Last week, as July came to a close, I sensed a quiet invitation to take the month of August off. I even wrote the beginning of a message I was going to share today about the lovely few weeks I had planned. It included words like “taking time to breathe, rest, reflect, and soak up the last precious days of summer.”
However, when I opened my computer this morning and prepared to post this little gem, I realized that it was missing one essential ingredient…the truth about what stirs up in me when I think about taking time off.
I have mixed feelings about scheduling downtime.
On the one hand, I love vacations, and I’m happy to take a break from my daily routine. Especially this month as we count down to my oldest son’s September wedding and prepare for family visiting from across the country.
But I’m also reluctant to unplug. Call it FOMO (fear of missing out) or FOFB (fear of falling behind – which I don’t think is actually a thing) but stopping to rest can make me feel anxious.
When my three children were babies, my mom often encouraged me to use their naptime to take a nap myself. But I saw these precious short hours (that felt more like minutes) as a chance for me to get things done. Important things. Laundry. Bills. Dinner prep. Scraping the first layer of gunk off of our bathrooms. So I spent years often feeling exhausted because I could rarely bring myself to rest while my babies rested.
And I still battle that kind of thinking. As soon as the thought entered my head to take the month of August “off,” an imaginary list materialized in my mind of all the important things I could accomplish during my month of “rest.”
Why is it so hard for me to be still?
I think it’s a matter of trust. When I don’t take time to rest, I’m trusting in my abilities and productiveness and the good feelings I get when I can finally see the floor of my garage or the back of an overstuffed closet. But God is inviting me to trust His way instead.
So I’m stepping into August feeling challenged. To enjoy these last few weeks of summer in the quiet way of God’s invitation. Resting and reflecting. Celebrating with family. And probably cleaning out a closet or two.
See you in September, friends!
And the LORD said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)