Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a while...including you. -Anne Lamott
We need to unplug regularly...and I don't just mean from technology, but from our to-do list.
We will always have a never-ending to do list. Especially as we are in the thick of motherhood. As a mother to seven, this is definitely true for me.
When I talk about rest, I don't mean just your average night of sleep -- which many moms don't get anyways. This goes beyond that requirement.
In addition, I think it's important to evaluate the constant use of technology and how that effects our minds. We are constantly reeling as we scroll and scroll. Our minds rarely have a chance to rest and this is something we must be intentional with in order to benefit from it.
I've noticed there are at least three battles we fight when it comes to rest.
Battle #1: Permission
Permission may be one of the biggest mind battles you may be facing when it comes to rest. Why do we think, as moms, we don't need rest? Why do we consider it to be selfish?
Moms, you have one of the most demanding jobs in the world. It will drain you physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally without a doubt. Not only do you have permission to rest, consider it a requirement for sanity sake. And I don't say that as a joke.
Even people who work for a company are required by law to receive breaks. It is not wrong and it is not a sin to need a rest. Our bodies require it whether we think so or not. Just like our bodies require food.
It's ok. You have permission to rest.
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." -Mark 2:27
Battle #2: Time
Too often we overcommit ourselves, leaving us no time to rest. If it's time to pare down just so you can breathe, consider what you must let go of.
I have taken on more when I thought I could handle it, but the reality is there are only 24 hours in one day and regardless of what I believe in my head about how much I can take on, the clock always tells the truth! Only so much can be squeezed into a day. Consider what must go.
On the other side, sometimes we just won't take the time we need to rest.
This could be especially true for new moms or moms who have a new baby with other young children. Because the to-do list doesn't go away when baby takes a nap, we feel obligated to work on it. And I get it. I completely do! Because I fought the same battle with myself.
But as someone who has come out on the other side, believe me when I say, there are worse things than having a few extra dirty dishes in the sink for an extra meal or overnight. Giving yourself time to rest is more important.
Set aside time every week, every month, and a little everyday to REST. To let go of the to do list, to let go of everyone expectations (including yours), for 30-60 minutes and just breathe. Fill your cup with God's word. Allow His Spirit to breathe into you during your rest.
Battle #3: Consistency
Once you have given yourself permission to rest and made the time to rest, keep it consistent is the next battle you must face.
In order to feel consistently rested, you must rest consistently.
This isn't just a one time or per season need. This is an everyday, every week, every month (yes, all three) kind of need.
Rest a little everyday. Find a space that is quiet and cozy, grab your Bible and read or close your eyes and simply be.
Take one day off a week...as a mom, this requires a little creativity. Plan a meal ahead or have a pizza night so you don't have to cook. Let the cleaning go for one day.
Go out with the girls (or by yourself) once a month. Just get out of the house to clear the clutter in your head and not be constantly worried by what's left undone, staring you in the face.
We all need a little time when we are not constantly needed. Again, this isn't selfish, it's reality. We all need our cups consistently filled as they are consistently emptied.
Fight For Your Rest
Typically, the battle your are fight is really against yourself and against the enemy who wants to lie to you to wear you down and make you ineffective.
Moms don't have to be constantly wore down. We have the choice to let some things go for a short amount of time in order to rest our minds and bodies. You have permission. You have need.
As your season of motherhood changes, you won't even remember that you left the dishes to go lay down. But you may remember how happy and rested you were in that season because you took the time to care for yourself and rest.
For His Glory,