Cup of Faith - South African Christian Women Network

Podcast Episode 3 – Girl, Rest Up

Hello and welcome to the 3rd episode of Cup of Faith! Today, I wanted to chat about something that I feel is really important and perhaps something we don’t encourage enough of and that is REST!

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the narrative that we’re seeing on social media, and media in general. For a long time, I feel that we’ve been bombarded with success stories of people who are crushing goals, thriving in their careers, managing 2 or 3 side-hustles all while keeping up with a regular exercise regime, a balanced eating plan and if that’s not intimidating enough, they’re doing it all WITH a baby on their hip.

Success stories.

Some days, I feel that they’re really just successful at making me feel bad about myself.

Because let’s be real; the story we’re being told isn’t the WHOLE story.

Let’s back up for a second; I, myself, have gotten caught up in glorifying busyness. I felt that I’d be a success story if I just kept taking on more and soon found myself juggling the life of an exhausted mom with 3 jobs, too many side-hustles, no time for my children, and guilt. Lots of it. But it all made for a pretty picture on social media, so what does it matter, right?

Lately, I have been fed up with myself because I haven’t been able to put into Cup of Faith what I had hoped to. If I am being honest, it’s a combination of feeling like I have run out of ideas and that I may have made the mistake of putting too much focus on the launch of this platform and didn’t give enough thought into what comes next. BUT I also feel like I am at full capacity; like right now, I can’t commit to writing a blog post, recording a podcast or checking emails because I am tired and quite frankly, I don’t want to run empty.

Behind the scenes, I have a full day that starts at 7 am, and if I am lucky, ends at 11 pm – it’s non-stop, go, go, GO! And I enjoy it. I actually thrive at the routine of my life right now, and am enjoying all the challenges that stand in front of me, but deep down, I am carrying this guilt that surely, it’s selfish that last night I climbed into bed at 8 pm, and actually went to sleep when I COULD have been working on a new episode, creating content or scheduling posts.

Maybe you relate; maybe you’re also feeling this tiny voice that keeps telling you that you need to be doing more, that you need to push on, even when you’re tired because what you’re doing is simply not enough and you should be maximizing your time…

Stress, anxiety, depression, burn out, and the likes of, are all on the rise and it’s no secret it’s due to how much pressure we’re all under. From managing careers, expectations we put on ourselves, and the expectations of others, we’re all sort of crumbling and right when we thought we couldn’t take anymore, we add to it the pressure we find on social media – the bombardment of messages telling us to do more, to do better, to slap on a face mask and to keep going…

In my last episode, I spoke about the person I was two years ago and the cost of being busy all the time. I explained that my children paid the biggest price but I don’t think I adequately put into words just how bad things had gotten; how my children didn’t have bedtimes because I’d often got so carried away with work, that they’d fall asleep on the couch way before I’d get them to bed. In my busiest season, I completely neglected to cherish and enjoy the earliest days with my youngest. I neglected to take time off and felt the pressure to maximize nap times so that I could fit in just one more blog post, one more social media post, just one more… but it was never one more cuddle, one more quiet moment or one more nap with my newborn. I regret that. I regret not taking that time to focus on me, my newborn and our family but instead, trying to keep up with the wheel that never stops spinning.

Last year, in my season of ‘Go Slow.’ It took MONTHS to learn how to do nothing at all. I had forgotten what it was like to have an afternoon nap, I would fidget when we were just trying to watch a movie and couldn’t simply sit outside and soak up the sun without wondering about what I should or could be doing. I had forgotten how to apply makeup without thinking, “I need to review this.” And forgot that I could go to the shop without buying something simply because it’s new and I wanted to feature it on my blog – there was a long and challenging adjustment period, where it took me consciously making the decision to log off from social media, to not touch my phone during a movie, to not buy just for the sake of it, to engage with my kids, bake, garden, NAP, without the pressure of me thinking I need to be doing something else.

