Accepting a job offer and finding out I was pregnant all within 3 days was not something I was planning on, but praise God for his perfect timing. Working full-time and being pregnant at the same time was new to me since I was blessed to be able to stay home throughout my pregnancy with Rylie, but God was gracious and gave me an easy 1st trimester. But when I got incredibly painful cramping / Braxton Hicks twice within two weeks (the most painful one when I was only 18 weeks pregnant – way too early to be experiencing anything like that), my doctor told me I needed to slow down and rest more. Determined to not go through a scare like that again, I gladly obliged. Not only did I make adjustments at work, but it also caused Aaron and I to reevaluate our schedules (which at the time had something on it every. single. day.) and we decided that Saturday was going to be our “family day” where we spent uninterrupted time together. We also like to call these our “special days.” Even if we went to the McWane Center or thrifting, any time spent together fills our “gas tank” and we feel rested.
But now that I’m at the end of my pregnancy, any physical activity does not bring my heart rest like it normally can, so we’ve adapted by trying to stay home and hang out in the living room or go to a park and Aaron walks around with Rylie while I sit and watch – both have proven to be fulfilling and special in their own way. I think in different seasons you need different kinds of rest. For example, when I was a stay at home mom and Rylie was 4 months old, I shared on the blog that the way I found rest was to make it a priority to sit down, breathe, and spend a moment with the Lord when Rylie took her morning nap. But every life season will bring you different needs when it comes to rest – whether that’s an evening of “you time” or a full day with your family – you can shape and mold what your rest time looks like as you transition from season to season.
Having a “family day” is a practice we’re dedicated to and we love it! It brings us so much rest – not only to our bodies, but to our souls as well.
I have days though where “physical rest” just isn’t enough, and with the anticipation of a new addition, it’s easy for my heart to get tired. A verse that I have clung to for a majority of this pregnancy is Psalm 131:2 (MSG) – “I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content.”
I remember when Rylie was really little and all she wanted was to be held close. Even today, if she is upset or exhausted, a hug or quick cuddle brings her so much comfort. I love this picture the Lord gives us! Of course being a mom just makes this all the more “oh my gosh!” to me because I totally understand the analogy, but just like a baby who finds safety, security and comfort in their mother’s arms, we will find the same when we go to our Savior. It’s so easy for this world to make us feel like we have to constantly be busy – like it makes us more valuable to be so highly demanded of. But there’s something to be said about quality over quantity. I have found so much more fulfillment and ease having a day committed to resting and recharging then I ever did just a couple years ago when I was constantly doing a dozen different things.
Another verse that always stands out to me is Genesis 2:2, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” God – the creator of the universe and who has unlimited energy – rested. What makes me think I can go-go-go (especially when I’m growing a tiny human) and never rest?
So let me leave you with this encouragement – rest! Make it a priority! Schedule it <– that’s what I had to do to start until it became a habit. Be willing to let it change with the season of life that you’re in. And know that when you do make it a priority, you will be a better wife/husband, mom/dad, employee, person, etc. It can be difficult to find the time at first, but once you make it significant and a “norm,” you’ll be so glad you did! I promise.