We’ve been talking about embracing self-care this month. This is the final post in this series, and it’s one that is very near and dear to my heart because it has taken me years to understand.
I require a lot of sleep to function.
I know many women who can function on a mere four or five hours of sleep. My mom is one of those women, and growing up, we had a really hard time understanding one another.
I do best if I can go to bed around 9pm and get up by 5:30am. If I get behind on sleep, it takes me several days of sleeping for ten to twelve hours to feel normal again.
Additionally, I am 90% introverted who is easily over stimulated.
For many years, I battled guilt when I had to turn in early, or stay in bed a little longer. I felt like something was wrong with me. I thought maybe I was just lazy.
But the truth is that God created me, all of me, for a unique purpose. I was fashioned by His hands, even the parts of me that don’t look like others around me.
My need for sleep is from His hand and it is for His glory!
I love hospitality, and I really love being around people. I’m not a hermit by any means, but I do require more alone time than some and definitely more sleep than my mom does.
As I’ve contemplated what self-care looks like when it comes to ensuring I get sufficient rest to care for my body, I’ve learned four things about rest.
4 Things I’ve Learned About Rest
1. Routines are a necessity
My family sticks to a simple schedule and routine. I thrive on routine, and my bedtime routine is essential for getting enough rest.
2. Going to bed early is needed sometimes
Being around others is extra burdensome on my body, and therefore, even more sleep is required to rejuvenate and recoup. This means, I have to go to bed earlier. Yes, earlier than 9pm to get sufficient rest after being around large groups of people!
3. Rest is not a sin
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. ~Hebrews 4:9-10
Rest in an essential part of living intentionally. Intentional rest stands in stark contrast to procrastination and laziness. Rest is not a sin.
4. Rest is important for our health
So when it comes to rest, I have to ask myself:
- Am I allowing for sufficient rest in my day?
- Am I carving out the necessary time to sleep and wind down?
- Is there a day of the week that I have set aside as holy, as a day just for the Lord?
More importantly, am I resting in Him who created me with such care? Can I honestly confess that I am laying my burdens at His feet and allowing Him to wrap His arms around me and cradle me as His dear child?
28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30
Rest is an essential part of self-care.
Leaving a to-do list unfinished is hard. But in the end, it comes down to trust.
Do I have the courage to say, “Lord, in my own strength, I am incapable. You made me for rest and I must take it. I trust that what goes undone, you will fill in the gaps with your grace.”
Can I give my body what it needs even if it’s different than others I look up to? Can I listen to my body and choose God’s rest for my days?
What about you? Do you know how much sleep your body requires? Are you taking sufficient rest for your body?
The month of April is self-care month here at Intentional By Grace. You can read the introduction post here.
We will be covering in the Embracing Self-Care Series:
- Wednesday, April 2 – Know thyself: 3 Challenges I Face When it Comes to Self-Care
- Wednesday, April 9 – Health and Jesus: 2 of My Most Neglected Areas of Self-Care
- Wednesday, April 16 – Peace in the Home: 7 Things to Do Right Now to Feel More Organized
- Wednesday, April 23 – Taking some R & R
Are you on Pinterest?
Head over to follow our group board on Pinterest: Embracing Self-Care. There are several more posts and articles to encourage you on your journey of embracing self-care!
Want to join the Intentional By Grace private community?
Do you blog?
We want to extend an invitation to you to join us! If you blog, write a post on the weekly topic – on your blog – and link it up each week.
If you don’t blog, then share your thoughts in the comments section. We’d really love to hear from you… and more importantly we hope to inspire you to embark on a journey of self-care in your own life.