I have just made myself a coffee and warmed up some Banana Bread in our malfunctioning microwave and settled down to finally write this blog. It has been a while coming, but you’ll understand in about three sentences. Two of our closest friends recently returned from an overseas trip and whilst away they heard a short, six-word sentence and passed it along to us. It has truly hit home with me, so I have written it onto our bathroom mirror:
Rest until you can dream again
I am tired. It could have something to do with being pregnant and having a two and a half-year old. I’m positive the financial stress doesn’t help nor the fact that I now need to add ‘microwave’ onto a growing list of things to address around the house. Sigh. In regards to church-life, I have been involved in activities or ministries since I was 13 years old (I’m 30 now). That’s a lot of meetings, vision/directional changes, informal counselling, encouragement and late, late nights. We also did a large amount of travel last year, seeing places and things that were devastating and disheartening. In light of all we saw, we certainly know a lot more about the difference between good intentions and best practice, and I become tired when I see the first more often than not.
Additionally, since coming back from our trip, Tim and I have made it a priority to slow down our schedule. It’s one of the main things we learned for ourselves, the power of rest in a crazy Western world. I tend to feel overly responsible for everything and everyone (a recent revelation), which means my schedule often gets out of control as I try to accommodate the people around me and make sure they are going ok and not getting left by the weigh-side. It’s a learning process, so I’m still learning how to manage my diary.
I’m sure you can understand then, why this little line means so much to me. When you’re tired, it’s hard to think ahead and dream outrageous, energetic dreams. Sometimes it’s hard just getting out of bed, even when you’re not pregnant 😉
For those who believe in Jesus and know a little about their bible, it’s time to be Mary and let the Martha inside me have a break. It’s time to take up Jesus’ offer in Matthew 11:28 and come to Him for rest, to sit on the grass together and not even have to say anything. After a good long rest, maybe we’ll have a conversation about what’s next and what we can do together, but I can imagine Jesus sitting next to me, enjoying the peace and quiet just as much as I am.
I believe that it really is important to rest or have seasons of rest in order to move forward. What I love about this little quote from our friends, is that the pressure is off. It’s a reminder that you don’t have to force yourself to dream; you will naturally be able to do so once you’ve had enough rest. Just rest and eventually the dreaming will begin again. So, if you’re tired, like me… rest until you can dream again.
Love Jess xxoo
Good post Jess. After 45 years of church life, missions activities and pastoring, I have found a nifty little exercise to help stay fresh and sharp. I make a list of all of the things that “drain my battery.” Things that I often feel that I’m expected to do, but they are not what I’m anointed or gifted to do. Then I make a list of the things that “charge my battery.” Things like preaching, visiting people, studying, teaching, meeting with leaders. These things fit my anointing and therefore charge my battery. If the draining things outweigh the charging things on my list, I know that I’m in trouble. Ulitmately, burnout will be the result. I’ve watched too many ministry colleagues do just that. It works for me…got to keep the charging list longer than the draining list. Mean that I have to be ruthless sometimes and not please everyone, but it pleases God. 🙂
That’s great Gary, thanks for sharing! I always love to hear how others navigate long-term involvement.
Beautiful wise words Jess. He’s taking Tony & I on that journey too. Xx