Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MOM Help 911 Part 3 - REST

MOM Help 911 Part 3 - REST

Moms are very amazing people and God has wired them to be in partnership with Him to grow little people into big people who become a productive and positive part of society and who will be salt and light for the sake of His Kingdom.

This post has been difficult for me to write and I’ve wrestled with how to communicate an important issue that moms must model - REST.

Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it – MOMS and REST. I can almost hear some little snickers.

In my wrestling, last night I actually dreamt of a particular season in my life – back in the 80’s – where I – as a single mom – experienced the REST that I’ll hoping to use to get my point across. So, bear with me. I know my girls will recall this time.

First, a MOM must model RESPECT and if she grasps God’s grace, she must learn to model REST too.

A Season of Learning to REST
In the 80’s, I became a single mother because the man I’d married to decided he did not want to be a husband or a father and the world offered more options (women, drugs and parties).

In that season, I was living in north Texas and for some reason, God placed the girls and I out in the county, in a little run down home surrounded by the gold of wheat fields along with a menagerie of a few dairy goats, turkeys, chickens and cats for the rats. Oh, I hate mice and rats!

In that day, I putzed around in a little beat up army green colored Toyota, had no cell phone, no computer, no clothes dryer and a wood stove I stoked to warm us from those blistering cold north winter winds that would unashamedly whip through our little abode.

I have always been a hard worker. I learned hard work ethics from watching my grandfather, and my parents. Believe it or not hard work and joy go together. Of course, I still work hard, but I’ll tell you there’s NOTHING like the hard work on a little farm – milking goats, tending chickens, fixing fences, kidding goats, killing rats, and being mom to two little girls – single-handed, hanging laundry in the dead of winter to freeze dry and working a part-time job AND baking and selling the best wheat bread (ever) to earn a few extra dollars. Now, that’s hard work!

Work never seemed to end and it was during one of the hardest times of my life that I learned the rhythm of life with work 6 and rest 1 and I learned what it meant to daily have that quiet time with Jesus and to entwine my heart with His for the REST of day.

The work 6 and rest 1 was God’s idea, you know?

It was in those times of hard work and attending to the affairs of my home and making that my priority that I felt closest to Jesus. It was in those times that I learned to listen to Him, to pray and plan and hear His heart about the things that concerned Him about me.

My body, soul and spirit restored in the REST. My daily work was good because my heart was entwined with His.

Today's Moms have No REST
I long for today’s moms to understand this REST, and the problem I see is that they seem too busy. They don’t seem as focused as they could be in to attending their homes. They seem so distracted by too much outside their home, letting too much of what they’re distracted with on the outside come in – to the inside.

The home, which should be sanctuary, is not the Simple Home, but the chaotic, cluttered and home of constant – action. There is no REST.

When a mom isn’t at REST she influences the rest of her family (pun intended). She’s the light and life in her home and I have to say that the spirit (tone) of the home will often point to the mom.

The underlying, subtle mental mom mantra says: there is so much external stimulus nagging at my soul of what I could do, get to do, need to do, should do and better hurry up and do.

Adrenaline burn out!

Multi-Tasking moms
I wonder sometimes if all these modern conveniences (cell phones, computers, all our helps in the kitchen – which I am very thankful for) that are supposed to make a moms work easier actually require her to do more multi-tasking?

I admit that I can fall prey to thinking I can do more because I can start the laundry while I’m talking on the phone while I’m making the bed while I’m stirring the oatmeal while I’m jotting down some notes of what I need at the store while I’m checking my email. And, this is the Simple Home?

But – we don’t really want that REST, do we?
Get this – two places, God says (Isaiah 28:10) This is the RESTING place, let the weary rest and this is the place of repose – but they would not listen.

And, here in 30:15, In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

Jesus also addresses this rest and says in Mathew 11: 28, Come to me all you who are weary and burdened (burned out) and I will give you REST . . . learn from Me. . . .

