It’s late. I’m exhausted. And yet I can’t fall asleep.
My husband is snoring next to me and has been for twenty minutes. And my brain is running 100 miles an hour over a to-do list for my business or a marketing idea or a blog post text or an e-newsletter campaign…
I get up again, trying not to wake the snoring bear, and write down a list of these things hoping that having them on paper is the answer to getting the sleep I need.
I’m not a creative night owl (maybe you are?). I’m actually the girl that requires about 8.5 hours of sleep to feel human and prefers to get all of her creative and business work done at dawn before the little ones stir.
More often I find that the ideas haunt me at night when I haven’t given myself the space to rest during the day.
Rest is that time where we commune with Him. Where our mind is free to wander and dream alongside His guiding hand. It’s the time where ideas are generated in the closeness with a Creator. It’s a time for our minds to be still and peaceful, waiting on Him to stir the waters.
Yet rest is also that space where we’re forced to square up with the fact that we are grossly unprepared for the tasks we’re called to do. That’s why we avoid rest.
We find ourselves avoiding rest by:
- reading this mindless article we found on Facebook
- glaring at Pinterest trying to force a spurt of creativity
- simply staring at the to-do list, overwhelmed
- rushing from one activity to another
- never saying no, even when we know we should
- or on the other end of the spectrum, tackling every thing on the to-do list as if the world depended on us to finish.
We need to step away more often. We may even need to schedule rest.
I’m writing this article right now because the Lord gave me disciplinary rest: He turned off my Wi-Fi. Ha!
The creativity that I longed for as I viewed images I admired on Facebook and pursued sewing projects on Pinterest, does not come from striving. He’s pouring into me these words and insight because of this unintended rest from media and the tyranny of the urgent.
I have the freedom to create the worship and work He calls me to in the space of rest. (<=== Click to tweet)
I’ve never thought of rest as the fountain of creative work before. But I’m certain God has. Why else would He command an entire day of rest each week? A command we too often ignore.
So let’s brainstorm some ways to find rest in our lives. Here’s my short list:
- Spend at least 30 minutes of my children’s nap/rest time as media free time a day. (I may even ask my computer tech nerd husband to schedule the Wi-Fi to turn off during this time.)
- Do something with my hands during this time that brings me joy and Him praise. Knitting that sweater I’ve been working on. Fixing that dress of my daughter’s with the strap that needs reattaching. Doodling aimlessly on paper. Playing with a personal photography project. Hand quilting. Writing down my thoughts.
For me, busy hands clear my mind for thought and prayer. In fact, my ideal place for thought, prayer, and scripture memorization is swimming laps or tackling the treadmill.
This might not work as well as for you. Perhaps you rest best when your bring your worries to Him or as you verbally process ideas with a friend.
- Commit to a day of rest. For me, this is going to mean avoiding social media for one day each week. I guess I’m being hard on social media in this post, but for me it’s my biggest time thief. It’s the thing that keeps my brain going in moments where I should be enjoying rest. But it’s also that place where I’m most tempted to compare my calling or my life with yours… which creates anxiety and stress, not rest.
What are some other ways you can create space for the kind of rest that fills your soul and fuels your dreams? (<=== Click to tweet)
Shared by: Melissa Aldrich