Breaks from Lewis and True Rest

my busy boy :-) 
I wrote this post a while back, not really knowing the right time to share it...but today, I need to hear this.  It's one of those weary kind of days where I need to be reminded that God is my strength and he will provide grace to get through every moment, even when I feel like I have no energy left.  I hope this thought blesses you today as well...

As a pregnant mommy, "break time" is something I'm always looking forward to.  Whether it's the simple moments during naps, the long sigh after bedtime, the afternoon walk around Target by myself, or the full night's sleep without a jabbering alarm clock - I don't play favorites.  These breaks can be built-up in my mind as something magical...
"I just need to make it to 10am...then he goes down for a nap!"
"Tuesday.  Tuesday he will be with Grandma and then I can get a break."

Let me tell you, breaks ARE important.  Practically speaking, right now I need a few minutes to just sit and not over-exert my body by picking up a 22 pound weight over and over.  My feet get swollen, and it's nice to put them up.  But recently, I've realized some interesting truths about my breaks that have me putting them into perspective.

Breaks do not equate REST.
Have you ever heard your child waking up from a nap and found yourself completely un-rejuvenated?  You've looked forward to that precious time all day, and yet, you don't feel refreshed when it's over (not to mention, you checked pretty much nothing off of your to-do list).  For me, this feeling gets very discouraging.  I think, "He just slept for 2 hours...why do I not feel jazzed up and ready to go again?  Wasn't this nap time my break?"  That's just it.  Just because I get a break; for hours or even days, it doesn't necessarily mean that I experience REST.  

Rest is something that comes from one person - Jesus.
"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."
Matthew 11:28-29
Jesus fulfilled the requirement of the Sabbath in its literal form by becoming rest for our souls.  When we put our faith and trust in his work of salvation, we don't have to strive anymore.  Our time doesn't have to be spent creating an identity, being a "good" person, or pushing harder to do a better job at life.  Instead, we can just be accepted.  Forgiven.  Loved unconditionally.  When we look to Jesus, spend time with him, and believe his promises, we do feel rest deep in our souls.

When I'm not feeling rested, I need more Jesus...not more breaks.
This cycle for me has been hard to stop.  I get exhausted, so I want a "break" (nap time, free time, me time, etc.).  I take a break and I don't feel any more rested (frustrating).  The me time, extra iced coffees, and time to walk around at Target frankly wasn't that fulfilling after all.  I find myself feeling more deprived.  I need more breaks.  This cycle continues, until I eventually wonder, "why isn't this working?" and I turn back to true rest.  This means repenting.  Confessing that I try so hard to be my own rest.  Confessing that I believe our culture's lies about having more time to myself.  Confessing that I don't come on my knees to him moment by moment, asking for his grace and help to have energy for the day.

I don't want to put my hope in comfort or the amount of breaks I can get during this sometimes exhausting season of life.  Having the opportunity for breaks will come and go, and being a nice, happy, rested wife and mommy with a good attitude can't be contingent upon whether or not I've had enough time to myself.  It isn't the breaks that will sustain me, but the strength that only God can provide as I further lean on him for grace in each moment.  

For each of us, this can look different.  It might mean a quiet hour spent reading the bible, or ten minutes alone in prayer.  It might include solitude or engaging in one of the many means of grace provided to us as believers (such as fellowship, worship, reading, prayer, etc.).  It might mean fasting from something that distracts you from your true rest, Jesus.  It doesn't matter what it looks like, but that it happens.

Moms, wives, women...we need more REST, not more breaks.

Also, this blog post about cultivating a more restful home really has a lot of amazing points which I didn't necessarily touch on here.  It's worth the read!
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