Lessons From Vacation: 5 Unconventional Reasons You Need To Take A Break

Lessons From Vacation: 5 Unconventional Reasons You Need To Take A Break

Last week, Hubby and I were sailing the high seas aboard Royal Caribbean’s ship, The Anthem of the Seas. We had an amazing time disconnecting from the world, and reconnecting with one another.

We made several Kingdom connections while aboard the ship, and learned that several churches and pastors, joined to vacation together on this same cruise.

Rev. Dr. J.G. McCann, Sr., pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church in Harlem New York, embarked the ship with his wife and several members of his church congregation. Sadly, Dr. McCann took his last breath on the ship, and transitioned to be with the Master.

While, I did not personally know Dr. McCann, it was clear that he was a great man of God, who meant a lot to his church family and community. And, as I’ve continued to pray for Dr. McCann’s family, I’ve also been able to seriously think about the reasons why we need to take the time for rest and relaxation.

While the following unconventional reasons may be humorous, my prayer is that you will seriously allow God to reveal to you that its OK to take a break!

Reason One: Your Need To Regrow Your Edges

Listen, stress will take a serious toll on your body. According to my alternate Primary Care Physician, WebMD, long term stress can cause muscle pain, trouble sleeping, digestive issues, changes in sex drive, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression.

No makeup. No pressure, No hair gel.

No makeup. No pressure, No hair gel.

OK, I actually didn’t see hair loss on the list. However, during my weave-wearing days, my mama would remind me that I needed to take some time to let my “hair breathe”, because of the added stress of weaves, braids and wigs.

Therefore, if my mama said stress can cause hair loss, then that’s the reason your edges are thinning out. It’s that simple. My mama said it! That’s that!

Note: My mama also said “If you go out in the cold with your neck open, you’ll get sick. Germs ain’t got NOTHING to do with it!

For all the men reading along, chuckling at “thinning edges”, don’t laugh too hard. #NoShaveNovember is quickly approaching and your beard is looking a lil patchy!

*Kanye Shrugs*

As black men and women, we are under constant stress, including the always-abounding pressure to out-perform our white peers and colleagues for the same recognition, and survive while being black. Therefore, in order for us to be able to be well for others, we have to be well for ourselves too.

Take a Break! Take off your wig! Massage your scalp and beard with Shea Butter!

Reason Two: Your Facebook Friends Don’t Really Like You (They Just Like Your Posts)!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true. Most “friends” who follow you on social media platforms are really not your friends. Many have no impact on your day to day life, and are not a part of your inner circle.

Take 37! #Blessed #WaistSnatched #VeganDiet

Take 37! #Blessed #WaistSnatched #VeganDiet

I dare you to purge your friends list and delete all of the folk that you’ve never met personally, have never had a face-to-face conversation with, and those who you have never interacted with (you know the ones who just lurk and never like anything…we see you!), on your chosen social media platform. You’d probably be left with about 100 “friends”, if that.

The truth is, some of us have become dependent upon social media approval. We spend so much time trying to take the perfect picture. We take selfies and review every detail, and then take 10 more to make sure we’ve chosen the best. We often pose behind fake smiles and cute hashtags when all hell is breaking loose in our personal lives.

Oh, it’s just me? Lies!

If we could be honest with ourselves, we’ve judged others, compared ourselves to others, and been preoccupied with likes at some point in our lives.

Therefore, it’s OK to take a hiatus from social media and reconnect with your friends and family in person.

Reason Three: God Is Waiting On You To Reconnect

I have been through periods in my life when I’ve been so “busy”, I failed to spend time with God. If you recall my blog post I Got Fired And It Saved My Life, I talked about completely losing my identity in Christ to piles of paperwork. I was disconnected and my spiritual life took a toll.

Meditations on my balcony overlooking the island of St. Maarten

Meditations on my balcony overlooking the island of St. Maarten

I convinced myself that quickly praying while I was driving, on my lunch break, or while otherwise engaged with other tasks, was good enough. It wasn’t.

I was lacking intimacy with God.

I’ve made an intentional effort to spend quality time with God. And at this point in my life, 15 minutes is not good enough. I understand the value of being connected to God, and that process can’t be rushed.

Take some time to reassess your time management. Does it include SIGNIFICANT time studying God’s word, meditating on it, praying, and listening to God?

God is waiting to reconnect with you. Take a break and get naked before the God who created you.

Reason Four: You Can Finally Wear Your Yoga Pants Unashamedly

OK, I know Hubby and I have been following a vegan diet since January. But, we relapsed on the cruise. OK, technically, it was right before the cruise when we tried Popeye’s new chicken sandwich (listen, we did it for the #UsherBoard and we’re sticking to that excuse).

But anyway, I made sure to pack a pair of stretchy yoga pants to wear home after the cruise!

Empanadias, Fritters, Mofongo, and Fried Meat (Pork), in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Empanadias, Fritters, Mofongo, and Fried Meat (Pork), in San Juan, Puerto Rico

No, I’m not saying that vacation is a time to be gluttonous, but it is a time to kick back and really enjoy life. Even though we worked out on the ship (ok barely, but we skated and walked over 10K steps daily) and tried our best to eat sensibly, there was no way I was passing up a traditional Puerto Rican meal in San Juan.

Whether you choose to travel, or if you choose to take a break at home (Staycation), we all need time when we can wipe off the make-up, take off the suits and ties, and really unwind with no outside pressure.

Use a few personal days, find your favorite comfy tee, take off those Snuffleupagus lashes and relax!

Reason Five: God Rested As An Example To Us

This is why you should read your bible! The model for rest was exemplified directly by God.

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.”
— Genesis 2:2-3

Now, I’m not a theologian and we’ve gone over this. But, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Bible emphasizes rest in back to back verses. Let me paraphrase it right quick.

Relaxing on the beach in St. Maarten

Relaxing on the beach in St. Maarten

God didn’t need to rest because God doesn’t get tired. God doesn’t even get tired when you pray to get away from certain situations and then go back to the same thing in two weeks.

I digress.

Anyway, God completed His tasks and God RESTED on the 7th day, and God RESTED on that 7th day when all of His work was completed. And after God RESTED on the 7th day, God blessed it and made it holy, because God RESTED from his work.

The word RESTED was written 4 times. God knew even at creation that we would have difficulty following directions. SMH!

This scripture doesn’t emphasize God’s need to rest, it emphasizes God’s desire for us to rest when we have completed our work.

Therefore, when we don’t take our rest, we are out of line with God’s original design for humanity (Hubby told me that, I can’t take all the credit).

So, there you have it folks!

While everyone may not always have the funds, time, or resources to travel, it’s important to snatch off that wig/man weave and make time to rest, reflect, and restore yourself to continue to do your work, as well as God’s work.

What have you done this summer to practice self care? How can you continue to find ways to disconnect from the world and reconnect with God? Comment below!
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