During our first year of marriage, my handsome husband, Jacob did door to door solicitations and campaigning, and as an enneagram 2 wing 3, I couldn’t say no when he asked me if I would like to help. My favorite place to knock doors was in Hudson, Wisconsin, where Little Free Libraries originated in 2009. Nearly every house in Hudson has a Little Free Library, which was a joy to our family of three at the time. I gathered books to read to the baby in my belly as well as for pleasure. Some reads I do not remember, while others influenced me greatly – one of the most influential being “The Road Back to You” because it introduced me to the Enneagram and a new perspective of myself.

When I discovered I was a 2, I was proud. The characteristics of a 2 seemed best to me, and I left my enneagram venture at that conclusion for nearly a year and a half, until someone asked me, “How do you think being a 2 has influenced you in the last year?” and I offered an answer I wasn’t sure of.

As an avid writer, I continued to ponder and write about that question for months, especially because the past year had been rather adverse. I dove deep into Enneagram coaching and read “40 Days on Being a 2” by Hunter Mobley and “40 Days on Being a 3” by Sean Palmer. With these devotionals, I learned that my “proudness” about being a 2 was my pride; and my gift of helping and producing would fall short and potentially hurt if I did not learn to do two things.

Recognize my pride and rest.

At the age of 12, I entered the foster care system for the second time. I lived in twelve different homes, striving to make each family accept me a little more than the last. Twos are known as the adapters, while threes are known as the chameleons of the Enneagram. Foster care taught me how to do both. To an extent, it is a great gift to have empathy and be attuned to others’ needs. However, it can cause me to produce much for the acceptance of others, and forget what good might actually look like for God.

Starting at the age of seventeen, I received countless opportunities to share my story about what it was like to grow up in foster care and eventually be relieved of the bitterness and unforgiveness that plagued me after Jesus Christ entered my heart.

Ever since I’d been introduced to Jesus, the Man of Love who serves others, washes feet, listens to the prostitute, and invites “the lowly ” to dinner, my two-ness exploded. I so badly did not just want to speak of God or speak about how God changed my life, I wanted to be like Him.

I spoke wherever I was asked. In college, I rarely turned down a lunch date, and on that lunch date I quickly answered text messages of the people asking me for help, while talking and eating fast so I could answer the call to the person who asked me to meet or help with something earlier in the day.

This pattern continued as I launched a ministry on Instagram to be a resource to the foster care community and encourage others in Christ. I answered every single DM and comment for nearly a year. My husband got the brunt of my unrest, and my children did not have a mother as present as they deserved. My frustration only grew because I knew the people that were closest to me weren’t getting my best. The internet was.

I genuinely wanted to help. I believe we all do. However, our pride as twos does not tend to look like us saying how awesome we are. Rather, our pride is the internal voice inside of us screaming “I can keep on keeping on even when everyone else can’t.” Our pride makes us think we are invincible, not needing rest, or as much rest as others. 

But an unrested host can never give his guest what he comes looking for. An unrested mom can never give her kids what they need. An unrested wife can never offer her husband the love he deserves. The only One invincible is the God we serve, and even He rested.

The Sabbath has always been a challenge to me, and though I have intentionally implemented more Sabbath practices into my life I would not say I am good at them. My mind wanders into action as I fear wasting my life and not being the woman God wants me to be. But if we want to serve like Jesus, we must be able to rest like Him.

Pride and the fear of rest go hand and hand. So I want to give you three questions that might help you check your pride at the door and settle into God’s embrace.

1. Why are you producing the next thing or helping the next person?

Maybe you fear being rejected by others or you are afraid that God is not pleased with you. In Luke 3:22, We read what God said to Jesus: “And the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’” We too are God’s sons and daughters, and like Jesus in this scripture, we do not have to do anything for God to be pleased with us. He is pleased because like Jesus we are a part of His masterpiece that is creation, made in His image. 

2. Why did I start this project or begin serving in this way in the first place?

This is a classic question that reorients us from distractions in a world of self-promotion. Oftentimes, we start off wanting to help, love, and glorify the name of God, but our work can easily become self-glorifying when we forget who we are doing the work for. Praying through this question reorients towards Jesus’ heart and the people we serve. When we are not trying to prove ourselves through our work, it is easier to find rest. We understand that God defends our identity through His salvation.

3.  How can I trust God today?

Sometimes we love and produce because we want to be accepted and applauded by others. We don’t trust God’s love and affirmation over our identities is enough. But when we recognize and trust the truth, that we are beloved children of God inheriting His riches, without having to earn or deserve them, we begin to understand the Acceptance we have always yearned for is already there with open arms, whispering, “You can trust me. Just fall into rest. I got you.”

When I catch myself working when I have committed to rest, I could let the shame and anxiety take over, and continue working to not feel the shame and anxiety; but instead, I try my best to extend grace to myself and get quiet again. I then offer the work to God, who works when I am not working, and produces when I am not producing, who helps even when I am not helping.


Editor’s Note:  Reflection Questions and Journal Prompts

Reflection is a powerful practice that helps us pay attention to our inside world. It gives us reason to pause and listen to our souls and to God. So, grab your journal, get comfortable, and take some time to consider the questions and prompts below. 

  • Why do I work?
  • Why don’t I rest enough?
  • What’s my understanding of sabbath? What does the Bible say about sabbath?
  • Where does sabbath happen for me in my schedule? Where can I start?
  • Considering what you’ve read,, notice what stirs up for you and write out what you sense, feel and hear. 
  • Ask God: “What would You like me to know as it relates to this article?”
  • Listen, then record what you sense, feel and hear. 
  • Ask God: “What would You like me to do as it relates to this article?” 
  • Listen, then record the invitation He has given you. 
  • Lastly, take a moment and respond back. Pour out your thoughts, gratitude, say a prayer. or even confess where you have sinned. When you understand how much you are loved by God, you can begin seeing the nuances of your sins, the ones that block us from receiving His daily grace and real rest for our soul.