Day 5: Take a break.

31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner // 5: Take a break.

Day 5 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner

Yesterday we talked about letting something go so you won't feel so maxed out, spent, or low on time, energy and other resources. Today, I encourage you to also take regular breaks. I'm not talking about grabbing a sandwich between your morning and afternoon work--although that's good too.

I'm talking about a real, shut-this-mother-down-to-reevaluate-and-refocus break.


My favorite road trip experiences all involve my sister. We've been on a couple--between Kansas and Tennessee and Florida. We have lots of stories to tell. Mostly how we get a little crazy and unobservant when we're together.

At one point between Tennessee and Kansas, I drove while Trista rested her head on the center armrest. There was a mist and light fog in the air, and a crowded but moving two lane interstate. A semi-truck had decided to switch lanes without seeing me still beside him, and a car ahead of me kept me from getting over.

Cars behind me and ahead of me, I started to swerve off the road yelling to the truck that I was there. In intense moments I rarely have common sense. You know, like honking my horn to alert the truck of my presence?

In the midst of my screaming and swerving, Trista jumped awake and the truck finally saw me and passed in his own lane. I pushed on the gas, but our car continued to slow down even as I pushed harder. Cars in the right lane kept me from getting over to the shoulder easily, but I had no choice because the car was clearly stopping. When I finally did, the engine smoked over our windshield, my sister and I sitting dumbfounded at what just happened.

Once our breath settled, we realized when my screams jolted Trista awake, she had accidentally knocked the shifter into neutral. The car didn't like my flooring the gas pedal, and started smoking in retaliation. We turned off the car, sat for a few minutes, and called our brother to ask what he would do. After the car and ourselves were calmed, we cautiously started it up again, and merged our way back onto the interstate, ready to continue our journey.


I don't know about you, but I find myself in that place too often. I'm giving all the things--family, home, writing, blogging, church, mom's group, friends--I'm giving them all I have. Going and going until I realize I'm not going anywhere, and depression among other things is smoking out my being.

To the point that there's nothing left to do but pull over. Simply stop everything and shut this mother down. Not forever. Just long enough to catch my breath and remember why I'm doing it all in the first place.

And that is just what a break does. It brings perspective. It allows room to receive direction and contemplate our next steps. It keeps us from getting literally burned-out.

And that is just what Sabbath is. A break. A refocusing on God. A little space for the journey.

The next 3 Sabbaths of this series, I will share songs that have helped me refocus and refresh. Today, just consider taking a break. Log out and shut down (literally turn the computer). Get outside or crack open a book. Take a walk or visit a new park with the family. Rest on the couch, or watch a documentary together. Whatever you do, just make it altogether different from your regular routine.

Then, repeat it on a regular basis, maybe even before you really need it.


Answer in the comments:

What is one way you love to take a break?

Day 5 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner