front porch swings,
living room sofas.
These all have something beautiful and mysterious in common.
If they could speak they would say, “Stop, slow down, and take just a few moments of rest. Enjoy the community of family and friends or the quiet peace of solitude.”
Easier said than done…. I know.
With children in the house there will forever be the unexpected mishaps like broken fish tanks, hair caught in mixers, and emergency room visits after a cat attack, just a few of the many things that happened at our house over the years =). And of course the never ending flurry of activities and chores that keep us going 24/7. In the middle of it all, I wish that I had helped my children develop the discipline of a regular schedule of resting. Now, as adults, some of them have a hard time slowing down. What can I expect? It’s the culture I brought them up in.
To rest, we have to stop and that’s the hard part. But what happens when we do is enough to keep us coming back.
Have you ever felt the rush of stress leaving your body? or the bliss of your thoughts being suspended in nothingness? or what about the freedom of getting in the “face” of your schedule and saying, “I am not your slave!”
Helping our children develop the discipline of rest is a valuable investment in their future and one for which they will one day thank us.
Many occasions in family life call for children having the self discipline to sit still and quiet, sometimes for a long period of time: weddings, funerals, graduations, church, etc. Rest time with your children is the perfect opportunity to teach them this discipline. It may take a few intentional practice sessions to get them used to the idea. Discouragement is your enemy; be patient and don’t give up (check out the link if you need help with this). So while the baby is napping consider setting aside a time each day with your older children, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes.
“Mini-vacations” I like to call them.
Relax on the sofa with your son and a good book or have a chat with your kids on the porch swing with a refreshing glass of lemonade. Prepare a quiet activity for your preschooler to complete while you lie down with peaceful music playing in the background. Encourage her to finish what she starts and let mom rest.
Conversation at the dinner table is always better at home! If yours has been sitting vacant for a while, instead of darting out the door and getting caught up in the restaurant rush, get your kids involved in helping you prepare dinner or throw something in the crock pot before you start your day. For those in your family arriving home late, the smell of dinner cooking in the kitchen is like a warm hug when they walk through the door.
It’s the little things we do that make home a place of peace and refuge.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
*Don’t miss the two great links above for cooking methods and other blogs on training up children!