There's something that I do on a semi-regular basis that I'm sure drives people in my life bananas at times. When I don't get enough time to myself, time to be still, time to rejuvenate...I shut down, close off, become unresponsive. I'm not talking catatonic like Cameron unresponsive, more like I don't answer text messages, don't return phone calls, and let emails build up in my inbox. I'm not doing those things out of spite or malice. I just need a break. I need to be still. (It's so incredibly hard to find time to be alone as a wife and mommy...so, so hard.)
When I lived in Orlando and was seeing my counselor there we often would talk about my lack of ME time. Time where I could without feeling guilty tell people no and just do something (or do nothing) that belonged just to me. Some people may not understand that at all and think it's totally selfish. I envy those people sometimes. Some people reach out to others...I definitely do not do that. Being the stubborn, independent soul that I am, I want to be left alone. I wish I didn't need to take breaks like this but I do.
I've found that when I do step out and take my breaks it's usually because my brain is tired from trying to solve everything and my heart is heavy with worry. During the time I step away from everyone I tend to find peace & comfort from Jesus somehow. Whether it's a book, devotion, hymn, or prayer, God gives me peace. He helps me realize I can pick up and carry on because of Him alone. He never lets me stay away too long. He brings me back with a renewed strength to face whatever the trouble of the day is. I can't imagine how lost I'd feel without Him. I'd be destitute and a total recluse.
Psalm 46 is one of my absolute favorites. I feel like when I need a fortress to hide in during my breaks, this description of God shows the safe haven I have in Him.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see the works of the Lord,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields[b] with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
God knows my weaknesses. He knows when I'm overwhelmed and need to shut down. His strength is beyond all that I could need to not just survive but thrive. He is always there as my defense, my safe place, my refuge.
My goal is to make sure that once a week, or more if I need it, I get time to myself, out of the house. Even if it's when Laura is asleep and it's to wander through a store or two. Just time to do something mindless outside of our blessed little home. I think that if I do that my big breaks will be fewer and shorter. The best part is knowing that even if I fail in doing that, God will not fail me. He will pick me up after the rest that I need and help me do the work He's blessed me with.