I’m in the middle of reading an advance copy of Jennifer Dukes Lee’s latest book “It’s All Under Control,” and I have to say it is wonderful. Just what I need at this busy time of life. Today I want to share an excerpt from the book along with some practical advice on how to incorporate more rest into your life, and make sure to scroll down to the bottom for a special giveaway!
Let’s stop should-ing ourselves and start replenishing ourselves. We need to listen to our bodies instead of pushing them. What if, when we heard our bodies begging, Go into a lower gear, we actually paid attention?
As an example, let me introduce you to my first car. It was a red Volkswagen Beetle with a clutch and stick shift. It always reeked of fuel, which meant that I smelled like a gas station. My Slug Bug died an untimely death in 1989 when it started on fire on an Iowa highway. I rescued my French horn from the backseat and walked down the deserted highway, crying under a half-moon sky, waiting for someone to let me hitch a ride.
The car had been my first major purchase, bought with my lifeguarding paychecks. I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift at first but learned by listening to the sounds it made. In its own way, the car had a “voice.” When the car was in too low of a gear, it made a high revving sound. That was my cue to shift to a higher gear. As I continued to accelerate, the car’s voice would prompt me to shift to even higher gears. Lower gears were reserved for slower drives through the center of town.
In the same way, busy people need to listen to the voice within us. Sometimes life calls for acceleration, speed, and efficiency. But one of the best gifts we can give ourselves is to stay in lower gear from time to time. When we hear that high revving sound in our lives, we will be tempted to shift to higher gears. And sometimes life will require us to do just that. But sometimes that high revving sound is a warning to slow down, stay in lower gear, and maybe enjoy the scenery.
I am learning to listen to the voice within. I am learning to live in a lower gear when my internal engine starts revving. This is a grace I offer myself, to intentionally connect with God—in a lower gear—before I accelerate again. This is the only me that I get. I don’t have to run myself into the ground. I don’t have to maintain a go-bananas pace. I don’t have to say yes just because I am generally capable of running at high capacity.
Neither do you. Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is listen to your body’s engine when it says, “I need rest.”
Here are a few ideas to incorporate more rest into your life.
- Instead of scrolling, go strolling. Everybody has time to rest. How can I be so sure? Because that’s the time we use to check social media. Put down your iPhone for the fifteen minutes you would’ve spent on Instagram and take a walk instead.
- Don’t let your “yes” encroach on your rest. If you say yes to something new, evaluate everything else on your list to see what might have to go. Refuse to put rest on the altar of sacrifice.
- Let your work assignments flow from soul realignments. If “everybody is looking for us,” our souls and agendas need realignment so we can hear clear directions from God.
- Protect the freed-up time you have already created. God prunes all of us, but achievers try to immediately fill those pruned spaces. Protect the space that God created for you. Downtime is okay; in fact, it will make you more productive in the work you were designed to do.
BIO: Jennifer Dukes Lee is the wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, and an author. She loves queso and singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn’t believe in Jesus. Now, He’s her CEO. Jennifer’s newest book, It’s All Under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible and It’s All Under Control Bible Study: A 6-Week Guided Journey, are releasing today! This is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic.
Adapted from It’s All Under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible by Jennifer Dukes Lee, releasing this fall from Tyndale House Publishers.
I’m so excited to be a part of a huge giveaway to celebrate the release of It’s All Under Control. Jennifer and her publisher, Tyndale, are giving away 50 copies of the book in celebration of its release! Enter below to win. Giveaway ends September 30. Winners will be notified by Tyndale House Publishers. Email subscribers can click here to enter.