October 17, 2013

Learning to Rest

So last week I spent two days on the couch. Between blowing my nose, back aches and running fever, I laid in misery. And then I read this post and it changed everything.

You see, if you know me, I love to think that I simplify my life. You can read further evidence here and here. I get in these kicks where I want to start over. Purge my closet. Stop spending. Slow down. Make healthier choices. These things are always present but my follow through can be shoty. At best.

I ran myself down.

My freshman year of college was so bad health wise. I had numerous sinus infections, the stomach bug twice, mono and a few other aliments that practically put the typical freshman year of excitement on hold. I even had to come home (I went to school 4 hours north of my hometown) and spend an entire week off from college. My teachers allowed me to work on school work from home. It was also the time of my sorority initiation. I missed all the activities leading up to our big day of becoming true members of AGD. It was all so hard and devastating and upsetting. I was missing out on so much life due to being sick. My mom decided that something needed to change and that summer I underwent a surgery to have my tonsils removed. Yes, most kids have this done when they are really young. I was 19 and the older you are the more serious this surgery is and the harder the recovery. It is amazing that a 20 minute outpatient surgery left me in agony for about two months. Needless to say, it is what my body needed. I was harboring too much sickness. I also decided to start to make some small changes to be a bit healthier. I worked out every day. I ate somewhat better.

With all this being said, I learned the true value of listening to my body. From that point on I could tell when I needed sleep or I was coming down with something. I could tell that I needed rest.

So why do I struggle so much with rest? With being still. Why is that such an issue? The more I think about it I understand that my personality is go-go-go. My life is a list. I love that though. I love checking things off. I love the feeling of accomplishing things but here I was right back to being sick last week.

I know that I want and need rest. I need rest. You need rest. We need a sigh of relief and rest. I decided the best way to be okay with rest is reading about it more. I needed a better understanding and that is when I discovered Naptime Diaries post about being free to rest. I immediately was changed by the word free. Not free as in it came cheap but free as in it is a freeing concept.

I spent so much time over those two days last week thinking and reflecting. A lot of time. I realized that I have three things that I really struggle with when it comes to understanding and accepting rest.

{Breaking the myth: Being lazy}
This is numero uno for my biggest draw back to resting. I feel like it makes me appear lazy. If on a Saturday afternoon I read on the couch for two hours I fear my family will think I am lazy. So I asked R what he thought. Breaking through this myth, he said he didn't see it that way at all. He knows how hard I work at school, with grad school and on being a wife. He is happy and actually thinks I deserve rest. In no way are we lazy if we just stop and rest. Taking a nap or spending 40 minutes catching up on your favorite blogs is not lazy. You deserve to partake in an activity that is restful and enjoyable. I am not lazy if I do these things. Neither are you. Recharge. Rest.

{Breaking the myth: Things will fall apart}
I have this idea that the world cannot exist without me constantly going. It may sound conceited but work with high school students for one day and you will understand where I get this idea. If I take one afternoon out of 7 days in a week to do something for me things keep going. I have lived to tell about it. Things will keep revolving. The world will not self implode. Rest.

{Breaking the myth: I will miss out on something}
This myth irritates me. I bought into. Well if I take a week off Instagram I will miss something. I will miss a picture of a cute puppy, baby, wedding, DIY project. I will miss something. So I challenged myself. This week I am taking the entire week off Instagram. I am not even clicking on a picture someone posted on their Facebook or Twitter. I am already starting to forget the logo (kidding) but it is so rewarding. I was completely wrong too. I haven't missed anything. I am actually finding that I am seeing more than before. I have been missing out what is happening around me. I am capturing more in my every day life that I was too busy worrying about Instagramming. I am not trying to hurt those who love Instagram because I still do (and will be back on it eventually) but my goodness it feels good to put. the. phone. down. The picture above is the picture of the sun rising as I drove to school two days ago. I pulled over and got out of the car to take this picture. Aren't fall sunrises and sunsets the best? And instead of posting it to Instagram immediately I stood there in the road marveling at how good God is and thanking him for his promises. I am seeing so much more. So much more.

So I don't know if this post is for you or not? But rest is good. Rest is healthy. Rest is needed. I challenge to you to learn more about rest. I challenge you to rest more. I challenge you to see the world with a rested heart. I have learned that me at 45% due to being tired, overworked, cranky is no good. 100% is where it is at y'all!

And in case you want a bit more on rest and learning to rest here are a few more articles:

Learning to Rest on Finding Joy

Learning to Rest on Darling Magazine

We are Free to Rest on Naptime Diaries

What are your thoughts on rest? Do you struggle with being still? We are allowed to rest. It is good to rest. You deserve to rest.

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