Nurturing My Nest Blog

Routines and Rhythms of Homemaking
Intentional Homebuilding & Custom Built Education
 Based in Tennessee. Available for travel.

Ready For Rest

(This piece was written in June 2015 and updated in June 2023. It can be found with other ideas for intentional living in my first book, Nurturing My Nest: Intentional Homebuilding and Custom Built Education.

Ready for Replenishing Rest

As I am writing this blog, we are relishing the month of June. This blog emphasizes “intentionality”. While I am “intentional” about work, I am equally “intentional” about rest. I really have to work hard at playing because I am an overly responsible person who struggles to feel like the work is done. Some may find this humorous. However, just as work is more productive when planned, play is often more fun when planned. Sometimes we plan to do nothing. When all of my children were young and at home, we would frequently plan a day to play or practice a sabbatical. On days when the weather was perfect, we planned to be ENOing!!

Work is NEVER Done.

Quiet time is a must. The older I am, the more I feel my work is never done. Strangely, as my children grow older, the more work there seems to accomplish. So in order to function at my optimal level, I must plan for revitalization.  You know yourself. What refreshes you? Plan for daily weekly and periodical recharging. The perfect cup of coffee in the morning is part of my routine. If I wake up too early in the morning, I spend time quietly talking to God about my day ahead, concerns, and fears. Often in the early, dark morning hours God and I just talk things through. Often clarity comes while I listen. I pray that I will know his intention for my day. To listen, I have to be still.

Tyranny of the Urgent

Often I am overwhelmed by the amount of seemingly urgent things to do in a given day. Clearly, this type of schedule would not be God’s plan for my day. I ask for wisdom. My husband is a great sounding board for making decisions. Sometimes the number of open tabs on my computer indicates the busyness of my mind. Keeping a thought toward the big picture often clarifies my decisions. Keep your values at the front of your mind. Bounce your thoughts off your husband, your mom, your dad, a trusted friend or a counselor.

Spiritual Time

Resting might mean spending a few hours with your music. I play the guitar and piano. It is very restful and spiritually refreshing to spend time with my music. Private worship is key to worshiping when come together corporately. It is wonderful to spend longer hours with music, reading through a book of the Bible in one setting, digging into a theology book, creating a verse card file or just siting in a beautiful place in God’s creation. Worship in one of God’s places of beauty is extremely refreshing. Taking a long walk outside is potentially the most worshipful thing you or I could do.

Intentional Rest

Quiet rest for the body requires “intentionality”. While I only need about seven hours of sleep, I do aim for eight hours. Going to bed at a reasonable time is a necessity. Lack of sleep ages my body, makes for a grouchy mom and wife. Fatigue prevents me from functioning  at my optimal level.

Preparing for Re-entry

My children competed in speech and debate tournaments. During these competitions it was impossible to sleep more than about six hours a night. Each tournament consumed about a week by the time we prepared, packed, traveled, competed, packed again and drove home. When we returned home from these trips, I planned for a day to unpack, rest, and recuperate. Usually before any trip we cleaned the house. Returning to a clean house eliminates much of the pressure of re-entry. Re-entering the schedule at home with fatigue and feeling behind creates unneeded stress.

Sabotaged Sleep

Many books have been written on sleep and fatigue. The hardest thing for me is to go to bed on time. The night hours are quiet and appealing. When I am not interrupted, I work at high speed. Leisurely activities in those silent hours are bliss. So the temptation to stay up very late is always with me. My bedtime is really between 11 and 12.  In order to read before bed, I head to my room about 10 o’clock.  If I don’t keep with this plan either my reading or bedtime is sabotaged. When this is the case I forgive myself and try again the next night with more resolve.

Be GOOD to Yourself

Be good to yourself. A dear friend spoke this to me when my children were very young. I often repeat this goal to myself now. It reminds me to keep my life in balance. In keeping with this goal, I plan for an afternoon out as we finish the school year. At the end of every school year I treat myself to a one hour massage. This is so relaxing.

My mother has a youthfulness about her. She emphasizes skin care and drinking lots of water.  Moisture on my skin is a must. At all ages, women need to nourish their skin. This section could include another book.  Eating vegetables, fresh foods, and whole foods contributes to lasting health.  While I don’t fall into the group of moms who overemphasize their needs over their children’s or husband’s needs, I do believe that caring for yourself allows you to care more properly for your children. It is really about balance. Neglecting to prioritize your health will always end badly. Don’t neglect to teach your children this important rhythm of rest and sabbaticals. The on-going effort of balance results in rewards.

So, what are some of my relaxing activities?

  • Reading a book for pleasure…not school preparation.

  • Swinging in my ENO

  • Date with my husband 

  • Time for more spiritual development

  • Outing with one of the children

  • Decorating my home

  • Taking a long bath.

  • An hour massage at a spa.

  • Lunch or coffee with a friend.

  • Yoga

  • Playing my piano or guitar

  • Trying a new recipe with fresh, in-season foods

What are some of your restful activities?

Think about this.

Make a list.

Do more of what creates rest.


Teaching your children to work diligently but then plan to replenish themselves is invaluable. Do they work hard and play hard? Do they work hard without resting or eating properly? Or do they play too much? Balance is such a tricky thing. Balance must be the goal every time we assess our commitments and schedules. If my own life is out of sync, how can I set an example for my children. What a sobering thought. Revisit your overall schedule at least three times a year.

Question whether you are in balance physically, mentally and spiritually. I often start with the question of physical health when I am reassessing. Am I rested? Am I needing a mental reprieve? Do I need spiritual refreshing?

More on this balance in Hum of the Home: Routines and Rhythms of Homemaking.

Summer – Ready for REST!

Heading into the summer usually means a change of routine. If you are in school, single, married, parenting or enjoying an empty nest, summer is an excuse to reorganize and lean into some rest. As you complete the early part of the year, consider creating time for the activities you enjoy most. If you are a parent, ask your children to do the same. When I began to ask what they would enjoy doing over the summer, they never struggle to give me ideas. I actually write them down. Once gathering suggestions, I make plans to have friends over, go on day trips, and other learning activities.

Planning sets us up to be ready to REST!!!

Join me for a conversation on this topic @ Embrace Your Everyday podcast.

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