Why Slowing Down Starts With Trusting God
I may be backtracking here or even repeating myself. But I had a little breakdown a few weeks back. As I sat crying in front of my new peer and almost stranger, he posed a question that we should all entertain...
At the time, I couldn't answer. I had been running myself ragged. Working everyday. And when I say everyday, I mean 7 days a week focused on my never ending to-list. Trying to catch up and always falling behind.
Choosing to Invest
The reason I couldn't answer was because I was neglecting me. My soul. The things that were good for me. Instead, I spent time grabbing lunch through a drive-thru, rushing to my next task, behind my desk. My body never rested. My mind never rested. My soul never rested.
The honest truth is that you don't have to be running your own business to get to this point. Your to-do list at work can start to feel overwhelming when expectations rise and time slips away.
Or maybe your mom-game is on but your kiddos all have to be somewhere at the same time and there's no time for dinner or fun together or a power nap.
Maybe your family or your relationship expectations find you digging out of all the things you need to do to "be there" for others.
Or maybe you've hit a wall of grief at unmet expectations.
And I wonder, as we enter into summer, if you feel this way? Can you pinpoint what brings you joy presently? If you can't, your not alone.
Commit to Slowing Down
So, I committed to writing down what self-care would look like in my present life. I committed to choosing to invest in me every once in a while. I committed to working less weekends. I committed to mid-day walks with the dog. I committed to staying out of drive-thru lines and more of what makes me healthy.
What I found in a few short weeks that self-care is about more than commitment. As I processed what led me to a break down and that feeling that I'm overwhelmed was that I had to do it all. I had to keep all the balls juggling. I was in charge of pleasing my clients (both coaching and website). I was in charge of staying on schedule. I was in charge. And when I'm in charge, I don't have time for me. For walking. For eating healthy and cooking. For relaxing.
Commit to Trusting God
I also found that I was not trusting God. For my income. For taking care of the people I loved. For taking care of the people I wanted to please. For bestowing favor when it came to clients and my people. For handling all the things when I needed to press pause.
And so I did what any task oriented girl would do...I kept working. I kept pushing off the areas I needed a little slowing down in so I could get stuff done.
For the first summer ever, I'm doing a book club at One Foot (more info on that here). I knew I needed to slow it down. I knew I couldn't write another study with my long list of to-do's. So I chose a book by Priscilla Shirer called God is Able.
And in the choice to slow down, I was faced with a decision. Sure our One Foot Community was used to Bible study and weekly homework. I knew there would be a few who might choose not to come because that's not what they were looking for. But I also realized this was an opportunity to trust God.
In this season. When I needed a change. When I needed some space. Would God be able to still bring the One Foot tribe together? Would God still draw others to gather and do life together? Would I release my own control and just be obedient to finding joy again by slowing down?
Commit to Laying it Down
Here's the thing about slowing down. You can't slow down and still hold all the things. You can't slow down and still be in charge of all the things. In order to slow down you need to let go of something. Your ability to meet every need. Your desire to make every social event. Your commitment to be available for all the people. Sometimes slowing down includes some letting go.
And with letting go comes trusting God. Trusting God to love and take care of the people you love that you may disappoint. Trusting God to expand the time you do have. Trusting God that people and stuff and clients and whoever is waiting for you will still be there after you take care of you.
I've been studying Psalm 46 lately. It's a famous psalm mostly because of that BE STILL verse. We quote it all the time and we typically think it means to stop talking. To rest. And it kind of means that. But as I dove in, I learned that it's actually a military term in the original Hebrew. It literally means to lay down your weapons. To lay down the tools you typically rely on to succeed.
You know, getting everything done. If you're like me, making sure it's done right and on-time. Making sure you feel accomplished. Or making sure you disappoint no one. Whatever IT is, laying it down.
As I close, I want to let you know that I see you. Trusting God to pause your to-do list and sit with Him is hard work. But as I've been working on the hard work of slowing down and resting, I've come face to face with the fact that I'm not trusting God for provision. Or community. Or clients. Or any of the other things I grind my teeth about at night.
And I'm guessing that you too have some things that are hard to lay down. You too have some things that you feel the need to keep working on. That you too, deep down, know that you're afraid to press pause and let a ball drop.
Let's do this together. Let's choose to trust God, drop whatever we're been juggling, and choose to slow down for the health of our soul.
Hey friends! I'd love to hear from you. What helps you trust God and slow down? Share your tips with me and the One Foot Community here.