Everyone Needs More Rest
It may be that my week has been one for the books. Or it may be that rest was the topic for our community group discussion this week. Or it may be that twice in the past four days my devotional spoke of rest — but rest is on my mind! Not just I am tired, I want to sleep rest. Though that sounds pretty freaking good right about now. But true rest from the craziness. Rest from the schedule, the to do list, the social media, the politics, the expectations. I know it might seem counter intuitive to post about not doing things when my goal is to teach you to do things or to change the way you are doing them. But that’s it, this is a post about changing the way you are doing them! Rest is crucial to living a healthy life. To find the quiet, to find the slowness. To pray and to give thanks. To close your eyes and open your mind to a peaceful expanse rather than keeping your eyes open and only seeing the narrow path littered with all the stuff you are currently trudging through. Guys, isn’t it exhausting just trying to keep up with the Jones’, let alone the Benjamins’, the Trumps’, the Kanyes’, the every other mom that is doing it betters, the likes, the dislikes, the lists, the lists, the lists, the goals, the timelines, and EVERYTHING else. Can that possibly be good for us to encounter constantly. Right — enough convincing you that we need a break. What does it look like to rest?
Amidst our schedules.
Amidst our children who need us.
Amidst our sickness.
Amidst our loss.
Amidst our lack of money.
Amidst even our desires!
Well, first, it takes a conscious effort. It will never just happen if you wait for the free time to roll around. Create habit and open conversation with those around you that may effect your rest for better or worse. If you live by yourself but you have a demanding job and a hectic social life, it might look like taking an evening to yourself every week to disconnect, to read a book, to make your own dinner and to go to bed early. It might look like saying no to working at your desk over lunch and going to a nearby park to walk and soak in some of that fresh air. It might look like taking breaks from your social media once every few weeks, to reset and remember whats near and dear to you.
If you are married with no kids, it might look like designating one night for yourself and one night for your spouse to rest in a way that is most rewarding. Whether you find rest at your local bookstore with a hot cup of coffee, or you prefer your spouse get out of the house so you can have quiet space. Or it might look like a mutual day of rest on a weekend, when you wake up with no agenda, no lists and allow yourself the freedom to make the decisions as you go.
If you are married with kids, it might look like asking your neighbor to babysit so you can get your hair done downtown while your husband is at work (I literally did this today). Or it might look like your husband needing you to wake up with the kids early so he can have a slow morning in bed, with prayer and quiet time. It might look like trying to implement quiet time with your kids, which can be SO HARD but worthwhile.
If you are sick and feeling like you are falling behind, this might look like asking an encouraging friend to bring you dinner and to speak truth into your life. A good friend should be able to tell you the world is not falling apart without you.
If you are sick and you have children, it might look like laying on your couch and telling your child you don’t feel well and that you love them and that as long as they are safe, they are okay. Even if it’s with some extra tv and a sucker.
If you are mourning a loss and life is getting away from you, it might look like surrounding yourself with people who will not only lift you up but will pull the weight for you until you can do it on your own again. It might look like accepting the chaos, and knowing that it’s going to be okay.
Lastly, if you are struggling to find rest because your desires are for anything but rest, then you are either going to get hit like a freight train at some point and be flat out exhausted or you are going to lose sight of what life actually has going on for you. It’s amazing how quickly our desires can narrow our lenses to see only immediate results and positive affirmations. You forget about all of the beauty that is in our every sweet moment on this earth. You forget to be thankful for getting through that day or making that friend or having laundry to do because some people have none! You become aware and thankful for the positives and the negatives. And all of a sudden rest has made life, really livable.