Janice Boekhoff

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

After coming back from our trip to Costa Rica, I was amazed at how relaxed I felt. My husband and I aren’t exactly lay around at the beach kind of people, so our vacations, while fun, usually wear us out. This time though, we took almost two days to lay by the pool and de-stress. I came back with a new perspective on rest.

We all need it.

None of us gets enough of it.

We should do something about that.

As a mom of three, I know I can’t just sit around and expect the kids to fend for themselves while I lay by the pool, but there are some intentional things I can do to get better rest.

Cut down on the clutter: We all do things every day—things we don’t have to do—that clutter up our day. While brushing teeth and showering are mandatory, checking Facebook, ESPN news or catching up on Gray’s Anatomy is not. And if you have kids, they will survive if they don’t play five sports and three instruments a year, contrary to what they might tell you. Make a list of where you want to be in five years for both yourself and your kids (I know everybody says this, but that’s because it works). Focus on activities that will meet those goals. And pay attention to the things that suck your time away (and that of your family), time which could be spent meeting your five-year goals, relaxing, or even better, resting in the Lord’s presence.

Spend time in prayer:  Time with the Lord will refresh you more than anything else (and faster too).

Keep an eternal perspective.: We all do good things for the Lord, and there’s no end to the things we could do for the Lord. But He has a best path for all of us. Maybe we’re doing too many good things and not enough great things for His kingdom. A good thing won’t be great unless it’s what the Lord planned for you to do. Let Him guide your steps (which again means prayer).

Get over the guilt: We all tend to think we should be superman/superwoman or God’s little worker bee doing it all for the kingdom. But we can’t do it all and we shouldn’t. If we do it all, no one else gets a chance. Do your part well, but know your limits. Don’t feel guilty for resting.

Dear Lord, thank you for our frail bodies which remind us to depend on You. You have designed us to require physical rest and spiritual rest. Help us to balance our lives using Your priorities. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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