Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Women, Their God, and Their Struggles- Jeri at God's Dreams for Me

The Rhythm of Rest

As I write this, I'm heading into a week of rest and healing.

You see, I know better. Yet, somehow I got so caught up in the extra activities (fun ones) and normalcy that I missed the signs. I plummeted into extreme exhaustion. Complete shutdown.

In the past exhaustion came with too much of the everyday...perfecting single parenting, working double hours, too many unrealistic expectations placed on me by others and myself. Overdoing, overkill, pushed to over serving too. Over and over and over until a few years ago my poor little body couldn't take it any more and it quit.

It was not the normal tired. This is being so tired that you become physically ill. I was past that, I was in the not able to eat, sleep, think straight, or do my normal. I couldn’t even get up the stairs without help or breathe normally.

Physically exhausted. Emotionally drained. Spiritually dry. This is where so many are right now. Mentally, two words can't even be put together. You read that sentence in your book over and over and it doesn't stick, right? You don't even feel like you can get ready for the day.

I totally get that. I've been there too many times to count. You pray, do devotions, and ask for prayer with no resolution. Your rhythm is off. You’ve lost the rhythm of work, rest, and play.

For some it’s more than a short-term situation. Some of us have been overworked all our lives. Overworked in relationships that don't return love given. Overworked by others expectations of us. Overworked in serving and giving until we just can't do it any more. Even then, you ask for help, but are left to feel as if you're letting others down unless you press and push...on your own.

How do we get off this crazy ride?
It takes a decision of faith to say, "Stop! I'm getting off."

Your Own Unique Rhythm of Rest:

The rhythm of rest is so vital to a healthy life. It begins with knowing how much you can and cannot give before you say yes or no. It's starting the day off gentle. Then, pausing throughout the day -- breathing, refocusing, finding gratitude.

There's no formula for it. It's your own unique rhythm that is God faceted. It begins with just being with Him.

There's no avoiding the stresses and strains of life. Even pain will come. When it does, let Him take you through it in a way that He has designed for you. Your rhythm of rest will start to flow. It will become inviting.

You'll know when you need it - at the first sign of it all being a little too much. For example, people might become too much to be around. You can’t seem to problem solve like you normally can. If you take too long, it'll rob you of your little joys and blind you to the everyday wonders. Your creativity will slowly diminish.

How My Rhythm Began:

When I first started, it was just uncomfortably quiet. Slowly, it grew peaceful. I could hear better, listen better. I found my niche of creativity. I found more of Jesus. I craved it.

I still can get caught up in the “doing” or fun sometimes, just like I did a few weeks ago. Lack of joy signals the need to get my groove back. I know what waits for me in rest. I can hear the song God sings over me. My rhythmic melody that quiets, refocuses, and heals the hurry. I find the joys again. I notice the small wonders. These and the people God has placed in my life shower grace and love again.

I'm praying for you to make your decision of faith and with Jesus to find yours.

Soul Refreshment:

Lamentations 3:28-29 ~ When life is heavy and hard to take; go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions. Wait for hope to appear.

Psalm 119:113 ~ You're my place of quiet retreat;
I wait for your Word to renew me.

A Special Series by one of my mentors:

Holley Gerth will be writing Project Renew You all of April. Topics on rest and balance have been covered so far. A little more encouragement and direction for us all.

Bio: I am a loved wife. Mom of two forgiving adult sons and a beautiful daughter-in-law. Proud new Yaya (grandma)! Pet parent to my constant companion. I’m learning to Unwrap God’s simple joys in life and at my blog home God’s Dreams For Me in My Everyday.


Jennifer said...

Jeri, I've noticed this in my own life. I get to running too hard, even in the things I like to do. Before I no it, I've lost all zeal- I've been blindsided. Like you, my "rhythm of rest" involves breathing. When I'm overwhelmed I have to stop, breath, and look to Him to help me find my balance again. Unfortunately, I rarely stop when I should. It usually takes exhaustion to make me stop.

Thank you, Jeri, for sharing your struggle here! It's a beautiful thing to see your dependence on our Lord. As usual, you have challenged and encouraged me with your beautiful heart! Thank you!

Rebecca said...

I know this feeling so well, and have been learning this year that it is a sure sign of needing to stop for a little while and breathe Him in. After reading your post I took a few minutes to read Lamentations 3, and wow! It's definitely no accident that I saw this today instead of yesterday, because it's exactly what I needed today, not yesterday. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Jeri Taira said...

@Jenn - The beauty of sharing a similar challenge or struggle with others motivates me to keep on. I'm so thankful God has connected us through joys and challenges. You bless me.

@Rebecca - Oh it lifts my heart to know His life words were right on time for you. You remind me his timing is never off. You've encouraged me.

Nancy said...

Oh....this is sooo true.....! Now, in my late 50's, more than ever, I seek out the quiettude of silence, prayer, praising, and listening, oh my soul. Sometimes you feel like you are the only one doing this, while everyone else is busy doing...but it is in these alone times with my Lord, that I can let go, let down, reflect, renew, and cast all my cares on Him; letting his rivers of living water flow through my soul and my being; running to my abba just as I am, expecting forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, peace, and renewed hope. He never disappoints!

Jennifer said...

You are right on it, Nancy! Being excessively busy is our norm, but I'm learning that rest is the better choice most days.

Jeri Taira said...

I love reading your words Nancy. "Running to my Abba...He never disappoints." Amen :-)