When God Says Rest

I’ve sat at my computer for the last 37 minutes, simply staring, watching the flashing cursor on my blank screen. I have no inspiration, nothing to share. There are no new products to rave about, no tutorials to teach, no inspired words of encouragement for your weary soul. Just…nothing. I’ve been laid up with a flu for the last 10 days cuddling with my pup, tweeting at random, and watching a plethora of horror movies. I’ve also heard the Lord reminding me that sometimes, we need to step back and rest.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.โ€ – Matthew 11:28-30 ESV.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.โ€

I feel like the last few weeks have been focused on the Lord telling me to step back and rest. To lay my yoke upon Him and find rest for my weary soul. I have the tendency to take on too much, to not recognize my limits. I’m sure that many of you do the same. You feel like you have to be all things to all people at all times and eventually, you just can’t keep up. You crash and burn and cry. You find your soul overwhelmed and weak, calling out for a moment of rest and a hug. 

That’s where I’ve been lately. Over the last few weeks I’ve:

  • Assumed multiple new (large) projects at work
  • Launched my audience research and writing business
  • Managed social media for my blog (here), my business (here), and my parents business (here)
  • Continued the adoption process with my husband
  • Consulted with a realtor about buying a house

and, of course, taken care of my pets and managed my household which comes with cooking, cleaning, laundry, budgeting, etc, etc, etc.

It’s easy to finally just say “ENOUGH!” and collapse. I think that’s when the flu struck. It felt as though the Lord were saying to me,

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. – Psalm 127:2

Read that again, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil, for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Well, He gave me sleep in the form of a flu and, let me tell you, sleep is all I have done. Some days I slept 12 – 15 hours per day. My fever peaked at 102-degrees. It did not matter how early I rose or how late I went to bed. It did not matter how long my to-do list was, how many client emails I received, how many times my cell phone rang, it was all futile. I was incapable of doing anything but sleep.

My darling husband, he managed everything. He washed our laundry and our bed sheets. He managed my medicine, took my temperature, and continually handed me liquids to stay hydrated. He walked our dogs, managed my social media, and ran our errands. When I fretted over blog posts not written and work not completed, he brushed the hair from my sweaty brow and simply whispered, “Hush, and sleep.” 

There is a lot going on in our lives right now as I launch a new business, continue to grow my blog, write books, pursue adoption, look for a new home, prepare for the holidays, and try to continue to nurture my marriage and other relationships. Our lives are currently in state of change and evolution, and the Lord forced me to step back, rest, and prioritize.

I’m (mostly) recovered from my flu today and, as I write this, I’m sitting on my sofa with both of my dogs curled up beside me, sleeping soundly, and relishing in their moments of rest. They look so peaceful, without a care in the world. They know that all of their needs will be met (by yours truly) and so they sleep peacefully knowing that they are deeply loved and cared for. We should all live with the same comfort knowing that all of our needs are also met by our loving Father and that we do not need to take it upon ourselves to rise too early, go to bed too late, and constantly stress over being all things at all times. The Lord wants a better life for us than that.

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The Lord wants us to hand our cares over to Him and sleep as soundly as those two pups right there. He wants us to enjoy our lives without the stress and constant pressure to be perfect. He wants us to enjoy this life He has blessed us with and that is what I’m starting to take more time to focus on.

Over the last few days I’ve: bought my dogs new (very oversized) giant snake toys so we can all play tug o’ war together. You need giant toys to be able to play tug o’ war with 2 adults and 2 dogs. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve also started reading aloud at night before bed so my husband and I can enjoy books together and discuss them through our own private book club. We’ve started scheduling more official date nights and set curfews on phone and internet use so we spend dedicated focused time together. I’ve also set a “bedtime” for myself so that I am sure to get enough rest and not overwork myself. 

I also picked up this guide to Bible Study which has done wonders for my weary soul. I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially if you struggle with self-doubt (like I do) and often feel like you’re not a “good enough” Christian (as I also do).

Rest assured friends, I have not gone away but I did need time to decompress and rest. I love you all. XOXO.

 

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl
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