Wailing screams bouncing across the airwaves of the living room to the beat of running feet, always takes the blood pressure to a new level. It’s the fourth time in the last five minutes that you’ve called out for the crazy to calm down and it seems like all they hear is a Peanuts parent saying “Womp womp womp, womp womp womp womp womp.” You’re trying so hard to keep your cool but the peace you felt at 9am has seemingly vacated at only 9:15am. As you stand there trying to catch two decent deep breaths, through your mind sweeps the thought, “Will I ever get rest?”.
It’s as if we think that the rest is going to come and find us where we are for some reason. We run and run until we are burnt out and then wait for rest to track us down. Well guess what my friend, it is not going to. It will not just happen, and it will not make a space for itself. Although rest is invaluable, it is not independent from the person who needs it. We must grab it!
Often, we aren’t conditioned to couple rest with the idea of health. However, no matter how much we exercise and eat right, without rest our bodies will still struggle to fully recover. As a mother, a full recovery is vital to a fully effective presence.
God set an example of what our cycle of work and rest should look like in Genesis 2:2 (ESV). “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.” This illustration was not to show us that He needed rest but that we do. The vicious hamster wheel of “doing” can take your mind, body, and spirit to a place that is less than healthy, less than effective. The example given to us by the father was very intentional based. If we go back and look at His plan and process of creation in Genesis, we see a very intentional and strategic process that included rest, “and he rested”. Notice the word “and”. His rest was not separate from the process. It was included in the completion.
Our plan and process is not completed without the rest that closes the loop. In all our planning and scheduling, recouping must be a priority. It will not come find us. We must create and value the space where we can recover and fill back up for the life we pour into.
Now let’s get practical for a minute. I understand it’s not realistic for us to take naps every day as we complete our tasks. However, here’s a simple and feasible way to collect and recover in a small amount of time that will give you the what you need to continue in effective motion. Take 10 minutes out of your day, lay flat on your back with your palms facing up, take some deep breaths, pray and clear your mind. Rest in this position for the entire 10 minutes. This exercise trains your body and brain to recharge. It may take a couple practice runs for you to get the swing of letting go so that you can fully experience the benefits of just being still, but keep at it.
Don’t neglect the completion of the process my friend. You need it and so does your family.
“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will fine rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
J.E. Berry is a speaker and the author of The Truth About Happiness: Exchanging the falsehood of happiness for Christ’s lasting joy. She is a wife and mother of five children. J.E. has a heart for outreach and seeing people come to know freedom through a relationship with Christ Jesus, specifically women who have yet to see their God given destiny because of lingering bondage. As an author and speaker, she explores things that hinder us from moving forward in our walk with Christ. Such as people pleasing, unhappiness, un-forgiveness and much more, to try and lend a hand in unveiling the culprits so that we can move forward in victory. She carries this same passion into each area of ministry she is active in.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com