Naptimes Are Important

Yep, it was naptime. The attitude had gone out the window, there was the rubbing of the eyes and not being able to handle the littlest instruction.

“Sweet Baby, are you ready for a nap?”

“NO!”  she said as she yawned. Oh toddlers!  They have no idea how important naptime really is.  Not sure when that changes. Somewhere around 15?

I know my kids need a routine to their day. They need to be outside in the mornings before the rains come, they need snacks (like every hour!), they need snuggles, they need naps and quiet times. They function better within that routine. I do too. I need them to have their quiet times. Can I get an amen?

God made us. He knows how we work best.

I love how we see God’s parenting us in Psalm 103:

Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

God knows our frame, just like I know my kids. I told one of them the other day, “Listen, I know you. I’ve known you since before you were born. You are tired and need a break.” He’s eleven. He just sorta smiled at me and conceded that I was right.

Funny, I think I am closer to a toddler more days than not. To quote Rich Mullins, “I’d rather fight Him for something I don’t really want, than take what He gives that I need.”

God gives us the gift of rest, the gift of time with Him, time enjoying things he made, time with our family and friends. I can always find something that needs to be done. Please tell me I am not alone in this sickness. Honestly, I have had to learn how to rest while there are still things left to do, which is something my host culture has helped me learn.

Here are a few of the ways I’ve learned to rest on a daily and weekly basis.  Maybe you’ll find something that will help you as well.

Spaces that are restful

Our porch is a calm and inviting place. Our hammock is always up. We found some comfortable used chairs, we bought a cheap blue tooth speaker and a small plant. I hung some curtains. It’s an outdoor living room where we can sit with steaming cups of coffee and listen to the rain and birds and just breathe. God and I have had some long talks on that porch too.

Where in your living space can you make your own “porch”?  What things can you repurpose or find inexpensively to create that space you need?

Time to Create

The first few years in our host country I was so overwhelmed with getting settled, I stopped creating. When I pulled out my camera again, when I remembered how I loved to knit, I started to feel more like myself.

What are the things you love to do?  How can you explore those things and build those into your days and weeks? Give yourself extra time to enjoy those things on your day of rest.

Resting Together

Plan things as a family or with your friends. Every Friday night is Family Night for us. That usually means homemade pizza and a game or a movie. Every few months we try to get away for a night or two, just our family. Our requirements are a pool and not too far away. It isn’t long, but it’s enough to reconnect. We have a single friend who often will plan a beach day with her friends, just to get away and rest.

How can you rest together? Do you have a group of friends you can go out to lunch with?  What does your family love to do together?  How can you make that happen more often?

After her nap, my two year old was back to her normal joyful self. But you all knew that already.  God knows us too. He has compassion on us and gives us what we need. Take His gift of rest, friends!

Take a minute or two and think through how you can rest on a daily and weekly basis. Is there something that would help with that?  How can you make the time or finances work?  Ask God to show you how you can receive His gift of rest.

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

13 Comments

  1. Joan August 1, 2018

    Thank you. I’m in great need of a of rest in a place where I don’t have to talk about what I do before heading for home leave; our mission even requires at least one spiritual retreat and one holiday a year. But it’s so hard to afford, especially without having a car. We work at home a lot so home feels like work.

    1. Joan August 2, 2018

      We persevered and found a place–for free, and booked it! Praise God that they had space for us at the right time.

      1. Liz August 2, 2018

        Joan that’s fantastic!!! So glad God knows our frame and is is compassionate. Enjoy that break!!

    2. Liz August 2, 2018

      yes, that working at home can be hard…because then you’re always at work! Praying God will show you ways you can enter into His gift of rest for you!

      1. Joan August 2, 2018

        Thank you Liz. We do have a back garden where I could sit all day surrounded by flowers.

        1. Liz August 2, 2018

          How lovely!!

  2. Sharon August 1, 2018

    Oh, Liz!! A wonderful article! Our porch is our saving grace and though we’ve lived here 8 years, we agreed once again, just the other day, that our porch is essential to our well being!!! From the time you began assembling your porch, including your hammock and chairs, I smiled for you. It sounds so restful and inviting and that’s what we saw in your photos as well. I love your closing statement… we are in need of a more extended respite and I need, we need, your reminder to ASK GOD to show us how we might find that rest. Thank you!!

    1. Liz August 2, 2018

      So thankful God knows us and gives us good gifts, like porches and coffee and sunshine and time with Him. Praying you guys can get a good break from the norm!

  3. Amy Young August 2, 2018

    I so believe in naps :)! But I don’t have the gift of napping :(. In my family of origin, my dad can nap anywhere, any time. My sister Elizabeth inherited this gift. Mom, sister Laura, and I . . . did not. Boo hoo. How I know I”m really sick is when I nap 🙂

    That being said, I love this post, and wish I was a napper!!

    1. Liz August 2, 2018

      Yes, I think I’ve honed my napping skilz as a mom…gotta catch it when I can ha!

  4. Casual First of August Friday | Paracletos August 3, 2018

    […] is an important part of staying healthy, and naps can be an important form of rest. That’s Liz Kamper’s observation in this post. Share this with the global workers you […]

  5. Spring August 3, 2018

    We have decided to take a day as a sabbath as a family. We switch between game night and movie night. The rest of the day is free to do whatever we choose. Sometimes we go out. Sometimes we lay around at the house.

    I love your ideas for ways to relax and use what you have around. I do wish I could enjoy steamy cups of anything, but it is simply too hot here!

    1. Liz August 4, 2018

      Movie night and game nights are the best! Last night for our family night we have a campfire…fun and stressful (with kids, fires are always stressful) at the same time! I am a firm believer in the fact that you don’t have to spend a lot to make a place feel cozy and yours.

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