Tension knotted my neck as I drove out of town. It had been a couple of busy weeks (when haven’t they been lately!) and Don and I had planned a brief getaway. I had a low-grade headache and Don felt anxious. We needed this break after a year of lockdowns.
As we drove, the muscle ache in my neck began to diminish. My headache eased. Don felt more relaxed. We drove to Napa, a lovely small town in Northern California’s wine country, wandered about and ate lunch beside the river. Then we left Napa for Sonoma on beautiful, windy country roads banded by a variety of vineyards, green trees, shrubs and grasses.
We slept about eleven hours that night. No alarm, no schedule, just rest. What a treat! We rested, walked, ate well, and were renewed together.
Wandering around Sonoma the next day we found candles, some kitchen utensils, and cute, adjustable masks. Hey, if we have to wear them for another few months they might as well be cute–and fit! These have adjustable ear straps so fit my face better than many. And they’re sparkly!
That evening we dined with our good friend, Sue and her new husband, Steve. Lovely to spend time together, enjoying a wonderful visit and opportunity to learn to know Steve.
Sometimes we just need to get away. To rest. It’s not always possible to take an overnight trip; but think of places you can go for a day. Perhaps you can walk around a nearby park. Drive into some nearby countryside. Meet with a friend, now that pandemic restrictions are slowing being lifted. Work in the garden. Lie on the couch and listen to glorious music that lifts your soul.
I heard last night that 81% of working people feel more stressed than before the pandemic. Instead of work from home giving people more time, it’s tied them into working longer hours and more days–without a break. We weren’t made to keep going and going and going. I’m not, nor are you, the Eveready Bunny!
God designed and told us to take a Sabbath, a day of REST. And if we do anything continually, without a break, we burn out. There’s a reason to change our routines–to refresh our minds, hearts and souls to follow the unique and individual purpose God has given to each of us. That’s whether we’re working full-time, writing a novel as I’m doing, or raising children. God’s wisdom is clear on this.
Do not wear yourself out to get rich …Proverbs 23:4
I confess I’m not good at this–not for riches, but for the standard I set myself. I can get caught up in front of my computer for hours at a time, then am tired when I stop to be with my beloved husband in the evening. That’s not wise stewardship of my time or talent.
Let’s remember who we are working for. When I get bogged down in a scene I’m writing, or procrastinate because there’s so much else on my plate, I need to remember that my work is for the Lord, and he will direct my use of time and resources if I allow him to do so.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.Colossians 3:23, 24
So I’m going to work at this. At taking more breaks during the day where I get up and move, or sitting outside with Don enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. At taking down time regularly so my spirit can be renewed and my worship and creativity increased.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.Psalm 23:1-3a
Question: What do you do to keep balance in the various ‘slices’ of your life–work, family, home, worship, caregiving, whatever else God has entrusted to you?
Me, right now? I’m heading for a nap with Don and Paigey!