I've been thinking about rest a lot these past several months. I'm not talking about sleep (though as the mom of three children ages 4 and under sleep is never far from my mind), I'm talking about rest. Slowing down and just being still. Rest.
Rest is not something I'm good at. I always want to be doing everything. I like to be involved in as many activities as I can and that did not change once I had children. I know that as my boys get older there will be even more opportunities for them to be involved in activities. I know how important it is for us to set the tone now before our schedule starts to overtake us.
Several months ago, this tension between desiring rest and wanting to be part of everything came to a head for me. We had several different things going on and I felt so overwhelmed. I knew that I had too much on my plate because I was often very short with my husband and my children rarely got to be at home and play. My life was full of good things, but it was too full. I knew that something had to give, but I wanted to do everything that I was doing.
One night, Brad and I sat down and had a very long conversation. Together, we decided that it was time to start cutting back on our schedule. We looked at our schedule and decided on a couple of things to cut out, including my women's Bible study night and my leadership positions with my mom's group. This helped to make our marriage a priority as well as give me time to focus on the kids at home. It especially helped me schedule time regularly for homeschooling with Micah, which is something that was very important to us. It was extremely difficult for me to make these cuts. I loved these groups and the women I got to spend time with as a result of being in these groups.
It has now been three months since I stepped down and it has been a wonderful time of rest for my whole family. The time spent with my children has been such a blessing. My marriage has grown and we have prioritized our time together. I don't know why I was so hesitant to make these changes. I guess I was afraid I would miss out. But God knew what He was doing when He made rest one of His commandments. The purpose of rest is not just to be lazy. It's actually a blessing from God. He wants us to stop our busyness and slow down. To enjoy what is right in front of us. I've been studying Moses and the Israelites this year. At one point, God even commanded that they take a full year off and celebrate His faithfulness. I'm sure they questioned the practicality of that. They had to fully trust God and rely on His provisions. But that is a hard thing to do. There's always more to do and we wonder how it will all get done. If we take a day off there's no way that everything we need to do will get done. But the truth is we can get it all done. And we will be blessed beyond anything we could imagine because we are obeying the Lord.
I can personally attest to the blessings of taking that time to rest. I am still learning so much through this time of rest, but I am excited to see what God is going to teach us as we continue to follow Him and trust Him for all of our needs.