Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Give Yourself Permission

sleeping cat
Image courtesy of
In the midst of all of the New Year goal setting hype, I’ve hit a wall. I’ve been writing 500+ words a day, watching my diet, exercising faithfully, pumping iron, cleaning closets, reading my Bible…you get the picture. Today, I am a lump in the rocking chair with an afghan spread across my lap.

Do I feel guilty – A bit.

Do I need the down time – Yes.

Grace is about giving myself permission to rest, without guilt.

I’m realizing a need for more sources to fill my cup. Of course I automatically think of more time with God. But, that can also become a source of guilt unless I realize that He is always with me and that sometimes I need to get off by myself to do something I enjoy—allowing Him to fill me along the way.

So, thanks for extending me grace today for writing a light blog post.

How do you fare on the ‘out of steam’ meter? Where do you go to have your cup refilled?

Fill my cup, Lord…cuz, I'm running on empty.



  1. Jeanne, I relate so well. With my mother's recent passing, there are things I need to do, but I didn't feel like doing them today. Part of it is a need to "Be still and know" part of it is sheer exhaustion.

    I allowed myself some time today and sought out my sister, and actually visited the nursing home where my mother spent her last two years. It helped.

  2. I hear your heart, Barbara. Giving ourselves permission to grieve, rest, do nothing, etc. is so vital. I believe it grants our heart and mind the margin to heal.
    Praying for you,

  3. Thank you so much for such a timely word. I always feel like I need permission not to work. I have set a goal re a book proposal and if I'm not working on it, I feel ...not good enough...not like the successful writers out there. This is not good. Christianity is not a performance... but a relationship! And oh, how I love the Lord. I really do and your post has helped me see that I am not alone...I am not the only one who faces permission and guilt! Keep writing your soul searching blogs, Jeanne! I love you!

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart and your hurt, Margie. I do think we all struggle with permission. And, as writers we can get discouraged by comparison.
    I think I need a word from Samuel when he was in the temple with Eli. I want to do the things He has called me to. Seeking His heart today...

  5. When my father died and my best friend went through heart surgery I tried to keep all my work going. What could have been a short rest ended up being 5 months off work, 3 months of half time and a summer off before I could return to fulltime teaching. I learned in that time that stopping sometimes is the best way to keep going. Glad you took the time you needed.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience with needing to rest, Linda. I think it is true that every person and every circumstance is different. We need permission to follow our heart and listen to what our body needs. I'm still resting...
    and, I know from past experience that when the time is right, things come back 'on time'. Seeking His peace this week,

  7. Barbara, I've been tempted to a couple of late mornings myself this week and I totally get where you've been for the last 2 weeks. The start of January is full on and its exciting, energizing, upbeat... and exhausting! I have noticed myself swing between the two extremes myself. Thanks for permission to slack off a bit. Judith x

  8. Judith, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Giving one another permission is a wonderful gift. Recognizing my need for rest is something I need more of. Physical rest--yes. Emotional rest, even more.

  9. Oh Jeanne, Have a wonderful rest. I find I'm lots more productive after I've had some time to not. do. anything! I get re-filled just by lazing around the house - not having to go anywhere - even staying in my pj's a good long while. Morning coffee plus a steaming cup of afternoon tea with an almond scone makes it all perfectly delightful. :)

    Love to you in our Lord, who told His disciples, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while." Mk. 6:31

  10. You've described a perfect rest day, Emily! Thanks for sharing your heart. The verse in Mark is one of my favorites.
    Also, wondering if this gray New England winter is zapping my energy...I need to get my full spectrum light out (or book a trip to Florida)

  11. Jeanne, I'm right there with you, but not so much with what I've been doing in the new year, but just the weariness of the usual work load and the continued family responsibilities. It sounds so greedy and selfish to write this, but sometimes I just wanted to shout, "Y'all leave me alone! I'm tired!"

    So I've been slack with keeping up lately, just allowing myself some down time. Yes, I still felt guilty, but I've felt my mind and commitment grow stronger again as I've allowed myself some in: not striving.

    I do feel better this week as I've tried to get motivated again, even though we're in the midst of two family emergencies again. I can see that just taking that time away really did help.

    I'm reminded of the times in the Gospels when people were seeking Jesus' healing, and yet He went away to a private place to rest and pray. Sometimes that's just what we need.

    Sweet rest, sweet friend.

  12. Such truth, Vonda. Why do we strive so? When He tells us over and over not to. I feel like I have clutter my head, on my desk, in the basement, must prune! Thanks for sharing your heart, dear friend. You are in my prayers during these days of constant need.

  13. Going through the same thing, so I'm napping and resting, but still maintaining the basics of a home and farm.

    Thanks, Jeanne.

  14. I'm sure 'just the basics' of home and farm are plenty, Jean. Hope you find rest in the midst of every day

  15. As I sit in my own recliner at nearly two o'clock in the afternoon, deciding if it's finally time to shower, I totally relate with your post. I'm enjoying the camaraderie on My 500 Words. I'm giving myself permission to relax, too.

  16. Shrink Mom, sounds like a perfectly restful day! No guilt. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts

  17. Good for you for developing so many positive habits, Jeanne! And good for you for knowing when to take a rest! Sometimes purposely seeking God (Bible studies, readings, etc.) can get in the way of just seeking Him. Trying to write can get in the way of writing. On days like that (when it all feels like check-marking my to-do list), I take a break and focus on thanking God for what is in front of me. And that settles me down a bunch. Blessings!

  18. Kendra,
    Sounds like you know exactly where my heart is. The need to step back, Rest and Assess :)
    Thanks for your thoughts!

  19. I know I'm late on this, but wanted to comment. It's not so much the guilt I put on myself, but what others put on me. My husband has 12 different health problems (5 heart surgeries, diabetes, 3 fractured vertebrae, broken hip, etc.). He was in the hospital 3 times last year; at the same time our daughter broke her foot, then had a car accident. But the biggest problem is an 82-year-old widowed sister who's losing her eyesight so can't drive or do her checkbook anymore. I'm trying to help her, but she doesn't organize her errands and seems to want something almost every day. Besides my writing, I also proofread and edit for publishers and writers, so have deadlines. If I tell her I can't do something, she has a pity party and says, "I just won't ask you to do anything anymore." How do I get rid of the guilt she puts on me? (Her kids and grandkids are useless and are a big part of her problem.)

  20. My dear sister, Donna. It sounds like you may need a family pow wow. I am not an expert, and I need my own advice, but let me say:
    No one can make you feel guilty.
    We all need healthy boundaries.
    You and hubby could talk about this and decide how you can help your sister and tell her what you are able to do for her.
    Maybe there is someone who can help your sister organize better so that others could be of help at particular times of days.
    I am sure you know these things. So, I will pray for wisdom for you. God promises to provide when we ask Him.
    Hugging you from CT tonight!


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