More Reflections on Rest

We’re over half way through our trip.  Just a couple of more days to take in the sights, sounds and scenery of Paris!

I told you (and myself) that I wanted this trip to be about rest.

Well, I’m not sure who I was kidding… probably not you.

This trip has been anything but restful!  But while I’m not getting much rest, I am learning a lot about rest in the absence of it.

I’ve observed three different kinds of rest that I need:

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Emotional

Mentally this trip has been tough.  From trying to converse in a different language, to navigating the metro transportation system, to staying alert to mind our safety, we’ve been on our toes.

Physically we have walked miles and miles of this city taking in every nook and cranny.  Coupled with lots and lots of stairs at Notre-Dame and the Louvre… let’s just say our “dogs” are screaming.  To add insult to injury, I can’t sleep.  My body just won’t adjust to the time change.

And what I’m finding is that emotional tiredness is a bi-product of mental and physical exhaustion.  When you’re just worn-out, your senses are hightened… just the mere mention of my husband makes me miss him and brings me to tears.

But before you either feel sorry for me or more likely get irritated that I’m complaining about a trip to Paris!!!… let me assure you I’m not complaining.

I’m learning.

I’m learning that I live more exhausted than I think I do.  Oftentimes I run on “empty” emotionally or mentally and I don’t heed the warning signs.  Because this trip has been so physically exhausting there have been times when I have totally shut-down.  My body just doesn’t want to go.  There is no forcing it.  I just have to chill out.  Because physical exhaustion requires mental toughness to push through, if you are out of both, you’re done.  But many days at home I physically can push myself through even if I’m emotionally or mentally tired.  This is where the danger comes in.  Physical toughness can cover a multitude of emotional and mental exhaustion issues.

If I’ve felt like God has shared anything with me this week, it’s that through my physically exhaustion he’s made me aware of the damage my tendency for emotional and mental exhaustion can have in my every day life.

My reflections on rest have not been what I thought they would be.  I thought I would be sharing all these beautiful, glorious discoveries in getting true rest.  That’s not the case.  It’s been pretty much the opposite.  But I’m grateful for the learning and still praying a little rest might be found in the next few days. 🙂

How about you?  Are you mentally, physically or emotionally exhausted?  How are you masking it?  How are you pushing through it?  How can you find rest this week?

What element of rest do you most consistently lack: mental, physical or emotional?


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  • Larry Baxter March 31, 2011  

    Wow, sorry to hear this trip hasn’t been a super restful experience! (Was hoping it would be, but had my doubts.) It’s great you’re learning so much from it; that’s impressive.

    If you really want rest on a vacation though… have you been on a cruise? We did a Disney Cruise for first time recently and wow that was awesome. Never have four days been so much fun yet where I felt incredibly rested and at peace by the end of the trip.

    Praying with you for a few great days of rest at the end for ya 🙂

  • Lindsey Nobles April 1, 2011  

    Hey friend…you have 4 days left. You can make this trip about rest if you want to. (I would say you need to but that is your call.) Slow down, take it easy, linger over a decadent lunch, sit and watch people pass by, breathe deep breathes, you don’t have to conquer Paris in one trip. You will make it back there…even if you don’t you can home refreshed.

    As for me, I am SO FREAKING EXHAUSTED. I have hit my wall. I plan on making my cruise restful. Even if that means never leaving my cabin. 😉

    Can’t wait to catch up when we both return.

    • Jenni Catron April 1, 2011  

      Lindsey, you are totally right. I just hate to miss anything!! But yes, I noticed even today that I wandered around more casually and I did actually sleep some last night! And yes you… rest and enjoy the cruise and then lets regroup and talk about how we rested when we both get back. 🙂

  • Marla Stanley April 3, 2011  

    While I did not get to go to Paris to learn this…sense the jealousy?…I learned this exact same thing over the last 2 days since Mason (hubby) left to lead a missions trip this week (his school’s spring break). We opted a month ago for me not to attend with him as I wanted nothing to do with the work aspect, but wanted a restful week of vaca. However, I’m running on fumes to make it to my spring break next week. #onedayatatime

  • alece April 7, 2011  

    “I’m learning that I live more exhausted than I think I do.” i so relate with that. unplugging — truly resting — is so difficult for me. i hate missing out on things, so i feel the tension of wanting a do-nothing break and not wanting to miss out on whatever might be going on. and i think that gets magnified even more if i’m in a new place. so much to see and do and i want to make the most of my time there. i loved lindsey’s words to you… easier said than done, i know. but such truth in them.