Yesterday we talked about a subject so simple, yet it’s one that I’ve struggled with for many years…
Taking time to rest.
This isn’t easy for those of us who like to be on the go, or who are wired in ways to stay busy. But as we discussed yesterday, it’s necessary for our health and well-being.
And, as we’re finding ourselves knee-deep in this Christmas season, it might be the most important thing we do for ourselves and our loved ones.
Take time to rest.
When you think of the word rest, what comes to your mind?
Today I’m thinking of it as a verb:
rest :: to refresh oneself, as by sleeping, lying down, or relaxing; to relieve weariness by cessation of exertion or labor; to be quiet or still; to cease from motion, come to rest; stop
5 Ways To Rest This Christmas Season
1 – It’s okay to say no.
This time of year is filled with many invitations to activities, concerts, gatherings, etc. I look at all I’ve been invited to in the next ten days, and my head spins. If I attended each one, I’d be gone from home every single evening until December 18th. While all these activities are good, and I’d like to go to each one, I can’t physically do that. I would be a train wreck at Christmas. I’m going to have to pass on some. It’s okay to say no, even to the good things. Give yourself permission to do so.
2 – Pause and ask, “Do I need to be doing this?”
We tend to have more on our to-do lists during the Christmas season, and for those of us who are wired to accomplish it all ourselves, that might not be such a great idea in regards to tackling too much on our own. We can ask ourselves some questions: “Do I need to be the one doing this?” “Can someone else do it?” “Is this activity truly necessary, or by passing on it would I have more peace?” Of what can you let go or ask for another’s help in doing it?
3 – Go to bed early a couple nights a week.
Shut things down early two nights a week and climb into bed earlier. It might not be easy to do, but plan it in your schedule if you have to. Your body will appreciate the extra ZZZZs.
4 – Take a nap.
A friend taught me years ago how a 20-minute tap in the afternoon can infuse life back into my tired body. Sometimes just sitting down and closing one’s eyes for a few minutes can give us the boost we need to finish the day strong.
5 – Spend time with God.
This is where we find true rest… rest for our souls.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
This rest that Jesus offers sounds lovely for today, doesn’t it? Starting our day off talking to God, reading His Word, and resting in His care throughout the day can refresh us, revive us, and keep us in tune with our Creator.
I’m praying we can each take moments in our day today and in the days to come to rest in Him.
What’s one way you can take time to rest today? I’d love to read about it below.
Blessings to you,
Linking this post with Kelly for #RaRaLinkup, Crystal for #IntentionalTuesday, and Holly for #TestimonyTuesday.
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I wonder why we can feel so guilty when we rest…when God clearly wants us to do it! Thanks for the reminder to rest, and for the 5 ways to help us implement it. Especially needed in the month of December. 🙂
I believe the guilt comes from the enemy of our souls. He wants us to be so busy in the season that we forget the real meaning of Christmas. It’s when we rest that we are reminded what’s important. He doesn’t want us to remember that either. I pray we all can be rest-filled this season. Thanks for being here and for sharing, Lisa! Merry Christmas!
I love these Julie! (Especially the nap part.) Last year I was so sick over the holidays, and the more sick I got, the more I would try to keep going. I was just running myself sick, literally! I’ve made a commitment this year to intentionally rest. So far, this has been a much more enjoyable season:) Have a Merry Christmas!
Kristine, I remember you being sick. Once we’ve “been there, done that” we know how awful it is. I’m glad we’ve both chosen to intentionally rest. Enjoy the season, friend. So glad you stopped in!
Thanks for this list — because it reminds me to ratchet down the stress level and enjoy the quiet. One thing that helps me is music. Whether I’m wrapping gifts or tearing through my list of holiday baking that needs doing, if I light a candle and turn on some carols, all of a sudden whatever I’m doing turns into a celebration!
Yes, Michele! Great words. Music helps me too. In fact, you’ve reminded me to put some on today. Thanks for that. As always, it’s a blessing to have you here. Have a Merry Christmas, friend!
Wise words, Julie. It can be so easy to rush right the holidays, and come January, we look back and it’s all just a blur. I’m trying not to let that happen this year. We don’t even have our decorations up yet, but I’m choosing not to stress about it. Christmas isn’t about the things that we, so often, make it about. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Julie. ((Merry Christmas))
I couldn’t agree with you more, Brenda. We often make Christmas about the wrong things. Thank you for this reminder today. I’m glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts. I pray we don’t miss Christmas by rushing through the season. I pray a rest-filled season for you!
