I just came back from a short vacation in Tennessee yesterday. This much needed hiatus from life was spurred on by my husband, who has been running and working like crazy these last few months at work as some new projects were being created and completed. As we spent time prepping to leave, I was hit by a revelation that I can only say was from the Lord – one that changed my whole attitude on this trip and my whole perspective on the balance between resting & working.

Before I get to that, have you ever taken a vacation, long or short, and been plagued with anxiety about when you would have to go back to the ‘real world’? Nah? Just me? K Cool. Well, I ALWAYS have anxiety at the beginning of trips, already anticipating when the end will surely come and the monotonous schedule of daily life will creep back up with all its chaos and stress and problems. Sounds like a total blast, right? Welcome to my life. This is honestly a dreadful mindset to sit in, but I haven’t been able to break it for so long.

Until now.

It was on part of the drive on day one of our trip (like some hours into our total 9 of travel) that the Lord spoke to me regarding this lingering anxiety I had. Ready for it? He said “I desire that you work out of rest, instead of rest out of work.”

“I desire that you work out of rest, instead of rest out of work.”

I think I heard a message given on this years and years ago but this very much present and very much relevant reminder took some reflecting to really understand. Work out of rest? Is that even possible? In todays age of instant gratification, always moving traffic, texts that are called to be answered to, and people that are longing to be acknowledged, how do I do a complete 180 on my work/rest ratio?

“Not alone,” He said.

Okay…so I don’t have to walk through this alone, but Lord, do you really understand what you are asking? You can’t blame me for having a little  anxiety about the end of this trip coming up – it’s just under a week, and then back to reality. Back to emails and phone calls and schedules filled with family and friends and events. Yeah of course I am excited for the time to come, but is it really enough time to rest? And there are so many more productive things I could be doing.. and so much is coming although I am so excited about this time of rest and recoup, I am definitely more anxiety-ridden on having to go back home than enjoying the time away.

During this conversation with my Papa during the drive, I worked through a lot of this. Not only is He here to walk through this with me but He reminded me that rest is necessary; that others need the best version of myself and that this version is found and shaped in my moments of rest. Moments spent alone in intentional time are where I build the foundation of who I am and remember Whose I am (go read “YOU SHOULD GO & LOVE YOURSELF” for more on this).

God continued on this with me and helped me realize that by learning to work out of my rest times, instead of simply “taking time to rest” from work times, I was building a pattern for success. A pattern that was both sustainable and productive – yes, more productive than on the go 24/7 working.

These times of rest don’t have to be week-long vacations. They can be 20 minutes a day spent on yourself, they can be a short weekend away at a cottage up north, or they can be 3 week long trips to the Bahamas. Anything restful counts. Regardless of specificities, the important thing I learned is that this rest time is so  crucial.

Once I got over the anxiety of the trip ending with help from Him, I was really able to focus on the excitement of the trip beginning! This revelation at the beginning changed my attitude the entire time, giving me and my husband a better environment to grow closer and giving me a better attitude to enjoy our time away, carefree and stress-free.

So remember, child of God, that your Papa wants you to rest. Don’t feel guilty or less-than because you aren’t being “productive” in those moments, instead rest in Him and ask Him what He thinks true productivity looks like. I can assure you there is grace, peace, and love in His arms, and that He will guide you to a restful place unlike any other you’ve been to.

With Encouragement,