Jenny & Savannah of MAIEDAE started a series called Sunday is our Sabbath. I love it. It is just the weekly reminder I need to slow down, unplug, breathe, destress, spend time with people without stressing over deadlines, times and to-do lists. They have a weekly challenge focused on slowing down and a hashtag to use to share with others (all on Monday of course….we are trying to unplug 😉 )
My husband (and everyone else who knows me) has been commenting on my stress levels lately. I have this weird / terrible habit of adding things to my to-do list when I am stressed out. I think MORE. If only I could have more time to do this, make this, film this, learn how to do this, meet everyone for coffee, work overtime at work, and redo the bedroom I would be less stressed. As if my energizer bunny could kick in and wipe out the unending list and I would be so ahead that stress would be absent.
It is completely illogical when you write it out in a list like this, but in my head it is what I need. More things to say that I have accomplished, more worth & value because I did it all and more, more encouragement & praise because I never stop. I work, I stress, I never stop because I am afraid of stillness. I am afraid of what my heart looks like when I take time to look at it. I am afraid that if a day goes by without a single item checked off of my checklist that I am somehow less – maybe even worthless.
I define myself by what I produce and I lay in bed at night thinking of all the ways that I “let people down” – yes. These are real relationship breakers here – things like forgetting lemon juice at the grocery store, not picking up Starbucks for everyone on the way into the office because I am already late, and letting the coffee spill sink into the carpet because I got distracted doing laundry.
I am going to say something that shouldn’t be radical but is – you ARE NOT defined by what you produce and neither am I. We have intrinsic value, deep beauty, and are loved immensely. None of that can ever change by what we do or don’t do.
Do you see these flowers? They were a gift. A gift that reminded me to let go. To pull a Elsa and just let it all go! That perfect girl that I strive to be? It is unrealistic and well, dumb. Because the more I stress, the less I love. and the more I pile on my list, the less I enjoy.
Tomorrow is Sunday, I hope you read this as you are cuddled on the couch with piles of blankets or with squinty eyes as you read it on your phone still in bed. Why? Because you need a break too. We all do. We need a day set aside for friends, family, books, Jesus, and peace – that to-do list? Forget about it! It will patiently wait until Monday. Don’t miss the now because you are so worried about what is next.
Stop and smell the roses… and send the roses. Because your resting will allow others to rest and your care will encourage others to care. Today I challenge you to rest. Maybe that includes writing a note to a friend, chatting after the service, spending an extended lunch with a friend, taking an afternoon nap, sending a bouquet to a friend who needs some encouragement, or even buying one for yourself to brighten up your home.
PS:These flowers are from the Bouqs and that is the ONLY way to go if you are in the mood for flowers!