What is rest? The Merriam-Webster definition of rest states, “sleep, repose…a state of minimal functional and metabolic activities”. “Rest” is discussed in poetry, books, and the Bible. When you have chronic illness, rest has a specific meaning.
I just returned from a second trip (within one month). I didn’t rest enough after the first trip and that made the second trip unbearable. Rest to me is the process of recovery.
When I was healthy, recovery meant that I had endured a tough workout and needed to take a day off from exercise. Now, rest and recovery means that I got up and put a load of laundry in the washing machine. Or, it might mean that I took a shower. After each of these activities I need a period of rest.
During my normal days, recovery might be 15 minutes. But, rest and recovery after a task (after a long trip) takes an hour or two. When I try to push through and do many activities (wash dishes, fold clothes, take a shower, fix my hair) it will take all day to recover.
Our trip was made easier for me by making frequent stops. We stopped at many McDonalds for coffee breaks and stretching our legs. Walking around at rest centers gave a more pleasant place to stretch and walk. We broke up the 700 mile journey by stopping one night in a hotel. Even though it was too expensive for us, the break was necessary for my health.
Because my body can’t recover with a “normal” amount of rest, I’ll just rest more. My body will be in a state of minimal functional movements. I’ll be stretched out on the couch with my puppy to cuddle with. I’ll find rest to my soul by meditating on verses about rest. And, I won’t feel guilty for my rest. Recovery and rest are necessary.