Thursday, March 17, 2011

Restoring Soul Rest: Physical Rest

This week I am participating again in the Restoring Soul Rest series over at Faith Barista.  The topic this time is simple but important:  Share your journey to find physical rest.


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I know I mentioned sleep in last week's post, but it's important enough to talk about twice.  I think that as women, as moms, we tend to let ourselves get run down because we're so busy taking care of everyone else.

I know a woman who would wake up early in the morning to cook a hot breakfast for her husband, work in the home all day, then stay up until midnight to scrub the floors while everyone else was sleeping.  While I certainly admire her stamina, her routine isn't one that I could sustain for long.

As a new mom, I took everyone's advice to "sleep when the baby sleeps" ... for a while.  Then I realized that I could be much more efficient if I used my son's nap time to do housework.  Big mistake.

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source: Flickr user Jonf728
For ten years--at least--I woke up too early, stayed up too late, and never rested during the day.  I was exhausted, maybe just a tiny bit cranky, and not very happy.

When I realized--not on my own, but with help--what was going on, I made two lifestyle changes:
  • Whenever possible, I plan a rest time in the afternoon.  I don't always sleep, but I read, pray, or do whatever I need to feel refreshed.
  • I don't stay up late, especially to watch mediocre TV shows. (Why did I ever do that?!)
These seem like simple changes, but the real challenge has been allowing myself to rest.  I need to keep reminding myself, "If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else."

How perfect that the Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway is the beginning of Psalm 23:
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul...
What do you do to find physical rest?

PS: After today I'll be taking a semi-break from blogging for a week or so. I just need some time to deal with real-life issues. But I have posts--a few of my own and some fabulous guest posts--lined up. You probably won't even miss me! :)

10 comments :

  1. We seem to have a "sleepless" theme in the Jam :D

    I find physical rest by giving myself mental rest. My mental rest comes through activities that fulfill me.

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  2. This post is so full of wisdom, Melissa.

    And yes, we WILL miss you. Take care.

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  3. The simple changes you wrote about make perfect sense. I'm sure you need those times of refreshment with a new baby. :)

    Blessings,
    Debbie

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  4. I make sure I exercise at least three or four times a week. It helps me rest at night. I also make sure I find time a few times a week for my hobbies.

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  5. Your two suggestions are spot-on for me, too. I've eliminated late-night TV as much as possible and I snatch an hour every afternoon that I can for quiet time.

    I am really relating to these "rest" posts today! Seems as if so many of us struggle to get enough. Trusting God with it...

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  6. It's hard for me to be still when there are things to get done. I made the same mistakes when I had babies, forgetting that I needed to take care of myself.

    It's also hard for me to be still before the Lord to get that soul rest.

    Great post and motivation to do so!

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  7. You're so right about staying up to watch mediocre TV. When I catch myself doing that, I ask, "Is seeing how this show ends going to make a significant difference in my life?" 99% of the time, I can answer "NO" without hesitation. It helps me get moving towards rest.

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  8. Melissa--thanks so much for your kind comment over at my place. I found myself saying, "Amen!" to your piece. Part of my motivation for writing what I did was that I see so many young moms just exhausting themselves trying to do so many good things for their families. Keep encouraging yourself and others to find those places where for true rest. Blessings.

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  9. I am so, so glad to know I am not the only one who gives herself a rest time in the afternoon. Sometimes it is a nap and sometimes it is just a break.

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  10. Melissa, I love to rest in the afternoons. I make a nice cup of decaf, read a book or read some faith jam posts :) ... and then I might take a nap, lie down with some music, or just journal with music. Resting and sleep has become top priority since I've become a mom 5 years ago. It is a a continual battle to fight for rest and one that is worth every effort. Thanks for keeping the light on for me, Melissa! :)

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