We don’t value the need for a day of rest as a culture like we should. Our society thrives on busy, busy, do, do, buy, buy. Our culture values packed schedules. But a busy, frantic pace isn’t healthy and it prevents us from being able to take time to savor life.
As a mom of two boys under the age of 2 1/2 and the wife of a man in leadership in our Church Network, I am constantly giving of my time and pouring into my family. All of us moms are giving and giving into our families’ lives. We don’t stop and take time to have quiet ourselves. But we can’t keep this up. We will crash and burn.
We KNOW we have to be intentional about slowing down and we KNOW that one of the BEST things we can do for ourselves, our marriage, and our kids is to take time to rest. How do we practically DO it?
Making Rest a Priority
We can’t just one time “make” rest a priority and then we are done. It’s “making” rest a priority over and over. It’s communicating with your husband about what your “rest day” is going to look like so you are on the same page. It’s doing the hard work of being organized so you don’t have to do something more than once.
We are working on these three areas in our home:
1. Rest Daily
There is where choices (and motivation) are so important! First thing in the morning (and before your kids are awake, if possible) take 10 minutes to spend in Scripture and prayer. Journal if it helps you process.
Then, if you didn’t the night before take 10 minutes to review the day. Set reminders on your phone for tasks, appointments, or to-dos. Plan out when you are going to prep for dinner.
Finally, plan for rest. If you are a mom of a nursling, plan to nap when your little one does (or at least get one nap in!). If you don’t need to nap, then plan for a quiet time right after lunch. Do whatever it takes (have the kids watch something or read), because you need a little time to recoup before the dinner and pre-bedtime hours.
Before you go to sleep, take 10 minutes to plan the next day.
When you plan your daily schedule, don’t pack it so full that you have no time to breathe. Cross some things off your list without doing them or just don’t even plan to do them at all so that you can free up at least two hours of margin time in your day. Work hard, then rest hard.
2. Rest Weekly
We have really made it a priority to have Saturday as a rest/family day. We work really hard during the week so that we don’t have to clean, work, make phone calls, etc. And we try to live life SLOWLY as a family. Sure, some weeks we do head out of the home to go places (like Deanna Rose), but some days we just stay home and chill.
Having one day off in a week makes such a difference in our lives.
Then, Sundays are a combination of rest, cleaning and hospitality/church (we host church in our home Sunday evenings).
3. Stay Home At Least 2 Days Per Week
I try to stay home at least two to three full days each week. This makes things so much calmer and quieter and, we seem to get a lot more done in a week when we stay home more!
The secret to being productive at home is to making staying at home a priority. Stop running around all the time and plan your time at home. Plan your “outside the home” time efficiently.
If you set aside large blocks of time to be home and accomplish the things that make home a peaceful and inviting environment, you would be surprised at how much you could get done. It just takes a little planning and discipline. It takes saying no:
- to running to the store to get that one or two items you forgot for dinner. Instead, make do or change your plan.
- to running errands daily. Instead, plan ahead to do errands in one trip, so you can be more productive every other day of the week.
- Block out a day—or at the very least, hours—for uninterrupted family time. Set them in stone and guard those “appointments” like you would any other commitment or obligation.
How do you (will you) incorporate rest in your life? I’d love to hear more ideas!!