I've experienced a legitimate trauma this month. Some of you will understand my pain when I reveal to you that I, Meg, am a recovering Northerner. I was cold, oh-so-cold, most of my childhood. This recent "Siberian Express" has done nothing more than to throw me back into stay-puff winter coat, lost one glove, boogers-have-frozen types of flashbacks. Candidly, I am a big baby when it comes to low temperatures.
Symptoms like hostility and insatiable hunger are re-emerging. I'm cycling between moments of stir crazy and sluggishness. If a picture says a thousand words, then I've captioned the one above, "put your head down and push through the season". Facts: It's February. It's still cold. And, I've got a case of "brown slush". Just as newly fallen snow eventually becomes drab and dirt-stained, sadly, so has my attitude. Ouch.
You know, I could continue to blame winter, or maybe I could just make an admission. It might be possible, that maybe, well...in all likelihood. Ok, fine, I'll just say it. I don't rest well. I don't like to be stuck inside and I don't like my plans to be impeded by anything. Ever. In fact, you could just say, "I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it." Is anybody hearing me?!?!
So, as any persistent academic would do, I decided to get to the bottom of the issue of winter and why, in the name of all things happy, that we have to have it...why the trees lose their leaves.
Say the folks at Wisegeek.com, "Trees lose their leaves to protect themselves during the winter months, as the cold dry winds readily strip moisture through the leaves. By losing their leaves, trees can conserve their moisture in the trunk and branches, rather than drying out and dying. In addition, the leaf loss puts the tree into a state of dormancy, and greatly reduces the amount of energy that the tree needs to stay alive." (Adapted)
And BAM, there it was. Rather than drying out and dying, the tree rests. It's years of perfectly timed obedience and periods of growth, reproduction, and dormancy, results in not just survival, but the ability to bear fruit!
We can't bear fruit if we don't rest. We may produce, but will it be excellent? The cold winds of "do, do, do", and a bad attitude, will rapidly strip away the protection of the Living Water that flows through you and me; God Himself pouring a lifeblood of energy and strength into our days.
Will we leave our trunk and branches, our very foundations, to fend for themselves in the winter of stubborn ambition to "get things done". Or will we make certain to stay rested, well-nourished, and obedient until it's time to bloom? Rest up girls, the spring will be here before we know it...with more to do than we can keep up with!
Together in waiting...patiently, sort of,
1. Do you struggle with rest?
2. How are you able (or how could you begin) to make sure you get a Sabbath?
3. Have you ever burnt out or are you burnt out today? How did you, or how will you be able to slow down to keep yourself healthy?
4. How do you identify and prioritize "God things" versus "you things" when considering your to-do list?
Photo credits: Kent Henderson and Brian Jimenez, Unsplash
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.