A Time for Rest?


“Make sure you take time for yourself. You cannot care for others if you do not care for yourself.”

“5 Reasons  to reject the “Me Time” Fallacy”

“Every woman should make sure she showers, makes her bed, and has time for her daily devotions. Anything less is a path straight to hell.”

“We should never need a break from our children. I want my children to grow up knowing that I enjoyed every minute serving them.”

While some of the above statements may sound far-fetched, they are likely something you have seen in an article online or in a magazine at one time or another. And if you can get in-between the articles on how if you change your baby the wrong way, you are causing colic or how Johnny should be reading at the age of three, or how the problems you are having in life will be solved by more rest, you may feel like screaming.

I know that is how I feel often.

Rest? Yes, we all need it. Respite? That can be nice too.

But, when life gets in the way and some of us have a bit more than the normal share of responsibilities, it can feel a bit burdensome when you hear yet another sermon or blog post about how you are either not doing enough or being selfish to take a nap.

I believe this struck me when I needed to go on an unexpected trip last year and you realize that in passing off responsibilities, there was no way for one person to do all that is done in my life on a daily basis. I am, in a strange way, used to the insane pace, but hate it at the same time. In slowly cutting things out, it feels good, but also as if others look down on you at the same time.

I realized that I had missed scheduling eye exams  last July when I went to refill my son’s contact prescription. I wracked my brain to figure out why, and realized “Oh yes, my grandfather had passed away and I was dealing with troubling personal issues at home.” It didn’t seem to ease the guilt, because they still were six months late for their eye exams. When I realized that their dental appointments were double booked with theater practice, I sat and thought about how to make it work. Of course, it means surfing the waves of insanity, but that is just a mom’s job, right?

Then the guilt trips come because you missed a bill, when you volunteered you did too much or too little, your job was not acceptable to the chairperson, or you “took over”. Most of the guilt trips come from ourselves. We should be able to do things perfectly. We should not be frustrated, make mistakes, forget things and always look spiffy when we step out of the house. I know there are people that are able to do that.

In my world though, I only have one brain and two hands. I do my taxes while riding in the back seat over a pass to a basketball game on the phone with the tax preparer. Meanwhile, the electric bill accidentally was forgotten. I was teaching school instead.

So, what does this teach me?

I believe the biggest less on it is teaching me is that I really need to stop living by others expectations. My neighbor may not have gotten too busy to pay their electric bill, but I am sure there is one other mom that has.

Rest? I catch rest when and where I can. I got a wonderful night of sleep the other night. I was on a floor in a sleeping bag, chaperoning a few teenage girls. It was the most relaxing night I have had in months.

My point is, what looks like rest to me, may not look like it to someone else. The stress of going, running, doing, may not be something I enjoy, but yes, it is a sacrifice that I do for my children. They will not be here forever.

I will seek out rest, devotions and the like. But I also would like the guilt of not doing it exactly like someone else dictates to stop. For you, your life may look different than mine. If you are content with it and it is working for your family, I love it! But the guilt about taking rests, breaks or getting help has got to stop. The guilt about those that are busy working with their family really needs to quit.

I am not perfect. As much as I would love to be perfect, I am not. I don’t want to make excuses. But I have realized that sometimes rest has to be scheduled. Sometimes, it means that there is not time for it. It means going without sleep, because  there was a birth, a death, sickness,  or something else that could not be rescheduled.

As much as I love to rest, sometimes there is a time for work too.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?” Ecclesiastes 3:1-9, KJV.


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