Confession #1: I haven’t worked out in 6 days.
Now for the irregular exerciser, that might not seem like ANYTHING. But for the person who works their way up to 6-7 days a week like I had, it seems like an eternity. Between being sick, traveling, lack of sleep, and a busy work schedule, any spare time I had this past week, I felt compelled to simply go to sleep.
Confession #2: I’m not worried about it. I’m not beating myself up or frustrated that I might lose some “tone” or gain a pound; I’ve had to learn not to idolize my abilities, my productivity, or even the fun that I have while working out. I trust myself enough to know that I will pick it right back up at the end of the week with even more energy and better athletic performance because of my little break.
I do find peace and “rest” in my normal daily workouts because for me, it’s all dedicated to my Creator. However, there are times when your body just needs to REALLY physically REST. This is GOOD, and JUST as important as exercising, as long as it is in right proportion and we are not being slothful. Life will always be busy, so we have to weigh when to push through our excuses, and when to listen to our bodies cry for rest.
My high school mentor used to tell me when faced with a problem, “sometimes the holiest thing you can do is take a nap.” I used to laugh because originally I thought it was a justification for a nice mid-day sleep. The older I get, the more I realize the deep deep truth in resting in the Lord, not worrying, and knowing He will take care of you, no matter what craziness is going on in your life or what obligations you have pulling you around.
How often do we treat EVEN Sunday as just another day to get things done and wear ourselves out? I was reminded again this past Sunday about keeping the Sabbath day Holy, just as God rested at the end of the creation story. The congregation was encouraged not to do any projects for work or home, but just to be present with family, and enjoy the day we’ve been given to unwind in God’s goodness. So Sunday I napped for nearly two hours!! I admitted I wasn’t a super hero for one day. I know napping isn’t always possible for everyone, but other ways I “rest” include: journaling, reading, snuggling, singing in the car really loud, having a deep conversation with my spouse, praying in silence, not posting on social media or the blog, or just going to bed a little earlier.
God created rest to provide restoration for our souls. Don’t feel guilty when you feel a calling in your heart to step away from the world for a short time and just breathe and trust. There will always be something to get done, but the world won’t end if you don’t do it right away. (unless you’re the President or something, in which case, bad career choice haha)
Sleep is vital for our mood, our metabolism, our immune system, our cardiovascular health, our brain health, our sanity, and so much more! In my opinion, it is one of the most overlooked aspects of healthy living, and the one aspect that takes the most discipline for people because it involves giving up instead of checking off.
We are over worked. Over stimulated. Over burdened. Cast it all on Him because He cares for you.
Go to sleep trusting that when we are asleep, our great God is awake.