Rest for the Weary Writer

Tired TulipWhat do you do—where do you go—when you reach that point in your life when you simply need rest?

I’m not referring to physical rest after a long day of raking your lawn. I’m referring to mental rest. Perhaps so many thoughts are rushing through your head that you can’t grab them quickly enough before they go slithering down the drain and are gone forever.

This has happened to me.

Sometimes I reach the point when I feel like a deer trapped in the headlights. I’m paralyzed. Family commitments. Church responsibilities. Editing pressures. Fathering challenges. Financial stresses. Marriage duties. Publishing frustrations. The failure of achieving personal goals. They all pile up, don’t they?

I’ve had bursts of creative illumination about future stories, about future goals, about things to add to my to-do list. And I mean to write them down before they vanish, but . . . then what happens? Life happens. Interruptions happen. The phone rings. The urgent e-mail appears.

And creativity vanishes away. Poof! It’s gone.

I used to lounge with my daughters and enjoy a funny TV show with them. But lately I’ve been distracted. Even during supposed “downtime,” my mind won’t stop. I’m distracted and feel pressured. Even on Sunday afternoons, when I try to carve out some time to mentally pause and reflect on what God wants to do in my life, the deer-in-the-headlights thing comes back. I keep thinking about everything I need to do or should be doing. And it’s overwhelming.

So it’s time to unplug—quite literally—and get refreshed.

Everybody needs time to rest, and that’s what I plan to do over the next week. I don’t believe in saying too much about travel plans on social media, so that’s as far as it goes. (If you aren’t sure what I mean or are unaware of the dangers involved, please read Predator by Terri Blackstock.) After my vacation, I’ll post some pics on Facebook if you want to see where my family and I went and what we did.

While I’m away, here are some favorite lyrics about rest in the Christian life I hope are encouraging to you. I’ve often thought about these lyrics when I’ve been fearful, stressed, disappointed, whatever. Ultimately true soul rest comes from God. He is in control—He is Lord of all—and we are simply His servants. Whatever “good” we do is simply His choosing to use worthless jars of clay to glorify Himself—a miracle really. That fact in itself should relieve some of life’s pressure. These lyrics from the song “Rest” might help too.

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy his love

Trust, His mighty power
Fills every hour
Of all your days

There is no need
For needless worry
With such a Savior
You have no cause to ever

Doubt His perfect word
Still reassures
In any trial

Rest the Lord is there
Lift up your prayer
For He is strong

Trust, He’ll bring release
And perfect peace
Will calm your mind

There is no need
For needless worry
With such a Savior
You have no cause to ever

Doubt His perfect word
Still reassures
In any trial

Call Him, if you grow frightened
Call Him, with loving care
He’ll lift the burden and you’ll

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy His love

Trust His mighty power
Fills every hour
Of all your days

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy His love

Phil McHugh and Greg Nelson

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2 thoughts on “Rest for the Weary Writer

  1. Adam Blumer Post author

    Thanks, Heather. We had an awesome time, and I do feel mentally refreshed. Now if I can just carve more writing time out of this hectic work schedule. I’m waiting on the Lord to show me how and accepting His peace regardless of the outcome.

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