Rest and The Toughest Job in the World

Have you seen that fake interview video that's been floating around Facebook? A greeting card company posted a job (Director of Operations) that had ridiculous requirements, and a few (crazy but sweet-looking) people applied. Then they recorded the actual interview, where the applicants were told the job required things like standing all of the time, no breaks, extra work on holidays, and that kind of thing. I don't want to ruin it for you, so if you haven't seen it and you want to, click here, and then come back.

I'll wait.

Seriously, I don't mind.

Anyway, I knew the gist when I clicked on it, and I was kind of annoyed, because while motherhood is seriously hard, it's also ridiculously awesome. And I want to be careful about complaining about the perils of the best thing I've ever done. The greatest privilege I've ever had.

Curiosity got the best of me, and I clicked, reluctantly, and watched the video. And in the end, I shared it on my Facebook page because it was kind of sweet. Even though I can't honestly believe those people applied for that job.

In the video, the interviewer speaks in great hyperbole, describing a horrific lifestyle that is totally absent of any type of rest and then, surprise! "Director of Operations" is actually a mom. Again, I find that a little annoying, but the truth is, the type of rest we're allowed as moms can be very different than what we were used to before kids. When my first daughter was about ten months old, I went through a period where I was constantly frustrated with the fact that I was always on the clock. Yes, I was incredibly lucky to be a stay-at-home-mom, but my "job" never ended, and there was an adjustment period. It's a champagne problem, for sure, but it was something I had to work through.

As moms, whether working or stay-at-home, or some combination of the two, we are always on call, in one way or another. And because of that, we have to take rest seriously. And I'm not talking about sleep. Sleep and rest are different. You can have kids that are great sleepers and be a terrible rester, and you can have horrible sleepers and have resting down to an art. Because rest is not the same as sleep.

Rest takes work. Isn't that annoying? I've tried to figure out how to rest well in the last year. As a pastor's wife, Sundays naturally aren't restful. They aren't a Sabbath for me. It's the hardest, loneliest day of the week. But I decided to try to create some sort of rest space for myself by ignoring the dishes on Sundays. Instead of unloading and loading the dishwasher, like I did every other day, I just left them. The dishes piled up, the pile drove me a little nuts, but I chose to ignore it. To rest from it. And that tiny bit of rest space I created was really good for me. Sure, it meant that I had more dishes to do on Monday, but you know how much time that took? Like, five extra minutes. No big deal. It was actually one of the most Sabbath-esque things I've ever done. And it took work. I had to decide to do it, stick to it, and then recover after. I had to trust that rest was good for me.

And that's perfectly okay.

Practicing rest by ignoring my dishes helped refresh my overall view of rest. These days I actually DO the dishes on Sunday, but I rest in different ways. And if I don't create space for rest on Sunday, I try to get it on Monday, when my husband is off and our family takes our main Sabbath day.

God rested, and told us to do the same. Rest was made for us, given to us by the God who knows what's best for us. Like the commercial shows, the mom-job is an endless one, but that doesn't negate our need for rest. Or our ability to create rest space in our lives.

So grab a bowl of chocolate chips and almonds and take a load off. Leave it, trust, and rest. And pass some to me. (I'll wash the bowl on Monday.)

Are you doing this for yourself and your family? What are some simple steps you can take to make sure you're being obedient by resting? Are you a napper? A TV watcher? A crafter? A writer? An underwater basket-weaver? Whatever it is, don't be dismayed when rest takes work. Create space for it anyway.

Find Kristi here, here, or here. See her singing a made-up Jonah song with her daughters here.

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