“So what are you going to do next?”

The question was posed innocently enough by a friend last night after I’d explained about just finishing up helping with a major women’s conference and meeting the final deadline for our book (yay!) last week.

I immediately fumbled through a number of items, when what I really wanted to say was, “I just need to catch my breath.”

But I didn’t. Instead I rattled off yet another list of things that needed to be done.

Why do I do that to myself? I pondered later, as I was alone. Why do I let my value be in the things I accomplish? It’s been my vice for as long as I can remember. Finding my worth in what I do, not in who I am.

I am a to-do list kinda girl and I feel worthwhile when I can check things off of my list.

And although there may be nothing wrong with that—at least not on the surface—there is a deeper need, a drive in me, that says that in order to be valuable or to make a mark on this world, to be seen and noticed and even sometimes loved, you must do. Being is simply not enough.

This morning, I sat and listened to my two-year-old daughter tell me about her weekend. Her words are carefully measured; she’s trying to speak well, recount for me her happenings—an owie from a fall she had yesterday, the food that she ate last night, the fun that she had with friends. And as I listen to her talk, I think about how much I love her. I love hearing her voice, her thoughts, her heart.

There is nothing that she does that increases my love for her. Simply hearing her sweet little statements, spending time with her, is enough. She is lovely just as she is.

And isn’t that just how God thinks about us? Doesn’t he say that we are lovely? That we are chosen? That we are valuable? That we are loved?

Just as we are. Not because of what we do.

Maybe you’re finding yourself in the same place I am this week. Maybe you need to take a breath, too. Can I tell you it’s okay?

We are human. And although we were made to do and create and accomplish, we were also made to rest. A natural rhythm of life God designed for us.

Let’s not be afraid to own it, to say we are tired when we are tired. And then, to take the time to actually rest. To breathe deeply. To embrace who we are and whose we are. Without doing. Just being.

Remembering that God’s banner over us is love. Always love.

So I’ll be resting this week, friends. Maybe you need to join me, too?

Kendra Egeland Roehl

Author Kendra Egeland Roehl

Kendra received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work and has worked for hospice programs, low-income housing, and the St. Cloud Veterans Affairs Medical Center. A mother of four, she and her husband are both foster and adoptive parents. She is a speaker and writer about topics such as marriage, motherhood, foster care, adoption, and social justice at The Ruth Experience.

More posts by Kendra Egeland Roehl

Leave a Reply