Lisa Wade wrote in her article in Time, “The Invisible Workload that Drags Women Down,” “[W]omen do more of the intellectual, mental, and emotional work of childcare and household maintenance. They do more of the learning and information processing (like researching pediatricians). They do more worrying (like wondering if their child is hitting his developmental milestones). And they do more organizing and delegating (like deciding when the mattress needs to be flipped or what to cook for dinner). Even when their male partners ‘helped out’ by doing their fair share of chores and errands, it was the women who noticed what needed to be done.” I’ve definitely experienced this in my own life.
But rather than complain about this additional job, I’ve come to the conclusion that the built-in to-do list is a spiritual gift that got left out of the Bible! It is a gift because it keeps everything going and running relatively smoothly, but it also has its disadvantages. It’s difficult to disconnect from this invisible job; however, you have to learn to take a break or you will become completely exhausted. After all, we were never made to work seven days a week, but this invisible work is especially hard to set down on our days off. How can we clock out of this invisible job and take a real mental break?
Mindfulness is a buzzword that’s popular in today’s media circles whether in “Oprahland” or the latest self-help online workshop. But mindfulness for a Christ-follower is not a new concept. Scripture says in Philippians 4:8, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT). But when our minds are racing, how do we stop and fix our thoughts? I’ve found the following steps to be helpful for slowing my thoughts, resting my soul, and taking a mental vacation. And all of these action steps you can do whether at home with a house full of little ones or at the office. It’s amazing how being in God’s presence transforms your mind and heart, quieting your thoughts and reminding you that you can trust him with your lists. As you do this, you’ll find your thoughts and heart rate slowing down.
- Find a quiet spot.