This doesn’t mean do nothing at all. Rest can and should be planned.
Rest often means a different kind of work than you usually do.
Rest doesn’t necessarily mean vegging or bingeing on Netflix (it can be, but not always). This rest means doing something that pour back into you and your family. This is the kind of rest that you plan and always remember. It’s another group of coins in your memory bank.
- In order for your kiddos to watch a Christmas movie, you make the popcorn and the hot chocolate. You snuggle on on the couch with your kiddos. Take the time to listen to their commentary and questions during the movie.
- Visiting a tree farm and chopping down a live tree.
- Decorating a tree.
- Reading Christmas books aloud.
- Singing Christmas carols.
- Having a coffee date with a friend who is a kindred spirit.
- Go to a Christmas market and look at the lights.
- Listen to an audio book while you clean, bake or sit by the fire (Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is one I listen to every year.)
2. Go Deeper in your understanding of Christmas. Get an Advent Devotional for yourself as well as your children.
I’m never going to get to the place on this earth where I have arrived spiritually. I’m always learning. Going deeper. Having new revelations. Our children learn by repetition, layer by layer we add truths from the scripture as we read through the Advent Devotional. It’s the same for us adults. We need to add layer by layer of Christmas truth to our understanding. Each year we pray that God gives us a new “book of revelations”. God can’t do that if we aren’t willing to take the time to read and study. There are plenty of Advent Devotionals out there. Find one that fits your life for now. If you have small children, try one that you can read in the few minutes you have after everyone is asleep. If you have more time because you have teens or are an empty nester, find a longer version to invest in!
I’m trying Jennifer Hand’s book:
3. Pray Through.
Mark Batterson speaks of this in his book Circle Maker – here’s my paraphrase:
We don’t usually remember the days we did nothing, but we remember the days we had everything to do and God pulled us through.
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [a]ease and relieve and [b]refresh [c]your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ([d]relief and ease and refreshment and [e]recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, [f]good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.