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Rest.

Before I start, I have to apologize. I completely forgot to blog anything and queue it for the weekend. I went to Michigan last weekend from Thursday – Sunday. I was up there visiting two of my teammates from my Thailand mission trip. It was such a good weekend. We laughed for hours upon hours and it did a lot of good for my heart. But I’m sorry I forgot to blog.

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When was the last time you rested? I mean truly rested. A day or a weekend with no agenda, no alarms, no plans, no urgency to do anything?

For me, it had been a long, long time. Possibly even years.

But for the past 4 weeks, I was off work. (One of the perks of working on a school schedule is breaks in the summer!) I had some time off last summer and I had 2 weeks off at the beginning of this summer, but those weeks all quickly filled up with things.

When this 4 week break came up, I decided to travel some (up to Michigan and back to Versailles – the town I moved to Columbus from) and spend some time with friends, but I also knew I wanted to rest.

While there were many days that I woke up and did stuff around town or ran errands, there were also a couple where I’d wake up, eat breakfast, drink some tea and take a nap.

It was glorious. My soul was so thankful for the break.

It got me thinking, though, why don’t I do this more often?
Just take a day and give myself a break?

Maybe it’s because our culture worships business. Though we will say we are stressed we don’t know how to take a break.

This was really highlighted for me when I went to Florida to see my friend from Northern Ireland. My friend was in Florida for 2 weeks and her parents were there for 5 weeks. 5 weeks of vacation. Not just time off work, but time AWAY. Time spent resting. For those of us in the States, that’s almost unheard of.

Now, I don’t think we need 5 weeks, 4 weeks or even a full week off to be able to rest. Sometimes it may just be a Saturday. Or a Sunday after church.  But I do think that rest is necessary.

As wonderful as it sounds, I don’t live in a fantasy world where I think rest comes so naturally and we can just shut off our brains from the hustle and bustle of life. I know rest doesn’t come naturally.  I know our brains are basically programmed to never shut off and stop thinking of what all needs to be done.

Even on my 4 week break, it took me a while to truly rest. It was week 3 before I really made myself slow down. I allowed myself to rest. I allowed myself to stay in bed even when I felt I should be doing something else. And you know what? It’s ok to do that. Sure, not everyday or even once every month. But the world will not end if you take a day or two to give your body and soul a break.

So, I challenge you, if it’s been a while since you’ve slowed down and rested, take some time to do that soon. Pro-tip: rest is especially great on a rainy day with a warm, fuzzy blanket and a cup of tea or coffee. Check out Haley’s post for some book suggestions.

Slow it down. Take a break. Breathe. Rest, my friends. Just rest.

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