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Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

How to Find Rest in a Season of Busy

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We talk a big talk, ya know. Right now everywhere I turn I see it. Maybe it’s me? Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s God’s gentle whisper into my life. But I see the signs. I see the path. I see the end goal of rest.

I feel my soul taking a breath. Out in nature, among the fallen leaves, I feel my body relax. Let go. Breathe deep.

Where is the place that allows your soul to breathe?

How do we rest in this season of busy?

The laundry, the dishes, the clutter, the chaos. How can we keep our heads above water when we feel as though we are sinking deep into the demands of life? How can we even find the time to go to that place?

Mamas, we must make it. Somewhere among the dirty dishes and piles of clothes, we must make the choice to take a breath. To pause. Maybe we let the dishes go today. Maybe the clothes will have to wait. Maybe we eat fast food tonight. Maybe we wake up early or stay up late.

But mamas, we must make the choice to set aside the time. The time to be present, make eye contact, listen to the story at bedtime.

We are living a fast paced life. And you know what? That’s okay. We preach the imperfect parenting and housekeeping, but what do we do to put in that place?

Maybe we can find rest in the chaos. Maybe we can be still in the crazy. Maybe it’s not the absence of busy but the presence of peace and contentment.

So here’s the deal. For my own life, this is where I am. In the midst of the unplanned, the crazy, the chaos, I am learning to be still. To rest. To pause.

Open your eyes. See the beauty in the everyday. Maybe we only have a few hours in the evening? Invite our children in to what I’m doing. Chopping veggies, washing dishes, folding clothes. Turn the music on, dance in the kitchen, ask them to help. Or make them help, make them want to help. Ask them questions, make eye contact. Be together.

Listen well. Make eye contact. Focus. Listen to their stories. And even write them down. Grab a notebook, or a napkin and jot it down. Mark the moments. Make the memories. Let them feel important. Treat them like you treat your friends. Start now. If you listen to the small things, they will tell you the big things.

Take a breath. Step back. Take a deep breath. Will the world come crumbling down if you don’t get it all done today? Is it really that bad if your friends see the dusty house? If you feed your kids pizza two nights in a row? If your in-laws see the piles of laundry? What do you want to be known for? A tidy house or a cozy home? A perfectly planned meal or an inviting conversation? These small choices make the atmosphere in our home. One breath at a time.

Say no. I promise this gets easier. It’s okay to say no. Can’t handle one more party? One more night out? One.more.thing. Say no. It’s okay. The world will not stop spinning. Your family will not starve. Your friends will not leave you. You are creating space to breathe. You are creating a moment to rest. Take inventory and say no to the (optional) things that create stress and not rest. We say no to sports and lessons right now. It’s just not a commitment we can make. Our children can play a game of soccer with a bunch of friends or research their interests through reading or online. Right now we are just saying no to those commitments. And it’s okay.

Say yes. Say yes to the things that fill you up. Say yes to the things that feed your mind. Say yes to the things that make you a better mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter. Say yes to being kind, loving well and seeking Christ.

Whatever you do and however you do it, commit to slowing down. Stop looking for the next best thing. Enjoy the moment you are in. Quit telling yourself you have to get past this season. Sit down. Make time. Create. Write the book. Play the music. Listen. Drink the coffee while it’s hot. Hold the child while he lets you. Hug them tight. Because soon, you will have to let them go.

Together we can find rest. Together we can cheer each other on. Allow for the no. Seek the yes.

Start by giving each other grace and space to breathe. Catch your breath, mama. We are in this together. Find rest, not stress.

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