If you are anything like me you are exhausted. Parents finding rest is an impossible dream. I honestly don’t remember the last time I really had enough rest.
I’m thinking middle school, maybe earlier.
I have memories of getting sick and staying home from school and binge-watching something like “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” I remember my mom bringing me food, as I lay there on my bed, helpless, my biggest concern being whether or not Dr. Mike and Sully (on the show) would finally get together. Those were the salad days, as Shakespeare said. Carefree, innocent and rested!
Ten more minutes please….
Now that I have grown-up responsibilities and so. many. children…I have more things to do than can ever get done. I’m not alone in this. All parents everywhere are utterly exhausted. I learned long ago that even good people will resort to shocking lengths just for a few more moments of rest. My husband is a sleep talker, sleep actor, and sleep twitcher. He has no memory of his night-time escapades, and that’s for the best. I don’t think his self confidence could take it. His subconscious is clearly running the show!
Story Time! Years ago, when our oldest kids were very young, I woke him up in the middle of the night and asked him to help me with one of our kids. He opened his eyes (though he was NOT awake). Looked at me. Lifted his head slightly and then let it gently fall back onto the pillow. He suddenly grabbed his head and wailed in pain as he thrashed back and forth howling that he had just “hit his head on the pillow!!!!!!”
THE PILLOW. Made of feathers.
He carried on as I watched in utter disbelief. I finally informed him that he was pathetic and left him to snuggle the weapon that had so savagely disabled him.
More than just sleep
Though it is true that my example focuses on rest in terms of sleep, there is more to rest than just sleep. Shaunti Feldhahn is here to talk with us about finding rest, peace, and balance in the busy world that we live in.
Shaunti received her graduate degree from Harvard University and was an analyst on Wall Street before unexpectedly becoming a social researcher, best-selling author and popular speaker. Today, she applies her analytical skills to investigating eye-opening, life-changing truths about relationships, both at home and in the workplace. Her groundbreaking research-based books, such as For Women Only, have sold more than 2 million copies in 23 languages. Shaunti’s findings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show and Focus on the Family, The New York Times and Cosmo. She (often with her husband, Jeff) speaks at 50 events a year around the world. Shaunti and Jeff live in Atlanta with their teenage daughter and son, and two cats who think they are dogs. Today we are going to be focusing on Shaunti’s book Find Rest: A Women’s Devotional for Lasting Peace in a Busy Life.
Shaunti is a very busy mom. Not long ago, Shaunti was feeling exhausted and totally drained, physically and emotionally, which led her to begin thinking about how women can find rest in the busy world that we live in.
Slow down??? Exactly how would I do that?!?
Shaunti found, surprisingly, that the answer to finding rest isn’t what we think it should be.
How many of you have had some (well-meaning) person let you know that you need to just “slow down”. Whenever someone says this helpful tidbit to me I have to stop myself from asking them if that means that they are volunteering for laundry and dinner duty at my house or if they are suggesting that I get rid of some of my children? It may be true that slowing down would lead to rest, and that may be possible for a day or so, but it’s not practical for the long term. I did choose to have all these kids, and that isn’t going to change for a few decades. What Shaunti found changed her perspective on rest forever. As she was reading in the Bible in Matthew chapter 11, she came upon this verse:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
As Shaunti read that verse, the imagery taught her something fundamental to the subject of finding rest. In this verse, Jesus uses the imagery of a yoke to teach us.
A yoke is a wooden cross piece that is fastened over the necks of two animals (usually oxen or horses) and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. Jesus calls to all that are labouring and burdened by their cares. He tells them to take his yoke upon them.
Christ doesn’t say “Go lay down in the barn and take a break, slow down, and stop caring so much.”
No, He tells them to keep going, but to take his yoke upon them (which means that they are to keep pulling) and learn of him. And then He promises that if they do that, that they will find rest unto their souls. Shaunti realized, as she read this, that we can find rest as we are still doing all the things that must be done IF we are willing to learn to have Christ help us. This was a beginning!
Science and God
Being a social researcher led Shaunti to look to science to help fill in the blanks of how to actually find the rest (if the answer wasn’t to stop).
Being a woman of faith led her to look to God.
As she started actively looking to both of these sources for guidance she began to see some very interesting correlations between the answers they were each giving. She ultimately found that patterns in science and scripture boiled down to the same 8 elements of finding rest.
- Build only on rock
- Live according to your design
- Set aside Superwoman
- Connect with God
- Shift your perspective
- Create life-giving relationships
- Walk in obedience
- Have no fear
Shaunti had so many insightful things to say about each of these 8 elements. I hope as you listen to the interview you will be led to the elements that will best help you on your journey. As I listened to her describe them, many things jumped out to me. Some of them are things that I am really grateful for such as the special people in my life that give me #6. Some of them are things that I just know I need to learn more fully, like #4. I feel like God has been trying to teach me for years how to really take his yoke upon me. I know that I try to do too much on my own without His help. So, I will keep on trying. Keep reading. Keep learning. Just like all of you!
Just remember that we are meant, by God, to have peace and joy. We are also meant to be parents. It’s a high and holy calling, and one that is not easy. It was never intended to be easy, but with some wisdom and with God’s help it is one that can include finding rest.
Your friend in the mess,
MOM SQUAD CHALLENGE
Look for at least 1 thing every day that you can praise your child for and tell them.
To learn more about Shaunti Feldhahn visit her website www.Shaunti.com
To purchase the companion journal to Shaunti’s book, click the link below:
To purchase Shaunti’s fav fictional book, The Lord of the Rings, click the link below: