Do you know what's just about the worst feeling in the world? 

Being tired....the kind of tired where it physically hurts to have your eyes open- mixed with the emotional type of tired, where you feel worn out, used up, totally spent, and would just cry, if that didn't sound so exhausting too.

But do you know what is absolutely the worst feeling in the world? Recognizing that type of fatigue, and making an effort to pursue some sort of rest, only to find yourself even more weary at the end of it. You know- you have a long, loooooong day, so you attempt to treat yourself with a mindless activity. But the treat actually turns into a binge, and the activity spirals into an empty waste that leaves you feeling just as tired, and now kind of guilty and annoyed.

It's knowing you need rest, but pursuing the wrong kind.

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Flipping on the TV and getting sucked into two hours of MTV's Teen Mom 2? That's the wrong kind of rest. 

Getting on the computer to "send a couple emails" only to get dragged down a rabbit hole of  YouTube hair tutorials, friend-of-a-friend-of-a-hashtag instagram posts, and bento-bento box inspired elementary lunch Pins. That's the wrong kind of rest.

Going to Target for some late night wandering- intending to maybe pick up a new nail polish as a pick me up, (knowing you'll leave with at least a few extras) but stumbling out an hour and a half later with a receipt as long as your arm, and no genuine clue as to what you purchased. That's the wrong kind of rest.

For me anyway. 

The point isn't truly about the activity- I'm not going to judge your taste in TV, or your internet haunts, and certainly not your Target purchases. If those things truly refresh you, then I say more power to you! But probably- you're not too different from me- finding yourself desperately in need of a break, but feeling robbed when something meant to be relaxing ends up zapping you of the little energy you did have left.

I like to think I typically know bad choices when I see them-I mean, I wouldn't defend the choice to stay up until 1AM with one eye on the laptop and the other on an infomercial for rotisserie chicken machines... the problem is though, I'm often not actually making a choice in these situations. I'm just flopping down and checking out; expecting rejuvenation to naturally wash over me from whatever junk source I'm soaking up at the moment. Dumb. And lazy. And exhausting.
What I've learned the hard way, is that rest isn't just the natural result of a break, or even a nap...it's something that you have to seek out intentionally.

If we want to feel rested, we need to thoughtfully pursue the right kind of rest. 

And I won't get all preachy on you, and tell you that the right kind of rest is Jesus. I mean....that's absolutely true, but I don't think we all need to spend the entire time between the little peoples' bedtime and the big peoples' bedtime reading our bibles and singing hymns about still waters. (unless that's your thing....) I've just found that I need to push through the exhaustion just a little more in order to make a thoughtful choice on how to remedy it.
Sometimes real rest will be a phone call to a friend. Sometimes it be a giant bowl of ice cream and an episode of my current Netflix fave. Sometimes it will be a prayer and an early bedtime.

But it should always be a conscious effort. Because feeling truly rejuvenated- even (especially!) as a mom of young ones- is just about the best feeling in the world.

Do you ever find yourself wasting your rest time? How do you make an effort to be more intentional about rest?

 

connect with Courtney at her blog Bowdenisms, or follow her on Instagram (@bowdenisms)

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