take a break, or be broken

I started this post a few days ago, and I can’t even remember exactly where I wanted to go with it. What triggered it originally is something I read somewhere (don’t even remember where!) that says something like this:

“Poor concentration, a lack of enthusiasm, taking longer to do tasks and an insistent nagging from family [in my case, friends] are all signs of the need to undertake a basic human necessity rest.”

Last fall I felt so convicted by two messages at church about the need for Sabbath rest. If God needed a break, then don’t I? Or maybe he didn’t need the break, but took one because it’s a good thing. That triggered the convictions I felt from the sermon series on Sabbath 3 years prior to that already. Something I clearly need to work on. (Yes, I think I’m addicted to work… that came out in my 12 Steps session the other night…)

So last fall in response to the heart tuggings I felt, I tried really hard, and succeeded to “keep Sabbath” for 2 weeks in a row. A miracle of sorts for me especially I think. It felt wonderful. You’d think the positive benefits would be enough to entice me to try keeping up the good habit beyond 2 weeks.

Well old addictions die hard.

I’ve been working pretty hard pulling together an intensive leadership weekend away next week, and in my “spare time” on design projects for friends. As my advertising friend Ann said so aptly, “That’s one thing about creative people. We always seem to be plagued with projects, either self-inflicted or friend-inflicted. It’s a catch-22. Our restless brains remain in an eternal state of unrest, and yet yearns to rest. We’re weird like that.”

I can feel the slowly deteriorating effectiveness of this pace I’m trying to keep. I know… I know in my head that I need to take a break.

Thank God for friends who make me stop and take a break. Helene, my travelling partner to Vietnam, insisted on spending some time with me. We set a date and decided to take an overnight trip somewhere. We decided the day before we left to go to Seattle. We bought the tickets right before we left and wandered around town for a bit to explore and find a hotel. She said most people would be unnerved of not knowing where they’re going to sleep that night. I think her spontenaety is rubbing off on me; it was a good exercise to not plan anything at all.

Came back from the trip with a good break, but not rested as we were on the go. I still have to process the things we saw and did there (in the next few post!)

Anyway, I should get back to work, though I am totally dragging my feet (the motivation of this post is pure procrastination). What was that again? Poor concentration, lack of enthusiasm, taking longer to do tasks… maybe I should take a break instead.

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3 thoughts on “take a break, or be broken

  1. Justine,that’s totally how I feel too. Taking Sabbath rest is important, though I’ve not been the last few weeks due to my own inability to be productive during the week. ;p. ack! I’m glad you took the leap to travel to Seattle with Helene on a sponataneous whim! Good for you! The worship retreat was a wonderful time of rest, and it really renewed me. I learned a lot there, which I will tell you about the next time i see you. I missed you at church on Sunday. Have a great week!

  2. ah matthea, glad to know i am not the only one desperate for a break. glad you went on the worship retreat and will look forward to hearing about it from you! (i’ve heard rave reviews from many other places…)

  3. yup, yup. Breaks are good, but spurts of work make breaks extra satisfying! I will indeed tell you more about the retreat some time, and thanks for praying for it/us! 🙂

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