In this culture where productivity, and efficiency are valued, we have forgotten the importance of rest. It would seem like with all of the gadgets that we have to make life easier, there would be more time to rest, when in fact it seems we haven’t gained any time. We just fill up our time with more activities. People expect even more out of us. We expect more out of ourselves.
There is always so much to do!
If a little is good, then a lot must be even better, right? We mustn’t allow our children to get bored, so we fill up their schedules with activities. Play dates. Sports activities. Camps. Lessons.
And once home there is so much to be done. Cleaning. Cooking. Cleaning. Cooking. Working. Planning. Prepping. Remembering. Calling. Writing. Reading…
Lately, with all I need to do,I haven’t given myself permission to rest. There’s just too much to do.
And I’ve suffered because of it.
I’ve felt Frustrated. Ungrateful. Tired.
I know I need to rest, but I just can’t seem to STOP and DO IT! It is vitally important. Part of the reason I haven’t given myself permission to rest is because I enjoy the work I do. Yet.. if I don’t rest, the things I love turn into the things I hate.
I just need to rest.
But I’ll be honest, I keep resisting it. I have so many excuses why I can’t rest … now. In this moment. I can’t lay aside everything that needs to be done, but I can take a few minutes just to breathe. To take in the moment. To take a nap. To let the wind kiss my face. To jump on the trampoline and giggle with my kids. To just be. Even if it’s only 15 minutes.
Here are some things I’ve learned throughout the years about rest (that I haven’t been implementing lately):
We need physical rest
This is self-explanatory. We all need time to be still, put our feet up and stop working. That means things go undone. It’s ok. It’ll wait. So many people have asked how I do it “all”. I don’t. Lot’s of things go undone. There’s always a sink full of dishes. The laundry room is full of clothes that need to be folded and put away. My bed is usually unmade. And I don’t keep my girls’ hair groomed like I should. Sometimes I feel like a terrible mom because I don’t do better. The reality is that I’m only one person, and I can’t do it all. Physical rest is necessary, not a luxury.
We need mental rest.
This is the hardest for me. I love reading and learning, so for me it’s actually fun to read, read, read. But there are times when we need to stop the input, and process what we’ve learned. We also need time to marvel in the work that God has done in and through us. When God has done a great work, we need to take time to celebrate it.
We need soul rest.
This is the best rest. This is a rest that is independent of life’s circumstances. Even when things are chaotic, we can have soul rest. It is rest from worry. From striving. From achieving. From chasing after that something that we cannot seem to catch. It is an inner quietness that permeates from our inner core, and makes it’s way into every part of our life. It may be called perfect peace. This peace can only be given by the Prince of Peace. He promises this kind of rest to those who are intimately connected to Him. In this place of rest, we find complete satisfaction. The weight of burdens are lifted and we find ourselves lighter and able to live life with greater freedom, passion and confidence. Soul rest is finding all that our hearts long for.
I like to call rest, the reset button. When we begin to get off course. When we begin to listen to too many people telling us what we have to do, and ought to do. When I’m running like a wild crazy woman, and becoming frustrated because things aren’t going like I’d like them, it’s time to STOP AND REST.
Plan to rest.
Plan a few minutes daily for rest.
Plan a few hours weekly for rest.
Plan at least a full day monthly for rest.
Plan several weeks during the year for rest.
Rest should be a part of the natural rhythm of your life.
When I live this way, I’m more productive in my work. I’m inspired. I’m energized. I live with great focus and passion. My life is full of joy and peace. It’s just good. Even when life’s circumstances are hard.
Have I convinced you yet?
I dare ya.