Recreation Rest Working Mom

How to Rest – Yes, It Can Be Very Hard

YOU need rest.

You NEED rest.

You need REST.

So many of us are exhausted and feel the need for rest, but don’t act as if we believe rest is an actually necessity.  We drink water even when we are not dying of thirst.  Most people eat regularly, even if they are not feeling starving. But I have to believe, based on all the exhausted people working non-stop, we don’t truly believe we need to rest.  We think rest is for the weak, which is crazy.  We don’t think food and water are for the weak.

How would you rest differently if you truly believed God would take care of you?  How would you rest differently if you truly believed your value was not related to your accomplishment?  


Rest was so important to God he made it one of his ten commandments.  It is as if God said, there are only 10 things that are absolutly important for you to do and one of those is rest.  It actually comes BEFORE his command not to murder, right after the command not to lie.

We don’t appreciate the gift of life if we don’t rest.  We don’t have patience to pour into our loved ones when we don’t rest. We don’t trust God when we don’t rest (I’ll expand on this in a minute).


There are several reasons we don’t rest, but I think the three primary reasons are:

  1. We get our value from our work. We get that sense of pride, accomplishment and self from our work. We don’t feel our own worth and value while laying down and taking a nap. We should.  We have value completely separate any accomplishment.
  2. We don’t trust God to take care of us. I think many of us believe the Bible says God helps those who help themselves. It doesn’t. God promises to take care of us by giving us the example of birds in the air or lilies of the field who do not labor or spin. I think God would often like to show us how he takes care of us, but we are too busy working harder than we were created to work so that we can take care of ourselves.
  3. We find companionship and bonding through our work. Many of us have our closest friends at work and have not learned to have the same level of companionship with people who do not share our vocation. We may spend the weekends with people other than our work friends, but we actually share the most life with the people we work with every day. It makes sense.  If we don’t take time to develop a life an interests outside work, because we are working so much, work will be the only thing we have that we share in common with others.  I am sure it is why most affairs happen in the work place.

As C.S. Lewis said:

“Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves


Rest is not easy. It sounds like it should be, but for many of us it is harder to lay still and quiet your mind, than it is to tackle hard problems while moving at a frantic pace. Many of us only learn to rest when we have no other option due to loosing a job or losing one’s health.  If we have not learned to rest and take place in recreational play, we may really just not know what to do or how not to do.

How do you stop before you have a breakdown? I have a few suggestions.

  1. Evaluate your life.  How many hours do you rest?  How many hours should you rest?  Do you at the minimum cease from your work for a 24 hour Sabbath?  If someone asked you what type of play/rest/recreation you were going to do next weekend or this evening, could you think of something? Not everyone can do a true self evaluation. Some people with certain body related disorders think they do not need food even though it is clear to all of the world that they are starving themselves. They think they don’t need or deserve the same amount of food that everyone else eats. We can be similarly deceived about rest.  We think think they do not need or deserve the amount of rest we were created to enjoy. This is not a one and done evaluation. This has to be an ongoing process of learning how much rest you need and how much rest you deserve.
  2. Seek out people who are good at rest. We tend to follow the pattern of those around us. My husband was the best at resting and I miss his example. Time after time I’ve seen new employees enter a new job in quickly acclimate themselves to either working 18 hours a day or leaving the work at 5 o’clock completely dependent on the attitudes and example of their colleagues. It is not just those we are working with that affect us. We all have non-work friends and family who give lip service to us needing to rest and then suggest three other projects they think we should do, because honestly they don’t see rest as a necessity  and think we can just buckle down and push a little harder.  A good friend who wants the best for you and truly understands the importance of rest will make an effort to facilitate and encourage your rest. Many well meaning friends want the best for you, but don’t understand the importance of rest.
  3. Take responsibility for your own rest.  Understand that you deserve rest and make it your personal priority.  Yes, it really helps to associate with others who are good at rest and play, but at the end of the day you have to be the one that rests even if you do not have the support you deserve. God did not create us to be work horses. He created us to enjoy Him and His creation. He created us to have rewarding fellowship with each other.

img_2091In our culture, rest rarely happens accidentally.  It has to be purposeful.  There is a huge difference between I procrastinated and get didn’t get anything done all day and I enjoyed a full day of rest.  Only you can say no.  Only you can learn what type of recreation restores.

How would you rest differently if you truly believed God would take care of you?  How would you rest differently if you truly believed your value was not related to your accomplishment?  

4 comments on “How to Rest – Yes, It Can Be Very Hard

  1. Awesome subject! What many of us need to understand is that we rest in more ways than just sleep. Our spirits are minds need as much rest as our bodies.

    I trust God and I remove myself or anything that threatens my peace. I praise God in song and I physically get at least 9-10 hours of sleep every night.
    Thank you for bringing this subject to light!



    • I think this is so true. You make two great points, rest is not just sleep. Sometimes actually the best way to rest the mind is to be physically active. But sleep is still a blessed gift. I love that you actually admit to needing more than 7 hours. I also really need 9 to feel fully alert and I really always have. I’ve operated on less, but never feel as right as when I get 9.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Recreation and Play – What Do You Do When You Rest? – God Provides for Us

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