The Importance of Rest in a Restless World
I feel like this blog post needs a very clear disclaimer: I am no theologian, psychologist, or PHD. I have no immense expertise in this topic, other than my own experience and personal studies. It is incredibly humbling and terrifying to write publicly about a topic that I do not practice perfectly, or even very well for that matter. But I think this is a topic that is widely under communicated and is often seen as unimportant or retroactive.
This world we live in is bombarding us with information, saying that you need to be everything to everyone. That you need to be a supermom to 6 kids, run a multi-million dollar company, have a perfectly decorated home, all while getting a homemade dinner on the table by 6. Our society has highlighted our own short comings in all of these arenas, and our natural reaction is to try harder, to be more, to spend more, to be better. But the reality is, these expectations on ourselves and others are unrealistic and will only leave us burnt out, discouraged and exhausted. In the midst of the rat-race, we forget that we are mere humans, not gods, and we have limits. It is only once we accept and respect those limits that we can thrive, and begin to find this obscure balance between rest and hustle.
This is the very reason why God created the Sabbath. He desires for us to come to the end of ourselves so that we can return to him: recalibrate our hearts to His. This is the purpose of the Sabbath. Yes, it is important to find self-care and routines that bring refreshment to our souls, but God know thats that the only way to truly rest starts and ends in His presence.
My entire business has started and been sustained through prayer. I do not want to venture into anything that God is not leading me towards. So to practice rest, where I am checking in weekly with God to determine if He is still leading me in this direction, has been pivotal in how I work and grow my business.
Why We Need Rest:
We were created with limits, and in need of rest
God is limitless, we are not. He has created us this way for a reason.
Therefore, we function most optimally when we have margin for rest
Science has shown this over and over again through numerous studies, from optimal work environments to studies on what the effect a lack of sleep has on a person.
It is biblical
It is actually one of the 10 commandments, so that must mean it is pretty important, for our benefit and His glory.
Some ways that I practice rest:
Devoting one day a week to rest
Meaning, I try my best to not doing anything work related on this day (usually Sundays)
Letting go of the household chores for a day, playing with my family, napping, and finding time to reset my mind and heart to God and His truths
I actually tend to work much harder Monday through Saturday because I will know I get a full day of rest on Sunday.
Taking breaks throughout the week
Finding time to rest and be present in a distraction-fee environment.
For me, this comes in the form of stroller walks through the neighborhood. I try and put my phone away, and spend time in prayer and simply observing the things I see, hear, smell, and feel around me.
Not over-scheduling or committing myself.
Before saying yes to anything, I try my best to determine the amount of stress it will create in my life vs. the importance of me doing said thing. In making intentional decisions with my time, I am able to schedule margin for rest.
Daily quiet time
The Lord created us to need rest, so that we would come back to Him to find comfort, healing and the power to persevere.
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. “ Matthew 11:28
This time in the word and in prayer every morning, resets my heart on the promises of God and gives me an eternal perspective, putting everything else into place.
Finding quiet space in my head
For me, this looks like leaving my phone in the living room every night and not looking at it again till the next morning, after I have had some quiet time with Jesus. (I had to buy an actual alarm for this to happen)
Also, it means turning off the constant sounds, whether that be a Netflix show in the background while I am working, a podcast or even music. I need time for my brain to think and process. Of course there are times for these things, I just need to listen to my mind when it starts to feel weary. Some of my most creatives thoughts and ideas have come out of quiet work times.
Be a child.
Have fun, get outside, laugh and forget the to-do list for a moment. Do not take yourself too seriously. Life is too short.
It all comes down to if we really trust God to take care of us, of our business, of our home, of our family. Do we really believe that He is all-powerful, and that He actually cares about our lives? Truth is, if you are a Christian, He has got much more skin in the game than you do. You are His witness of His son’s perfect gift. He will do whatever it takes to create us to be worthy witnesses, through our weakness and dependance on Him. And it is in Sabbath, in surrendering to Him, that He uses us to make much of Himself through our lives, our businesses, our families and our passions.