Do you feel like you get enough rest? Enough sleep? Enough time to let your body and mind become restored? I am not a betting woman, but I am willing to say that most of us will answer no to all three of these questions. I know that I do not get enough rest. I can count on my fingers the number of times I can remember as an adult sleeping throughout the entire night. I simply do not rest well. My parents said that even as a newborn baby, I did not sleep. I would take tiny cat naps and then be awake for hours. I am the oldest of four children and am amazed they decided to have more children after my epic ability to stay awake, which in turn meant they had to stay awake.
Most nights, my husband and I are in bed by 10 p.m. Do we go to sleep then? No! We talk about our day, play on our cell phones, take medication (yes, we are at that age), and play with our dog. After we do our nightly Bible ready, we both finally lay down around 11. Within 5 minutes of his head hitting the pillow, my husband is in sweet slumber. Me, oh no, I am replaying the day in my head or a day that happened 15 years ago, and what I would do differently today in that situation. I feel like I am not alone in this situation. I know I have talked to others that do this exact same thing. Why are we so unable to rest?
Why are we in a constant state of stress? Could it be that we aren’t giving all of our anxieties and burdens to the Lord? I believe, at least in my case, this to be true. I have a major problem in asking others for help. I don’t want to burden anyone else with something I feel I should be able to handle by myself. Well, reality check, I am not wonder woman! I never have been. I need to retire my wonder woman whip and shield. Just lay them down and rest. That whip and shield can get really heavy when you aren’t resting. According to Integris Health, “Rest is vital for better mental health, increased concentration and memory, a healthier immune system, reduced stress, improved mood and even a better metabolism.” We all know these things to be true. I don’t know anyone that would say they don’t want better mental health or a better metabolism. We know the science behind why rest is so important. Yet, we continue to ignore our bodies when they are screaming for us to rest. The Bible continually tells us to rest. God himself rested after the creation of the world. The New Testament speaks many times on Jesus resting. One of my favorite passages on rest occurs in 1 Kings 19. Elijah had just killed all of the prophets of Baal and he knew that Jezebel would be coming after him. He was afraid; he ran for his life. He was having a mental breakdown. In verse 4 he prayed, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” He laid down and fell asleep. The Lord sent an angel to Elijah to feed him. After he had a snack, he lay back down and rested more before he went on his journey tom continue his work for the Lord. We, just like Elijah, can all benefit from a snack and a good nap. I cannot tell you the best way to actually get good, meaningful rest. I am working on figuring out what rest looks like for me. I do know that I can find rest in the Lord and am learning to lean hard into that fact. I encourage each of you to seek rest. Learn what helps you renew your mind, body, and spirit. And if any of you have tips on getting better rest, please share them with the class! I promise you, we will all appreciate it. This week’s recipe is a summer classic — delicious and refreshing pasta salad. Soon, school will be out, picnics will be in full force, and you will be happy to have this recipe. As always, feel free to adjust the ingredients to best fit your family’s tastebuds. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs3:24