Sometimes we’re tired. And sometimes we’re beyond tired. I think it’s hard for us — as women living in at this time in this world — to know what to do when we’re beyond tired.
Everything in us is crying for rest.
But how do we stop and catch our breath in a world that shouts go-go-go from morning to night? How do we stop doing and producing in a world that is obsessed with our ability to do and produce? How do we stop fretting and stressing and simply know that God is God in a world that, well, doesn’t know that God is God?
He restores my soul… (Psalm 23:3)
Here’s a list of fifteen (yes, fifteen!) things that may help you to stop if you, too, are beyond tired. It’s not medical advice or another to-do list. It’s just a list of things to do that may help you, too, to stop.
1. Cultivate your relationship with Christ.
Make heart contact with Him again. Ask Him to restore your soul. It’s not about making your quiet time a dramatic (and exhausting) event. It’s about quieting and stilling your soul and resting in His presence.
2. Assess your goals in the context of the Gospel.
All these things you’re pushing yourself to do: are they godly, helpful, necessary? If they are, that’s wonderful. If they’re not, spend some time with God and a mentor discerning what He wants you to do with your one, wonderful life.
3. Release your crazy-high expectations of yourself.
Stop being your own inner mean girl who chides and scoffs and constantly says that you should do more and better.
4. Live within your limitations.
Know, practically, what you can and can’t do. It’s like knowing what you can and can’t spend. Make a “budget” for your abilities and time. And then live within the limitations of that “budget”.
5. Embrace the fact that you can’t do everything.
Find the potential in being limited. Like being thrifty, it has a romance of its own, a freedom.
6. Read A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman.
Read it slowly and then read it again because it’s good for your soul. It takes the pressure to be big and replaces it with a desire to simply be you and let Christ fill you and spill out of you in a million little ways.
7. Read Pride and Prejudice or another old book.
One that takes a while to read. One that transports you to another, slower, world where people weren’t so busy or tired. Try Little Women or An Old Fashioned Girl, A Little Princess or The Secret Garden.
8. Learn to rest…really rest.
Breathe. Stop living as if it’s up to you to keep the world spinning and the sun shining. Let God be God. Get a good night’s sleep.
Have a day when it’s okay to read a book, watch a film or do a puzzle. Have a day without technology. Play the piano. Go for a country walk and have a picnic.
10. Rest your soul in the fact that your salvation is accomplished and assured.
You are accepted, known and beloved of God. You live the mystery, Christ in you, the hope of glory.
11. Slow down.
Walk slower. Talk slower. Stop checking Facebook. Turn your mobile phone off.
12. Literally stop to smell the roses.
Or, at this time of year, the hyacinths…mmm! Notice the little miracles of creation. Enjoy the beauty of the world God has created.
13. Find a creative expression that slows your pace and refreshes your soul.
It doesn’t have to be useful to be worthy. You don’t have to be an expert either. Try quilting, cross-stitching or painting.
14. Make some fresh bread at home.
Or make some butterfly cakes. Work slowly. There’s no rush. Enjoy the textures and aromas. Bake with a child if you can and enter into their enthusiasm. Share what you bake with family and friends.
15. Give yourself (and Christ) time.
Time to breathe. Time to rest. Time to come back from “beyond tired” to the abundance of life that is a gift from Him.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
Photo Credit: Jenni Marie Photography