Yesterday my wife, teary-eyed, wanted to talk. She let me know how tired she was and that she felt bad for even wanting to have alone time. She even said that when she gets alone time, she guiltily thinks about what she is missing with me and our two boys. We have a 9 month old and a 5 year old that love being wild and rough with daddy (but not as much as I love it).
As we talked further I reminded her that we all want the rested version of mommy. This tired, “on E” version is snappy, short, and stressful. The rested version is patient, kind, and spends good quality time with everyone. What she really needs is more sleep, but our 9 month old baby is relentless through the night right now and it doesn’t make sense for her to take a nap after I get off work at 5 in the evening. So rest and recharging will have to do.
Rest is biblical. The Sabbath, the disciples resting with Jesus, and so on, we hear about rest all throughout the Bible. Maybe resting for you is more sleep and you should take advantage of that when you have the time. Maybe resting for you is just some time to yourself. Don’t feel guilty for taking it if you are using it with the right intention and in the right balance. If you never help around the house or are avoiding people in your family because there are problems between you, then that is a problem. Avoiding things is not the same thing as rest. You won’t be able to truly rest if you don’t properly handle what you need to handle. What makes rest feel good is when you are not intentionally being lazy or forgoing any duty. It’s one thing to decide you will do the dishes after you rest, but a completely different thing to have not spent a minute with your family or help when it is needed but still take a rest.
Do you have any trouble resting? Maybe it goes back to thinking you have to earn your grace. Maybe that’s why you can’t let yourself sit down until the entire house is clean and everything for tomorrow is finished. But we live under grace now, and rest is necessary to be graceful to others and ourselves.