Well, hey friend! I’m back! And I’m so glad to be!
Last you heard from me, I was launching the full website for BGP and then decided I needed a break. The months leading up to the launch were so full. Full in a really wonderful way, yes, but overall, too full. And to be honest: while everything was so exciting on social media, and life looked easy and perfect, the reality behind it looked quite different.
I was so worn out and tired. My world somehow began to feel uncontrollably busy… to an unhealthy level. I had no prayer time. No time to work out and take care of myself. I was running on little sleep and eating poorly. My priorities got all jumbled and I began focusing on what was urgent rather than what was really important. I was just winging it all. Not the best feeling…
So, I decided that I would hop off social media for the summer and make everything as simple as possible. Just for a little while. And then at the end of the 2 months, I can give myself the freedom to pick anything back up and keep going or decide to change things around a little.
*Spoiler Alert: things changed quite a bit
So, here’s how it went
(And, everything you missed over the summer):
Nothing sounds better than time off when you’re busy… We really romanticize it. And it really is wonderful, but I quickly learned, you can’t just come to a sudden stop that easy.
You can’t be flying through life at 100 miles an hour, and then expect to wake up the next day and have a slow easy morning and a cup of coffee, read a book, then go for a walk.
It took a lot of time and practice to simplify everything from my phone, my work, even my thoughts.
Even leaving social media was hard… I was constantly looking to check my phone, even going all the way to where the Instagram app used to be on my phone and then realizing it was gone.
Slowing down work took practice; it was against everything I was doing my last few months. I wanted to keep going. I felt like I was missing something or behind on an email. And I had to let myself learn that it’s okay to have slow days.
That was the first 2 weeks… but then it took a turn for the better!
I went up north for a couple weeks and I could just let myself rest and play. And then I took a trip to the beach with the family.
And after the first 2 weeks, I found that my thoughts sky rocketed! When my mind rested, my creativity came back. My excitement for everything came back!
I’m always surprised with how, when you give yourself the freedom to stop, you actually are still productive… if not more so.
I had time to be still and reconnect with the Lord and hear His voice again. I was able to get together with friends and just enjoy being together. I read a lot.
And then I spent my last week planning for the second half of the year and the beginning of 2022 (don’t judge me… I know how crazy Type A that sounds), so that I can finish strong and be intentional. I put new rhythms into place and I couldn’t be more excited and ready to jump back into it all… this time with a fresh perspective.
But Here’s My Biggest Takeaways
1. We live in an action-addicted world.
It’s crazy. A lot of people find their value in how busy they are. And it’s exhausting to try and keep up. God has been really clear in telling me that this is not the way He designed it. He has given us enough hours in a day, and days in a week… but we have over-packed them full. And our significance is not found in how much we can accomplish. And it’s okay to scale things back and do less.
2. The devil’s best tool is noise and distraction… to just keep us busy.
In C.S. Lewis’, Screwtape Letters, the demon writes:
“We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it.”
If he can keep the world loud, and distracting, and make us feel too busy to spend time with God then we can so easily run out of steam. We get exhausted and feel life slip away from us. We have no time for God, relationships, and the things that really matter. And instead, we turn to more mind-numbing things, like social media, to find rest. John Mark Comer in his book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry said: “When life gets busy, spending time with God should be our go-to, but it is often the first to-go.” Is it just me or does that hit a little too close to home?
3. God is teaching me that there is an easier approach to life and work
Jesus offers us to take up his easy yoke. A yoke is a tool the farmers would use to pair up the oxen so that they could pull the farming equipment together. Some yokes carried heavy burdens, but Jesus offers us to put down our heavy yoke and instead carry his easy yoke.
Frederick Dale Bruner said, “A yoke is a work instrument. Thus, when Jesus offers a yoke, he offers what we might think tired workers need least. They need a mattress or a vacation, not a yoke.”
Jesus offers us a new way to approach life and work. A better way to work. A way that is side by side with him… with him leading and carrying the majority of the weight. It is a restful way to work. And it’s one that the world doesn’t talk about much.
All in all, I’m excited to be back and blogging… doing the things that make me really happy. And I’m so eager for the fall season to begin. I have a lot more I could share about this, but I will leave you with this sweet comforting verse:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”– Matthew 11:28
I hope that you find just as much joy as I am in a simple and quiet life with Jesus too, friend. Here’s to moving slower!