So last weekend, as many of you know, I played hooky with Plays with Fire for our anniversary.

Now I’m sure many of you can relate to the coordination effort it takes to cover all the details of five different family members living four different places for a couple of days. Personally, I arrived at our romantic weekend without a hairbrush. (I think it ended up in Pink Dancer’s suitcase instead). Even without getting away for the weekend, I find coordinating five different personalities, sets of needs, and unique situation a challenge, at the very least.

The Wednesday night before we left, I tried to call my detail-oriented mother. We ended the conversation after only a few moments because I’m pretty sure I had slurred my words. I provided no sensible answers to her questions. When I saw my parents the next night, I tried to explain my state of mind. “You know those pinball machines that used to say TILT? That’s what happens to me when I just can’t handle any more details.”

Because, you see, if it’s the case that one side of our brain handles logic and mathematical equations, and one side interprets the nuances of poetry and art, TILT is an accurate description. The overwhelming details of many of our lives can mean only one side of our brain is working really hard. Beauty, subtleties, the food of the soul gets crowded out. TILT.

It took almost all the three-hour drive for me to even move out of an overdriven detail mode. I wrote in my journal recently, “The shouldas, wouldas, and couldas screech and scramble around my soul like a mass of orcs.” They didn’t shut up most of the drive.

Thankfully, I was absolutely thrilled with what met us on the other end. The moment I walked in to our lodging, I was transported by all the touches of innkeepers who had thought through all the details. Our room, which included our own private porch and spacious sitting area was tucked up under the eaves. A free bottle of wine and plate of appetizers awaited us when we checked in. The dining room table was already set for our full gourmet breakfast and fire crackled in the two fireplaces.

As a homemaker who knows how much work all these touches take, I relished each and every one of them. Beauty helps soothe the roughness of my responsible adult self. Coupled with these touches, however, was the reality of 48 hours of NO SCHEDULE except meal reservations. Sigh. This reality helped unwind my tremendously tight springs. Time to stroll, read, savor, bathe, sleep, snuggle, sip. Oh, how I desperately needed it.


Taking a break…


Taking another break…


And taking a break again…

Do you need a break? Is your brain in TILT? Please don’t dismiss your need for a break because you think your circumstances are too unique, too difficult, or too constraining. Thankfully, God provides us with breaks big and small. Sometimes we just need to look for them or ask. Especially if your words are starting to slur! Or if there’s any area of life where you feel like you’re stumbling.

Because it’s not only about us. It’s also about what we’re meant to give to others. We can’t do it well if we never take time for our own needs.

Do you agree? What prevents you from taking a break? When do you know you need one? Please leave a comment with your thoughts below.