Thursday, June 14, 2018

Intentional Rest (Lizzie)

The spring semester was a very stressful one for me for many reasons, including several sick family members and a time-consuming and mentally exhausting job of teaching a new class (anatomy and physiology I). During this time, I had two "eye-pisodes" (possibly ocular migraines) where my vision was distorted for about twenty minutes. It's scary not being able to read anything. And, while shopping at the grocery store, I noticed one of my fingers had turned a ghastly white (pallor), and it was some time before its color returned to normal, despite me trying to rub the circulation back into it.

Then, one Saturday, the power went out in the house, which, however, led to one of the best days of the semester. I was the only one home, the power was out inside, I couldn't focus to do my work (class prep) outside in the glaring sun, and I felt like God wanted me to take a much-needed break anyway, so I went for a walk. I roamed the woods noting all the beautiful details it's so easy to miss on a quick walk, like the supplejack vines that seem to climb the air or the mud dabber nests lined up on a rock like colorful houses on a Portuguese coast. When I returned to the house, I played the piano and sang. I did no homework, just enjoyed a Sabbath rest. And guess what? All my work got done on time anyway. No trouble came of me taking a day off. 

Do these remind anyone else of the tall, narrow houses of coastal villages?
Don't you love the different colors?
That day drove home a very important lesson: Rest and recreation time isn't something I use my leftover time for (just like I don't wait until the end of the month to put money in savings). I have to be intentional about them. One of the hardest things to do for me, but something I am working on now, is to stop worrying about getting everything done, and actually take those breaks. But it's worth it. I haven't had any more "eye-pisodes" or attacks of pallor; I feel better, and I am more creative. So take a day off every week and an evening off here and there. The world won't end, and you'll be able to enjoy it much more. 

Do you find taking breaks difficult? How do you keep from worrying about getting everything done?

P.S. Happy Flag Day!


  1. Great post, Lizzie! I make lists, prioritize, and give myself a measure of grace. The tasks will still be there tomorrow. I hope you continue to feel better.

  2. This is a hard lesson I learned a long time ago, in much the same way. It’s funny how God commands us to take a day of rest and we view it as optional or, even worse, as being lazy. It took a long time for me to find peace with the idea that, if God commanded a day of rest, it’s because he knew we need it and it’s okay to just stop for a while. Funny how skewed our perspectives can become.


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