If I'm super honest this morning, this season of life has been full of crazy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to let us know that the pace of life this world is traveling at is insane. And yet, without even taking a minute to consider our answer of "okay, sure", we join right in, jumping into the cycle that is basically impossible to keep up with.
But, let me back up just a bit.
Every fall, most photographers work at break-neck speed, because it is our "busy season", the time of year when the weather is gorgeous, the scenery is breath taking, and lots of people want to schedule family photos, senior portraits, etc. Like April is to accountants, September & (mainly) October are to photographers. It just comes with the job, and we expect it to be busy.
And once November 1st comes around, I take a big sigh of relief, because hello, slower season. But . . . that sigh usually only lasts a bit, because I am very quickly reminded of the fact that lots of other things about life don't have a slower season during the winter months (hello utility bills and a mortgage that doesn't fluctuate based on our lower amount of income during the winter months).
And the holidays are flying at us, along with our anniversary, and 4 out of 5 of our birthdays (and yes, it's been this way for the past how many years, so one would think we would somehow mentally prepare for it a little better each year).
Stress. Pressure. And a type A personality (that would be me 🙋🏼♀️ ) . . . trying to frantically go back and forth, figuring out how to balance life, paying bills, and make sure everyone and everything around me is being taken care of. To-do lists. Tidying up the house. Making sure there is food in the house, because, hello boys. And non-stop eating (them mostly, but once in a while, I'm on that bandwagon as well).
Several months at this frantic pace, and it all finally came to a screeching halt yesterday. I had simply had enough. I was tired of the crazy, and I didn't want to keep going in this same cycle I seemed stuck in. I didn't have any answers for why I was feeling so worn out, or which direction I was even supposed to be running in. Just lots of questions.
Is this a midlife crisis I'm going through (hello, last year of my 30s)? What am I even supposed to be doing in life? Maybe photography isn't the path God has for me . . after all, WHY are things so slow right now?
And as I headed out on a walk/jog yesterday afternoon, it turned into a long conversation with God. I was desperate for answers. And I got exactly what I needed to hear.
I've actually been going through a devotional by Rebekah Lyons on REST, and it all finally became clear as I was out in the fresh air yesterday. Rest is not an option. It is essential. Necessary if we are going to thrive.
God intentionally gave me this season of rest to walk in, and instead of recognizing and taking advantage of it, I've been fighting it with everything in me. Darting back and forth like a rabbit being chased by a dog . . . trying one thing after another to "fix" this season, instead of just sitting down and soaking it up. Rebekah's quote below could not be more true, and it is exactly what I have been doing.
There is a verse in Isaiah 30, that goes like this,
"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength . . . " Isaiah 30:15
I've read this verse before, but wow, the truth that is there. God knows how essential rest is (hello, even HE rested after creating the world in 6 days). And yet, I think that for so long, I merely saw it as a good thing, but not a necessary thing.
After all, my day sure won't feel very productive if I don't check multiple things off of my to-do list. Heaven forbid, I feel lazy!
It's a big word with an even bigger task. Slowing down. Saying "No" a few more times. Clearing out my schedule so that I can be intentional about having times of quiet in order to hear the sweet whispers from my Father. It is hard, friends, for this girl to turn things off and just be still.
But I also know that I don't want to be restless any more. It is exhausting and tiring to try and keep with the pace of the world around me. I'm taking God up on His offer of rest. However long this season may last. I'm not going to fight it any longer.
I'm going to just rest.
*If you're interested in Rebekah's 10 day study on rest (she delivers a short video devotional to your email inbox each morning), here's the link to sign up: https://rebekahlyons.com/rest