Friday, December 8, 2017

Rest Rules

I recently wrote about the 17 lessons I learned in 2017 which caused a good friend to ask me for a follow up post on lesson number 1: rest is best. 

I realize that as a child, my mother was my rest regulator. She made sure I napped and got adequate rest to live my good life. The problem started with my personality clashed with the innumerous possibilities my good adult life had to offer. Because I've been dedicating myself to the subject of rest for the past 12 years, I thought of some rules I live by.
1. Do your Best to get to Rest - this assumes that a loved one is not the one who drags me to a medical facility in order for rest to happen. I have to be honest with myself and know my limits. I had to humble myself and recognize that I have limits. When I convince myself to get to rest, I am aware that the limitations I have are designed by God, they're not weaknesses. It's by design that I get to Rest so that I can live in abundance daily.

2. Be ready to Learn - I am often studying myself so that I can get quality rest. For example, I study my limits. I might ask myself the following questions: did I go to sleep too late? Did I physically exert myself this week? Did I just come out of a season of intense stress? If I learn myself well, I can rest well. Be ready to learn my friend.

3. Be ready to Fail - There are many lessons learned through failure. I've learned not to push myself too hard through seasons of intense stress. I've failed before so I have learned that if I have a simple plan for busy seasons, it helps me to take care of myself and others better. Failure is part of the process and failure can be a great teacher.

4. Get Creative - Creativity is a must in order to get rest during different seasons of life. I am at a season where motherhood is very hands on and I am a working mom. I found out that a creative way to get some "mind rest" is to take a break in the middle of my day and just window shop somewhere. I could keep pushing (remember rule #3? I failed therefore I learned!) but my desire for rest drove me to this creative solution. Remember to be creative as you seek for ways to rest.

5. Be Peaceful - I believe that the best type of rest comes through the avenue of Peace. Peace is something I seek on a regular basis. Getting to peace is my way of guaranteeing that my efforts to rest don't go to waste. I have read a few books about peace in the past decade but my anchor book is the Bible. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, so I basically link arms (in my holy imagination of course!) with Him and I go about my business. Pursuing peace is the key ingredient to getting rest in my experience.

6. Find Support - my husband has been very supportive and compassionate about my dedication to rest. He knows my personality is anti-rest. He also knows what exhaustion does to my body, mind and soul. I also find support through friends who are in a different season of life. They remind me that my decision to find rest is wise and it will pay off.

7. Keep your Rest to Yourself - Just because you decide to go on a journey to find rest in your everyday life, it doesn't mean the culture around you will switch. Don't make others feel guilty. Keep your rest to yourself and let others enjoy the fruit of your restful life. Rest is about the fruit and not about the act of resting itself.

8. Follow God's Directions - God, who created me, has the direction I need in order to rest well. Just this morning, I read Psalm 127:2 (NLT) which says "It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones." I've quoted many rest Bible verses to my kids (haha!) when I was desperate for them to sleep through the night. The same words of life apply to me and my situation. God has the wisdom I need. Jesus is an example of someone who lived a restful life. I encourage you to find direction from God Himself.

9. Try new Things - I no longer have kids who are staying up at night so my strategies for getting rest are quite different nowadays. One of the new things I've tried is to sleep with no electronics in my room. It took much humility to get here friends... I had to remind myself that the people I'm responsible for were across the hall, soundly sleeping. I had to remind myself that I wasn't an ER doctor on call. I also had to humble myself and remember that my folks know how to grab a hold of me and they know my schedule better than myself. I can be humble and I can afford not to sleep with electronics nearby. We can all try new things in order to get the benefits of resting well.

10. Recognize the Fruit of Rest - I get the fruit of clarity of mind when I get rest. I needed clarity during a stressful season at work and I decided to invest in resting well every night. That clarity gave me the endurance I needed to finish strong. I get the fruit of a rested body. I get the fruit of patience when I rest well. I've said many times that when you get enough rest, you even like people better! It is true! Learn to recognize the fruit of rest in your life. Rest bears fruit. Every time.

11. Believe in our Restful Self - My restful self can make better decisions than my tired self. Whether is a food decision or a work related decision, I believe that my restful self can handle tough choices with wisdom. When you believe in your restful self, your heart is filled with hope. I challenge you to take a few minutes and to think about all the things your restful self can accomplish.

Friends, I pray that you will seek peace and find rest. Let me know how this whole Rest thing works for you. A big virtual hug from your rest-seeking friend (moi).