I scurried around the house, picking up papers, crayons, tape, scissors, and a variety of small toys. The stuffed animals that had been set up to attend my 5-year-old’s version of “art class” had already been tossed back in their corner, the blankets and pillows used to create their classroom already back on the sofa. I sighed. I was weary, feeling like there was always more to do, and that I was, inevitably, the one to do it.
For well over a year, God had invited me on a journey to discover the kind of work/rest balance He desired for my life. It started, of all places, on Instagram. I’d found myself taking a hard look at the women I followed in that space as I tried to reconcile my love for work and my need for rest. On the one hand, I followed women who were amazing entrepreneurs. These women were the definition of a #bossmama, and I loved watching their creative minds at work. Their message? Hustle hard - it’s up to you to make it happen before someone else does it first.
On the other hand, I found myself following beautiful women of faith who filled my Instagram feed with a message of grace, soul-care, self-care and rest. My heart craved both the hustle and the rest because I knew God created me to use my gifts for His glory, and that to do that well, I needed time to refuel and refill. God whispered to my heart that this balance didn’t need to be an either/or - work OR rest. But it could be a both/and "work hard, rest well" lifestyle I’ve come to call “holy hustle.”
I am naturally inclined to be an “all or nothing” person, which meant that I would often find myself striving, assuming all the work fell on my shoulders. Or I would find myself vegging out in front of Netflix and calling it “rest” (when it was really laziness) and wondering why I felt even more exhausted afterward.
From God’s very own example of this work hard, rest well balance in Genesis, to Ruth’s hustle as she gleaned from the harvest field (and the blessing she received when her work - and rest - was noticed), God knew our hearts would need these gentle reminders. Like Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 6:31 (The Message): “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.”
Working so hard, or so busy keeping little people alive that I forget to eat? I’ve been there.
When we embrace a work hard, rest well lifestyle, we can serve God and our families as the best version of who God created us to be.
In this season, resting well means closing my home office door so I can focus on my family in the evenings. It means asking my family for help around the house so we can all enjoy time together. And it means trusting that what refreshes me - abiding in God’s Word, reading a great book, creating memories and experiences, working out, exploring a new place - is exactly how God created me.
God, help us to lay down the heavy burdens we feel obligated to carry on our own. Remind us that we aren’t alone, and that - while the work you’ve called us to do is good - so is the refreshing rest you desire for our hearts. Show us today, Father, how we’ve been striving instead of serving so we can enter that sweet spot of holy hustle as we work hard and rest well for Your glory.