Breathe In Breathe Out

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

It’s Friday and for many of us, it is our favorite day since it marks the end of the challenging 9-5 work week. The two-day weekend provides a relief from our regular routine and we look forward to relaxation and a much-needed break. It is either a time for leisure activities or a time to tackle the endless “to do” list. Our priorities of what we need to accomplish in life determine whether we relax or continue the frenzy of working nonstop.

For most of my life, I was unable to enjoy the benefits of rest and relaxation. Even though I proclaimed to be a Sabbath keeper-Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, I chose jobs that included nursing on-call duties because they provided the highest compensation. The desire for additional money led to the compromise of my mental and physical health. I was always thinking about what I needed to do, along with how I would juggle everything to fit in my tight schedule. I can recall wishing that there were more than 24 hours in a day. Although, I made the decision to pursue a 9-5 job, once I was hired, my routine of always needing something to do prevailed. I utilized Sundays to plan for the next Monday-Friday work week. I was exhausted, irritable, burned-out, and stressed out. My life was out of control due to many factors; as a result, I had a longstanding history of insomnia.

In May of 2017, I retired from my nursing career. I wish that I could say that all the stressors ended and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. However, my priorities had not changed, I was addicted to always doing something “productive”. I justified 4-5 hours of sleep by labeling it as having a structured lifestyle. Eventually, the self-induced stress caused my blood pressure and heart rate to escalate beyond normal parameters. I began to worry about my physical health which impacted my ability to sleep and I plummeted into bad health. Even so, God interceded on my behalf by allowing a friend to invite me to a 40-day Health Restoration program being conducted at her church. As I listened to the physician describe behaviors that confirmed an unhealthy lifestyle, I realized that I was not alone.

It has taken 16 months to break the vicious cycle of not appreciating mental and physical rest. Through prayer and studying the Word of God along with healthy lifestyle principles, I have reset my priorities to include plenty of rest. I have reached a level of optimal health which allows me to use my spiritual gifts to share the good news of God’s unconditional love. God enabled me to use the reset button in my life and I can finally breathe in and breathe out.

Prayer for today: Dear God, I need to change my lifestyle. Please help me. I am tired and need the rest that only comes from you. Amen

The current health regimens that I follow:

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Author: steps2successwithsolutions

By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, with a passion for helping others overcome the obstacles in their lives. I am a writer of Devotionals, Romantic Poetry, and Research Articles. The recent development of Mentoring and launching as a Motivational Speaker has prompted me to address real-life issues for women from a spiritual perspective.

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