I think every sweet or salty treat has been calling my name these days, especially this past week. Trying to eat healthy and be “good” just added to my exhaustion as I tried to make it through the busy days and meet the demands of my full life. Finally, sitting at my desk at school, I decided to stop and figure it out. Why I was struggling?
The room was quiet. It was my prep hour. Outside I could hear the occasional bang of a locker being closed and a distance chuckle down the school hall.
So, I pulled open a new screen and did what any normal human being would do…I googled my problem. And, guess what? The internet happily complied and gave me more articles on “What to do when you’re stressed” than I could read in a thousand prep periods. However, one that concentrated on the Enneagram personality types caught my eye. I opened it up and sought to discover what I could do to get out of my current funk.
Want to hear the coolest advice I found? Think about what you used to do as a child for fun and find a way to include that in how you take care of yourself. Immediately I smiled. I remembered the hours I spent writing, drawing, coloring, building with Legos, and reading novels that took me to different worlds. Inspired, I printed off a few adult coloring sheets and spent some precious moments filing in color between the lines.
My shoulders dropped. I smile filled me from deep within.
I realized that I was being completely unproductive, but those minutes filled me with peace and a sense that life is ok.
We all do this. We put so much pressure on ourselves to get it all done. We want to push through the pain. We want to accomplish every chore and rise to every responsibility. But it is like filling our dryer with so many wet towels and jeans that the weight refuses to allow the drum to turn. We have to lift the weight off so that we can operate with efficiency, getting the job done without tearing ourselves apart.
So many of the women I coach struggle with this. Often they are the ones who find that they are seeking food or alcohol after work or after the kids go to bed. The weight on their shoulders presses down and our human nature craves an escape hatch that will allow us to feel free for a few short hours. In the process of turning to sweets or wine to free us, we instead find ourselves enslaved to habits that weigh our hearts down even more.
Oh, my love, God never told us we were to live this way. That’s why He gave a world where the sun goes down so we can rest and a seventh day to sabbath from our toil. From the moment of creation He built natural rhythms into our reality to protect His children.
I want to challenge you to find the courage to place true natural fun in your life. Maybe it is music, or dance, or art, or crafts, or time in nature. Think back to what put a smile on your face as a child. Embrace the sweet uniqueness of how God made your soul and treasure it.
Rest, my dears. Rest from the toil. Rest from the burden.
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"...and God was already there with me."