Back in high school my psychiatrist shared a little nugget of wisdom with me. A big component of inpatient success stems from the idea that there is routine. When our lives are in already feeling out of control routines add an extra barrier of security around a sea of not knowing. Establishing a routine was the hardest habit for me to implement in my daily life and it has been the most life changing. Everyone’s routine looks different. For me it had to start out with having a set time I woke up everyday before everyone else in my house…just to be. Now, I wake up at 5, throw in a load of laundry, go hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes, throw the laundry in the dryer, then I settle down with my coffee and pray/write. I love my mornings. They set the tone for our entire day. I say “our” because having a routine has made such an impact on my life that it spills over on to my family as well. Routines are vital especially in a world where we do not know what is going to happen next. They add stability and vitality that would not otherwise be there, but it is so important to remember that routines change. Day to day, week to week, hour to hour,and they may look different but the goal has got to be the same. To nourish our soul.
When we shift from self- care to caring for our spirit, transformation happens. I have been thinking a lot about rest, Sabbath, self-care, and how they all intertwine. Routines help stabilize, Rest helps revitalize, and Sabbath reminds us who it is all for.
I have been terrified of “rest” for awhile now, because I really did not understand what rest truly was.
Rest looks different for everyone. It doesn’t have to be a nap or a two hour bubble bath, it can be a five minute prayer going to and from work just to connect with your Father and tell him about your day. It is implementing routines in your daily life that automatically make life a little fuller. It is a deeper knowing that you are not what you do and nothing you do, say, or abandon will make you of any lesser value.
Resting for me right now looks like if I get nothing accomplished today I am still just as loved as I was the day before and just as much as I will be loved tomorrow. Nothing I do or say will change any of that. It is process in getting that from head to heart and that takes discipline,but it is a process that renews and refreshes with every step of the way.
The amount of sleep a person is getting is a huge indicator on how a person is doing mentally. Sleeping all day or not sleeping at all can highlight something being off. Somewhere between knowing that tid bit of information and being terrified of falling into a depressed stupor I decided against anything pertaining to rest. That is where my thinking needed to shift. I realized a lot of my ability to not rest came from the fear of being depressed. I shrunk my identity down to something that could be crossed off a to do list instead of seeing that I was fully loved regardless of what did or did not get done.
We cannot let yesterday be the measure for today. When God wants to do something new we have to be willing to let the old way of doing things go. God is constantly making things new but it is only through the resting and knowing that we will be able to acknowledge and recognize the change that he is inviting us into.
What is distracting you from perfect peace? How is it effecting how you see yourself and how you see the Lord? I urge you to press in, look up, and stop your worrying. Pick up the new, let go of the old, and step into all He has for you today.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34 NIV