One of the largest excuses against not resting is laziness. Some of us never work hard. We stay up too late wasting time, then oversleep. We go to half our classes and daydream about what to do later. Or we go into work late, waste time talking to coworkers or struggle doing even the simplest tasks because we’re unmotivated. We come home and lounge around, complaining about having to clean up our house and procrastinating our to-do list for the next day. I have days like that sometimes. But honestly – that’s laziness. If you’re living in that, your whole life is in the in-between. You’re not working hard, you’re not resting well… and if you’re anything like me in those seasons, it’s probably not working out for you.
- Fear of Laziness:
Some of us aren’t lazy. Rather, we fear being called lazy. It’s engrained in our head that hard work is of utmost value so we’ll work from sun up to sun down. This could be working at our jobs, working in our home, working with other people… or all of the above. Often these people feel the need to constantly be busy. We realize we’re tired or feel that our life is running us, but we don’t know what to do about it.
- Lack of Discipline:
This may sound similar to laziness, but I see it as different. If we don’t pay attention, it’s easy for our lives to start running us. This is especially true in busy seasons. There are certain times when our schedule seems all consuming, or maybe we have small children at home and it’s “a given” that we’re with them any time we’re awake. Our lives often seem to flow a certain way until we do something big to change it. I’ve realized this has been my biggest stumbling block for not resting well, taking care of myself through exercising and many other things. If I don’t schedule it at least 2 weeks in advance, it won’t happen. So I’ve had to realize these things are important enough to write on my calendar in pen and if someone asks me to do something I say “I can’t, I’ve already got something then.” They don’t need to know that’s when I read my bible or work out or take my day away. Because I know myself and I know if I don’t set it and protect it, I don’t do it.
- Not Wanting to Ask for Help
Moms of young children, I’m looking at you. For some of you, your life season doesn’t allow you to rest well. I get that. However, some of us aren’t resting well because we’re not asking for help. For a while I would still do piddly little chores like emptying the dishwasher or straightening up the dining room table on my Sabbath because for some weird reason I felt bad to ask my husband for help. If you have a new baby who consumes your time and you haven’t read your bible in 2 weeks ask for help.
There are plenty of people who would be able and willing to come over for an hour to let you get that time. Sometimes I think stay at home moms feel guilty to ask for help because to them it seems like they’re having someone else do their job or something. But mom (and wife and employee and student) the health of your soul is of the utmost importance and you’re not going to do much good for your kids when you’re completely fried. Take care of your relationship with Jesus, then your husband, then your children. Humble yourself- ask for help… We all need it.
- Not Enough Time:
I know there’s someone reading this who’s saying “Are you serious? My day is already packed to the brim and now you’re suggesting I sleep longer, spend time with the Lord in the morning, take a day off a week and try to get away once a month? You’re crazy!’ Honestly, I say that to myself some times. After working all week, taking care of my husband and my home, my weekends are precious times of productivity. It’s hard to find time to rest! But for most of us, we can find the time.
We make time for what we value.
That old adage always kicks me in the butt. I don’t make time for rest because I don’t see the vast importance to the health of my soul, my relationship with the Lord and my relationships with others. Viewing rest in a holy and godly way helps me forgo cleaning my bathroom or ironing my husband’s shirts to just be present with God.
*Please note there are seasons where resting will look very different. If you’re nursing a newborn, you’re going to be waking up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours at night. If you’ve got 3 kids at home, having an all day Sabbath with no kids, no housework may not always be plausible. (My friend Steph wrote a blogpost a while back about motherhood and Sabbath that I encourage you to read if you’re in this life stage.) There’s freedom and grace in those stages!! But rest is still important. You’ll just need to be a little more creative how to find that:)
What are the reasons you find it hard to rest? What am I missing?