Right now my daughter is on spring break from preschool and my husband has taken two weeks off, it’s been a nice change of pace for us!
Last week we went up to Payson, AZ to relax and enjoy the mountain scenery. We did a whole lot of nothing, which is something for us, as we’re usually busy, busy, busy! I watched countless hours of HGTV, a luxury for me since we don’t have cable here at home. Lila went to camp, Will golfed, I exercised, we watched movies, played at the park and really enjoyed the down time.
But at first, it was hard for me to not feel guilty about doing nothing. I’m always doing, always going and always trying to be productive. I’m one of those first-born achiever, pleaser, OCD weirdoes. Being still and resting is not natural for me. But it’s necessary.
If you like my Facebook page, you probably saw me post last week about how God has been continually reminding me of a verse:
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
To top it off, the week before we left, I heard an amazing message by Nancy Beach (@NancyLBeach) about honoring the Sabbath, a day of rest designed by our Creator. She talked about how God wired us for a day of rest, we’re not meant to be constantly on the run or constantly connected to a smartphone or the internet. A day of rest is God’s gift to us, but we must choose to slow down and receive it.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely needed that confirmation of slowing down and taking time to just be still. And the wonderful part about it is that when we do, we come away refreshed. (Well, mostly, the kids were still with us, so it wasn’t all rest and quiet. Haha!) But I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to be away from our home and all of the projects and errands calling our names. It forced us to focus on being still and being together instead of doing so much.
It’s not always possible to leave town for a time of rest, but here are a few of Nancy Beach’s ideas that you can try at home:
· Pick a day of the week that you can set aside for rest: The most traditional day is Sunday, but that’s not always possible for everyone. What day of the week can you set aside as your Sabbath day?
· Decide what refreshes you: Perhaps running or walking really helps you to relax. Maybe it’s a hobby like crafts or reading. Whatever it is, this is your day to do it!
· On your Sabbath, turn off or limit your access to technology: TV, internet, phone and e-mail. Fasting from these things will help you to really focus on rest and refreshment.
· Set the chores aside: Plan out the rest of your week so that you can finish your chores and errands ahead of time. Finish the laundry, do your shopping and even cook a meal ahead of time so that your rest day is truly restful.
· Swap babysitting: It’s hard to rest with children in the home, particularly babies and toddlers. Arrange to swap babysitting with friends or ask grandparents to help once in a while. Or, alternate care of the children between you and your spouse for a few hours so that each parent has some downtime.
I’d love to know if you try any of these tips and how they worked for you. I’d love to hear your ideas, click on the title of this post to leave a comment.
Next week I’ll talk more about Psalm 46:10, so stay tuned!