Posts Tagged ‘rest’

Top 10 Reasons to Rest

Monday, October 15th, 2012

reasons-to-restToday I will be sharing the top 10 reasons to rest. In our modern society, rest has fallen by the wayside as productivity seems to be all-important. But if we don’t take the time to rest, our bodies will suffer in many ways. In order to avoid these negative effects, we must remind ourselves daily to actually rest!

Top 10 Reasons to Rest:

  1. Rest makes you more productive. If you feel refreshed, you can get more accomplished than if you are tired.
  2. You get sick more easily if you don’t rest.
  3. Rest helps you to think rationally.
  4. You eventually get burnout if you don’t rest, and it takes longer to recuperate from burnout.
  5. Rest helps you to deal with your emotions in relationships.
  6. You have better conversations when you are rested.
  7. Rest helps you to not be as stressed.
  8. Rest helps you feel more optimistic about life.
  9. God invites us to rest (Matthew 11:28), gives us an example of rest in the week of creation, and includes Sabbath rest in the Ten Commandments.
  10. Rest gives you an opportunity to reconnect to God.

Creating Margin in Your Life: Part 1

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012


How can we hear God with no margin in our lives? If we are so busy that we are hurrying from one activity to the next, multi-tasking all the while, where is the down time where we mull over what God is teaching us? The busy junk that takes up our time crowds out the most important priorities, which are down time with God, down time with our spouses, and down time with our kids, when we can talk about things that matter and do things that energize us.

This summer I read a book I had been meaning to read for years–Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson, M.D. The medical doctor who wrote the book took a year “off” to go to Africa, where he performed over 500 surgeries. For some strange reason, he felt rested and like he was on vacation. That’s because people in rural places in third world countries have something that we lack: margin. They sit beside the street and watch the sunset and talk to a neighbor in an unhurried way. There is no stress. Sure, people don’t have enough to eat, but at least they have deep relationships with other people and have lots of leisure time.

When the author of the book returned to the United States, he once again re-entered the hurried, stress-filled world of high pressure. He decided to cut back to part time as a doctor so that he could actually live a real life instead of working continuously until he plopped into bed every night. He and his wife decided to live on a smaller income on purpose so that they could breathe.

Every so often we must ask ourselves what is crowding our lives. Being without a plan is one reason that people never get around to doing what they really intend to do. Without a plan, the day fills itself up automatically, and often nothing of value is accomplished. What else squanders time?

  • Constantly checking e-mail or Facebook.
  • Not dealing with conflicts between children at the beginning. Letting the conflict escalate and not dealing with heart issues. (You can do this right by throwing yourself upon God, asking for wisdom, and taking whatever time it takes to do it right, releasing the other items on your agenda as not as important. God will always come through and give you help if you throw yourself upon Him for real, wanting His wisdom and not your own. James 1:5)
  • Not deciding ahead of time what you will do first, to make sure it gets done in your day.
  • Kids’ activities, maybe too many. Ask God before signing the kids up for sports, instruments, or other lessons. Only God knows if the child needs it, or if relaxing down time is of higher value.
  • Doing our chores in a haphazard manner so that they take up our whole day instead of just running in the background on auto-pilot because of good habits that have been established.
  • Spending time on the phone during the day that is not related to a home business or an emergency. If you call back anybody near the end of the day when you are fatigued rather than during your productive time, the phone call will energize you instead of stealing the time you should have spent with the Lord or doing what you know you ought to be doing.

These are just a few things I thought of off the top of my head that might flush our time down the toilet. We are accountable before God for the time He has given us. Why is it so crowded? Let’s start by crossing off everything that doesn’t matter and begin again with more space on our calendar.

(Stay tuned for Part 2, where I discuss the equation: Power minus load equals margin…)

A Day at the Lake

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012


Yesterday we spent a day at the lake. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and the kids played in the warm sand and splashed around in the water. Alan took a half day off work, and we just sat on the beach. It was nice to just sit and do nothing.


The kids made sculptures using the sand, sticks, and seaweed. They dug for water, and then they decided to bury their little brother, who actually wanted to be buried in the sand. He giggled as the sand was built up around him.


Another one of my sons enjoyed playing with the mud that was made by the wet sand. I wonder if beach sand could work as a mud treatment? If so, I should have had my kids dump mud on me, since I already felt relaxed, as if I were at a spa. Instead, I mostly just watched my kids play, or I lay down on a towel to rest while listening to the sounds of the water lapping on the shore. It was certainly a relaxing day at the lake…



8 Ways to Relax with Your Kids

Friday, June 1st, 2012


If you are looking for how to relax with your kids, here are a few ideas:

  1. Lie down outside on a blanket, and look up into the trees, observing nature. I remember back when we had a hammock. I looked up into the tops of the pine trees, which looked like they were converging because of perspective. If I waited long enough, I would see groups of birds come and go. I had no idea how many birds came into my yard; they were so high up that once I brought out binoculars to see them. I heard the sound of the wind through the pine trees. I saw flowers waving in the wind.
  2. Go cloud watching. Either you can point out the types of clouds (cumulus, stratus, cirrus, etc.), or you can find pictures in the clouds. I once saw a cloud in the shape of a dragon. Just yesterday I saw a cloud in the shape of an airplane. Kids will quietly stare into the sky until they excitedly tell you they see a particular shape.
  3. Find a hill, and roll down a hill. Many parks have grassy hills. My kids love lying down on the green grass, and rolling all the way down a hill. Take your shoes off, since part of the experience is feeling the grass on your feet.
  4. Take a nap. After lunch every day, my children are trained to be silent for an hour and a half. Feel free to take a nap. You will feel much better.
  5. Sit and watch your kids play in a creek. The sound of the shallow water tricking is relaxing, and you are not required to do anything. Either they can wear their swim trunks, or they can roll up their pants and walk through the water. (Bring towels.)
  6. Watch fish swimming around in an aquarium. Many public places have aquariums, including pet stores. Waiting rooms with aquariums are better, because you can sit in a chair while watching the fish swimming around. You can also go to an outdoor pond to look at the fish.
  7. Throw a frisbee, football, or softball back and forth to your kids. It’s relaxing because you just stand there in the beautiful sunshine most of the time, with occasional throwing. I think this is why men like golf. It allows them to mostly do nothing.
  8. Play on the beach. Once again, the kids play in the sand and surf while you just sit there on a towel. If you have young children or non-swimmers, putting a life vest on them will help you completely relax instead of being paranoid that they are going to drown. Yes, I am a mother. Now lean back and soak in some sunshine…

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