be and love them anyways.
I’m referring to your kids, your husband, your friends, and practically everyone else in your life. When we need harmony within our soul, it helps to utilize the power of grace. Face it, arguments waste a lot of our internal resources. In fact, having disputes with our loved ones steals not only our joy, but also our rest. Don’t confuse my words, I’m not perfect. I’ve had my battles. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I am most at peace when I accept people the way they are and love them anyways. Trust me, yelling only leads to more yelling.
Let’s take the parable of Jesus at the well. He was speaking to a Samaritan woman, and amid conversation she only told him half of the truth. He explained that he knew the full extent of her life, the rest of the Samaritan’s lives, and all of their misguided practices. Yet, he still offered his living water. Take a moment to read John chapter 4, verses 11 through 26.
Furthermore, we can see another example of choosing to love, later in the Book of John, during chapter 8.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” -John 8:7
If you are want to find rest, learn to forgive those around you.
More simple tips to find rest even when you’re overwhelmed:
Besides the internal factors that fill us with peace, let’s not neglect other things we can do.
- Get a perspective adjustment.
- Stop scheduling #allTheThings.
- Pray, pray, and then pray some more.
- Do something nice for someone in need.
- Verbalize your needs to others and ask for advise.
Live your life to the fullest.
We can find rest in a number of ways. Pure and long lasting peace comes from within. I stick to the motto, when your hands are full, live your life to the fullest. I truly hope, even if you are a busy mom, a stressed mom, or an overwhelmed mom, that you find the time to re-read this post a couple of times. There is a lot of information about finding rest and I’d love for it to sink into your heart. Furthermore, I wrote this post with much care, and would love your comments. Any feedback, is appreciated.
Let’s stay in touch.