Finding Time for Rest During COVID-19
By Jessica Cabeen
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 (NIV)
…for such a time as this.
Through many seasons, the story of Esther has been foundational in my struggle to find strength in circumstances. So when the Governor of Minnesota issued a challenge for educators in Minnesota to prepare for something we had never done, and to do it in two weeks, Esther appeared in my heart and mind.
While so many of us are putting in long days planning, preparing and worrying about our new role as distance educators and leaders, my heart (with Esther’s wisdom) has offered me an opportunity to find pause, peace and time to rest in His word.
…..for such a time as this…
In a way, this circumstance has been a blessing for me. I was racing through life at a record pace, and feeling less and less at peace because of it. The next meeting, the next assignment, the next thing on my schedule….the race we were in came to a complete halt and now we have a time such as this to rewrite our story-starting with how we spend our time.
- Pause. We have a newfound opportunity to put a pause in our lives to renew a life of faith. Doing the math, I have gained at least 2 hours in my day back by not leaving my house. With that time I am engaging in a daily devotional and watching sermons and services via YouTube. Most recently our family’s favorite band—For King and Country—played a live concert, from their home. To help hold me accountable for reclaiming this white space I create a weekly calendar and put faith, self-care, and family first.
- Peace. Watching the news, following friends and educators on social media, and the stream of emails pouring into our inbox can cause more anxiety in this time of unknown than we need. This infographic from CEAI says it best “put your phone down, and pursue activities linked with happiness.” Set time aside throughout your day to put your phone down and your computer away. I am challenging myself to 10-minute yoga flows between Zoom calls and working on the middle school master schedule for next year in my basement.
- REST. Can I be honest? Last year was one of the most challenging years, personally and professionally, I ever experienced. Yet it was also the year that brought me closer to God than I ever imagined. My #oneword for 2020 was Rest, a word I identified well before I even thought I would experience a pandemic in my lifetime. Rest isn’t napping or binge-watching Netflix or surfing social media for hours. Rest can be a chance to slow down and remove noise and static so you can hear more clearly what you are being called to do, but have been too busy or had too much static in your life to hear. Rest for you might be grounding yourself in a daily morning devotional routine. Rest may mean growing in how you can continue to show Christ’s love in school. Rest might be making the tough calls of pruning things out of your life that leave you frustrated, discouraged and disappointed. And finally, rest may provide you space to encourage and share gratitude with others and build deeper relationships with those in your life at home and school. In this season I challenge you as a follower of Christ, to take time away from the worries of this world, and find comfort and faith in His word. Esther’s story can be a reminder that our story is still being written and for such a time as this, we have an opportunity to fill our story with pause, peace and rest.
Jessica is currently a middle school principal in Minnesota. In 2017 she was awarded the Minnesota National Distinguished Principal. Jessica is the author of Hacking Early Learning, Lead with Grace, Unconventional Leadership, and co-authored Balance Like A Pirate. When not at bus duty or checking in with students and teachers in classrooms and the hallways she speaks at schools, districts and conferences about leadership, learning, and how to balance everything in-between. Connect with Jessica on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @JessicaCabeen or her website: www.jessicacabeen.com