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.
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.