“Permission to coast…”
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Here we are. First day back from a two-week spring break, and my vacation “to-do” list is still sitting here, glaring at me in the face. Like a neon sign. Flashing from above; glowing brightly in the dark of night. To be honest, sweet friends, I was hoping it would be marked off, torn to shreds and currently hanging out on the curb, buried in the overflowing trashcan. But. it’s. not. Instead, it’s sitting right here next to me. Like an unwanted companion.
I actually had very high hopes for the past fourteen days. Pull off a double last-minute birthday party for the girls (check). Pack up the house for our lurking-around-the-corner move (Uncheck. Can I please just hide in shame now? Ugh.). Create crafty Easter gifts for the girls’ incredible grandparents. (Certainly glad no one can see my red cheeks right now.)
Plain and simply, my preplanned break didn’t unfold as anticipated. And although feeling a little behind; I am okay with that.
Just a few days ago, I finished a great read by Holley Gerth: Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream. It was a perfect forty-day reflective piece for Lent. Easy read. Inspiring. Encouraging. The kind of book that makes you want to go out and take on the entire world. Usually, I crease my books’ pages to no end. But, actually, I wanted to pass this one along to a sweet friend, so I was careful not to make any marks. Except, there was one page urging me to fold down its edge. And I just couldn’t ignore it. Because the words hit my heart like a jolt:
“…it’s important to give ourselves permission to coast…we talked before about how dreamers can always think of more to do (uh-hmmmmm). But at some point, we have to say, ‘I’ve done what God asked me to do, and now it’s time to rest.’ You can’t go full-speed on your bike, or in your life, all the time. Doing so is asking for burnout before you cross the finish line.”
Sound familiar, sweet ladies?
What do you think, precious mamas?
I had yearned for this break with my family. I had absolutely filled my mind to the brim with tasks I wanted to accomplish. Activities I wanted to do with the girls. Places I wanted to go. People I wanted to see (I owe about a dozen of you apologies…so, so sorry!). But the one thing I didn’t schedule in? The one act more important than any other?
Coasting. Resting. Doing nothing. Refueling my body. My mind. My soul.
But you know what, beautiful souls? It just kinda happened. Rainy, cool, Midwest weather rolled in, along with several days of laziness. Sure, feeling unaccomplished can make you seem a little “blah”. But taking an unexpected nap on the couch, mid-Disney-movie, on a Tuesday afternoon, can actually mean so much more to your body than you can imagine.
And although I didn’t even realize I was doing it; I had allowed myself that much-needed downtime. Yes, I am “paying” for it now, just a bit. Frantically trying to perfect those lesson plans following Easter weekend. Staring at the picture frames and books, which should knee-deep in bubble-wrap, hidden away inside those been-in-the-garage-for-a-month-now moving boxes. Finding myself in the midst of some very early-mornings, trying to catch up with grocery shopping, Easter shoes-hunting and doctor appointments.
But, even if for just a handful of days; I had allowed myself to take my feet off the pedals and gave myself permission to coast.
Gerth ends the chapter with the perfect prayer. One for all of us go-getters. Over-achievers. Can’t-sit-stillers. Maybe I can talk you into taking a moment to whisper these beloved, soul-filling words sometime this week, sweet one. I know I will be repeating them…
“God, it’s easy to get excited about what’s ahead without pausing to consider what it really requires. I pray that You will give me wisdom to plan and prepare so that I have what I need to finish what You have asked me to start. Help me to know when to pedal harder and when to rest. I want to keep pace with You. Amen.”