Well, I have officially been on the antibiotics for my sinus infection for 10 days. I take the last dose tonight. I am feeling better, though I do think I might have pushed myself a bit too hard the past couple of days. But anyone who knows me knows that I tend to push myself to hard at times, doing too much and not ‘resting’ like I should. Resting, rest, get your rest, make sure you rest. Yep, that’s what I’ve been hearing for going on 3 weeks now. When this all started, not only was I getting this nasty cold, but I had pulled a muscle in my hip exercising. So I needed to ‘rest’ my hip. When I realized I couldn’t do a whole lot because of my hip I was so thankful for my new laptop. Because when I rest, I need to do something when I’m resting. Yes, I know, kind of a backward thinking kind of thing. But I have a very hard time just sitting and doing nothing but resting. I want to do some work on my website or some other online work. I want to do something that makes me feel like I’m working and accomplishing things. I don’t mind reading and crocheting or cross stitching when resting, but as weird as it sounds, when I do those things I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing any work. I feel like I’m being lazy. My crafts should only be done in the evening when I’ve finished all my work for the day. That’s the thought that goes through my head. So resting to me is sitting but still doing some sort of work, which usually means computer work. I guess it comes from when I worked in corporate land. It’s something that has always been in me, I don’t want to be lazy. I want to work and do what I’m suppose to ‘do’. But I think that is the crux of everything, what I think I’m suppose to ‘do’.
But this past few weeks since I’ve been sick, I’ve had to adjust what my thought of resting really means. I don’t think it really hit me that I didn’t truly understand what it means to rest until I walked out of the doctor’s office last week. The last thing the doctor said to me was, “Make sure you get some rest.” To which I rolled my eyes saying, “Yes, I KNOW I need to rest.” He said, “I know, it’s hard to do when you can’t sleep.” Hmmm, resting and sleeping. I know, strange, but I’ve never connected the two. Sleeping is what I do at night, resting is what I do doing the day when I’ve pushed myself to hard. But wait, part of making sure I’m well rested means to make sure I’m sleeping well. And if I’m not, to do something about it. Hmmmm, that has gotten me thinking and praying. Because when I’m tired I don’t always sleep, well I never sleep. Because if I do, I’m being lazy. But when my body is worn down, I need to rest and at times, that means sleep. And not feel guilty when it does mean that. So today, after having lunch with my dad then running some errands with my family, I came home feeling very exhausted. I knew I was pushing myself a bit too hard, and I needed to ….. rest. So what did I do this time? I laid down and dozed for a bit. Yep, I slept. I slept because my body needed it and I didn’t feel guilty about it. Well, ok I started feeling guilty, but tried not to focus on that.
But all of this has got me thinking, why do I feel so guilty when I’m not ‘doing’. Why do I have such a high standard of what I need to do? Why do I think that what I am doing is never enough? Why am I always feeling like I need to do more? And I’m realizing it’s because I define myself by what I ‘do’. I define myself by my busyness. Paul and I have joked before about it and we call it the ‘busyness badge’. And it seems to be the new thing. People are proud of how busy they are, and they like to show it off. They like to talk about everything they’ve been ‘doing’, how busy they’ve been and why they can’t get together with friends because of how busy they are. Been there, done that, continue to do that at times. I like to show people how busy I am so they will think well of me. So they will think, “Wow, she is definitely not lazy.” “Doesn’t she accomplish alot!” “Isn’t she some sort of ‘super woman'”. Of course I like to play like I don’t want those kinds of accolades. “Oh no, not me, it’s the Lord.” Hmmm, really? Is that really how I feel? Or am I comparing myself to what other woman are doing and think I’m not doing enough. They are in the kitchen canning all day, or in the garden working all day. They have so much to show for all they’ve done, what do I have to show for what I’ve done the past few days or weeks? What can I put on my blog to show what I’ve been up to? How can I show people that I have been busy accomplishing things? And in there lies the problem, I want to show others what I’ve been accomplishing. I want to be able to answer friends question “So what have you been up to?” with a long list of things I’ve accomplished. I want to show off my ‘busyness badge’.
But through two different things the Lord has shown me how wrong I am. Through this past illness and through a new book the woman’s bible study I go to has started. Which, as it happens, I missed the first meeting because I was sick. But the book is “Becoming a Woman of Simplicity” by Cynthia Heald. Here is a quote that really spoke to me, “The key to knowing what I should be doing is my being yoked to Christ. It is in walking daily with Him that I can hear His voice. When I am abiding, then I no longer have to wonder if I’m doing enough.” That is where I want to be. I want to abide in the Lord. I want to be so close to Him that I know what He has for me to do. Even if at times what He has for me to do is rest. And I want to learn to celebrate the differences He has made between all of us. I won’t be one who cans all day after working in the garden, it’s just not me. I do can, my family loves my strawberry jelly I make. But I buy the strawberries from Paul’s work, and I only do one batch. I don’t do it to feed us through the winter, I just do it because it’s a yummy treat. I won’t be as busy as some of my friends who are constantly doing different ministries at church. Running this program and leading that program. It means that I will be walking in the direction the Lord has for me, and that can (and probably will) change daily. I need to accept that, and grow in learning how to not compare myself to others. I need to rest and abide in the Lord. It’s going to be a daily thing for me to learn. I need to be ok when someone asks “So JoAnn, what have you been up to lately?” To not try and think of all the ‘big’ things I’ve done to show I’m not lazy. To try not to show off my busyness badge. Maybe I need to say nothing at all, I don’t know. All I know is that I need to not worry about it and just do what I know the Lord is showing me. Sometimes that will be ‘a lot’ sometimes it will be ‘a little’, but I need to not compare it.