Finding rhythms of rest during busy seasons of life

Written by Lauren Gaines
Published on September 08, 2023

I recently experienced an overwhelmingly busy season. One morning, as I sipped my green tea and looked over our calendar, my chest tightened. My usual remedy when I felt overbooked was to look at our schedule and remove tasks or activities. But as I stared at the calendar, I saw something scribbled on each day of the week and thought to myself, what am I going to do? I felt stuck. 

As I went about my day trying to convince myself it would be fine, I started praying (or really,  complaining) to God. 

God, I’m so tired. Life is so busy, and I don’t know what to do. I have so much on my to-do list, and I never have enough time to do everything. I’m trying to clear our schedule, but I just can’t. Why is this happening? Ugh. I can’t do this anymore.

Very clearly God interrupted my lament, and I heard the Holy Spirit say, Lauren, my grace is sufficient for you. Stop trying to do it all on your own. Let me help you.

Immediately I repented for not inviting God into the process. I knew my family functioned best with built-in rest, but I struggled to prioritize it in this busy season. Previously, I’d shave things off my to-do list or say no to activities or invites, and we’d quickly readjust our schedule. That didn’t feel like an option this time, and I let myself sit in my frustration instead of asking God for help.

So what does inviting God into our schedules look like? Here are three ways we can find rhythms of rest and recalibration in busy seasons: 

1. Prayer

Why is it easier to complain to our friends that we feel overwhelmed instead of praying to God? God knows things we don’t. He knows the beginning and the end. He can help us beyond anything we could imagine. Though to gain that heavenly wisdom, we first have to open up to him. I’m always amazed how quickly he brings ideas and strategies to my mind when I share my heart with him. God wants to be a part of our daily lives, and we miss out on wisdom and direction when we don’t invite him in.

2. Declaring Scripture

The second way to find refreshment is declaring Scripture. God’s Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). When we don’t know what to do, we can find a promise in the Bible and speak it over our situation. In my frustration, God reminded me of 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (NIV).” 

What if I woke up each morning and said, “Thank you, God, that your grace is sufficient for me today. Thank you that no matter how weak I feel, your power will be made perfect in my weakness” instead of, “God I’m tired. I can’t do this anymore.” The direction of our days change when we speak God’s truth over our lives.

3. Meditating on God’s goodness

Lastly, our mental meditations matter. When I feel overwhelmed, my brain often gets stuck in a negative thought loop. All I can think about is how life feels like too much. At the end of the day, that thought is not helpful! It does nothing for me. So I’ve learned to take every thought captive by recognizing how my thoughts impact my mood and actions. I have the ability to change my thoughts, which will in turn change my life. I don’t have to stay stuck. Instead, I can choose to meditate on God’s goodness and faithfulness. 

Practically, this means reminding myself of times when he came through for me, or when I saw his hand at work in my life, and focusing on that instead. I may even say to myself out loud, “Lauren, you’re going to be okay. I know you feel overwhelmed, but God is for you, and he will make a way when there is no way. I’m choosing to trust you Lord!” 

Even when life feels busy, we can choose to pause, pray, and ponder. It’s as simple as getting up fifteen minutes earlier and starting your day in God’s Word, or taking a five-to-ten-minute walk outside each day. Quiet time and fresh air do wonders for our bodies and souls! Or what about intentionally eating one meal without rushing, enjoying the food and the company around you? These activities don’t take a lot of effort or time—just intention.

There may be seasons when your schedule is full because kingdom work is often time-consuming and demanding (that includes raising those beautiful children!). No matter the season, I encourage you to open your calendar and completely give it to God. Ask him what your best yes looks like and he will guide you. His Word says in Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps (NLT).” God will show you how to find rhythms of rest, but you first have to invite him in. You can renovate your life to bring your family more peace. It’s never too late to make a change.

Consider a few extra resources:

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Lauren Gaines

Lauren Gaines is the author of Unshakable Kids: Three Keys to Raising Spiritually Strong and Emotionally Healthy Children (Baker Books, September 2023). She is a writer, teacher, mother, and creator of Inspired Motherhood, a thriving online community for moms to find practical tools to raise spiritually and emotionally healthy kids. While Lauren has a master’s degree in school psychology and experience teaching undergraduate psychology, she currently stays busy as a mother of three. She and her husband, Darryl, live in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with their children. Learn more at

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