We make sure our kids get plenty of it, we work our whole lives so one day we can have it, and we may even day-dream about it ... any ideas as to what it is? Rest!
After I had my second baby, I was working two jobs, transitioning from one kid to two, breastfeeding (and pumping), taking care of the house, and trying to get all this done without getting a full night’s sleep! (Hang in there, all you moms with newborns!) I knew that I was in trouble when I used to dream of being in solitary-confinement so I could do nothing but rest.
Of course we all heard the advice to “rest when the baby is resting,” but do we do it? No way! That suggestion is for slackers. Why would I rest in the middle of the day? I’d be ... well ... a baby! When they are sleeping this is the perfect time to catch up on my to-do list.
I am now a proud advocate for rest time. My house has regular rest times every day and my kids are way past the age of regular naps. (I eventually quit my other jobs and now work at home as a mom and a Life Coach.) Each day after lunch is our designated quiet time. If the kids are home, they do it, too! This is a time where we can read, rest, or do a quiet activity. I usually take this time to do my devotions, pray, journal, and rest. And yes, I do fall asleep most days. Now before you think I’m crazy to waste time like that (or maybe you’re secretly wishing you could take a nap), let me tell you that this is what allows me to make it through the rest of the day. I’m able to get more done (did you see that—more) when I rest than when I don’t. Now I realize that not everybody’s schedule would allow a rest time in the middle of the day, but I would encourage you to pray that the Lord will help you be creative as to when you can have your rest time.
What are the benefits from resting?
- Less stress—sometimes I just need to remind myself to breathe. If I can take some time to pray and focus on the Lord, the less stress I feel. During my rest time is when I hear the Lord speaking to me the most!
- Less guilt—when I’m doing my devotions, I’m reminded of God’s love for me and how He will provide. I’m reminded that I don’t have to be a supermom and feel guilty when I don’t live up to my unrealistic expectations.
- Accomplish more—the rest gears me up for the next part of the day. It also gives me a chance to seek the Lord for decisions that I need to make.
- More patience—when I’m rested, I’m much more patient! As a mom we get interrupted constantly (Do you ever feel like you can never complete a sentence?) and resting equips me to better handle those situations when my sweet little ones are testing me.
My challenge for you this week is to schedule time to rest on one day. Ground rules: you can’t feel guilty about it and if you fall asleep, don’t beat yourself up over it! Take some time (even if it’s just fifteen minutes) and read a devotional, pray, nap, or just enjoy the quiet. Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear what comes out of your rest time.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)