What To Do When You’re Doing Too Much: Say Yes to Rest

Are you often overwhelmed? Overcommitted? Do you have a hard time saying no? Then hang around this week. We’re going to start off the new year by learning to say “no” to filling our days with busyness and say “yes” to the things God wants in our lives.


Say Yes to Rest

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
Matthew 6:31, ESV
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:40-42, ESV

mary-martha-and-jesus-1354812-mI admit it. This is something I struggle with every day. I have a tendency to stay up way into the night to get things done that I didn’t have time for during the day. I spend my weekends catching up on things at home that I’ve neglected during my busy week. I’ve often lamented, “If only I didn’t need to sleep! I could get so much more done!”

I don’t know about you, but I have a very hard time relaxing when there’s laundry to do, dog hair to vacuum, errands to run and projects I need to finish. It doesn’t help that we’ve always been told things like “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” and that a Proverbs 31 woman never stops working—she rises while it is still night and her lamp never goes out. Sitting around doing nothing? I can’t even comprehend that most days.

As admirable as the woman in Proverbs 31 is, I don’t think this kind of non-stop busyness is what Jesus wants for our lives. When Martha was fretting over Mary not helping her serve their guests, Jesus gently reminded her that it wasn’t necessary to be so anxious, and that Mary had chosen the thing that mattered—spending time with Him.

I know at times I get so busy that I forget to spend time with Him. I try to remember each morning to read my devotions and pray, but on those days when you sleep through the alarm and wake up running, sometimes the day slips by before I realize I haven’t taken that time.

Women, especially mothers, tend to put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. We often neglect things like our own rest, whether that’s physical or spiritual. And ladies, they’re equally important. (I’m preaching to myself here, trust me!) We cannot continue to serve others or God if we’re physically and spiritually exhausted.

Physical rest is vitally important. It’s linked to heart health, brain function, and even weight loss. Scientific studies have shown that adults who get 7-8 hours of sleep at night are actually much more productive during the day than those who burn the midnight oil to get things done. I know it’s not always easy, especially if you have small children, but try to remember that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and caring for it is your responsibility. If you’re exhausted and sick, you won’t be much help to anyone.

The same is true for spiritual rest. Find time, even a few minutes a day, to sit down, cast your cares on Jesus, and then listen to what He has to say. Plug in to the Scriptures. Recharge spiritually. Talk to God as you go through your day. If you’re afraid people will think you’re nuts, then pray silently. Give thanks for little things like a good parking place at Walmart or the feel of the sun shining through the window. Connect with God, as often as possible, because whenever you do, your spirit will find rest. And the best part?

He’s always there, waiting.

In His Love,