Can I be completely honest for a moment?
In the words of Bilbo Baggins, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”*
It seems like everyone around me is gearing up for the excitement of a new school year, a new season, a new schedule, even the coming national elections.
But, my soul feels no excitement – only weariness.
- I am filled with regret over the passing of a summer that was neither as restful nor as productive as I could have hoped.
- I am concerned about a new school year starting and the grueling schedule that is already becoming our reality.
- I am watching my kids grow up way too fast and wondering if I am being the parent they truly need me to be.
- I am worried about the coming national elections and the direction that our country is taking.
- I feel physically exhausted, mentally worn down, emotionally volatile, and spiritually thin.
Do you ever feel this way?
You and I both know that this is not where God wants us to live.
When we become weary, we know that it is time to slow down, to simplify.
The question, of course, is how can we possibly slow down when life is bearing down on us like a freight train? How can we slow down when we are moving from the “slow and relaxing” months of summer into the crazy busyness of a new school year schedule?
How can we survive when we are starting the race exhausted?
Here are three steps that I am taking to combat this weariness in my own life.
1. Re-Evaluate the Schedule
Moving into a new school year means that I am moving into a busier season in my life. I am homeschooling two fifth graders and one third grader. And, I blog. I try to maintain a relatively clean house. I feed my family and do laundry. I co-teach one Sunday school class with my husband. And, that is about all I do.
Because, with just these few things, I hardly ever get dinner on the table before 7:00 p.m.. I can’t fit anything else on my plate right now. And this has meant saying “no” to several really good opportunities that have come up recently.
How about you? Do you need to seriously cut things out of your schedule? Even good things?
Do you need to let go of your own expectations and the expectations of other people? Do you need to be willing to let people down because you are not “super woman” and you cannot do it all?
Do you need to say “no” a bit more?
2. Eliminate the Distractions As Much As Possible
I am a bit of a talk radio junkie. But, I am choosing to turn off my favorite programs right now. All of the talk about the elections and all of the doomsday predictions of what will happen if this candidate or that candidate wins, is not helping my exhausted heart to find the rest it needs right now.
These distractions are not fueling my weary soul with strength and hope for the race ahead of me.
In fact, my choice in “entertainment” is distracting me from God and causing me to focus on the things of this world.
So, I am turning off the radio, at least for a season. I am not scrolling through Facebook as much.
I am trying to eliminate as many distractions as possible, right now, so that my soul can get some much-needed rest.
How about you? Do you need to eliminate some distractions, at least for a time?
3. Make Room For God’s Words
The purpose behind re-evaluating my schedule and eliminating distractions is to make room for God’s voice.
Have you ever noticed that God seldom shouts at us over the cacophony of messages that we are allowing into our minds each day?
Rather, He waits for us to quiet our own hearts and to turn to Him, and then He speaks truth into our hearts through His Word, comforts us, gives us rest, and heals our wounded and bruised spirits.
So, I want to intentionally turn to God as I enter this busy season in life. I want to make room for God’s voice. I want to be more intentional about:
- Reading the Bible
- Reading uplifting books that would cause me to focus on God
- Listening to audio sermons or Christian music instead of talk radio or secular music
- Memorizing and Meditating on Bible passages throughout the day
- Being intentional about setting time aside for prayer each day
How are you doing? Is your soul weary and your spirit feeling crushed as you look at entering a busy school year with your kids? Do you need to re-evaluate your schedule, remove distractions, and make room for God’s Words?
If so, I would love to hear how you will do this in your own life. Please scroll down to comment.
*Quote from The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
I have been asked to explain how to find rest for your soul, your blog has answered my questions and helped me to find peace in this.
I would like to come and visit you again.
I am so glad it was helpful, Myra. I would be honored if you would come and visit the blog again! May God bless you and give you peace and rest.
I really enjoyed this blog. I found it because this year, I have started a new job that is already requiring more of my time than agreed, my daughter is getting married, my husband and bought a new house so moving and getting settled has taken a toll, and with all of this we pastor a church. I have been disappointed by the lack of progress in focusing on getting my business going. I turned 50. I’m tired…
But I like your idea of just turning everything off that is not a necessity to focus on really what is necessary. I plan to do that plus get rest on purpose, eat healthy, and exercise to rejuvenate my body. When we don’t do these things we can control, things can feel out of control. Blessings to you for sharing!
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing this!! What an encouragement and such truth that needs to be told. Thanks sista!!
You are welcome, Sarah! May God bless you.
I’m right there with you! I was just thinking of poor Bilbo and Frodo the other day too. Only I wasn’t thinking of the spread on toast but the end of the book when war wearied Bilbo and Frodo leave middle Earth with the elves on boats. I need a boat! I have been so worn down these last few months that I can’t even start school with the kids this month. I have simplified as much as possible and have been praying like crazy but no relief is in sight. Life just keeps getting harder and will continue to get harder as the months progress. I feel like I’m getting weaker not stronger and sometimes I feel like I’m too close to the edge of sanity. But I’ll wait on the Lord. His timing is perfect and suffering is never wasted. Life is a battle after all. I’ll pray for you and you pray for me! 🙂
Becki, I think that you are absolutely right! As I am getting older, I am realizing that life doesn’t let up. This is a marathon that God has called us to run, but when we look back on it from eternity, we may realize that it was only a short sprint. I am praying that God will give you the strength and grace that you need for each day, and also rest for your soul as you abide in Him. May God bless you and your family.
I can’t tell you how much i needed this today ..for two nights I have went to sleep with tears rolling down my face .so much has happened so many changes and I have to be a rock ..there is no time to slow down and think .
This year has been a roller coaster for me ..my husband and I closed on a dream home and couldn’t wait to fix it up ..we began moving in and within three weeks I took my husbands uncle to carefor in our home and then I had to take my grandmother unexpectedly. My mom left the state without a word and this decided my whole family ..at first I went into auto pilot and now the last couple of days I feel such a sadness .my kids are back at school , I’ve lost my family and its been a month since my teen son went into a Christian treatment program ..I miss him ..I’m angry at my mom and I’m hurting and I just need to hear God’s word …I need to breath just feel like I’m allowed to breath …I know God has a plan in all of this .I know he sees tomorrow
Wow, Tara, you have so much on your plate right now! I am praying for you, that God will give you the strength to breathe and to live one day at a time. I am praying that God’s Word will be clear and alive to you in a way that you have never experienced before, and that you would know God’s love when all else around you seems to be in turmoil. I am praying that God would help you to abide in Him every day so that He can give you the grace that you need to keep ministering and caring for your husband’s uncle, your grandmother, and your kids. (John 15) May God be with you!