Cleaning. Cooking. Ministry. Parenting. Friendships. Jobs. And the list goes on. With so much on our plates, does anyone else besides me ever just want a break? As much as I love my life and the things that God has called me to do, there are moments I just want to run and hide from it all for a few hours and not have any responsibilities. I want to take a shower without being interrupted by little voices. I want to eat a snack without having to share it. I want to get a full nights sleep. I want to sit in the stillness. I want to watch my favorite tv show without having to stop every 5 minutes to help someone. Don't get me wrong, motherhood and being a wife are some of my greatest joys in life. But I get tired. I get weary. I get overwhelmed. And there are days, I just want a break. I don't want to have to cook or clean, I don't want to have to be the family nurse or the chauffeur. A year ago I would never admit this to myself let alone write about it for the world to see. After all, doesn't this mean that I am a bad mom or that I'm ungrateful for my life? I guess some could look at it that way. But God gave me a new perspective on this and I want to share it with you, just in case you can relate to what I am describing.
The truth is, I can not give the best of myself if I am not taking time for myself. You see, I used to think that there was something wrong with me in the moments I felt tired or like running away. Then I discovered this truth; if I don't take time for myself, if I don't get a break; I am not being the best mom I can be. I am not being the spouse God has called me to be. My friendships suffer. My house suffers. My ministry suffers. We can all fake it for awhile. But people see through it. Our friends notice our smile isn't as big. Our spouses notice our embrace isn't as tender. Our kids notice we aren't as attentive to their schoolwork or sports accomplishments. Because when we are worn out all the time, we cannot be all that God has called us to be. When I don't take time for rest, time to refresh and refuel; there is absolutely no way I am ready to take on the joys and challenges of motherhood, ministry or friendship. I can't give my best when I have nothing to give. So now, instead of feeling guilty in these moments or feeling like a failure; I simply take a break. That may mean 10 minutes alone in my bedroom reading my Bible, that may mean grabbing a coffee and driving around town listening to music, I may take a power nap or text silliness to a friend. But taking a break has become key to my happiness and my effectiveness.
I know some of you are so incredibly busy you are thinking I must be crazy to suggest that a break is possible. But it is! Take a nap when the kids are napping, read your Bible while you are making those peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, take a long bubble bath, go get a cup of coffee and sit in your car and listen to music. Don't be afraid to admit that you need help. Don't wear the mask of pride. Be willing to say that you are tired and struggling and reach out to your friends. I guarantee they have felt the same way you do. Don't go at this alone. Call your best friend, send her a text; ask for prayer.
I don't know your story or your family dynamics so I don't know what will work best for you; but can I urge you to do something? Taking a little time for yourself will empower you be an attentive mom, a loving spouse, a faithful co-worker and a loyal friend. And most importantly, spend time with the Lover of your soul. Don't neglect the most important relationship in your life. It's amazing how just a little time in His presence can change your whole perspective. Let Him sing over you, let Him fill you with His strength and peace so you can go throughout your day being the best version of you. Take a break. Take some time in His presence. That is where you will find fullness of joy.