Sometimes I am so worn out that I just want to run away. Run away from everything and everyone. Find a little hole and climb into it with a big fluffy blanket and eat my face off…and hide. I want to run away with my tail between my legs barking and whimpering at everyone as I look back…like a scared little puppy. But I can’t. And sometimes that just sucks… but it’s real life and sometimes rest seems so out of reach that we dream of far away places with warm breezes and sandy toes.
As women we have such a hard time “resting”. Our daily lives are so full of “doing stuff” and the list never comes to an end! Study the word, pray, go to church, worship, read books, stay up on what is happening in the world, work, deadlines, relationships, serve others, planning and preparing meals, laundry, kids, pets, wash the car, grocery shopping, clean the house, exercise, and just when thought you could relax you look down and realize that you desperately need your nails done!!! AHHH! Rest does not come easy ladies.
Did you know that when men are in their deepest state of sleep only 30% of their brain is shown as active? Guess what ladies we are a bit different. In our deepest state of sleep 90% of our brain is active!!!! Gee’s, no wonder we have a hard time “resting”. Even in our deepest state of physical rest, our brains are still aware, turning, WORKING! Finding rest as women takes dedication, intentionality and self-discipline.
In order to know how to do it, we have to know what it really is.
Webster’s Dictionary defines it as freedom from labor or activity; peace of mind or spirit. It sounds so easy to obtain, but due to the unique nature in which each of us was created “rest” looks different to each of us. So in trying to define rest in our own lives there is no better place I can think of to dive into the meaning than the Bible. In Genesis 2:1-3 God shows us what true rest is.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
This simply explains that true rest is stopping what you “do”. And God shows us the way to accomplish rest is by taking a full day out of the week to stop “doing”…it’s called a Sabbath. Can you imagine? One full day that you actually stop doing. One full day that you stop and smell the flowers that you worked so hard to plant and grow! One full day to enjoy the fruit of all your labor. One full day of rest a week!
One of my favorite scriptures is found in Psalms 55:6, “And I say, Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” You see, I am horrible at setting aside one full day! And I find myself in desperate moments where I plead with the Lord to just let me fly away somewhere for a bit so I can be at rest. Even when I stick to a Sabbath there seems to always be something thrown in the day… laundry, cooking, cleaning, STUFF! And when I plan a full day to not “do” my stuff I still find myself striving to make it a great day, I “WORK” at it. And then there are the constant moments of trying to turn my ever-running brain off of all the STUFF that will be waiting for me on the other side of the day. When I am not intentional about enjoying the rest of a Sabbath each and every week I find myself drained, irritable, tired, mean and unhappy. And of coarse I tend to blame all of these things on everything and everyone else! The truth is, it is my fault. If I followed God’s given design to rest once a week…. If I stopped “doing” and just took a day to laugh, enjoy what’s around me, have fun and REST I would be fueled to run the next 6 days with bold vigor!
Ladies, we have to pull away from it all. We have to rest. It will mean that we are the best version of ourselves the other 6 days of the week. Give yourself permission to take A FULL DAY OFF! Don’t feel guilty about it, no one in the world wants you “doing” so much that you drain yourself of all joy. Your family, friends, relationship with God and even your job will benefit so much more from you resting and refueling than they will from you working yourself into a hot mess by staying busy 7 days a week.
Here are some very practical ways to PLAN your Sabbath and get the rest that God shows us we need.
- Set your Sabbath day. Mine is Saturday because I don’t work and I’m not bustling about to get my kids out the door to school. If you can, pick a day that you have no “have to do” list. No work, no church, no school, no nothing.
- Stick to your Sabbath day. Whatever day you pick, carve it out and protect it. Don’t let anything invade the day! Most of the time this will work, but you may have the occasional work related event, a wedding, etc… when that happens try to find another half day that week to not be busy.
- Be accountable. Find someone close to you that will hold you to your commitment to REST. I have to have this!!!! My husband is so good at reminding me on a Saturday morning when I break out my to do list to just simply put it away and save it for another day!
- Stay flexible. Rest will look very different for you depending on the season your in. One day it might be hanging out at the beach, the next week it might be putting together a puzzle and staying in pj’s all day…. stay flexible based on what you need in the moment. And don’t feel guilty for doing it. If you’re a mom and/or a wife, you will try to keep everyone else happy by doing what you think they need or want that day….STOP IT. What they really need or want is for you to be fueled and filled up so you can pour into their worlds the other 6 days.
Ladies, there is no one keeping you from rest other than yourself. Lay down the expectations to be super woman 7 days a week and instead take one day to be free to rest. Everyone, including yourself, will be thankful you did.
By Carrie Williams