Rest

The past few nights I haven’t been able to sleep.  I find myself watching every show in our DVR log … tweeting about the creepy noises my house makes at 1am.  But I just can’t go to sleep.  During the day I’m exhausted.  I can barely get out off bed in the morning.  But 9pm hits and I’m wide awake.  WHY?

With all this extra time to think I’ve been thinking about rest and how our society doesn’t really look “fondly” upon it.  Think about Sunday in your house.  If it’s anything like mine it’s usually a day to catch up on laundry and run errands or random house projects.  We were made for a day of rest, yet there is no time for it in our culture.

How do we carve out time to sit, meditate and rest in a culture that thrives on go-go-go?  How do you take time for yourself and fight the stigma of being lazy or selfish?  Do you even remember what it feels like to calm down and rejuvenate? Being a mom means that I have very little time to myself.  My world revolves around three little men.  Taking time just for ‘mom’ makes me feel selfish.  I can wait … my kids need me now.  When is now?

You don’t have to be on a beach somewhere to catch up on some much-needed down time.  You can do it right where you are, right this very minute.  And I’m not talking an hour, I’m talking an entire day.  24 straight hours.  No cooking, no cleaning, no working, no errands.  Just rest.  Spending time with one another, sharing stories or feelings.  Investing in your relationship with one another and with God.

A very good friend of mine, Katie, were talking about how other faiths are so intriguing.  I have a friend from college who has grown strong in her Jewish faith.  I loved spending time with her and her husband learning about their faith and beliefs.  They take Saturday (sun down on Friday to sun up on Sunday) as a day of rest.  They do nothing but spend time with others – others in their same faith, friends or family.  Years ago they invited Doug, Jaden and I to share their holy day with them.  The time felt indulgent.  It felt selfish – taking an entire day to rest.  The thought of how much needs to get done interrupts my thoughts, makes me feel agitated.  Yet, I felt honored to be included in such a special time.  To be 100% honest, it made me a little envious.  Their church really believes in this and stresses the importance.

I’m not saying that my church doesn’t believe that Sunday is a holy day and meant for rest.  Of course we believe that.  But we aren’t so diligent about taking a full day as rest.  I find that it feels irresponsible and selfish.  It feels lazy to let all the responsibilities of being a mom, wife and homeowner go for an entire day.  Yet we were made with that very intent in mind.  We were made to rest on the seventh day.  It’s the way the world was meant to work.  The fact that we don’t rest is proof that this world is broken.

So … how do I calm down enough to rest?  How do I find the peace to sleep at night?  Is there enough rest in your own life?  Are you brave enough to claim a full day as rest in your own family?  Are you strong enough to actually rest and not start clipping coupons instead?  I’ll be honest, I’m not so sure that I am.  First, I can’t sit still while watching tv, I’m not sure I can do it for a whole day.  Second, Doug isn’t of the same faith as I am and I’m not so sure he’ll buy in on a whole day of rest 🙂  He’s really the driving force in the house to get stuff done.  I think I might drive him over the edge by asking for every Sunday to be a “down” day.  I do think it’s important enough to have the conversation and see if we can come to a marital agreement 🙂

I desire to live my life in a way that is pleasing to God.  I pray that my words, actions and thoughts are proof of who I am and who I am meant to be.  Sometimes I’m not really sure who I am meant to be … but it’s all apart of life.  I just pray that I can be the best whoever-I’m-supposed-to-be that I can be.

Love, Mel

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5 Comments

Filed under Faith

5 responses to “Rest

  1. (Joh 6:28) Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”

    (Joh 6:29) Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

    Notice that the Jews said what work(s) shall we do and Jesus replied with the only work God requires is to believe in Jesus. Therefore, our only work is to believe on the sinless Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us.

  2. (Mat 11:28) “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

    (Mat 11:29) “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

    (Mat 11:30) “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

  3. Ruby McGill

    I agree with you – we all need that rest day; think of it as a day to rejuvenate, to enjoy doing things together, to enjoy nature, to enjoy spending time with friends. The laundry will get done; the leaves will get raked; the windows will get cleaned – but your life will be richer and fuller for having taken the time away from all those things. And it is not selfish to take some “ME” time, too. For if you are not functioning at your best, then everyone else suffers.
    God bless.

  4. I am exactly the same way…I find it next to impossible to just sit and rest. My New Year’s resolution was to just RELAX and relish in down time. If I’m being honest, I’m doing a terrible job. Like you, I can’t sit still. I’m a “doer” not a “sitter”…when I do sit down, I can’t shut my thoughts off and am constantly thinking about what I should be doing…and like you said, being a mama never stops. Great post love! 🙂

  5. Hi Melissa! I was having a conversation about rest with someone I really trust and he was urging me, as a mentor, to get some rest. I said “clearly I don’ t know how”. “Ahhh, he said.” And then he told me something he had learned from another pastor. He said rest is anything that is you “holding hands with God.” Anything where you can hear His heartbeat, slow down and breathe at His same speed. It might be different for everyone. Reading a book, reading the Word, being outside, sex with your spouse (yes, even that!…maybe that would help convince your hubs! Ha!), snuggling up with your kids, even a hobby like scrapbooking or knitting COULD be rest (but it also might just be leisure). I can say with absolute certainty, that it is not TV! 🙂 I have thought upon that many, many times since he told me. And, if God rested on the 7th day (and He didn’t need it…He was showing us an example), then when we choose not to rest in Him, does that mean we know better than He does? (Said from a woman who does not always heed this advice!). But you are opening my eyes again that I have fallen off the wagon and must get back on. That being said, He also knows we have kids. So our rest may come in shorter blocks and look different than when they are older…and He doesn’t expect us to do something that simply isn’t possible in our stage of life (24 hours without taking care of our children probably isn’t going to happen for most of us very often!). I, for one, would like to teach my kids HOW to rest. Oh, when you write it it sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

    On the subject of not being able to sleep…I was also like that until about 4 months ago. Then I stumbled upon a blog post about adrenal fatigue (at 1 am one morning) and was shocked when I felt like she was describing me. I did more research and learned some things I could do (eating differently – cutting out processed/fake foods and aha…getting more sleep!) and I saw changes almost immediately! And I am no longer exhausted at 3 pm every day and wide awake at 10 pm. My body has come back into regular rhythm and it is so much better!! Let me know if you want me to email you any of the sites I found on it. Or just do a google search!

    Thanks for a great post!
    Colleen (from the bday party at Flabbergast)

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