Sweet friend, you need to rest.
I know, you want to rest, but you don’t feel like you can take the time. There’s just so much to do. I understand.
Many of us think that resting is something we get to do after our work is done. The problem is, my to-do list is never-ending. The laundry is piling up. Phone calls need to be returned. Dinner needs to be made. There were several times last week I woke up at 4:30 a.m. because my plate was too full.
Here’s the truth we need to understand: We can’t choose to rest only when our work is done; we must rest because God desires it and He created us to have a need for it.
This is hard for me to embrace. I want to go, go, go. I have high expectations of what I need to get done in a day, week, and month.
God has already modeled the ideal routine for us. He created everything in six days and rested for one. He gifted us the perfect example of rest so our soul may thrive in relationship with Him. Our weary, earthly bodies need rest! We need dedicated time set aside to recharge and reflect. Without it, our soul, mind, and body will suffer.
If we assume that we can only rest after our work is complete, then we’ll rarely rest. There’s always more to do, another project to get to, another email to send. We live in a society that glorifies busyness, and we’re running on empty.
Our days are consumed with worry and anxiety rather than peace and purpose.
Structuring time for rest is especially challenging when you have young children at home. There are seasons of life when it seems impossible to devote a day to rest! Think outside the box — can you find two half-days in the week for scheduled rest? It may not always happen perfectly, and that’s okay. Make the most of it, based on your season.
Find ways to fit rest into the margins. Teach the principle of rest to your children. Carve out pockets of time to recharge together: have meaningful conversations, watch a family movie, build a lego creation, or go for a nature walk.
Here are four creative ways to welcome more rest into your schedule:
1. Fast from social media for a time period.
Don’t get me wrong; I think social media is a wonderful tool. I use it myself. But… it can also be the biggest time-waster in your day. When I intend to spend five minutes scrolling through my news feed, I look at the clock and realize thirty minutes has flown by. Could you gain extra time in your week by fasting from social media? Try it for one week and make a note of the results in your restfulness and productivity.
2. Participate in a health fast or cleanse.
Focus on simple, cleansing meals for a time period, such as salads, smoothies, fresh vegetable juices, etc. No elaborate, heavy meals that are time-consuming and labor intensive to prepare. Think of green, nutrient-rich foods in their most basic form. We personally enjoy the Daniel Fast.
3. Remember, less is more.
Get rid of the extra stuff in your life. Don’t just organize, but clear out the clutter. I’ve found the fewer possessions I have to care for, the more time I have, and less stressed I feel. More stuff = less time for what matters. Collect experiences instead of things. Make it a point to get your finances under control. You’ll feel more centered and peaceful.
4. Plan a trip somewhere.
Recent research has suggested planning for a trip or experience is more fulfilling than buying a material item. The anticipation of an upcoming trip, even a short weekend getaway, helps you feel more rested and happier overall. Set a date to spend the weekend at a state park, visiting family in a neighboring state, or at a hotel with a small waterpark. It doesn’t need to be elaborate.
We were created to crave rest. We’re able to give our very best to our families when we’ve had time to recharge and refresh. Strive for one day each week if you can, but at least search for ways to welcome it into the margins of your schedule. You’ll get better with it as you make it a priority.
Are you being intentional about making space for it in your schedule? Are you modeling it for your children? What can you do differently?
Go in grace today,
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