I undoubtedly adore snow days. I remember being a little girl in grade school and the pure joy that would pierce my young soul when I would wake in the morning to find that school had been canceled. I can still picture running up the stairs, two at a time, not being able to contain my excitement while shouting the news to my little brother. This meant staying in our pajamas all day, watching movies nonstop, while mom hand-delivered the most delicious hot fudge sundaes! There was a hint of magic in the air as we snuggled up on the couch under our favorite blankets, while the weather outside raged. We were safe, warm and had no intention of doing anything productive. Snow days were the perfect excuse to not brush your hair, do your homework or leave the house. It was a day to rest and relax; snow days were extraordinary!
As I went from grade school to high school, the enchantment of a snow day didn’t change. Instead of running up the stairs two at a time to wake my little brother up, I would be overjoyed to return to bed. This meant I could sleep in as long as I wanted and believe me, sleep I did. After a nice, long, needed slumber, I would rise out of my snow day cave (aka my teenage bedroom that may or may not have had a Twilight poster on the wall) and venture downstairs. I would find my mom in the living room, drinking her hot coffee while engulfed in a good book, my dad outside all bundled up shoveling snow off the driveway, and my little brother in the den watching something on Netflix. I would stand there for a second, in my pajamas, hair a mess, and relish in the stillness of a snow day.
At this very moment, I am writing to you from my couch, hot cup of tea in hand, while enjoying my first ever big girl snow day! Whoop whoop! Since graduating college three years ago, and starting my first full-time job, I had forgotten how much magic a snow day brings with it. When I got the news yesterday that our office was going to be closed due to the historically low temperatures here in small town Indiana, I was reminded of how desperately I have missed this feeling. It also brought to my attention, shockingly, that I have forgotten how to rest. I woke up this morning, got to sleep in two hours longer than I usually do on a work day, came downstairs to get my coffee, sat on the couch and then didn’t know what to do. My life had become so consumed with scheduled requirements – work, CrossFit, church, social outings, road trips to see family – that when I finally got a day to do absolutely nothing, I froze (no pun intended). My mind and body were so used to go, go, going that I as I sat there on the couch with my coffee, I was overcome with this feeling of anxiousness. That feeling of anxiousness turned into guilt like, “Shouldn’t I be doing something around the house? Isn’t there a toilet that needs to be cleaned or a floor that needs to be swept? Laundry that I should be doing? I should probably change our bed sheets. I should get out and do something, be productive today. I should at least get a workout in!” I’m not kidding! These are the thoughts that ran rampant through my mind on the morning of my very first ever big girl snow day. Talk about a buzz kill!
As I sat there, mid-fret, I made the choice to refuse to let myself feel guilty. The Lord gently reminded me how hard I work throughout the week not only at my job but at making our house a home. He reminded me how proud He was that I’ve chosen to make exercise more of a priority in my life within the past year. He was so pumped up that I had taken on this journey of blogging for Warrior Bags, and was ecstatic that I was using the gifts He had given me to touch other people’s lives. So, instead of scolding myself for taking a break, I decided to give myself some credit. I like to talk about extending grace to others, but I struggle with giving it to myself. Which is why I think it’s so important for every Warrior to hear this loud and clear – you are allowed to take a break! In fact, you need to take a break – you need to make yourself sit down on the couch and choose to rest. Don’t just sit, make yourself relax! Warrior friend, you spend so much of every day pouring all of yourself into your work, your family, your church gatherings, and the list goes on. The world is not going to stop turning if for one day, or a few, you decide to pour into yourself.
I am declaring this an official “pep talk” for all of the very busy Warriors out there who have forgotten how to rest! The reality of the situation is it becomes a lot easier to pour into others if you are taking care of yourself. I was reminded today ever so humbly, that even the Creator of the Universe chose to rest. Genesis chapter 2, verses 2 & 3 say this:
“By the seventh day God had finished the work
He had been doing; so on the seventh day,
He rested from all His work.
Then God blessed the seventh day
and made it holy because on it
He rested from all the work of creating He had done.”
He rested! God, Creator of the entire Universe chose to take a break! In my opinion, He probably didn’t need one. He’s God, and I’m sure His stamina for big projects like creating the world is about equivalent to every Marvel superhero you can think of – and beyond that. I think He chose to rest because He knew over-productive Warriors like you and me would need to be reminded to sit our butts on the couch and take a chill pill. He chose to rest to show us that we don’t have to have our houses in perfect order all the time. He chose to rest to remind us that it’s ok to let the laundry sit for another day amidst our crazy week. It’s ok to let the dishes remain dirty for an afternoon while we catch our breath. It’s ok to skip a day at the gym and give our bodies rest. It’s ok to take a break. You will be a better Warrior for it, and the people around you will be thankful. You will be better able to take on your hectic week, and all of the unexpected surprises it’s sure to bring with it. You will be better able to love your spouse and your kiddos. You will be a better friend. You need to rest.
I encourage you all to give yourself some grace today and take a break! Do something that just brings your soul some needed peace. Take a walk, pick up that journal you haven’t written in in months, take a bubble bath, or have a glass of wine while watching your favorite Netflix series. You will find me, on this ever so needed snow day, snuggled up on the couch with my little fluff of a dog, enjoying something I haven’t done in a very long time – submerged in a genuinely good book. Why? Because I am choosing to reawaken the enchantment of a snow day and relish in the stillness. I can promise you I won’t be leaving my relaxation station until Henry, the little fluff of a dog currently cuddled up next to me, needs to go outside. So fellow Warriors, encompass yourself with some needed rest – I vow to you that you will thank yourself for it later.