Whether you work outside the home, work from home, or are a stay-at-home mom, being a mom is a 24/7 job. It doesn’t matter if it is Sunday or a weekday: children need to be fed, diapers need to be changed, toys need to be put away, boo-boos need to be kissed, and arguments need to be refereed. The Sabbath was given to us as day of rest, but resting on the Sabbath doesn’t come easily to most moms. Finding physical rest is important, but finding spiritual rest is even more important.
Resting On The Sabbath
In Scripture, we first see the idea of a day of rest in Genesis. On the 7th day of creation after creating light, dark, sun, moon, stars, seas, dry land, fish, land animals, birds, and humans, God rested and enjoyed his creation.
Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
God, the creator of the universe, also created rest. In Exodus, God includes this day of rest in the 10 Commandments. Pausing for rest (physical but more so spiritual) was so important to Him that he wrote it into the law.
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy”
Physical Rest vs Spiritual Rest
This special period of rest on earth is a picture or foreshadowing of the heavenly rest that believers will one day have for all of eternity. While we wait to enter into this eternal rest, we find our rest in Christ Jesus who perfectly fulfills the law given in the Old Testament; the law that we cannot keep on our own. We rest in Christ’s work on the cross that allows us who believe in Him to stand before God as righteous and without blemish.
We rest in his strength. He gives us the strength to mom. Some days mom-ming is easy but some days mom-ming is really hard. We can rest in the knowledge that we don’t mom by our own power. We mom through Christ who sustains us and carries us through each day. The God who first loved us enables us to love our children both when they are easy to love and when they are acting in unlovely ways.
We rest in his sufficiency. He is enough for us. Our mom worth doesn’t rest in how well behaved our children are, how many awards they win at school, or how Pinterest perfect our playrooms and birthday parties are. Our mom worth is in who we are in Christ – beloved women made in the image of our Creator and loved deeply by our Savior simply because we are His, not because of anything we have done or ever will do.
A Day Of Rest
In my family, our Sabbath day is Sunday and I am guessing that is the same for most of your families as well. But for others of you, you may have a job that requires you to work weekends or a spouse who works weekends. Does that mean you don’t get a Sabbath? No, not at all!
I believe it is very important to regularly worship with a local church and that believers should make doing so a priority. But, sometimes we may be in a season where Sunday cannot be our day of rest. In these instances, my personal belief is that it is important to find another day to designate as your family’s day of rest.
Physically Resting On The Sabbath: Practical Tips For Moms
Physically resting on the Sabbath is hard for many moms. What are some practical ways that you can find physical rest?
- Plan ahead. Lay the kid’s clothes (yours too!) out before bed on Saturday and lay out the breakfast dishes. Getting everyone up and out the door for church on time is no easy feat but is easier when some of the work is already done. Plan easy meals for Sunday that require minimal hands on time. One of my favorite Sunday night meals is grilled cheese and tomato soup. I also love to serve left overs or bake a frozen lasagna or other frozen meal. I have found that making it a point to serve meals that require minimal prep time and minimal clean up makes a huge difference in how rested I feel.
- Minimize chores. Sure, dishes need to be washed, fresh crumbs swept, and some types of kid laundry just can’t wait, but try to give yourself a break from your other household tasks. If your children are old enough, have a family work party on Friday or Saturday to wrap up the lose ends so that you can all enjoy a day of rest on Sunday.
- Do something you enjoy. How this looks will depend on your personality, what you enjoy, and the ages of your children. Perhaps watch a movie as a family and discuss it afterwards. Take a family trip to the park for fresh air or spend an hour or two in the back yard. Declare an hour to be “reading hour” or “crafting hour” or “napping hour”. Whatever it is, spend time enjoying each other as a family.
- Embrace the mess. Wash the breakfast dishes but resist the urge to scrub every inch of your counter. Make sure the toys aren’t tripping hazards, but don’t go crazy picking them up. The dust on the picture frame? It didn’t appear overnight and it can wait one more day to be wiped away. The pile of laundry? As long as everyone has clean underwear it can wait one more day to be washed.
- Have realistic expectations. A sure way to feel stressed instead of rested is to expect everything to go smoothly. Expect the unexpected. The baby may have a poop-splosion in the middle of church. The preschooler may take a tumble off his trike and need a trip to the ER for stitches. Your kiddos may do more bickering than loving. Despite all of this, when you remember that your ultimate rest is found in Christ you will still be able to find rest for your soul in the midst of chaos.
- Refresh your soul. Our relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship we’ll ever have. Even as busy moms, it is crucial we make time to nurture this relationship. If we have time for social media or Netflix, we have plenty of time for Jesus. It may be a few minutes here and a few minutes there, or it may be a solid chunk of time; our time with Jesus will look different in different stages of life. The important thing is that we are regularly refreshing our souls and spending time with the God of the universe. Without spiritual refreshment, we won’t be fully refreshed by physical rest.
True Rest Is Found In Christ
As a mom, the amount of physical rest we receive will vary from day to day and season to season. But no matter what our current stage of life is or how needy our little ones are, we can still find deep, refreshing, nourishing spiritual rest in Christ. He calls us to run to him as our true source of rest; a rest far more soul satisfying than any day off from dishes or diapers will ever be.
What are some ways that you find rest as a mom, both on the physically on the Sabbath and in general for your soul? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!
*Affiliate links. Click here to see my complete affiliate disclaimer. I’ll always suggest books, podcasts etc that I myself have either used and enjoyed or from authors that I am very familiar with*
Gloria Furman, in her wonderful book Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, speaks to busy moms who are struggling with the repetitive, mundane nature of so much of motherhood. While weaving Scripture throughout, she encourages moms to remember the gospel and turn their eyes to Christ and find their rest and treasure in Him.
Music is one of my favorite ways to refresh my soul, and Keith and Kristyn Getty are one of my go-to’s! Their newest album Facing a Task Unfinished lives in my car and is currently my most played CD (yes, my car is old school and only plays CD’s and cassette tapes, but that would be too old school for me!) but for you less old school people, you can download it 🙂 . Meant to be sung along with, their songs are theologically rich and full of truth.
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