Oh I love this, Julie! Such great tips… we forget these are options sometimes!
Thanks, friend. I need to keep them in front of me too. Have a blessed Advent season!
I am going to do all 5 and say…Julie said!!! Only joking but I am going to incorporate all 5 ways you suggested to rest into my Christmas season and reflect on Jesus while I do them 🙂 Joining you from #TestimonyTuesday today
You made me smile here, Sarah! 🙂 I’m trying to incorporate them too. I pray your season is full of many blessings, especially God’s presence! Bless you and Merry Christmas!
The best rest is the time I spend with God. He is our true refreshment and nourishes us in a way that no one else can. Great ideas to follow this season. I pray you are doing well and you are finding time to rest and pause in this season of Advent. Blessings!
Thanks, Mary! Spending time with God is the best rest. I look forward to more of those special rest times in the weeks ahead. So glad you stopped by. Thank you! Merry Christmas, friend!
I know it sounds crazy, but I find rest in a brisk walk on a cold, starry night or freezing morning ;). Yeah. I’m weird. I ALWAYS take time in the morning for God and prayer and coffee ;). I also realized how isolated I am–I just finished my big weekend of things to do (company, staff party at my house, students over twice in three days). I’m done until Christmas (except for the weekly students-at-my-house-on-Mondays and maybe Friday nights…). There are advantages to living in the backwoods ;).
I love this, Anita! Your rest sounds inviting and refreshing! I would be blessed to experience that with you one of these days (or nights)! Enjoy this season. Keep resting and enjoying the backwoods! Much love to you.
Beautiful, Julie. My word for 2015 was “REST.” But I’m not sure I really learned it! 🙂 One way I’m resting is to take 30 minutes after home school to do some yoga videos with my daughter. It feels like, “Wait, I’ve been doing home school all day, I need to get on with life here,” but it’s been restful and relaxing to take that kind of time for myself in the middle of the afternoon.
Betsy, I love your word, and appreciate the time you are taking for yourself doing yoga with your daughter. What a gift in multiple ways! It’s blesses me to read the way you are resting in your day. Merry Christmas, dear friend. I appreciate you stopping over!
Agreed…..for some reason God put rest in my heart this season. To spend in Prayer and with Him.
My husband and I for New Years….will not go to a gathering but to a quite prayer cabin in the North
Woods of Wisconsin.
God stops me once or twice a year now to slow the pace down to spend with him
Thanks for the encouraging post
Teresa, your words here encourage me! What a gift that God has put rest in your heart this season. And your trip to the North Woods of Wisconsin sounds amazing. Enjoy this season with your family, and with those precious times in God’s presence. So glad you chose to stop in and share. Merry Christmas!
Saying no is a pretty big deal these days. There are no less than 2000 activities going on between my two sons. We’ve really whittled our schedule down and it’s made for a peaceful, restful anticipation of Christmas! Great blog today Julie.
Yes, Meg. It is a big deal these days. Life is so full, and I’m glad to read you’ve whittled things down in your schedules. Your words “restful anticipation” speak to my heart. Have a blessed Christmas! Thanks for being here.
Why do we always feel we have to create an over-the-top Christmas? In reality, it’s not the quantity of things we do, but the quality of the time we spend together. I was feeling really stretched thin yesterday and then we took the kids ice skating at a small outdoor rink. We were practically the only ones there and just had so much fun together learning how to skate – and spending time together. Restful, restorative time (even though we weren’t exactly resting). Love this post – and need to take this heart more!
Amen, Kathryn. It’s actually quite freeing to let go of the striving for an “over-the-top Christmas.” I did it for years, and now knowing the rest that comes in giving up on all of that, I don’t want to ever go back. I love reading about your day yesterday with your kids. Your words brought a smile to my face. Keep those “rest-filled” days coming. Even though you were doing something together, and not resting, it was rest-filled. Thanks for sharing part of your story here. Love your heart! Merry Christmas, friend!
Visiting you from #RaRalinkup today! The title of your post caught my attention. Resting at Christmas time is heavy on my heart too! I think we all lack REST in so many areas of our lives. Jesus is the only one who can give us true REST. Blessings to you dear sister-in-Christ.
Amen, Lisa. I love the name of your site… perfect with the title of my post! God bless you this season, and may you rest in Him every single day. Hugs to you!