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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Major

Why REST might be your most productive New Year's Goal

If you feel defeated because you aren't meeting your New Years Goals or you feel a little bit anxious because everyone's making so many goals and you're just trying to make it through the day....can I share with you something that helped me feel more excited for the New Year? I'm in a season of working full time, taking care of my almost 1 year old, making dinners, and keeping the house somewhat tidy....and when that's all done, it's usually bedtime, LOL. I love it all deeply, and I'm so grateful for each day I get in my cozy home with my sweet family. But I am still always looking for ways to upgrade my life. I don't know if it's the enneagram 3 in me, or something else, but I love becoming the healthiest, happiest, most righteous and impactful person I can be. And with the season I am in....this looks different than making big and lofty goals that I know will be hard for me to achieve. In this blog post, I am going to share how I am learning to feel calm and joyful about the New Year by (*GASP*) slowing down and continuing to gradually grow in the areas God has been teaching me in the season I am in (and have been in because this didn't restart on January 1st), which allows me to be present, enjoy the day-to-day life, and slowly make life upgrades too.



IF IT'S NOT BIG AND LOFTY GOALS, THEN WHAT IS IT?


I think God's been telling me this for a while, but I'm just now ready to listen....kind of like when my husband tells me a great idea multiple times and I don't realize it's a great idea until "I" come up with it "all on my own"ツ. But this time, I do see that this idea came from God, not me, LOL. Let me tell you what it is first, and then I'll explain. The New Year upgrade that I have been feeling nudged to is: soul rest. I know. You're like, "Brittany, do you think I have time for rest?!" Let me explain!


Based on the things I mentioned earlier, my plate feels pretty full. Very blessed, but full none-the-less, lol. And in my not so wise age (of almost 30 omg) I have realized that I am not getting any less busy. The to-do list is always there, even right after I check everything off....I swear.


I kept trying to adjust and complete my list and I always felt like I ran out of time. EVERY SINGLE TIME, my new adjustment felt good for a couple weeks and then I started to quickly feel like I couldn't keep up. I would readjust and try again. And you guessed it....the same thing happened. I just often kept finding myself saying, "I CAN'T DO IT ALL". And I see that with kids, it can be so easy to feel like I never get a break, which makes me the opposite of a joyful wife and mom. But here's what God's been teaching me this season: It takes more faith to slow down then it does to speed up. I want to go faster and He keeps calling me to go slower. And man, oh man, are my daily tasks significantly more joyful when I Rest in Him.


What does it mean to rest in Him? I'm still figuring this out, haha! I'm not just writing this blog post for you, I'm wiring it because I need it too. And soul rest is new to this recovering over-achiever. ツ But here's what I'm learning, with the help of, "The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry".


It's time to stop, rest, and delight.


Stop - Know that what you've done has been enough and trust that you don't have to keep going.

Rest - take naps, slow down, and sleep in (I know it's hard with babies).

Delight - In God and the things that bring joy to your soul. Pray, read your bible, and worship the Lord, and do the things that bring joy to your soul. What lights you up? You might have to do some soul searching if it's been a while since you've done the things that you love.


I listened to a podcast from Leslie Burris on this concept and she referred to it as a Christmas Day, without any expectations, that happens on a continual basis, which sounds amazing. You can listen to how her family does rest day here.


WHY SOUL REST?


I am pretty much known for being a (bit ridiculous) over-achiever. Give me a goal and I will usually meet it, and try really hard to exceed it. Why? I don't know. That's a Brittany problem for another day. But when I look back and reflect, I notice that I have always been good at planning for the future (God LOLs at this), which causes me to always think about what's next and plan/do things accordingly. In college, I was so focused on completing my degree in 3 years and getting done quickly so I could start my real job that I forgot to just enjoy the days, months, and years. My famous line is, "I just need to do _____, and then I will have more time." Turns out, that's not usually how it works. I always find something more I want to do. A new goal to achieve, or a wrench just gets thrown in my plans because that's life, you know? I am a huge work in progress (thank goodness God doesn't give up on us), and I can see now that going and going leads to more going and going.


I know that you have big goals like I do, but our souls need time to catch up with our bodies. Our flesh likes to push us till we drop, but it's at the expense of our heart and souls - the most special part about us. Instead of focusing on doing more, I'm focusing on being me, being present, being rested, being a child of God, being a joyful homemaker, being the gift God made me to be. Something I recently heard that I love, "We forget that we are human beings, not human doers." It's such a good reminder that while we were designed to have goals and serve others, we also do not have to earn our way into heaven. We are seen. We are loved. We are treasured just by who we are. When we make soul rest a priority, we not only are more peaceful and joyful versions of ourselves, but we also reap the benefits that are a million times better than wearisomely finishing a to-do list.


I feel like I need to add this: I'm not giving up on my goals. In fact, I'd say it's just the opposite. I am willing to slow down and know when to stop, so that I can continue to work on them from a place of joy, peace, and understanding. Not from a place of hurry, worry, and need.



NOT CONVINCED THAT SOUL REST IS ACTUALLY PRODUCTIVE?


