In this issue:
Do you ever feel as if you're always running and never have time to rest? When was the last time you took a day to refresh? I'll use my own struggle as exhibit A for why a sabbath is important, and I'll share some resources with ideas for how to give yourself a break.
Inspired Life: You Can't Do it All
You can't either. And if, like me, you have tried, you might have realized that it's a recipe for implosion. I get snappy and weepy when I'm overwhelmed. And I get confused about which step I should take next. My first solution is often to cut out rest - so I go to bed later and work on weekends. I schedule things for Sundays that would usually fall on a different day. Or I pack the weekends and evenings so full that I don't feel the least bit rested.
I haven't been good to myself lately, and I knew it was time to make a new commitment to making sure I don't burn out.
When my husband and I had a come-to-Jesus meeting recently, the focus of our chat was about how we had no margin, about how I was stressed, and how we needed to make a change. I love my work, so it sounds weird to talk about it as being stressful, but even really good things can be stressful! Even the best things!
If you've ever been overcommitted you know how that goes. If you have ever had a lot of yesses that led to a lot of regrets, you understand. You might be the super volunteer that everyone turns to. But that can be too much too. Too many lunch meetings and your productivity disappears - someone has to work, right? Too much chocolate and new belly rolls appear. Too much of anything can be good or bad, depending on what other important things it bumps out of our life.
My problem is that I had started to let my work spill over into Saturdays and then into Sundays. I'm a writer, but I also have clients and have an editing and book design business that I run. Balancing my own creative work and the work I do for clients, along with the volunteering I do at church is a little bit of a science. And the whole thing was a science experiment about to blow up.
Below I will tell more of the ideas I discovered and the commitment my husband and I have made to sabbath rest. When I was a child, sabbath meant taking naps and not doing certain recreational things on Sundays. But as an adult, I have developed a different, and less legalistic view of a sabbath. It might be active, or it might be rest. It might be spiritual, or it might be recreational. But it is something restorative.
My husband and I decided that we would make Sundays our day to chill without responsibility. Sabbath is something biblical, so this makes sense! (God rested on the 7th day after creating the world.) We had to work on moving some things around to make this work. I decided that I would avoid opening my laptop if I could, since this is the tool I use for work. It also means we decided to take a break from hosting a small group Bible study on Sundays, because that involved cleaning the house and baking treats. It involved people time, and I'm an introvert. A good Hallmark movie or a book are a Sunday afternoon treat for me! Was that a hard decision to make? You bet it was!
I also started to look for little ways to include sabbath in my week. I will share one resource below that has helped me with this.
If you're looking for even more ideas, blogger Katie Bennett (Embracing a Simpler Life), has a wonderful list of ideas for creating sabbath moments. Check out her blog post, 55 Practical Ideas for How to Have a Sabbath.
Katie talks about active or restful sabbath ideas, ways to unplug, creative ways to relax, and restorative sabbath. I'm definitely going back to that article again when I need inspiration!
I borrowed an idea from a blogger friend who has a creative way of journaling a Bible verse every day. Blogger Gina Stinson (Reclaiming Every Day), has shared images on her Instagram where she used a calendar and wrote out a verse in every square. Hers are much fancier than mine - almost like scrapbook pages. But this is my start at calendar journaling. (See image above). I decided to use the YouVersion verse of the day and write that out. It's on the app on my phone, and I like the surprise of checking it out in the morning to see what the verse is. I take time in the mornings to read the Bible, journal a few notes about goals, doodle or color, and now to write out the verse of the day in the calendar. These practices help me to slow down. It brings a little bit of a sabbath into every morning before I launch into work more.
For this project, I use a calendar that I received for review. The Orange Circle Studio 2020 Just Right Monthly Planner, August 2019 - December 2020, Floral Vines Slate Blue calendar started with the school year, so I started it in August and didn't have to wait until the 2020 January calendars came out. (Affiliate link included if you'd like to purchase it.) I love that it is thin and can even go with me when I travel. The pages are thick enough to withstand markers and artsy treatments.
This practice of having a day of sabbath once a week, plus little moments of sabbath during the day has helped me wrestle through some overwhelm and emotional challenges! I'm a work in progress, so I share my journey as it unfolds, not when I have it all together. I don't that day is much of a realistic expectation anyway!
Coming up in future episodes, I will be featuring a couple of interviews with authors who have other resources that I think will be helpful if you're looking for more on this topic:
Getaway with God: The Everywoman's Guide to Personal Retreat by Letitia Suk
Almost Holy Mama: Life-Giving Spiritual Practices for Weary Parents both by Courtney Ellis
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(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. ) *This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.
Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.
All blog content copyright MichelleRayburn.com
This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.