This is the second post in a three-part series on Embracing Rest. In case you missed it, here’s Part 1.
So why do we resist rest?
Rest isn’t just for stressed out busy people; rest is for the everyday people whose lives are full of good things. Rest is for the people who want a rhythm, an ebb and flow to their lives. Rest – Sabbath – is for us all.
God modeled embracing rest when He rested on the seventh day. Christ modeled embracing rest when He slept while the boat rocked in crashing waves, when He stole away to the Garden for prayer, and many other times when He asked for quiet time away from crowds. We need to model embracing rest for our kids too.
By modeling rest, we show what we value.
My son loves to make ‘parades’ with his guys. That means he closes the keyboard of our piano and lines up all the action figures, little tikes people, various animals and lego guys on the cover. At times the guys are two or three thick. We probably need to get rid of a few 😉 Recently we had to clear the parade and start over, because he was looking for a certain important guy and couldn’t find him because there were so many to paw through.
That’s how it is with our calendars, our homes. If we weed out the extra things, all that will remain is what we really value.
There are so many benefits to resting that we can only reap once we’ve decided we need them. Better health, a rhythm and rhyme to our days, traits we want our kids to have… but one huge benefit when embracing our need for rest is that we may more clearly hear and find God, and He may find us.
When we’re quiet, when we’ve had enough rest, God can find us – and we can we find Him.
Research has shown that the amount of spiritual growth that takes place in a week at a Bible camp is equal to over a year of attending church. I think there are many reasons for this, but as a former camp staffer, one of the biggest is that camp is (generally) quiet. Kids don’t have their phones beeping every minute with notifications, there’s usually a lake or some body of water, and woods for wandering. Camp is a place kids can hear and be heard.
How can we instill a sense of hearing and being heard in our everyday life?
I think sometimes embracing rest is mistaken for selfishness. As you clear your calendar to make white space, as you say ‘no’ to invitations to guard your time, as you go to bed or wake up earlier, as you begin to put yourself first, it could feel like you’re embracing a selfish attitude. We kind of are, actually, but it’s in the good kind of way.
Maybe you’ve heard the airplane analogy? They say in the event of an oxygen loss to place your own mask first before helping others. This needs to be our mantra, and we need to let go of the guilt that could come with it. We need to fill our cups so that our family is receiving our overflow – of love, of joy, of peace. If our cups are empty – our oxygen masks not yet on – how can we fill or help others? We can’t.
So how do you rest? How can we simplify our lives so we can embrace rest? How can we practice ‘real life rest’, filling up our cups so we can fill others?
I’ll share here how I answer this question on Friday, and I would love to hear how you simplify your life in order to embrace real life rest!
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When I remember to do so, I’ve started running things through a “is this a ‘good’ thing or a God thing” filter when tasks get put in front of me because otherwise I find myself making time for everything and everyone else except to simply breathe. (The stat about camp…WOW!)