My Dear Girls,
One day, you may be a wife and mom to young kids – or not. And you will likely have a job outside and/or inside your home, with inevitable busy seasons. Either way, you will definitely, 100%, beyond a shadow a doubt, have times when you are tired – as in, too tired to think, exhausted, or as we say in the country, “worn slap out” kind of tired. When you come to that point, here’s some earth-shattering advice on what to do next…
But… but it’s not that simple. Yes, yes it actually is. Unless you want to crash and burn a few days/months/years later. There are not many excuses that are more important than your health and overall well-being, which is really what you’re sacrificing when you choose to skimp on rest. We must care for ourselves first, if we are going to be able to care for those who we love so dearly and who are depending on us! Preaching to myself here, over and over again…
Most women today are stretched way too thin – partly by our many roles in serving others and partly by our own decisions and commitments (that too often aren’t as necessary as we think). The bottom line is that you are not a robot; you were designed by your Creator to rest – on a daily and weekly basis. The Lord gives us rest as a gift. He even modeled it for us in the creation of the world. But we have to take it, to prioritize it, because no one else is going to do it for you! On the contrary, most people will take as much of you as you are willing to give. The Lord revealed the importance of rest and its power on my physical, spiritual, and emotional health a couple of years ago after I went through some health issues that led me to examine my lifestyle and habits and make some hard, but necessary changes. They weren’t easy lessons to learn, but I’m so grateful I did. I would encourage you to study what the Bible says about rest. God wants us to rest in Him, recognizing that He is God and we are not, as we let go of the control we often cling so tightly to.
So, what does this look like on a practical level? Well, for starters, sleep is a basic human need but often viewed as a privilege here in America, where people pride themselves on productivity in exchange for rest. I recently read an article that the number one cause of aging is lack of sleep – hence, the phrase “beauty sleep.” Did you know our brains and bodies actually take time to repair and regenerate while we sleep? Beyond sleep, try to carve out a few restful times into your day. Try simple things like waking up early to have a quiet time with the Lord, not working at your desk through lunch, sitting down to eat meals, taking work breaks, limiting your time on social media (or whatever in the world we’ll have in the future), having parts of your day that are “unplugged,” or just making yourself sit still for a few minutes here and there without DOING anything (Why, oh why, is this so much harder for women than for men?!). Also, taking at least part of one of your weekend days for a sustained Sabbath rest is so important, and although I neglect it more often I’d like to admit, I have resolved to do better!
Most importantly, learning how to say no – often to the good, in exchange for the best (probably a topic for another letter) – precedes rest. I have had to learn to reevaluate and change some habits that had set the tune of my life to frantic rush, which really is no way to live. And although I still struggle from this from time to time, it doesn’t take me as long now to tune in and get back on track. Don’t wait as long as I did to learn the power of rest and to freely accept what’s already been so graciously given to you. You are not God, you are not a robot, and you ultimately are not in control, so give yourself permission to surrender to and be restored through the wonderful gifts of His freely given rest – both physically and spiritually!
Resting in Him,
Your Monday-Tired Mama