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I titled this post “the discipline” of rest because I truly believe that in today’s world of constant going and striving and to-do lists, we do have to discipline ourselves to pause. If you are in the workforce, weekends are your time to get everything done that you can’t during the week. If you are a stay-at-home mom, your job never stops either. If you are self-employed like I am, it is so easy to fall into a pattern of feeling like you have to constantly be answering messages and emails or creating content.
I fell into this pace after Addilyn was born. I was wearing about 50 hats (who are we kidding, I still am!), and was wearing them all…ALL. THE. TIME. I never took them off. I was caring for and struggling to breastfeed a newborn, trying to keep our house out of disaster, working for our church, running my boutique , launching my Etsy store, helping my husband run our struggling frozen yogurt shop and just barely surviving. I was dealing with a little bit of Post-partum depression and to be honest, I was tired. I wanted to give up everything and just snuggle my baby 24/7. I had a virtually non-existent relationship with Jesus because I was just too dang busy.
Maybe you are in this same place. You are worn ragged. You have no time to catch your breath. You are spinning your wheels and getting nowhere at all. Your soul is aching from the dry place that you are operating out of and you are about to quit because your own strength is almost gone. Sweet friend, let me share with you something that Jesus told me!
One morning, I forced myself to sit down and read a devotional by Lysa TerKeurst (she is my favorite!) and she talked about this very issue. Addie was being particularly content, so I unwound the leather cord and opened my treasured bible that had hardly gotten any attention from me lately and began to read. It was like Jesus grabbed my face in His hands and looked straight into my soul.
I wasn’t sure exactly how, but I knew in that moment that I needed rest. And wouldn’t you know that for the next week or two, almost every devotional I read, Facebook post I stumbled across and verse I picked up on was about the importance of sabbath rest and how God will honor it. This verse in the New Living Translation in particular kept echoing in my heart.
“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.”
– Psalm 127:2 –
Is this saying that we should not work? Not at all! We absolutely should use our hands, gifts and talents. But we don’t have to wear ourselves ragged running at a breakneck pace. We can sit back and rest in His promise to care for us.
So I determined in my heart that I was going to get back to what God’s own people did to work hard 6 days a week, setting aside Sundays to truly rest. Let me tell you, the first few weeks it was HARD you guys! I sat on the sofa during nap time feeling completely lost. Like I should be doing something. My to-do list rattled around in my head. I had to discipline myself and remind myself that this was not just okay, it was good and necessary. I still have to remind myself sometimes that I need to stop and relax. But you know what? I started having a quiet time! I got to take naps! I read a book for fun for the first time in months. I had some face time with my husband. I got to spend some quality time just enjoying my daughter. And I found that the other 6 days a week, I was far more productive because I wasn’t do dang drained!
Mama, let me tell you. Give yourself a break. It is worth it. You don’t have to always being going constantly. Rest. Recharge. Reconnect with what truly matters. Your heart and your family with thank you!
Here's what helped me discipline myself to rest:
- Plan and schedule your other days.
- Set aside time for housework. For me, doing it on Saturdays is working and then I can rest in a clean home on Sundays. It was too hard to rest with the mess screaming at me.
- Meal plan and grocery shop on a different day. Plan a meal for your rest day that is no-fuss! Think Crockpot, Instant pot, etc. Prep the day before, or even better…order takeout!
- Remind yourself as much as you need to that you need the rest!
- If you work from your phone like I do, put it down! Get that thing away from you! Turn off notifications. It’s tempting to answer messages and questions, but you know what? They will still be there tomorrow!
- PLAN your rest! I know that sounds silly, but in the beginning you may find that it helps to tell yourself in the days leading up that Sunday (or whatever day you choose) that you will get to rest. Make plans with yourself to do something relaxing that day! I chose a book that I had been wanting to start for a while (Homebody by Joanna Gaines!). I knew as soon as we got home from church and the baby went down for her nap that I wanted to curl up in my favorite corner and dig in. Run a bubble bath if that’s your thing. Or flop into your bed and close your dang eyes. If you make plans with yourself, you are more likely to follow through!