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Speaker, Writer, and Author of GodSpace

“I couldn’t possibly…”

So, if you read the previous post and it made you angry or jealous, keep reading. If you said, “Well, she can do that, but I couldn’t possibly…” then let’s talk about it.

I mean, really. Why do I get to go away for the weekend, dropping my responsibilities at home and work to just connect with God, enjoy my friends, and relax?

Maybe you can’t get away for three days–I couldn’t have when my kids were small, but they’re teenagers. But could you get away for one day? Or an hour? Could you take your lunch hour to simply walk in a park or sit in a library by yourself?

So many times we think, when it comes to taking a day off, or an hour to ourselves, “I couldn’t possibly do that. People need me. No one will let me.”

You’re right. No one is going to give you permission, no one is going to dismiss you from your obligations. No one except –you.

When my children were young, I had to fight for even an hour to go out for coffee with a friend. Many times my husband would promise to come home to watch them, and show up late or not at all. So I get it—it’s not easy to take time away. But it’s worth it.

Sabbath is scandalous, in so many ways. It defies our workaholic culture. It says no to our people pleasing that we think is being nice but really is being controlling (“if I do this, you have to like me”). It invites us to stop, to rest–in a culture where people have convinced themselves that they couldn’t possibly stop running, or the world would collapse around them.

How would you complete the sentence, “I couldn’t possibly…” ?

Now, figure out a way to do the thing you think you can’t. Especially if that thing involves simply taking a break. God calls us to work hard, to give him our best effort. But he also invites us to rest. Are you doing both? If not, what keeps you from taking time to rest?

6 Comments

  1. This part was especially good for me to read: “It says no to our people pleasing that we think is being nice but really is being controlling.”

    I also really appreciated your point about the world not collapsing when we take time to rest. It’s so true, yet so quickly forgotten. I’m ashamed I’ve thought that so often. It magnifies my inflated view of my influence, like I could actually hinder the plans of God.

    Thanks for this word.

  2. Love this post, Keri. “Sabbath is scandalous…” — yes, it is. I struggle to take Sabbath time, then feel guilt ridden the entire time I am taking it, which negates the entire benefits of Sabbath.

    Another thing I’ve been fighting is coming to that place in life where I truly pursue ventures outside home/family/child-rearing by actually carving it into my day (ie–re-arranging our homeschool schedule so I can write) without feeling guilt (is it okay to make ‘me’ time??? – pursue my passions???).

    It’s a battle, I tell ya!

    Thanks for sharing. We women need to be challenged this way. So often we say, “I can’t,” when really, we just aren’t.

  3. Emilee & Shari,
    thanks for your insightful comments. Glad you stopped by to join the conversation.
    I’m trying to live in a way where I can just let go of shame and guilt (that all of us wrestle with). although that is a part of so many of our stories, it is not what Jesus is about at all! He’s about freedom!
    Readers, what would your life look like if there were no shame or guilt? No “shoulds” or “I’m ashamed.” ? What if that could transform our “I couldn’t possibly…” into “the possibilities are endless…” ??

  4. What do you think about this post: http://donmilleris.com/2011/10/26/the-desert-mothers-didnt-change-diapers-but-maybe-they-should-have/?

    I read it today as well. Would love see you respond to it.

  5. Hi Keri, I love this post and I would finish the sentence – “I couldn’t possibly but I absolutely will.” I could not live if I didn’t take a day away every so often. I come home refreshed and renewed and quietened. It took me years to realize that I need no ones permission but my own to get away. And the older I get the more I realize how much I need it. I am hoping to take a 3 day retreat soon instead of just 1 day. It will take some planning but it will be worth it. thank for your encouraging words. blessings.

    Christine

  6. Christine,
    Thanks for your comment–it’s true, we often wait for permission to do the things that will bring us life–but we forget that permission comes from ourselves!

    and Clint, I thought Don Miller’s post was interesting–I commented on his blog, and will write a post on the topic someday on this blog.
    Right now, I’m working on finishing a book manuscript, so that’s my writing focus.
    Thanks everyone for joining the conversation.
    Keri

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