The Importance of Scheduling Rest

I am weary. Anyone else? This summer has been busy. And I don’t mean “we’ve been doing a lot”. I mean “it’s been crazy, no weekends free, running around all the time” busy. So I am drained. Do you ever find yourself this way? Overtired, overstressed, and under-recovered? That’s me right now.

How did it get to this point? Is it just because of the busyness? Or could it be more than this? Perhaps I should have taken better care to rest.

The Cadence of Life

There are 24 hours in a day. But it is not meant for all of those hours to be spent in action. No less than 6-8 of those hours are designated for rest (if you’re lucky).

There are 7 days in a week. But, for most of us, our work schedules allow for days off that there might be rest. Even God ordained that we take a day for rest.

There are many Psalms that include the word “Selah”. It is my understanding that there is some debate as to the exact meaning of this word. But what is agreed upon is that it indicates a break, a pause in the music. So, just as with life, there should be a pause in activity, a chance for a breath, for silence.

When we go against the rhythm…

As we see, it is not intended that we go without ceasing. Our bodies demand daily rest and we were created for weekly rest. So, why do we often not honor this? We as a society, I fear, have become so caught up in the busyness, the doing, that we fail to recognize our own need for rest. We put if off until later. As if that makes any sense. Yet we do…I do.

We can only violate this rhythm for so long. Then our very bodies will rebel. It is true. How many of you have gotten so worn out that sickness claims you. Then you are forced to rest. When your body is not well rested, it can no longer operate at its optimum level, leaving us vulnerable to things that our immune system would otherwise fight with little trouble.

So, what’s the answer?

Obviously, we have to choose. Choose rest. But that’s not all there is to it. If it were, that would be easy.

We must choose what fills our days and our lives. And we must accept that we cannot “do it all”. There must be priorities and we must decide that our life will reflect them.

It’s one thing to say that “my family comes first”. It’s quite another to turn off Facebook and listen to my daughter’s drawn out story of her hour chasing a bug because it’s important to her. That’s a choice.

Shutting off the laptop at night to allow your body the sleep it requires is a choice.

Taking that only weekend of the summer you have free and setting it aside for you is a choice.

Your choices may require others to sacrifice for you, too. My husband will need to keep up with the kiddos while I take that one weekend to regroup and rest. But my wellbeing is important to me. To him. To our family. A worn out mommy and wife does none of us any good.

Choices.

Decide what is in your life, what you delegate to others (you will have to), and what you pass on altogether.

Choose.

Prioritize.

But, above all, make time for rest.

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