Aaah, the word rest. What does it mean to you? For me, it has always meant lazy. Yes, that’s right. I never liked the word rest. To me, rest was when people just didn’t want to work. People definitely didn’t find joy in rest.
BOY WAS I WRONG!
If March and April have taught me anything it is that REST is important. I talked before about finding joy when God says no. I shared about how to recognize mom burn out, find a best yes, and how to avoid being the mom that blows up. The key behind all those posts was managing time and learning to say no. And, I did that for awhile. I learned my lesson, but then I picked up the heavyweight of busyness again and fell into the same old habits. And you know what happened? I homeschooled out of negligence. I created a disaster.
I cracked under the pressure.
I cracked under the weight of all that was going on.
I cracked at the fact that I was always going, going, going.
And, after sleeping the best I have slept in months in a hotel at the homeschool convention, I realized what I needed was balance. I needed to say no… I needed to rest.
Something happens when we run, run, run and don’t allow time to rest. We pour out every piece of ourselves. Our time. Our energy. Our resources. And we don’t allow time for anything to come back in.
God doesn’t want us to live that way! He wants us to enjoy life. He wants us to savor the everyday moments. He wants us to be full of joy!
Yet, none of that can happen if we don’t follow the God-given commandment to REST.
How can we make the time to rest?
We are all busy. I know this. Yet, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. And, we are all called to spend some of that time resting.
When I came home from the convention I made a decision to set aside time each day to rest. This was REALLY hard to do, yet it is important. It is important for my kids to see me making rest a priority, and it is important for me to take the time for myself each day. Because of this, I enacted 2-4. I heard about it from Chrystal Evans Hurst at the homeschool convention. This literally saved my sanity. I plan on sharing more about this in an upcoming blog post, but the jest of it is to set aside time each day for everyone in the house to be quiet. No electronics. No running around. Just time to BE. STILL.
Let me tell you, it works!
How can we MAKE ourselves rest?
This is a big one. We may know we need to rest. We may set aside the time to rest. But, how do we MAKE ourselves rest?
I wrote this scripture down and try to remember it when the to-do list calls and I don’t want to stop.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.~Genesis 2:3
You see, even GOD rested after he completed a great work. Why can’t we?
How can we find joy in rest?
If you’re like me you are reading this and saying, “That sounds great in theory, but I could never do that” can I tell you something?
You NEED to!
Learn from my mistake when I tell you that you do not want to get to where I was. Life is meant to be enjoyed and it just isn’t when you run yourself ragged.
When I looked back at where I had come from and saw that I had put myself right back in the midst of chaos I became angry. I knew better. God had told me to say no. Yet, I picked up that yoke and ran myself ragged again.
I lost my joy. And chances are you have to. Or you will. DON’T DO IT.
Make the choice to rest.
Rest will look different to everyone. To some, it is reading a book. To others, it is a bath. Or a nap. Or a trip somewhere alone. The key though is once we allow ourselves to rest, we come back more energized and ready to enjoy the day.
For me, it allows moments where I am truly present with my kids. It’s moments that I used to say no to, but that now I am savoring. It is time alone with a book while my kids are at my feet. It’s listening to my boy read a book, or watching my daughter cuddle her goat. It’s kicking the soccer ball around with my daughter. It’s moments that I didn’t always “find” time for. But, now I do.
I found rest. I found peace. I found joy.
So, moms I encourage you to find joy in rest. Find joy in the moments that are passing you by. Take the time to give your body rest so you can be more present to enjoy the moments with those around you.
Rest is not for the weak. We all need it. Let’s make sure we follow the Lord’s example and get it 😉