How to Rest in the Hustle Culture

Epworth by the Sea
Where I rested and attended the IDEAS conference

Summer looms as the opportunity of time hits me with everything I could be doing and achieving for two months, but summer, at least for teachers, needs to be about what healthy rest looks like. So, how do I achieve and rest? How much of each should I do? What is real rest?

overwhelmed choices GIF

Much of what rest comes from is what we believe about ourselves. Here are two wonderful books that gave great perspectives on how identity affects rest and work: Identity Theft and Girl, Stop Apologizing. Besides
being inspirational and uplifting books, they provide healthy ways to approach rest while still pursuing dreams.

“God will tell us when to rest. He will tell us when to strive. Wisdom to
discern what is best is where the abiding comes in.” – Jasmine Holmes, Identity Theft (emphasis mine)

What is abiding? The kind of rest that comes from knowing who I am in

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John
15:4 ESV

 “…true fruitfulness can be found: in him.” – Jasmine Holmes, Identity Theft

When I am most aware of who I am in Christ, I am the most productive, joyful, and peaceful. Success doesn’t necessarily come from what I am doing but from what perspective I am coming from.

“True fruitfulness is found in rest.” – Jasmine Holmes, Identity Theft

Grace is the foundation of rest. Hustle can be explored and invested in if
the rest it blooms from is rooted in the ground of grace. Grace provides the
soft cushion to fall, the whisper at the end of the day, “It’s okay; we’ll try
again tomorrow.” Grace provides spiritual insurance to leap out in faith to
embrace new things.

When Rachel Hollis examined the question of work/life balance in Girl,
Stop Apologizing
, she debunked the idea that work/life balance is
something that can be achieved.

“The scale is never balanced; it constantly shifts back and forth based on
what needs my attention right this second…I think the goal is to be
centered…feel grounded and at peace with yourself.”

Grounding comes from understanding the grace that covers all my mistakes. I am able to be at peace when I know that I am forgiven. This gives me a safe space to jump into the unknown and take the time I need when I need to re-center myself.

“Remember, figuring out how to juggle all the parts of your life in a
healthy way is a scale that slides back and forth. Some seasons of your life
will require more attention in one area than another, and that’s okay.”

Because of my fibromyalgia, there are many times where I have to put my
health before other things I want to do. Other days, I know that I must talk
with a friend even though the extra energy will spend my spoons for the day.

ellen page spoon GIF
It is terribly hard to decide between the two. Balancing health and relationships can be quite impossible at times. It really is one or the other. It is in the choosing between the two that makes us who we are as people. I have always wanted to live wholeheartedly which is as close to a balance between rest and hustle as I have ever seen.

If you have listened to Brene Brown, you know that she is a huge champion of wholeheartedness.

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of
worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” – Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

I believe that wholeheartedness is rooted in the freedom that comes from
realizing that the balance between rest and hustle changes daily.

I tend to lean more toward the hustle side of life, so I have to consciously
pursue rest. Resting shows that I am not in charge of everything, that the
world keeps spinning even though I am not doing anything. Through this, God is given the glory for running things, not me.

True rest comes from rooting myself in the One who gives me life. This rest
gives nourishment to face any hustle that I have ahead.

When I am focusing on learning how to simply be, I end up having the hustle naturally flow out of that being, from a true, grounded place.

There is also a kind of rest that comes from sharing tea and deep conversation with a friend. I like to call this the “I’m not the only one” rest. It is so much easier to bear hardship and confusion when you know that others are in it right there beside you.

Another way to rest is to not worry about what others think of my decision
to rest or hustle. I am never going to please everyone. This can be a rest that
is very difficult for me to achieve as I deal with different levels of
limitations from my fibromyalgia every day. I worry that others might think I am faking because I am feeling so well one day, am so productive, and another day literally can’t do anything but rest. Forced rest from illness can also make me lose some of the rest that comes from community because I have to let people know that I can’t make it the event we had been planning for over a month. I miss out on building relationships that I want to build, but I trust that God will bring the community I need. He has, and I can rest in his faithfulness.

I love how Rachel Hollis examines the relationship between guilt, rest, and

“We’re all just doing our best, sis, and beating yourself up when you’re
trying so hard isn’t going to help you do it better next time.” – Girl, Wash
Your Face

In the end, I always need to remember that my identity is in who I am
through Christ and that my hustle is simply an outflowing of that rest I have
on His unshakable foundation.

How have you “balanced” rest and hustle?


  • Emily Collins

    I believe in whole-heartedness too and believe sometimes you either have health or relationships. It is good to know when to rest and just listen to yourself and what God has to say.

  • Amanda

    Ahh I feel this on so many levels. Often when I get the chance to rest, I’m so overwhelmed by all the things that I want to do to rest that I end up stuck! So true that work/life “balance” isn’t an achievable goal. Every day you just have to listen to your body, mind, and soul!

  • Caroline

    I love how you explain that work/life balance is a myth. It’s so true! Wholehearted Living has come up a lot in my reading recently. Must be God trying to tell me something!!

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