Rest & Restore: The Key to Finishing What You Started
Living freely and lightly is something that I’ve always struggled with. Call it my Enneagram One(ness) if you will, but my ambition to see change, growth, and success has often dually straddled the line of being a fiery passion and a demanding burden, often because for me there is always work to be done and improvements to be made.
Can you relate? Now your motivations may be different, but I think we all can admit that we put too much on our plate from time to time. Whether it is due to the nature of our work, the daily demands of life, or self-inflicted responsibilities, sometimes we carry burdens that were never meant to be our own. And if we are not careful, those unintended burdens can turn into busyness. And busyness leads to burnout.
I’ve seen it within myself and I’ve seen within clients. You’re trying to juggle all the things — cross every item off your to-do list, hit every deadline, lead your small group, help every friend, and keep your house and relationship in order. Now all these are noble things but can easily lead to burnout if you don’t take a much-needed rest.
As you gear up to tackle the second half of the year, you must work from a place of rest. Stop striving in your own strength to make all the things happen. Instead, surrender your plans, projects, and to-dos in exchange for His rest and peace. Here are other tips to consider so you can finish from a place of rest and restoration.
Have a personal retreat.
Jesus got away from the hustle and bustle to pray and refresh His soul (Luke 5:16). Why shouldn’t we? If you’re feeling tired or burnout go on a personal retreat. Take a mini-vacation or a weekend in solitude. Send the kids to their grandparents for a weekend. Take some time to pour into you. When you take time to pour into yourself, you’ll have more to pour out to others.
If you find that you’re having a hard time hearing or being close to God in this season, consider doing a fast. Fasting drowns out the noise and draws you closer to God. It also gives you clarity and direction in how to move forward. Clarity, peace, rest, strength and the grace to do what He is calling to do can only be found in His presence and when we are seeking Him first.
Do a social media detox.
It is so important that now and then you take some time away from social media. Social media should be a place of connection and inspiration, not comparisons. The moment you find yourself consuming and comparing more than you should or copying others to receive their blessings, it’s time to step away. You’ll never find purpose or contentment by living someone else’s life or wishing away your own. A digital detox will not only help you to have a healthier approach to social media but also empower you to live your life instead of watching other people live theirs.
Let go of your personal timeline.
So what if you haven’t accomplished all you thought you would by now! Instead of beating and berating yourself, celebrate the progress you have made, even if it’s barely any progress at all. The truth is we can plan and take action but we can’t control the results. Trust that if you’re being faithful with what the Lord is telling you to do, He will make it happen in His perfect timing.
Do the things that bring you joy.
Everything doesn’t need to be monetized or made known to the public. It’s okay if you want to pursue something simply because it brings you joy. Think about the things that you genuinely love to do whether it’s writing, performing spoken word, capturing beautiful moments, crocheting creative designs, or singing sultry songs. Do more of what brings joy and let it refresh you.
Remember that rest isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command. There is a reason why recognizing the Sabbath is a holy commandment. Rest refreshes and restores us for the work that lies ahead. It prepares us for God’s work. If we are burnt out and tired from the demands of everyday life, we will never have the enthusiasm or energy to do all the things we feel led to do. Let God refresh you with His rest, so you can finish what He’s called you to.