Friday, June 20, 2014

Preparing To Rest

{Hi Everyone! Still soaking up some much needed time off, and reminding myself of just this, an archived post on rest. We all need it. Enjoy and see you Monday!}

It's Saturday night, and I'm wiping counter tops in the soft glow of the kitchen.  Upstairs, the kids are busy pulling on pajamas and setting out church clothes in preparation for the morning.  I move from kitchen to downstairs bathroom, straightening and wiping down, and all the while keeping up a silent meditation.  Gratitude for another week past, intentions for the one just beginning.

One of my goals this year was to work on our family day of rest.  By being intentional in preparing for it, hoping to make it more of a weekly reality.  As the Mama of this family, taking a day "off" to rest can seem an almost laughable prospect.

The truth is, we need rest.  All of us.  Rest is neglected to the detriment of all, but culturally we seem to have let it slip away.  The crush of so many busy days deceive us into thinking that if we took a day off, we'd never catch up.  The catch-22 is that, without it, we surely never will.  A generation of people running on empty have proven this - we need rest.  Creating a family tradition of taking a day to pause, regroup and embrace rest benefits all, from overwhelmed parents right down through the little ones.

Sometimes I wonder that we get so used to seeing the Ten Commandments of a list of "Thou shalt not's" that we forget that when we let go of our vice grip on our lives, God takes that space to bless us.  Not only that, but this principle of a day of rest was important enough to Him to include it on His list of Commandments to us.  A Sabbath is a blessing, straight from Heaven to us.  It hangs there like a gift, just asking to be opened and accepted.  Still, we convince ourselves that our lives are simply too big, too full, perhaps even too important, to take time to slow down and regroup.  But if we are honest with ourselves, the world won't stop turning if we step out for one day each week.   

With little ones to care for and responsibilities every day of the week, yes, even on a day of rest, I have realized that I need to prioritize Sabbath preparation.  If I neglect this discipline, the very chaos of getting a family ready for church and the stress of figuring out what to serve for dinner can steal the peace I am seeking.  The key to a peaceful Sunday for a Mama comes right down to preparation.

Each family will prepare differently, based on their season in life.  Here are 4 ways we are preparing to rest.

Prepare Your Heart:  I work this in by listing my thanks for the week past and my hopes and prayers for the week to come.  Touching on the moments that made up my week illustrates God's blessings in my life and centers me in preparation for Sunday morning.

Prepare Your Mind: In order to keep stress at bay during my day "off," I jot down a list of all of the things I need to pick up again on Monday - the reminders, the lists, the plans.  This clears the clutter out of my mind and gives me permission to relax.

Prepare Your Home:  On Saturday evening, I make extra sure to have the house picked up before bed, the kitchen wiped down and ready for the next day.  This is not a time to get stressed out by aiming for a perfectly clean house, but rather just straightening up for a clean slate in the morning.

Prepare Your Meals:  Simple food is our staple on Sundays.  Soups and breads can be prepared in advance (I love my crockpot for this), cuts of meat can marinate over night.  I set out bowls and cereal for the morning so it is ready on hand when the kids come down.  Even if I do end up needing to do some cooking on Sunday, doing some of the prep work on Saturday evening really helps to keep the stress of getting meals on the table to a minimum.

Prepare Your Family: I have my kids set out church clothes the night before right down to shoes to minimize last minute dashing around (my 5 year old suffers from chronic shoe loss).  I double check their choices when I come up later on, just to make sure everyone is all set.  I also remind the kids about expected behavior at church and that we don't play video games on Sundays.

In a world of rush and schedules and madness, the Sabbath is still a gift, waiting just there for us to embrace. Through intentional preparation, even the busiest of Mamas can find a bit of peace in this, His gift of rest.

How do you prepare for your day of rest?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to future posts.  Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for stopping by! I love hearing from you! While you're here, don't forget to click "subscribe"!