I am surrounded by Quality Time individuals - those who receive and feel loved through 1:1 interaction, time, and attention. I fail miserably. It is a foreign language I am trying to learn and understand; it hasn’t come easy.
I am a social ambivert. I can be interactive at gatherings, church, groups - but need alone/quiet time to fully feel myself. Several close friends, my daughter and husband - all extroverts - they LOVE people, crowds, hub bub, parties, houseguests… and the more the merrier.
My conundrum: How to reach, love, pour into my beloveds without loosing myself (by loosing I mean “unbecoming” me…turning cranky, exhausted, overwhelmed, and played out).
Prior to the holidays this year my joints were aching, my upper back hurt terribly, and I felt overall peevish. I wasn’t myself. My husband gently encouraged me to take a nap. I snapped “I don’t need one. I don’t like naps. I don’t nap.” He raised his eyebrow at me.
I napped - for an hour and a half.
I slept in the next morning. I slept in the day after that, and day after that… and and the next… finally on the fourth day God woke me early so we could spend time together. I could focus. I could read and remember. I could hear. I could retain.
I felt like “me” again.
It is no wonder rest is such a valued commodity in the Kingdom, and how desperately Satan and his minions want to steal it from us. Are you tired? Are you weary? Are you heavy laden? “Come to me for my yoke is easy and my burden light” says Jesus in Matthew 11.
He says “Come, come rest at my feet and rejuvenate” and I respond, but I have to… pay the bills, take out the garbage, rinse the recycle, visit my parents, fold laundry, make dinner, get a gift, grocery shop, plan a vacation, research a purchase, send an email, transport a child, meal plan, pray for this person, call that person, help with this need, that opportunity, fill those holes in church service… I don’t have TIME to sit!
I feel his reply, “You will either do it now for 20 minutes, or your life will be sidelined later… your choice.” Ugh. I lived through the latter. And it wasn’t just my life sidelined, but my families too. I need to choose the former, daily, to maintain “me”.
It turns out God values quality time as well - but, it benefits me as well as him.