Posts Tagged ‘rest’

Have a Restful, Refreshing Year

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020


How would you like to have the most restful, refreshing year you’ve ever had? You can make changes to your life that will result in less stress and more satisfaction with the life you have.

Unless God has specifically led you to do something, don’t do it, especially if it is stressful or draining. Make up your own list of things that refresh you. Doing more of what you love will cause endorphins to be released, which will help you have a sense of well-being so you can thrive rather than just survive.

Pay attention to activities that give you energy. Make your own list. Here’s mine:

Things that Relax & Refresh Me

  1. Nature (ocean, lake, river, mountain, beautiful garden with flowers, waterfall, sunset, star gazing, cloud watching)
  2. Art (painting, coloring doodle books, watercolor, mixed media)
  3. Talking to friends (phoning/visiting family and close friends, talking about things that matter)
  4. Reading refreshing books (non-fiction self-help in fun areas like gardening, Christian books that uplift rather than drag down)
  5. Going to yard sales and resale shops (clothing that fits and is feminine, fun activities/homeschool stuff, gifts to give the people I love, how God has provided for me all these years)
  6. Brainstorming fun blog posts & YouTube videos
  7. Writing poetry
  8. Planning something (the homeschool year, date nights/weekends away, the garden/backyard, one of my kid’s themed birthday parties)
  9. Organizing things (seeing orderly rooms, drawers, shelves is satisfying)
  10. Watching YouTube videos (building my learning in different areas)
  11. Going on field trips with my family (adventures, family bonding time, hands-on learning)
  12. A fire in the fireplace (s’mores in the fire pit outside, candles lit in the living room or dining room)
  13. A hot bath (Epsom salt, bubble bath)
  14. Writing from my heart (do more 10-minute writing prompts for the sheer joy of writing)

More Ideas for Making Your Life Less Stressful

Fatigue, studies suggest, often has its source in emotional rather than muscular or cardiovascular exhaustion…” – Richard A Swenson, author of Margin. Find out how to create margin (space) in your life so that you are not always tired:

Make sure you get enough quality sleep:

Find a form of exercise that you enjoy (mine is Zumba), and do it several times a week. You will feel way better and think with a crisper mind and not feel bogged down. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Have more fun with your spouse:

If spending time with friends energizes you, work that into your week. But if being around people all the time drains you, reduce the amount of time spent with people. You can still invest in the lives of others by writing encouraging notes to the people you love instead. Most people I know keep every encouraging note they’ve ever received, and often you minister more to people with something tangible.

Don’t feel bad if you have to drastically reduce the amount of time you spend with groups of people that drain you rather than refresh you. Ask God how you can thrive given the limits of your personality.

I’ve been reading a book called Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith, and one of the chapters talked about ways to bring about more happiness in our lives:

  1. Break the cycle of negative thinking.
  2. Compare ourselves with those less fortunate.
  3. Take pleasure in the moment.
  4. Focus beyond self.
  5. Exercise, sleep, and silence create a sound body.
  6. Give priority to close relationships.
  7. Take care of the soul.

Have a More Restful Homeschool (+ Giveaway!)

Many of you who homeschool feel pressured to do more and more activities. One of the homeschool blogger friends I met at the 2:1 Conference this year (Aimee Smith) wrote a book called The Restful Homeschool Resolution. I’m giving away a copy of her book.


Here is a blurb from the back of the book: With personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, The Restful Homeschool Resolution helps you discover deep soul rest as you learn to trust God’s perfect plan for your family’s homeschool. Your resolution to seek Jesus first will transform your homeschool as your own heart grows more restful.

Along with this new book, I will also throw in two gently used books to go along with this restful theme: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives and The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life.

Finally, to start the new year, I am giving away two refreshing audios to everyone who signs up for my monthly newsletter below: “Overcoming Burnout” and “Relieving Stress & Tension.”

Overcoming Burnout: Do you wonder why you never have any energy? Do you feel guilty for not being able to give more to your husband and children because of tiredness? Leave the guilt behind while listening to this refreshing one-hour audio, which gives three examples from Scripture of people who were exhausted, why they were exhausted, and how they overcame their exhaustion. I also give practical ideas from my own life, to help you avoid burnout in the future.

Relieving Stress and Tension: This one-hour audio workshop will show you:

  1. How to get immediate relief from tension by pressing trigger points, minimizing noise, and other simple tactics.
  2. How to get long-term relief from tension by trusting God, nurturing your marriage, and connecting with your children. Practical ideas to accomplish these. This section includes a short talk about intimacy.
  3. How to build rest into your day, your week, and even your year, so that you don’t feel constantly depleted.

