It’s amazing how a simple word can be continually placed on our hearts, a constant reminder of what God wants us to do. The sermon at our church on Sunday wasn’t necessarily about the word “rest”, but our pastor did bring up Mary of Bethany. And when I think of Mary, I think of rest. On the radio, THREE times this past week, I’ve heard sermons and speakers talk of resting within Jesus. It’s obvious to me that I have chosen the right word for me… and then while at the women’s planning meeting at our church, our pastor’s wife brought up an activity we will be doing at our next event. We will be making little cards with our word of the year on them to display at home or in our bible’s as a reminder. It’s been a constant thing these past two weeks!
So, because of all these constant reminders I’ve been thinking about ways I can rest. How can I find rest in Him? How can I teach myself to rest and let Him take on my burdens? I started with prayer. I’ve been praying the word rest over my life, my family, my children’s education, all of it. Am I stressed and anxious? Well, yea, I don’t think that’s going to go away in the blink of the eye. Do I feel rested? Well, no… I have four children ages seven and under, one of which who still nurses ALL night. But I feel more relaxed. More even. More at peace.
The first thing I’ve been doing is making a habit of washing our dishes twice a day. I know that sounds silly, but this is the first time we haven’t had a dishwasher in a while. If I don’t stay on top of them, they pile up and then at the end of the day everyone’s too tired to do them and I wake up anxious and overwhelmed because there’s a giant pile of dirty dishes waiting to be washed. BUT, if I take the time to do them at least twice a day (and J will usually do them a third time), not only does the task get done and there’s not nearly as many to do, but I also have time to talk to the Lord. I can pray, I can sing, I can worship. My hands are busy, but my mind, soul and voice are available to worship!
The second thing I’ve been doing is relaxing about homeschooling. I’m a pretty strict routine follower, I like having a calendar of what we are doing, and a structured schedule. While I do have a tentative plan set for the rest of this semester, I’m relaxing about when/where and how we are going about our schedule. Today for instance, Boogie needed to finish up some spelling/handwriting tasks that we had planned to finish before our move before we moved on to the next lessons. Normally I’d have her sit and do them all at once and just get them done, which really she’s cool with, but this morning the three big kids were playing in the playroom and they were having fits of laughter together. Joyful, wonderful giggling and carefree banter between them. Honestly, it’s been a while since I have heard them play like that, lately it’s been a lot of bickering and fighting and screaming… but this was beautiful. So instead of sticking to our routine, I let them play… and did the dishes!
The third thing I’ve been doing is I’ve been working on getting more involved at church, I know this doesn’t sound like rest, but for me it is. Getting involved means making friends, blessing others, and having a life outside of my children. Because let’s face it, as a stay at home mom who also homeschools… my life revolves around the kids 24/7. It’s not healthy, and I have to take care of me as well. So I’ve been helping plan events and activities with the women’s ministry, I’m going to be starting up a mom’s group (so excited about this!) and I may be working on helping with the nursery and getting it running more efficiently. Beyond church, I’m hoping to take some classes on pottery… something different that I used to enjoy as a teenager when I went to summer camp. I think it’ll be fun!
The fourth thing that I have been working on is spending quality time with my husband. Relationships can get lost and pushed to the side when you have littles running around. It’s especially true when your life has been as crazy as ours has been the past few months. Now that Bear is a bit bigger and we’ve tested me being gone for a couple hours, my hope is that we can start going out and find some activities to try together. We’d like to do one of those paint dates, maybe a movie night (it’s been SO long y’all), a cooking class, a concert… whatever we find!
Have you thought about what your word for 2018 will be? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be praying for you and your word this year! God Bless!