If you're anything like me, you like the idea of all this, but you're not FULLY convinced that resting is going to be exactly what you need. And you're still struggling to see how this will work with your life. I mean there are dishes to do, babies to feed, and sleep to be had, and do you see that floor you just cleaned.....OF COURSE it already has more dog hair!! I know. I feel you. I am going to share with you some of the things I have recently learned (and witnessed) that have pushed me farther into believing it's true, even though sometimes resting is the last thing I want to do. So if you're not convinced, give me a few more minutes to help your brain see the possibility of what soul rest can do for your life!


Let's get right to the meat and bones of what God tells us about this.


I have been reading a book that has really sealed this idea in for me. It's called, "The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry". In that book, the author shares this bible verse over and over, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30. Rightfully so....those verses are powerful. Read them a few times.


How many times have you made time for self-care and found yourself wanting more?

How many times have you caught yourself saying, "I can't fit everything in during the day?"

How often does life feel heavy and burdened?


Jesus is inviting you to something different.


But why is it so hard for us to find rest for our souls?


In case you forgot (sometimes I do), the enemy is fighting for your soul too. And some of his favorite tactics are keeping you busy. The busier you are, the less awareness and time you have for being a child of God. You're a threat to the enemy. He knows how impactful and influential you can be, and the last thing he wants is for you to be a joyful wife and mother - where your impact will be reaped ten-fold. Just read this bible verse, "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10


You are incredibly valuable. You're worth more than any gold, or treasure someone might find. The enemy knows this.


The good news is that God is mightier. No matter how hard satan tries. But you have to put your trust in Him. I read this in my devotion and it really hit the spot, "What I can accomplish in and through you is proportional to how much you depend on Me." Ohhh, that's good. So you're telling me that I can have more righteous impact, the more I follow God? And what did God do? He rested.


This is straight from my book,


If you think you don't need rest....God rested.

If you think you're too busy....God rested.


And what I find even more telling, is that the more Jesus did, the more rest He needed. I tend to do the opposite. The more I do, the less time I make for soul rest.


Resting in God is a precursor to the other things I want - to be a joyful and happy wife and mother. To make righteous impact.


Here's my take-away and what I feel God has been nudging me to see and learn: I can keep doing things on my own terms, but it's going to be hard, I'm probably going to hit a brick wall over and over again, and I'm more likely to feel like I'm surviving. Or, I can trust God and His timeline for my life and believe that He is full of abundance for me. The later sounds a heck of a lot better, but it's easier said than done, especially when resting In God is not something we're used to. But goodness, are the rewards far more than we could ever imagine.


HOW I AM LEARNING TO BE SOULFULLY RESTED


Like I mentioned earlier, I needed this blog post just as much as you! I am still learning and here to share what I think might help you because it's helped me.ツ The list below are all things I have been slowly working on incorporating more in my life, but it's a lot of trial-and-error along with practice. Much of this list doesn't really come naturally to me and I'm a work in progress, so please remember that I'm just sharing ideas I'm working on and this might look different for you!


  1. Bible time in the mornings. I've played around with doing bible time in the evenings or in the middle of the day and this is just the best way to start my day.

  2. I stopped tying to be perfect and never miss a day. I have another blog post where I discuss the idea of finally finishing a journal because I stopped trying to be perfect and shaming myself when I missed a day. You can read about it here.

  3. Quiet time. This has been surprisingly hard to do, lol. But sometimes we need a little bit of quiet time to hear God and feel His presence. I have been doing this for 5 minutes here and there and it's honestly a game-changer.

  4. Sabbath. Phew this is another hard one. Taking a whole day for soul rest (like we talked about earlier), to stop, rest, and delight in the Lord and the things that bring joy to your soul. I'm starting small on this goal and just trying to incorporate this for half a day on a weekend. Don't forget to check out Leslie Burris's podcast on Rest Day!

  5. Maybe the most important? I am learning when to stop. In the past, I have stayed up till midnight or 1 am to finish my blog post or whatever I am working on. But I have been reflecting on all the progress I've been making lately. Specifically on this blog post, I wanted to have it out by the first of the year, but the day came (and I had been working on it to the max capacity I've been able to without feeling exhausted and overwhelmed) and it just wasn't ready. So I moved the date and adjusted my goal for how many blog posts I wanted to get done a month. And I have spent many nights typing this out and every single time I have wanted to keep going, but I catch myself and realize that I have done enough. It feels really uneasy and it's taking a lot of faith to say no to my flesh and yes to God, but I have watched beautiful things come from my faith. I have watched God take care of little things throughout my day, somehow give me time to do my tasks and time to rest at the end of the day, and I also was able to finish this blog post by my new and extended deadline, lol. That's what I'm saying when you reap the benefits - it's more than you can even wish for. God just shows up in all the little and big ways and it's an honor to partner with Him.


WANT MORE ENCOURAGEMENT?


If you struggle always wanting to do more and might be an enneagram 3 like me, then be sure to grab my FREE 3-day devotionals for recovering over-achievers! I want those that have high achieving tendencies to stop hurrying, worrying, and doing, and instead be more joyful in their day-to-day lives by surrendering more to God and being the gift they were made to be.



Much love and I'm rooting for you,

Brittany ♡

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