When Rest is Good

When it comes to napping, I’m often one who fails. I don’t like sleeping during the day. I’m not saying I’ve never napped because that’s what you do as young kids. And you always sleep more when you’re sick and try to make up for a lack of sleep in college by catching naps in the morning or afternoon.

So I’ve had my seasons, but a nap hasn’t typically been my first choice.

Just ask my preschool and kindergarten teachers. I got in trouble more than once. I wouldn’t sleep. I wanted to talk to my friends, whisper to my napping neighbors. And this is why the teacher had to block my view with a cardboard divider. It didn’t always work. I remember leaning off my cot one time to find the nearest classmate.

I’m sure I struggled at home too. I wanted to know if “rest” time was over. The 30 minutes or hour felt long.

I still don’t nap as a regular habit. Sometimes I sneak in a 20 minute nap after several nights of bad sleep. Then it’s a necessity to keep functioning.

Most of the time I lay down to rest my body. I stand for a good part of the day to do my tasks. And my legs will get tired. I will lay on the couch for that break, but I’m still doing things.

In recent months, I’ve been learning the importance of slowing down though. I need to give myself the space to breathe mentally just as much as my legs need physical rest.

I’m letting myself enjoy a Sunday afternoon and not try to fill it with a lot of activity.

If I push too hard or go too much, I’ll lose the energy, motivation, and joy to continue to the next thing.

I think I’d rather choose rest on occasion.

Rest, in whatever form, helps me to refuel and refocus for tomorrow.

And today, resting inspired this post.

I made room for rest after a busy morning at church. I chose to move through the afternoon slowly, taking off the Sunday dress and putting on the comfy pajamas early. Then I felt freer to rest and spend more time on the couch reading.

Everything else can wait a little longer. That book is calling me back to the den tonight.

Rest is good.

How do you rest? What restores you and strengthens you for the next thing?