Having read Glynnis Whitwer’s Taming The To Do List, I was curious how this book would be a fresh take on that. In fact, this book is far deeper than that. In essence, it focuses on the balance we strive to strike between work and rest and how that affects our perception of our self-worth. Her interrogation of where our self-worth originates (SPOILER ALERT: it’s not work) and how to re-orientate ourselves when we have defined ourselves by our work is the starting point of the book. I enjoyed the journey Glynnis takes the reader on, she delves into the purpose of work, it’s importance in our lives but also the importance of rest and white space. I found her conditions of unhealthy busyness useful parameters to weigh my own work up against.
As a CRPS sufferer, rest, work and self-worth are entwined with hope and wellness. I can work more, contribute more and so feel alive when I’m well and it’s addictive. Rest is generally associated with illnesses and exhaustion or a lack of energy. Dangerous perceptions if I don’t counter them with truths tucked into this book and throughout the Bible. Valuing rest as much as work has taken me a long time and this was a great reminder of why it’s essential to a peaceful life!
My favourite lines include:
“You can imagine when your identity is wrapped up in what you do, you will always seek to do more.”
“When I refer to work in this book, I want to clarify that I’m referring to whatever responsibilities God has given us. For some this will mean caring for a home, raising children, leading a ministry, athletics, teaching or being employed. There are so many ways we work.”
“God definitely modeled active and attentive effort when He created the world.”
“Work at its finest offers us the same blessings. We are able to use our God-given design, and we experience the pleasure of being given responsibility.”
“He wants us to trust Him. Trust Him with our daily needs. Trust Him to open doors of opportunity. Trust Him to define our identity.”
“Spiritual rest is a deep sense of confidence that no matter what comes our way, God is still on the throne, He has not forgotten us, and He is working on our behalf.”
“I’ve discovered four conditions of unhealthy busyness: being busy without boundaries, being a busybody, doing work I’m not called to do, and focusing on busywork over my best work.”
“Just as white space adds beauty to any piece of art, the printed page, a website or ad, white space in our lives serves a similar benefit.”
“This is why I don’t judge the Israelites, not do I judge anyone who has been through abuse. It’s really hard to trust when your trust has been betrayed. To trust again takes a depth of bravery few have.”
“What can only I do?”
“What has God entrusted to me?”
“Am I a good steward of what I already have?”
“What passion (or dream) has God put in my heart?”
“What has God asked me to do that I haven’t done yet?”
I found the book gave me clarity and insights into the work/rest balance, reaffirmed the importance of focusing on my life patterns and highlighted biblical passages to refer back to – five out of five on the en-JOY-meant scale, I really recommend this one!
From the back cover:
So many women are living overcommitted lives and buckling under the nagging guilt. When they are busy, they feel guilty for not playing with their kids or having a quiet time of prayer and Bible study. When they try to rest, they feel guilty because there’s so much left to do. It’s an endless cycle of overwork and exhaustion. Yet inside every woman’s heart is a longing for true rest. It’s there because God designed us that way–but it seems out of reach.
Enough is enough. Our lives probably aren’t going to get less busy, especially if we’re in a demanding season of life, but we can do busy better. In this burden-lifting book, Glynnis Whitwer helps women examine their hearts and their schedules in order to seek a healthy and holy balance between–and enjoyment of–both work and rest. She shows readers how to prioritize their goals and their time, how to be present in the moment as Jesus was, and how to find the freedom of true soul rest. Most importantly, she shows women that their worth is found not in their accomplishments but in the love of the One who made them for work and for rest.
Thank you to Netgalley and Revell for the advance copy!