You Need Soul Rest. Here’s How to Find It.
Last year for Mother’s Day, all I wanted was a nap.
If you’re like me, you think you have the energy to take on an army of a schedule and find yourself crashing at the end of the day, wondering where your capacity went. And as I’ve gotten older, the energy has just decreased.
I am mindful now of the ways I spend my energy. There are three (not so little) people who need me and a husband who depends on me as I depend on him. We are a team and we function well, but sometimes… I forget to stop and breathe. I forget to take care of myself in the ways that prevent me from burning out, crashing, and reaching that place of fatigue where I have nothing left.
The need for a break happens more frequently now. I remember when I was a young Mom with babies being so tired, but not without energy to tackle life. Older Moms would observe me and make comments like “I don’t know how you do it” or “Remember to say no” when I would add more to my plate. I had the space and capacity for it then. And to be honest, I didn’t understand those comments until I got older and now I see young Mamas and I just want to say “take the nap.”
Moms, take the nap.
We all only have so much space for opinion and advice as well, so that’s not what this is. This is me coming to sisters and Mamas who are reaching that point of just wanting a break to breathe and find rest in a deeper way- not just the physical ways we all need to reset with sleep, nutrition, exercise, and plenty of water. I’m talking about the ways the Lord invites us to rest.
Finding Soul Rest
As a counselor, I often ask clients where their happy place is when I notice they are at max capacity and have not taken time for themselves lately. Most will describe a place in nature with pleasing and soothing sounds- a river, a meadow, a forest, etc. These spaces are grounding and peaceful in and of themselves with smells and sounds that catch our attention and regulate our breathing.
I wonder if you have a safe and calming space that you like to go to or maybe you had one in the past? Have you created a space for yourself in your current season that offers you rest… beside still waters?
The Lord offers for us to make space for stillness with Him throughout His Word. He says things like “come away”, “come to me”, and “be still and know.” Psalm 131 describes a state of being that is content like a child laying with their mother.
Maybe there is a place of stillness and rest you have that allows for those feelings?
My thought for all of us is that we follow our Lord’s lead in this and create a rhythm of relief for ourselves. Our Lord, Himself, took naps! We have an account in scripture of the need for this even in a perfect life!
We walk by faith and rest in His plans and purpose, but do we rest in His presence and just take time to settle. These moments can be found in what therapists like to call “self-care” moments.
Jesus cares for us and He’s given us a body to take care of and live in that includes taking time to rest and be still.
I’ve decided it’s important to teach my daughter these things as well, so we do what we call “self-care Sunday” (or any other day we choose). We fill a small tub from Walmart up with hot water and bath salts and we soak our feet. I think Beth Moore mentioned doing this with her daughters, so the idea is not original to me. And if there is still guilt and doubt, Jesus values washing feet. There’s something so grounding and calming in this simple act of care. My daughter and I make this a treat and will listen to worship music or the latest calming music we have discovered and we will share our hearts. This is cultivating for her a rhythm of relief and soul care- teaching her to rest and be still.
Mindful Mom Moments
Another way I will rest and be still is to go to a river, kayak, or wade in it and read beside it. This wasn’t feasible as a young Mom, but I would find ways to sit in the sun and close my eyes and breathe. Taking mindful moments to just regulate my breathing and still my body to receive a moment of rest was so necessary- even in the younger years. This also taught my children to breathe through things and to make time for stillness without feeling “lazy, unproductive” or anything else society might judge us with.
What I don’t want for us MomLife friends is to guilt ourselves out of caring for ourselves.
We do a lot of caring for others and sometimes we can guilt each other out of what is such an important practice- solitude, prayer, rest, relief, regulating. There is nothing wrong with this.
So beloved sister, trust the One who says to come and rest- not this author. Trust the Lord who models for us how to care for ourselves and others- let’s follow His lead and teach others how to cease striving and create a sabbath space for ourselves.
Let’s sit at His feet while we soak our own and release the cares we carry to Him. Let’s be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10a) and He is good. Let’s let Him lead us beside still waters while He restores our souls (Psalm 23). These things are for you- for your good.
My prayer for us Beloved sisters is that we could pray this in a moment of rest and stillness with the Lord. Inhale: “quiet my heart.” Exhale: “give my soul rest.” Give Him every ounce of your fear, worry, doubt, anxiety, and those things stealing your peace- because He cares for you, and your rest matters to Him.
And dear reader, if you can, take that Mother’s Day nap!