If you would like the gift of these two audios at no cost to you, sign up for our refreshing newsletter below!

Top 10 Reasons to Rest

Monday, October 15th, 2012

reasons-to-restToday I will be sharing the top 10 reasons to rest. In our modern society, rest has fallen by the wayside as productivity seems to be all-important. But if we don’t take the time to rest, our bodies will suffer in many ways. In order to avoid these negative effects, we must remind ourselves daily to actually rest!

Top 10 Reasons to Rest:

  1. Rest makes you more productive. If you feel refreshed, you can get more accomplished than if you are tired.
  2. You get sick more easily if you don’t rest.
  3. Rest helps you to think rationally.
  4. You eventually get burnout if you don’t rest, and it takes longer to recuperate from burnout.
  5. Rest helps you to deal with your emotions in relationships.
  6. You have better conversations when you are rested.
  7. Rest helps you to not be as stressed.
  8. Rest helps you feel more optimistic about life.
  9. God invites us to rest (Matthew 11:28), gives us an example of rest in the week of creation, and includes Sabbath rest in the Ten Commandments.
  10. Rest gives you an opportunity to reconnect to God.

Creating Margin in Your Life: Part 1

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012


How can we hear God with no margin in our lives? If we are so busy that we are hurrying from one activity to the next, multi-tasking all the while, where is the down time where we mull over what God is teaching us? The busy junk that takes up our time crowds out the most important priorities, which are down time with God, down time with our spouses, and down time with our kids, when we can talk about things that matter and do things that energize us.

This summer I read a book I had been meaning to read for years–Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson, M.D. The medical doctor who wrote the book took a year “off” to go to Africa, where he performed over 500 surgeries. For some strange reason, he felt rested and like he was on vacation. That’s because people in rural places in third world countries have something that we lack: margin. They sit beside the street and watch the sunset and talk to a neighbor in an unhurried way. There is no stress. Sure, people don’t have enough to eat, but at least they have deep relationships with other people and have lots of leisure time.

When the author of the book returned to the United States, he once again re-entered the hurried, stress-filled world of high pressure. He decided to cut back to part time as a doctor so that he could actually live a real life instead of working continuously until he plopped into bed every night. He and his wife decided to live on a smaller income on purpose so that they could breathe.

Every so often we must ask ourselves what is crowding our lives. Being without a plan is one reason that people never get around to doing what they really intend to do. Without a plan, the day fills itself up automatically, and often nothing of value is accomplished. What else squanders time?

  • Constantly checking e-mail or Facebook.
  • Not dealing with conflicts between children at the beginning. Letting the conflict escalate and not dealing with heart issues. (You can do this right by throwing yourself upon God, asking for wisdom, and taking whatever time it takes to do it right, releasing the other items on your agenda as not as important. God will always come through and give you help if you throw yourself upon Him for real, wanting His wisdom and not your own. James 1:5)
  • Not deciding ahead of time what you will do first, to make sure it gets done in your day.
  • Kids’ activities, maybe too many. Ask God before signing the kids up for sports, instruments, or other lessons. Only God knows if the child needs it, or if relaxing down time is of higher value.
  • Doing our chores in a haphazard manner so that they take up our whole day instead of just running in the background on auto-pilot because of good habits that have been established.
  • Spending time on the phone during the day that is not related to a home business or an emergency. If you call back anybody near the end of the day when you are fatigued rather than during your productive time, the phone call will energize you instead of stealing the time you should have spent with the Lord or doing what you know you ought to be doing.

These are just a few things I thought of off the top of my head that might flush our time down the toilet. We are accountable before God for the time He has given us. Why is it so crowded? Let’s start by crossing off everything that doesn’t matter and begin again with more space on our calendar.

(Stay tuned for Part 2, where I discuss the equation: Power minus load equals margin…)

A Day at the Lake

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012


Yesterday we spent a day at the lake. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and the kids played in the warm sand and splashed around in the water. Alan took a half day off work, and we just sat on the beach. It was nice to just sit and do nothing.


The kids made sculptures using the sand, sticks, and seaweed. They dug for water, and then they decided to bury their little brother, who actually wanted to be buried in the sand. He giggled as the sand was built up around him.


Another one of my sons enjoyed playing with the mud that was made by the wet sand. I wonder if beach sand could work as a mud treatment? If so, I should have had my kids dump mud on me, since I already felt relaxed, as if I were at a spa. Instead, I mostly just watched my kids play, or I lay down on a towel to rest while listening to the sounds of the water lapping on the shore. It was certainly a relaxing day at the lake…