{Day 17} Real Rest: A Reason


When I wrote Saturday’s post, I’d plan to start a few days on Real Home. But then yesterday I wrote about rest and I’m still thinking a lot about it.

I know it’s Monday and you may be feeling inspired to accomplish and not so inspired to ruminate about this idea of rest. But perhaps it’s best to think about rest during those times when we don’t feel like we need it.

For me, rest is a discipline. And disciplines are not easy to cultivate.

All my life I’ve operated from a place of work, work, work, crash. 

Because I’d been on an academic calendar until 4 years ago, life sort of followed suit. You work like mad during the semester and live for breaks. Breaks were rarely times of pure rest; they were times of visiting family, taking trips, doing fun things. And while I loved all of that and maybe caught up on some sleep in the process, I never really caught up. I doubt that I ever entered back in to work fully rested.

When I decided to stop working outside the home, I actually missed that work / crash sort of existence. Breaks were something that felt like a reward, a week-long or month-long pat on the back for working like a dog. I enjoyed my breaks because I felt like I’d earned them.

My first few holidays after becoming a stay-at-home mom felt odd. In a twisted way, I felt guilty for having a celebratory break because I hadn’t been working like mad beforehand. Breaks were not a crash pad as they had been for so many years past; they were simply a change of pace and scenery.

God has changed my approach to work and rest over the last couple of years. When I think about rest, I think of it in a spiritual and a physical sense. And really, you can’t separate the two.

Ten years ago my husband and I met with our pastor several times because I was going through a real crisis of faith. I was struggling with issues of fear and unbelief and we desperately needed counsel and encouragement.

The first question he asked absolutely floored me: How much sleep are you getting?

What a random question, I thought. What does that have to do with unbelief?

As it turns out, quite a lot. I was getting very little sleep at the time. I had an 8-month-old baby who never slept and I was still a full-time graduate student and teaching assistant.

Our pastor told us that we are more prone to spiritual attack when our defenses are down. Rest is not optional; it is imperative. He shared stories about his own life and how this had been true for him.

It got my attention in a big way. And while a real, concentrated effort toward rest has been a slow-to-grow thing for me, I’m finally starting to get it.

Last night a friend of mine at church asked me how I create rest in my life. Honestly, I’m still figuring it out. But there are a few things I’m beginning to put into practice. 

They are things that God has shown me. The discipline of rest may be cultivated differently for you but I do believe that if you’re seeking rest, He’ll show you.

Tomorrow I’m going to get specific and share some of the ways I personally find rest and how we practice rest as a family. I don’t share the particulars because I feel we’ve found the way; I simply want to provide some examples. 

The idea of rest can be sort of an abstraction; I’d like to show what it can look like in practical terms. 

On a potentially busy, back-to-work Monday, I pray that God will provide an oasis, brief though it may be, for your parched and weary soul.

{Click on the button for the list of all the days 
& topics thus far.}

Comments

  1. says

    I was just studying this today- how the enemy waits for an opportune time to bring temptation and attack, and that time is often when we are physically drained or fatigued.

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