Rest: You Need It!

Jan 9, 2009Archive

Today I’m so thankful to have Keri Wyatt Kent, the author of Rest, here with me. I endorsed the book by saying:

Keri Wyatt Kent has woven a beautiful tribute to resting and pays great homage to the Sabbath we so often ignore and misunderstand. Practical, intelligent, and winsomely inviting, Rest will change the way you look at your hectic life and instill in you a longing to set aside precious time to simply be.”

Keri graciously agreed to answer some of my burning questions:

Why do you think we disdain the idea of rest in this culture?

We truly believe that our value is based on our accomplishments. And that makes sense, because we get a lot of admiration for accomplishing things. If we are resting, we are not accomplishing anything. We’re not productive, and we think that means that we don’t have value. We believe “if I’m busy, I must be important.” so if I’m not busy, then does that mean I’m unimportant? Who would want that? What we don’t realize is that “If I’m busy, I must be important” is a lie.

What three benefits has sabbath had on the dynamic of your family?

Well, first, my kids realize that they have value whether they accomplish anything or not. I think Sabbath has allowed us to experience peacefulness, and the unconditional love of God. It’s also taught us to live at a sane pace all the time. We choose carefully what to say yes and no to. It’s also brought us closer, because it is a day when I am available to my kids, to listen, play or pray. It’s the day I’m not too busy for them.

What advice would you give to a stressed out mom?

this may seem strange, but my advice is: delegate. When we try to do it all, we get stressed. One of the most important steps in my Sabbath journey was telling my family that I was no longer going to do all of the househo ld chores. I taught my children (then ages 11 and 13) and my husband, to do their own laundry. We each have a chore (such as vacuuming, doing the dishes, etc.) each week. I wish I’d started this much earlier–like as soon as the kids were able to reach the buttons on the washing machine. I see a lot of women who are really angry, and I think it’s because they are doing too much. Running a house is a full-time job, and everyone who lives in that house should contribute and pitch in.

Limit the activities your children are signed up for. Substitute family activities for things you have to drive them to. Just because they want to be in four sports doesn’t mean that’s a good choice for them, or for you.

My other advice is to take an unflinching look at your schedule. Write down all the things you’ve said yes to, and see which ones you can cut out. Ask about each obligation on your list–am I doing this to please people, or serve God? Does this line up with my gifts and my calling? If your life has no margin, it’s going to be difficult to take a day off. Say no more often when people ask you to do things. And read my book–it gives very practical advice on how to live at a sane pace.