Yesterday one of my sisters sent me a screenshot of a tweet that said, “you have to break, take breaks, or both” by author Yrsa Daley-Ward. I immediately texted her back that she needed to take a break (she does a million things – all good and necessary but a million nonetheless) while simultaneously screaming Jesus in my head. The past 16 months in the Bunkley house have broken me and this text, while on a much-needed vacation, were confirmation that without a break, even the strongest of us will eventually break.
My favorite scripture is Matthew 11:28-30 – 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (ESV). However, can I tell you that I completely ignore this idea of rest on a regular basis, because, I am every woman? I can do all things…you know the rest. Listen, as a dear friend/mentor once said to me, I cannot do anything without Christ and He commands that we rest. Not just go to bed at night and refresh ourselves, but rest. Take a break. Disconnect. Get away. Refuel and reenergize. But we don’t do it enough and it’s self-destructive.
In November my husband’s grandmother passed away unexpectedly. Everything happened in a matter of days and less than ten days after laying her sweet soul to rest The Kid had to have a procedure to take out his ear tubes because of course, they didn’t come out on their own. We postponed our Thanksgiving get away, vowing to make up for it later. At his follow-up, we discovered that one of his ear drums hadn’t closed and we were facing a possible major surgery to repair it. Thank GOD it closed but we’d postponed another get away for fear that if we took the kids swimming, which was the plan all along, that we’d do damage to his ear. 2017 rolled around and was filled with the usual Bunkley shenanigans – the usual bouts of strep throat, my constant sinus infections and fatigue, spring and summer soccer and both my husband and I being swamped at work. But we persevered and planned this vacation. Life was skirting along and on Memorial Day my Uncle Ray passed away unexpectedly. I can’t even say I was devastated because my mind and spirit were so fatigued that I was in shock. I’m still processing the fact that he is gone and that twice, in the span of eight months, I’ve watched two dear people pass away memorialized them, and tried to be strong for the people around me. All the while my soul, my body, my mind, my skin was beyond exhausted.
Which brings me to today. Here I sit, on the couch of our quaint beach cottage, aptly named “Sweet Magnolia” thinking of all the things I want to do and thanking God for the rest I should’ve taken a long time ago. I think that as women, and definitely as Christians, we have this idea that the more we do, the more we go, the more God is pleased with us. Not so much – just ask Martha. He wants us to get somewhere and sit down so that we can 1) Hear Him clearly 2) Rest our bodies so we have the energy to do His will and 3) Be reminded that we can’t and aren’t doing anything meaningful without Him. And don’t get me wrong – I jack these three things up on a daily basis. But as I get older and my body doesn’t quite bounce back like I want it, I recognize that God does not need me doing everything and being everybody to everyone, all the time. Maybe a vacation isn’t possible for you, I get it, but we all can take a couple hours a week to have some peace and quiet – even if it means locking yourself in the closet while the kids watch TV.
Until next time…