But here I find myself, feeling guilty, feeling like I need to explain why I am quiet, feeling like I have failed before I have even begun, all because life has gotten too busy and I am being selfish by giving myself free-time each day to do nothing, to go to bed early, to read a book, to watch a movie, when I feel I should be using the time better to do some work, to check emails, to write a blog post or research this podcast…

And it got me thinking… what does the Bible say about all this?

You see, God is pretty clear on what He thinks about rest. As early as Genesis 2:2, the Bible says, “On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.” The Bible goes on to mention rest twice in Exodus, with 34:21 reaffirming Genesis and saying, “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of ploughing and harvest.” In Exodus 20:8-11 The Ten Commandments made resting on the Sabbath a requirement of the Law and you’ll notice that God said, “Remember the Sabbath.” It wasn’t something new; it had been around since creation. All God’s people and their servants and the animals were to have one day in seven to rest. The command to rest was not an excuse to be lazy. You had to work for six days to get to the Sabbath. If we go on to Hebrews 4:10, it says, “For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labours, just as God did after creating the world.”

You see, the Bible doesn’t just tell us to rest, it insists we do. It’s a theme that is repeated over and over again, yet, we ignore it. Yet, we feel pressured to keep doing more, to keep going, to refuel on a cup of coffee, burn the midnight oil and go until you simply cannot – but why?

If I think back to my season of being busy all the time, I was really only doing it because I felt like I needed to provide more for my family. In hindsight, I took away time that could have been spent with them, but I felt that we needed more financial stability and was willing to work as many jobs as it took. Of course, this is how I feel – you may be burning the midnight oil because you’re also trying to provide for your family, or you’re trying to excel within your chosen career, or you’re just trying to crush those goals! And for that, I take my hat off to you; but remember, you need your rest!

Psalm 127:2 says, “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” This tells us that God desires rest for us because it does not come naturally. In order for us to rest, we have to trust that God will take care of things for us. We have to trust that if we take a day off, the world will not stop turning on its axis. It’s not easy though, is it? In fact, if we look back at Genesis 3, when we decided that we would start making all the decisions, mankind had become tenser and less able to relax. It was disobedience in the Garden that started this whole problem, but now, obedience will bring the rest that God so desires for us and by relaxing our grip on our own lives, careers, families, etc., and giving them over to God in faith is the best way to relax.

I am the first to admit how easy it is to glorify the hustle and bustle of life right now. With so much to get done, it’s almost impossible to imagine taking time to rest but in Matthew 11:28 and again in 1 Peter 5:7, God invites all who are “weary and burdened” to come to Him and cast our cares on Him. It is only in Him that we find our complete rest—from the cares of the world, from the sorrows that plague us, and from the need to work to make ourselves acceptable to Him.

You see, when it all seems too much, God is there. He is ready and waiting to help carry those burdens for you – my dad recently painted with his words, when he reminded me of Jesus walking with the cross, while people mocked and spat on him. Jesus carried that cross for me and for you! He stands with arms wide open, ready to carry those burdens, worries and anxieties for you, so you can breathe that sigh of relief, knowing that while you rest… He is doing the work.

Trust in that. Take the time to rest. And rest often.

Because I have found that in my quietest moments when I am not distracted by the constant need to go, go, go, is when I hear our Father’s voice the clearest. It’s in those quiet moments of rest when I can see His hands at work in my life and can hear his voice reassuring me and encouraging me. Our Father’s voice is calm – almost a whisper, urging me to come closer. He shouldn’t need to compete with the noise, so why do we make Him? Why do we find it so hard to sit back and relax?

So, this is my message for you today – Girl, rest up! Use the time to connect to our Father and be comforted in knowing that it is not laziness, but rather obedience in honouring our Father’s desire for us.

Thank you for listening to today’s episode. I’d love to know if you struggle to make time for rest and if so, what are some practical tips to creating the habit of resting. Remember you can find me and our group of talented contributors on our website as well as on Facebook and Instagram. Give us a follow and if you like this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes and don’t forget to subscribe. Until next time, goodbye.

No Comments

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.