How does a mom get that REST?
It requires a mental system overhaul. It requires choosing to let many, unnecessary things go – the better for the best. It requires a mom learning the word NO and actually saying the word NO. It requires a mom to work hard for 6 and rest for 1 and it requires her to change her lifestyle and learn from the P31 Woman who made it a priority to attend to the affairs of her home.

What does the life of a mom modeling REST look like?
When a mom learns the art of daily stoking the internal fire and when she learns how to find that daily place of quiet and REST in entwining her heart with Jesus and being devoted to Him and His ways and when she understand how to adore her husband she’ll find she’s less distracted by things that won’t really matter for eternity.

REST is evident in the life of a mom who lives the simple life of order and balance and self-discipline. She attends to the affairs of her home first and she guards what comes into her home.

Today’s REST assignment:
First thing:
Go and clean the key working center in your home – your kitchen. Put your favorite CD of music on, don’t touch the phone; or look at the computer until it’s ALL done…spic and span and shining all over. Don’t get distracted by anything – set your little ones down with some play projects (not TV) and tell them that mommy’s working hard so she can REST – with them. Model for them this kind of REST.

Then and only then – when you’re all finished – make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and go REST – sit down with your children – read them a book, play blocks or some other creative thing. Model RESTED soul for them.

Next thing:
Plan the evening dinner. Start the evening dinner – with whatever you have – don’t leave your home and go buy something you forgot to buy the other day because you didn’t have a menu or a list – it’s OK – you’ll learn to do that later. Just stay home-and ask God to help you be creative with the evening meal in using what you have, and thank Him for His grace and goodness to you.
May you find yourself at REST today.

Need to catch up on MOMS Help 911? Here's Part 1 and Part 2 and Baby Steps to Becoming a Purposeful Home Keeper has a great recap here. And, after you get your kitchen in order - and have a REST moment, join me in Spain - I'm here another week. If you are hungry and don't have breakfast planned - try these wonderful pancakes!

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Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful post. It has blessed me and I needed this so much this month. I am struggling and this has helped. Have a very blessed day.

Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home said...

This series is awesome, Lylah! I love it and am so encouraged and challenged when I read it. I feel like I'm getting to sit down with you and pick your brain a bit, on all the life lessons you've learned as a mom and wife. So valuable for me, who didn't have a mom or grandma that I could really learn from.

Hope Spain is amazing and you're loving the time with your grandkids!

Kristy said...

Beautiful, beautiful post.
Bless you for doing this!
Blessings ~

BarbaraLee said...

What a beautiful post. You made a lot of good points.
As I am going through my day there are times that I think of my role model Mary. Jesus mother. I'll stop and think what she would do? Lets face it, she had a lot on her shoulders raising a son that was meant for something unexplainable.

Lylah said...

i am deeeply touched by your hearts and comments and that i could pass on a few gems for the journey....

REST to each of you...lylah

The Apron Queen said...

Thank you for these gentle reminders.

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

Mrs. Querido said...

Thank you for those words...i so needed to hear them. I have felt so harried and unRESTful lately. I am going to read the beginnings of your series. And I am going to be back for more timely wisdom!


Lylah said...

with all the sweet comments on THIS post, I know it was something that needed to be written to encourage moms - and I'm so glad i could do that.

Maddy said...

Lots to think about there and some timely reminders.
Best wishes

The Abbiatti Family said...

Thanks you so much for your thoughts! Your daughter tells me often what a wise woman you are and this touched my heart today! And thank you for a specific challenge. I'm a doer and need concrete challenges and this combined with your insight was wonderful! Thank you over and over!

DEANNA said...

I love this post Lylah. I love the IDEA of work 6 and rest 1. I am trying harder to do this... schedules truly do not actually permit this but I am trying to work around this. I need rest. I REALLY NEED THAT 1 REST DAY!!

miss you so!

Lylah said...

wow!awesome! thanks!

Truth According to Me said...

Thank you for your honesty and being a mouth peice for God to my heart. I really needed this and I need to rearrange my life so that I can rest and show my little ones what it means to have a restful life. THANK YOU!