Challenges, Living Free, Marriage & Family, Motherhood, My Story, Relationships

Is It Time For a Break?

My friend Rachael recently told me that you’re on the verge of burnout when you start looking at others as “needs to meet” instead of people to enjoy.

This is where I found myself recently. Rachael was right on. Everywhere I went, it seemed someone needed something. Time. Attention. Gifts. Advice. Me to do something for them. Errands to run. It was annoying (lol!). I wanted to clear my calendar for a couple weeks & not see anyone. I was over it. Why is everyone so needy? I thought. I don’t go around talking about my needs! They need to handle theirs themselves 🙂

Yet when the opportunity to take a vacation arose, my husband & I found every excuse not to go. Budget, schedules, work, house stuff, what about our dog?, etc. We arrived at church not sure we should take one.

Then our pastor preached a sermon to remember — on the importance of rest. He said sometimes it’s important to get away and recharge, get out of your routine, quit working & enjoy your life. God didn’t intend for us to always be “doing” without “being still” with Him, too 🙂

Our pastor also said that sometimes we’re too busy taking care of our [house, car, marriage, kids, etc.] that we forget to ENJOY them. That hit home for my hubby & I! That’s exactly how we’d been feeling.

When we heard our pastor’s words, my husband & I both individually saw our need to get away ASAP — so we did.

And you know what? It did us so good. It was good for our marriage, our bodies, our minds & hearts & souls. It was good for our beautiful daughter — who got to spend QT with her grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles — & it was good for all of our family relationships. We both got much-needed breaks, time together & with family, play time, exercise & outdoor time — everything we’d been needing.

We’d been so caught up in our duties & “getting it done” that we forgot about “delight”. Our lives need both.

I wish we had an easy way to do a “Soul Check” on ourselves to show us the state of our insides… when we’re running on empty, when we’re close to burnout, when we’re about to make stupid mistakes & decisions because we’re so dry & tired & disconnected from the most important people & passions in our lives.

The truth is — we don’t, so it’s important to watch for warning signs & listen to His voice before we go over the ledge to burning out. The Holy Spirit had been laying this vacation on my heart for weeks since I’d cancelled it (to be “responsible” & save money). I kept disagreeing with Him, while still being open to His leading, because all I could see was our budget.

Apparently God knows what we need most, & listening to His voice was more important.

My husband & I were both at the brink of burnout. We could feel it. Life had been soul-draining lately, full of “to do’s” instead of R&R. I don’t want to live a life of constant shoulds, divorced from my heart, yet that’s where I found myself. I want my heart to be engaged, even if my day isn’t always fun (dishes & dirty diapers) — where I can do my duties from a place of joy & peace, not drudgery. I don’t want to be that mom that lets her entire self fade away once she has kids, yet that’s very much how I’d been feeling lately.

Once we got away, things changed. My mind cleared & I saw life with a renewed perspective. I came home refreshed & grateful for our many blessings (that had begun to feel like burdens), including a home & dishes & food & friends & a wonderful baby girl. I saw more clearly who I should invest in & who was draining. I saw habits I need to let go of & those I need to embrace to better care for myself.

Sometimes we get so busy in the day-to-day that we forget to live adventurously. We all need to “escape” monotony & do something exciting! It’s very good for our souls & romantic, too! 🙂

Our pastor said that taking a break is really a leap of faith — reminding us that we can trust Him to do His part once we’ve done ours. This is the Sabbath principle, & we saw it work on our behalf…

At the end of our vacation, wouldn’t you know… my husband & I both had several great ideas & mental epiphanies that were much-needed. But they only came after we stepped away from the grind & enjoyed a few days in another place. We have to make space for Him to speak to us & new ideas to come — but they can’t when we’re always going from one task to another.

Abundant sunshine, swimming in the ocean, & QT with our family opened us up again. We also had a vacation nanny (!), which was amazing. Yet had we said no to God, we would’ve missed all those gifts.

What “thing” do you need to take a break from?

What is burning or stressing you out? What problem have you been staring at, trying to fix, & not giving to God? My challenge for you today is to take a step back from that thing, pray a prayer of release to God, & give it a rest.

How many times have you tried to figure out a problem, moved onto something else, to then hours later — engrossed in this new activity — had a ‘lightbulb moment’ & got your answer? I have many times.

Walk away, take a break. Put away your cape & let God move in the situation. Remember, the beginning of restoration is simply rest.