"She believed she could, but she was tired. (So she rested. And you know what? The world went on and it was okay. She knew she could try again tomorrow."
Christmas is almost here!!! The countdown is on! There’s so much to do! So many presents to be bought, so many gifts to be wrapped, so many desserts to be made! All while keeping that jolly and bright spirit going and singing Christmas carols at night!
As crazy exciting as all that sounds, I’m exhausted after just writing that paragraph.
Christmas is the best time of year, but it’s also the busiest.
On one spectrum, you could be a mom who is excited to celebrate Christmas with her family and brand new little one who has never experienced the joy of Christmas time, or you could be a student who has been trying to prepare for Christmas a little at a time as you try to study for finals.
Either way, Christmas is busy. That’s what’s marketed to us, that’s what’s expected of us, and that’s how we experience Christmas.
But sometimes, this is just flat out exhausting. The stockings are hung, the presents are wrapped, and the candles are lit, but all we can do is think about taking a nap. Instead of enjoying our time sitting by the fire with friends and family, we are so exhausted from the Christmas season that we are counting down till the chaos is over. This isn’t the Christmas spirit.
The quote at the beginning of this post spoke what my heart has been learning about in words far more beautiful than I could come up with. I’m not sure who said it, but I want to thank them for such amazing words.
To the mom who wants this Christmas to be perfect, find rest. To the college student that wants to be in the Christmas student but needs to make it through finals, find rest. To the grandmother who wants to host the best Christmas party ever, find rest.
Let me fill you in on a little secret. Our society frowns upon rest. They equate rest with in-productivity. But that’s not the way that I see it.
If you flip through your Bible, you will see many places where God or Jesus rests. The most famous time of rest is probably in Genesis when God created heaven and earth and then rested. A lot of times this is referenced to Sunday being the day of rest, but in my book, any day of rest is just as good as Sunday.
A lot of times we don’t feel like we need rest. But if the Creator of the entire universe needed a day of rest, what makes us think that we don’t need a day of rest?
Rest is essential to our lives. Rest is essential to our daily rhythms. We are called to rest. It’s a discipline that can be hard to learn in our fast paced lifestyles. But nevertheless, it is a commandment.
Really? Yup. One of the ten commandments is that we are to “Keep the Sabbath day holy”. Over the last year, I’ve done a lot of research as to what the Sabbath is and why we should keep it holy. I mean, it is one of the ten commandments.
There’s a lot of back and forth on this in the Christian culture, so feel free to do your own research, but through my research, I have found what my convictions are as to this commandment.
Technically, back in the day, the Sabbath was a Saturday (and not a Sunday as I always believed). It was the day of rest when literally everything stopped. Everyone rested on this day. This meant that food was prepared the day before, travel was completed the day before, etc. Anything that required “work” was done before this day.
And then… they rested.
Just like God did when He created the world.
There’s a lot more that goes along with this, but when I read about the Sabbath, I knew in my heart that that’s been what my hearts been missing.
Some Christians state that this commandment basically “expired” with the Old Testament, and like I said, you can make your own conclusions, but the fact that my heart felt such a pull to this commandment, I knew that this was something I needed to start taking part in.
I dove into more and more research about the Sabbath and decided on what the Sabbath looked like for Mariah in 2018. It looked different for each person that I heard teach on the subject, and I knew it would look different for me as well.
At first, I was hesitant to start this practice as a single, 21 year old, still living with her parents, but just when I was thinking this, a podcast I was listening to on the subject said, “don’t wait to start this just because you aren’t married and don’t have kids. Start this before then and let it become part of the culture of your life”. WOW. GOT IT.
So I picked one day a week to rest. Sometimes it was half a day, others, it was a full day, and others it was a couple hours. And I rested.
Rest looked a little different for me than it may look for you, but nonetheless, it was rest.
If you’re looking for permission, here it is: IT’S OKAY TO REST.
Put down the wrapping paper, watch a movie on the couch, spend some time talking to God, and REST.
I promise that Christmas will go on. You might just find yourself enjoying it a little bit more.