My daughter was in a bit of a frenzy getting ready for school today. Everything seemed to be going fine until a trigger sent things awry. The trigger was a hair bump while trying to put up a pony tail. You know those hair bumps that are invisible to everyone else except the girl putting up the pony tail? It was one of those. This girl of mine is beautiful, with beautiful hair, and I'm pretty sure the last thing anyone would say to her today is that her hair looked bad because of a little, "invisible" hair bump.
I can minimize this, but I know in the moment it was very important to her. What really caught my attention was her lack of inner rest. Her emotions went a little haywire and she lost peace. It turned the happy jaunt out the front door into three minutes of total panic and chaos. This chaos affected everyone else on their way out the door.
Where else does this lack of emotional and even physical rest show up?
Unfortunately, in me. What messages and habits in relation to rest am I passing on to my daughter?
When the kids were little I heard a woman speak about being in a hurry. I am so glad I heard this lesson because it made me keenly aware of how I was putting my kids in a state of stress and hurry. I wouldn't quite give myself enough time when getting ready to go somewhere, and then we would be flying out the door at the last minute. All the while I said to my little kiddos, "C'mon. C'mon. Hurry up! We're gonna be late! Let's go! C'mon. C'mon." Sound familiar? After hearing that lesson these words were on loud speaker to my soul as I said them. I could see the state of stress and unrest this caused in my kids. I was teaching them to live in stress. Some of us need no training in this—it comes naturally. However, I realized that I could control the rest or stress rate on so many things in my home and impact the spirit of my kids.
I think everyone would agree that we all need physical rest. Each of us are wired differently, requiring different amounts of sleep and down time. I also believe that many of us want to think that we need less rest than we actually do. It doesn't feel really awesome, especially as a teenager, to say to your friends, "Yeah, I go to bed at 8:30 on a school night because I need 10 hours of sleep." It's much "cooler" to live on only 6 hours of sleep and five energy drinks during the day.
We have a huge opportunity here as parents to impact and create a positive, restful environment for our kids. This goes beyond night time sleep and into overall ability to rest. I have met too many families who pride themselves in their kids being involved in year-round soccer, seasonal basketball, pick-up hockey, piano lessons, two clubs, youth group, and five honors classes all at the same time. We can literally run our kids ragged. We keep them up late and get them up early night after night after night. They end up in a permanently physically exhausted state, and it also impacts their emotional state.
I'm not saying to pull your kids out of everything or to never rush out the door. I am simply asking that you take an honest evaluation. Look at everything you do, everything your kids do, all the demands, all the requirements, all the commitments, and evaluate them against your priorities, purposes, and life goals and dreams. It's easy to get so busy that we miss out on what we really want.
How are your kids doing? Are they rested? They might not even know the answer to this, but if you take a little time to watch, listen, and notice, you just might find the answer yourself.
We all need rest. When we are emotionally and physically rested we are in a position to hear God. We have the energy to do the things God is calling us to do. Our kids are included in this if they have a relationship with God. Let's help them create the space and the necessary rest to live out their eternal purposes too.
My name is Traci, and I love sharing insights that challenge and encourage people to be the best version of themselves. Click HERE to receive updates from Be Extraordinary!