Uncluttered Rest!

Uncluttered Rest –

The dictionary meaning of the word rest is: an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity. It is a time to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

You may have seen the circus jugglers that attempt to keep as many plates spinning on the end of sticks as possible. They run from one to the other keeping all the plates moving until it is impossible and the plates one-by-one begin to drop, shattering on the floor. I remember being that clown with shattered dishes surrounding me and not a clue how to change my circumstances.

We all love music. It can move us to tears, to fight, to think, to move and inspire. But equally important to the movement of a melody are the resting notes. They highlight and emphasize the refrain and allow us to focus on the message of the singer or composer. Rest is as valuable for our lives as the busy portions. Perhaps even more so. When we minimize rest, we exhaust our resources and have nothing to give to those who could benefit most from our gifts and energies.

Sleep. We all need it. Can you imagine being on the boat with the disciples when the major storm kicks in so strong it threatened to sink the boat? And Jesus is sleeping! If He took the time to rest, don’t you think we ought to?

Are you sleeping? Take an inventory of your bedroom. Is the bed comfortable? Do the sheets feel comfortable on your skin? Is the room cool? Is it dark and quiet in the room? Maybe you need a sound machine with calming rain sounds or noises that relax you. Science tells us to avoid electronics two hours before bedtime to allow our brains to shift into a tranquil state. And we’re told to stop eating three hours before bedtime to allow our digestion to prepare for restoring rest.

If sleep eludes you and it’s physical, here are a couple of tips I’ve learned:

*No caffeine (I didn’t say cut down, I said cut it out completely) I learned this one the hard way and struggle daily to stay away from coffee, Diet Coke and any chocolate but when I am successful, I’ve noted that I fall asleep sooner.  

*Avoid sugar and simple carbs. That mid-day candy bar, that evening dessert, glass of wine or bowl of ice cream can alter wind down. All of these are fuel for the body, but not the best fuel. Our bodies are so much more efficient than we give it credit for. Simple carbs and sugar signal to our engines, “Let’s go.” And then when we don’t ‘go’ they become destructive to digestion, brain functions and yes—Rest.

*Socks. It might sound crazy but soft, warm socks can be the answer to falling asleep and staying asleep.

*Put the pets in another room. I almost left this one out. I love my dog and she has separation anxiety but letting her sleep in the other room avoids me being woken up in the middle of the night with paw licking, snoring or ear shaking. Train them early on that they are to sleep in the living room and watch for intruders.

*Get a sleep number bed. It records your restless and restful sleep. Information is king when it comes to the body and I watched the numbers of how long it took me to fall asleep, how long I slept and how many times I got out of bed. On a scale of 1-100, I first started at 63. Cutting off my water drinking at 7 pm with an 11:00 bedtime, stopped the middle of the night bathroom trips. If I had worked out during the day, my score improved, my resting heart rate lowered, and my restlessness lessened. I also saw how inconsistent I was at climbing into bed and climbing out of bed. Once I set a consistent bedtime and wake time, my numbers increased into the 90’s—and I feel the difference. This bed serves the competitive nature in me, (I want a perfect score) and I’ve come out the winner.   

Once you’ve inventoried your bedroom and the bedtime routine and you still can’t sleep, there is more uncluttering to do. Ask yourself the hard questions. What’s keeping you awake? What are you actually thinking about when you should be drifting off to sleep? If you can identify them, then you can begin to create a strategy that allows you to rest mentally and spiritually.

*Natural Products. Perhaps try a pillow that helps you sleep comfortably, or cooler. Try some of the natural products that help you doze better. I use a blend of herbs that helps me stay in REM sleep (the restful sleep) called Rest. Be aware of your circadian rhythm and don’t fight it. Use it to your advantage!

Biblical Rest:

How will we know what God is doing in our lives for us if we never slow down enough to hear from Him? We’ve all seen the person who talks so much they can’t listen. They’re so busy thinking about what they’re going to say that they can’t hear what’s being said. I wonder what they’re afraid to hear if they stop? Let’s not be that way. Let’s be willing to hear what we need to either unclutter, stop, or drop and look for the new direction God brings to the women warriors He created us to be. We don’t want to miss out on the abundance He’s offering or the polishing of our gifts we are called to serve with (Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another.) But that kind of listening comes only with rest and taking time to be still. A weary warrior won’t recognize strategies if all she’s doing is keeping her head above water.

Unclutter your worries

  1. Sleep (do whatever healthy you need to get a good night’s sleep)
  2. Rest (take mini breaks during the day—every day.)
  3. Rest in the Lord. Pray, sing, praise, read the direction book.
  4. Play. We need it. Set an example of joy.
  5. Be Aware. We are witnesses to others, be a good one. Sour pusses don’t win opportunities to share how great God is.

Decision making

Perhaps you have decisions to make, and they seem to be looming the largest when your head hits the pillow. So how do you make a good decision? Or get off the teeter-totter of should I or shouldn’t I? There are people who agonize over decisions and take more time to decide than it takes to move on it. Get over the fact that you won’t make wrong decisions. You will. Realize that wrong decisions when revealed as such are just one more piece of information that helps you form the next decision. Wrong decisions can be the best teachers for future choices. Don’t run from them, don’t fret over them. Adjust.

Here’s a few ways to know how to make a good decision:

  1. Read your bible, stay in prayer.
  2. Make a Pros and cons list. Place the decision at the top of the page, on one side write down all the benefits of the decision, on the other write the negatives.
  3. Pros/Pros between two choices. Draw a line down the middle of the page, at the top write the two decisions. Underneath list all the pros under each one. Get really real about the benefits. Perhaps the one with the most pros should be your next move.
  4. Talk to people you respect—ones who don’t have a dog in the fight except to see you be successful or have gone through what you are going through. Ask them what they think. Don’t Talk—listen. They may just have something to say that you haven’t thought about, or they may echo truth you’ve been hearing in your thoughts.
  5. Anchor your reasons in scripture. God is NOT the god of chaos and will not contradict His own advice. Need to know His advice? That’s why I say read your Bible! Because the scriptures are living, the Holy Spirit can speak to you regarding the decision by bringing to focus a single verse that you may have read 100 times but this time it is applicable.
  6. Be Patient! God’s timing is always best. He rarely moves on our agenda, and it can be frustrating but learn to rest in His timing. Since He can see all of us, how He wants to bless us and the past/present/future of our lives—trust Him over yourself.

Uncluttered Badass rest takes commitment and training. Soul rest is as valuable to warriors as training is to professional athletes. Internal rest is tough to embrace if we don’t untangle the external rest and the reverse is also true. Want your life to be restful? Sleep. Want your sleep to be restful? Unclutter your life. It’s a process. Lean into the steps. Move like a rabbit or the turtle in the race but take the first step and then the next and then…