The holiday is over and this morning we step back into the ticking clock. I awaken before the alarm sounds with urgency, fill those final moments of dreaming with prayer. I hear one of the boys get in the shower down the hall and so I rise to do the kitchen piddling; pack the lunches, fix a simple breakfast. It is twenty-eight degrees outside and the cold adds to the stiffness of the morning. We move through the required actions woodenly, barely lifting our eyes to one another.
The beauty of the rest is that it re-fuels us for the work of our hands, right? Then why this dread? Why this dragging of the feet? I have gotten used to having them underfoot, listening to him breathe beside me. Yet, even as I kiss him goodbye I realize that I would not miss him so much if he were with me all the time.
This morning I watch a full moon sink below the dark horizon and give thanks for the rhythms of this life. We all bear God’s image and were created for the steady weave of work and rest. I have lived long enough to know that happiness cannot exist in one without the other. This is by design. We were created for both. To wish one away would be to miss the beauty in the other. Work and rest exist as two parts of a whole.
I am always telling my patients that the words they say to themselves matter. Our self-talk determines the ways we see. This morning, I practice what I preach. Here are three simple steps I take when my heart dreads to move forward.
- Pray Scripture. My favorite go-to verses to jumpstart my spirit are Philippians 4:4-8.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
- Give Thanks. I thank God for the work he has given us and spend time reflecting on specific moments during our break that I am grateful for. Meditating on these things gives weight to both the work and the rest, reminding my heart of the value of both.
- Take off my shoes. Ok, maybe not literally, but I remind myself that I stand on holy ground. No matter where I am or what I am doing, God cares about the details of my life. My work matters. I need to remind myself of this or I might be tempted to perform my daily tasks half-heartedly. Scripture tells us to “work as if working for the Lord and not for man.” When I work with the knowledge that the way I do my work has eternal consequences, it invigorates my efforts.
In the end, it’s all about the bigger picture. Every good thing comes from God and returns to those great hands. Because of my frailties, I can forget that I also rest in his hands.
What about you? What are you whispering into your heart as you step back into the usual?
Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us: