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Can't I Just Get a Little Break?

Catherine Parks

Catherine Parks | 11.18.13
Twitter: @cathparks

9 comments

I don't know if you've ever seen the caricature going around the web about the mom who just wants a few minutes of peace and quiet but can't even find it in the bathroom. I laugh at this because it's so true. Whether you're a mom or not, there are seasons of life in which peace and rest seem hard to come by.

When I become tired and weary, little phrases start floating through my mind and sometimes out my mouth. Things like:

  • "I deserve some down time."
  • "I just need rest."
  • "Can't I just get two minutes alone?"

When my husband walks through the door, I'm ready and waiting for him to give me the break I deserve. I start to think, It's the least he could do. I've kept his children alive, clothed, and fed all day, after all.

Sometimes we feel entitled to big things—sex, alcohol, extravagant indulgence. I see the danger in these things and think, Those aren't a huge temptation. I'm doing okay.

I'm learning to be thankful for the interruptions to "me time," because they send me to the only One who can truly give me rest.

But I indulge in far more subtle areas. Caffeine. "Me time." Netflix. Five uninterrupted minutes with my phone in the bathroom. There are many other possibilities—shopping, chick flicks, romance novels, phone games.

Understand, I'm not saying there's anything inherently wrong with having a cup of coffee or checking Twitter or watching a TV show. I enjoy all these things.

The problem is when I'm looking to these things to give me rest. I find myself thinking, It's been a hard week, I think I'll just settle down and watch an episode of a British period drama (which, in my case, turns into a whole season in one week). Then I'll feel rested and refreshed.

But then the kids wake early from their naps, or my phone conversation is interrupted, or we don't have time to pull through the coffee shop drive-through. I quickly think, Ugh, can't I just get a break? Is it too much to ask for one little luxury?

God gives good gifts. I'm convinced coffee is one of them. A long phone conversation with a friend, an enjoyable story, a long bath—these are all good things. But they aren't ultimate, and ultimately they can't satisfy.

I'm learning to be thankful for the interruptions to "me time," because they send me to the only One who can truly give me rest. Don't get me wrong. I don't always respond with truth and love. Sometimes I'm frustrated and wonder why I can't just have what I deserve—a little break.

My weariness can lead me either to escape my troubles temporarily through indulgence, or it can lead me to true rest.

And then it hits me. I get what I don't deserve. My Father has promised to give me rest. He has promised to give me all I need. He has poured out His wrath on His Son instead of on me. I know only love and grace.

In Philippians 4, Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, thanking them for their generosity toward him. He says at one point they were the only church who gave to meet his physical needs. Knowing the sacrifice they made, Paul encourages them by pointing them to the One who cares for them:

My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Like the Philippians, I can sacrifice my time and resources without worry. I don't have to demand "me time." God meets every need I have, through Christ. My weariness can lead me either to escape my troubles temporarily through indulgence, or it can lead me to true rest.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken (Ps. 62:5, 6 NIV).

To what do you run for rest and relief? Have you, like me, forgotten where true rest comes from? How can you remember to find rest in God alone?

Topics: Relationship with God

Comments

  1. Thank you for this article. It talks to me a lot.
    posted by Melanie
    on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 11:47 am
  2. Thank you for this article, it was very convicting to me, as I do often turn to temporary indulgences for rest instead of to the Lord. I am reminded of Deuteronomy 28, and the wonderful promises of God if we obey Him, even in this.
    posted by Brogan
    on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 11:53 am
  3. Wow, I resonate with this so much. I too try and look for ways other than God to satisfy me (coffee, chocolate, NAP TIME) and they don't! He is the only source of true peace and rest. Thank you for the article.
    posted by Kate
    on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm
  4. You and me both, Kate. I have to remind myself that God doesn't give us these good gifts (which I'm convinced coffee, chocolate and nap time all are) so we will seek them for satisfaction. The Giver is much better than the gift. And I have to remind myself daily.
    posted by Catherine Parks
    on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm
  5. We need a rest our body mind and soul... and if want to take rest just singing in praise and worship song..
    http://freechristiansonglc.blogspot.com
    posted by Christian Song
    on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 7:41 am
  6. I always think that if I get it all done (cleaning, laundry etc.) I will be at peace and be able to use my gifts more for Him. However, it never stays all done! I have to remember that rest in Him is different than rest from my work. I will never, never have rest from work here on earth, but I can have rest in Him even in the most strenuous times. Thanks for the encouragement!
    www.in-stepwithspirit@blogspot.com
    posted by Erin E. McEndree
    on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm
  7. My daughter's stomach virus was a much needed rest in disguise for ME. I had to sit near her with the bowl, and we had to cancel our activities. I didn't even have to battle guilt trips about missing out on those activities. When she was well again, she was ready to exert some energy, and so was I.
    posted by Cheryl
    on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm
  8. This resonates with me - I've started to notice that when I turn to these 'indulgences' to give me the break I feel like I've 'earned', I end up getting more impatient, more snappy, more frustrated - not more rested like I'm wanting to. I end up turning more inward and feeling more entitled, and so more resentful of the interruptions and demands.

    But when I embrace the demands and rely on God for my rest, I end up feeling more peace even when I don't get the breaks.
    http://jessiecostin.blogspot.com.au
    posted by Jessie Costin
    on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm
  9. Jessie - It is that way with me too. But when my rest comes from the Lord, as opposed to something I've demanded my right to, its different. It's sweet.
    posted by Nicole
    on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 7:21 am

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