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Relief or Restoration?

Sometimes I find myself depleted. It’s that kind of depleted where I’m mentally or emotionally drained to the point that I’m not quite sure what to do to recharge. I feel discouraged that I’ve reached this point but also realize there are seasons or situations in life when this happens. Typically, time will renew me, but it always feels like there should be more I could do.

As moms, sometimes we lose track of what we enjoy or what our hobbies are because we don’t often have time for them or a chance to enjoy them, especially when our kids are young. I enjoy reading a book, a good chat with a friend, a walk or hike outdoors, or working in the garden. The hobbies that we once enjoyed before motherhood might have changed. I used to enjoy cooking, baking, cleaning, and organizing, but what I once had the time to enjoy doing has now become a daily chore. What are your hobbies? Do you remember what they are? Do you get a chance to enjoy them?

Recently in a daily devotional I came across the concept of relief compared to restoration. I had never paused to compare the two. Relief has to do with some form of a break from stress. Restoration involves refreshing or returning something to its former condition. When I’m exhausted physically, emotionally, or mentally, of course I would like relief, but even more so, I need renewal. So many of the things that I grab hold of during the day for a moment of relief, do not in fact provide what I truly need, which is restoration.

Relief or ”tuning out” might look like browsing social media, shopping online, or watching something on tv. Restoration might look like reading my Bible or praying, finding a quiet place to just sit outside, having a deeper and real conversation with a trusted friend, sipping a cup of coffee and having conversation with my husband, or enjoying some laughter and silliness with my family.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23: 2--3a. I’ve heard this verse so many times that I often skim over the significance, but just imagine having your soul restored. What does true restoration of your soul look like for you? How would your day-to-day look different, if you worked toward daily restoration as opposed to fleeting moments of relief?

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