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Finding Rest as a Leader

This time of year feels like it’s anything but restful. I’m really involved at my church and my husband is on staff, so we’ve been crazy busy the last few weeks. There’s always something going on – Christmas parties, concerts, friends in town, and kids programs. I’m a “yes” person by nature, so it’s really hard for me to say “no” to good things. The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize how much I need to intentionally rest. Once I wrap up work this week, I’m turning off my work email notifications (my boss does the same thing, which helps!) and I’m going to unplug as best I can. I want to be present for my family and friends, and I don’t want to miss anything.

As you walk through the next couple of weeks, here are a few ways to find rest:

  • Put your phone down. Are you more concerned about how your Instagram followers will react to the video you just captured, or about how your family will react when you disconnect from them to post it? Don’t get me wrong – Instagram is one of my favorite ways to connect with people (including so many of you!), but don’t let it rule your Christmas. Let your eyes take in everything that’s happening. Long before we had iPhones or HandyCams (child of the 80’s-90’s, anyone??), we sat around and talked to each other, and we still have stories to tell from those moments. (Romans 12:2)

  • Take a nap. For some of you, you literally need to take a long nap. You haven’t had good sleep in awhile, and your body and mind are tired. How can you find time to recharge over the next couple of weeks? Is there anything you need to say “no” to? (Matthew 11:28-30)

  • Be a peacemaker. Maybe you’re walking into some family drama, and it’s already made you tired. How can you be a peacemaker and help your family find some emotional rest? (Matthew 5:9)

  • Take a walk. Sometimes, our bodies and minds need to reset, and we have to move to make it happen. Taking a walk (maybe even without your phone!) with a family member or friend is a great way to spur on conversation. I’ve found that some of my family members are more talkative on a walk than if I just try to corner them for conversation. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

  • Spend time in the Word. Don’t neglect your personal time with God during Christmas. It’s easy to skip out on this because we’re usually out of our normal routine. For your own health and restfulness, make time with God a priority. (Psalm 1:1-2)

Whatever you do over the next couple of weeks, pray that God would give you wisdom as you attempt to find rest over the next couple of weeks. Don’t let the Christmas craziness get the best of you! Remember why we celebrate, and make that the ultimate priority.