I have just come back from a couple of precious weeks in Dorset with my wider family, which reminded me how important rest is. Life has been a frantic juggling act over the last few years; trying to keep my work confined to school hours and also support my husband while he has managed the church building project on top of his usual role. We were at exhaustion point, but I still found I wrestled with a niggling feeling that I could be fitting more time in for my WIP and other writing.
I’m sure many of you feel like I do – I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else other than writing. And yet there is such worth in removing ourselves from those angst-filled moments of trying to create in order to reconnect with those around us. Not only does it refresh our spirits and revitalise our relationships, but it can also give us that extra little spark needed to re-ignite our creative juices too.
Writers are artists, and artists need inspiration. And yet my working life usually consists of sitting at my desk and working my way through a list of articles, Bible study notes and chapters of books that need to be written. I feel guilty, like I’m wasting time, if I sit curled up with a book even though I know it will inform and inspire. And I hardly ever take time out to go on a long walk or meet up with a friend who does me good.
That’s why I like taking a complete break during my holidays. While I’m fortunate enough now to have a few regular working assignments, which has meant I’ve had to be at my desk some of the time, I have tried to have plenty of work-free days. I believe our bodies need time to unwind and our emotions need the space to relax and connect with friends, family and, most importantly, our Creator God.
As a church we recently went through Psalm 23 and I was reminded again of how much we need rest. One of the things I learned is that sheep cannot drink from fast-flowing water; they need still water. We, too, need that stillness in order to be able to drink deeply from the resources our Father has for us. I find that happens a lot more easily if I’m away from my usual routines.
By drinking deeply, we can also return to our writing with a renewed sense of purpose and understanding.
I found that this holiday was about having fun; not thinking about the responsibilities that lay at home at all. And it was also about family; building precious memories that will last.
I had a couple of inspired moments, when I scribbled article ideas down. I also read a few of the books I’m interviewing the authors of in September. But what I enjoyed most about this holiday was playing tennis with the kids, going out on cycle rides and enjoying good food and great company. It did my soul good :)
Claire is a freelance writer and editor, mum to two gorgeous young children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on marriage, parenting, worship, discipleship, issues facing women today etc. Her books include Taking your Spiritual Pulse, CWR’s Insight Guide: Managing Conflict and BRF Foundations21 study guides on Prayer and Jesus. She also writes a regular column for Christian Today. To find out more about her, please visit www.clairemusters.com and @CMusters on Twitter.