[Originally posted on November 20, 2013]
By Amy Toman
How do we rest? This is a question that continues to arise in our interactions with others. I've had people say they need to read more of our articles to learn to rest like we do.
Hmm rest like we do? I do agree that you should research and talk to us more about resting, but I'm not sure that how i rest should be the goal. Rest seems easy, but in fact TRUE rest is very complicated, and to be honest I'm not that great at it. Rest is something similar to sin in that we know how to sin, but we can't stop sinning. I know how I should be resting, but I just can't rest. How can we rest through all the trails and tribulations of life? How can we rest through job loss, financial problems, death and just plain busyness?
Let me tell you, I know how hard it is to rest. Every moment of everyday there is SOMETHING that "NEEDS" to be done. I'm sure you feel this way too, right? As a wife and mother there is always laundry, dishes, a dirty house, clothes and toys to donate, a dog to clean up after, meals to make, boo boos to kiss, playing with little people or cars, reading stories, bath time, prayers etc. I could go on forever and I'm sure you can add to this list. This doesn't include anything outside the home like part time work, driving kids places, grocery shopping etc. you get my point right? You get the kids in bed, go to sit and enjoy a show, book or play a game, but what's the one thing on your mind? For me, it's usually something else that needs to get done. The constant NEED to complete things is interfering with my NEED for rest. True rest. Not just sitting on the couch zoning into a show type of rest. Resting and rejoicing in what God has created and not worrying about the list of things that I could be completing.
Finding rest is difficult. I am not perfect at resting, but I have learned a lot about myself and how I can rest. I use to think resting involved zoning out in front of the t.v. for a few hours, but I've learned that's not true rest, it's escapism. In order me to truly be at rest I have to pull myself away from temptations that call me to escape. No more hours in front of the t.v. instead 2, 30 minute shows are my maximum. I force myself to sit quietly by myself before resting to clear my mind, focus on God and rest to His glory. I want my resting to be for God. Since I now limit t.v., playing games with my family is how I rest. We are able to sit around the table (or floor) pick a game and play for an hour or two together as a family. Sometimes it's really hard to just rest and focus on my family and our game. Most times we are training a toddler how to play the game and also keeping her engaged. But there is an underlying peace and restfulness that comes with taking 2 hours everyday to just rest as a family together. There are so many reasons why rest is important, but that's for another time. The point is I know how hard it is to rest. I'm not perfect at resting and in fact am still learning how to rest, but I have learned that I need to rest and it needs to be more than just 1 day a week. Take some time to look at your life and see if there is anywhere you can add more true rest (not zoning) into your life.