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R-E-S-T Find Out What It Means To Me

Who else prides themselves in not needing rest because you are:

  1. Too busy. The Legos don't NEED to be sorted by size and color.

  2. In high demand. The tiny creatures you made can wait- it builds character.

  3. At the park/zoo/pool/chasing your kid on a scooter because it's actually sunny and in the 70's! I get this now that I live in a place with all four seasons for the first time in my life.

  4. Going to look like a slacker compared to the mom with more kids, a full-time job and children with brushed hair. She must have a secret team of leprechauns helping her.


Who thinks they're some kind of awesome, because they are multi-tasking machines who make dinner, open cupboards with their toes, hold an angry baby, and oversee homework all at the same time?! Meee!!!!! Now who actually does this well without yelling at the whiney toddler or the second grader whose strength isn't math? NOT me. I tend to run on a mentality of "rest is for the weak." I was convinced that rest just isn't an option right now, because four little females need me and moms don't get to clock out. I thought I needed to power through until there is time for rest. Like when everyone is attending a full day of school. So in four years I'll have time to rest. Cause that's a good plan.


We only look this rested on vacation

Then, one glorious morning before summer break all four girls were healthy- AT THE SAME TIME. So I dropped my third child at the third school and left the one-year-old in the care of a doting nanny and went for a leisurely, long run in the woods alone. I listened to my favorite podcast, "Don't Mom Alone" and the spontaneous prayers for people I hadn't thought of in months as well as topics for this blog just came rolling in. Twice I stopped running to take notes in my phone. I couldn't remember the last time I had run alone. I'm usually pushing a stroller and chasing a kid or two on a bike. I quieted my mind and focused on listening to God without interruption from my own to-do lists or little girl voices. When was the last time my mind has been this untangled, this quiet, this peaceful? It was like I was living in Psalm 23:2-4

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his names sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

I don't say this to make you jealous of my extremely hard to come by alone time. It seems like a pipe dream for those of us with small children at home, or for those who are working full-time and momming full-time. I'm writing this because I, Brooke Ramos, have had my piorities out of whack. I want to acknowledge those who have woken before the sun, fed a handful of kids, driven to various schools and daycares, and have just started their workday. Then there's me, frolicking in the woods at 9am on a Thursday. We've all got a different calling, a different path, and are in different seasons of motherhood. I'm grateful that this particular morning mine was on a running path. While our lives, even our mornings, may look drastically different, we can all find common ground as mothers. Except for my one male reader...Hi Dad!


Oh that sweet, sweet rest


On the daily I budget for a 30 minute workout (with at least 2 kids at my ankles or on wheels), but this morning my legs kept going, because I didn't want the quiet time with God to end. Eventually I got thirsty enough to turn back and when I got to the Great White (that's my mini van) I had that weird amount of time before pre-school pick up that was too short to go home, but not long enough to run errands. So I sat on a bench in the woods stretching, praying, reading my Bible app (YouVersion I don't know where I'd be without you), and quietly, actively listening to God. I DEFINTELY do not shut up and listen to that "still, small voice" nearly enough.


Needless to say I came back from that long run bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I was a better mother, I was focused and more attentive. Situations that would normally set me off didn't. I was able to think more clearly and recall Bible passages in the challenging moments instead of just reacting in anger per my usual. Long runs alone is not something I get to do often, but it served as a reminder of the importance of taking quiet time to myself to recharge, whether it be 20 minutes of reading my Bible or two hours frolicking in the woods.


For me it's a constant struggle against my personality to force myself to stop, quiet my thoughts, focus, and rest. I'd much rather get a jump start on dinner while the kids are in quiet time as opposed to doing my own quiet time. I'm more along the lines of thinking as long as I'm busy, I'm productive. As long as I'm serving someone, my life has purpose. As long as I don't sit down, I won't feel the fatigue. As long as I don't stop, I don't have to face the underlying issue.


I recently completed an amazing little bible study book called Gospel-Centered Motherhood with some even more amazing mom friends and one of the topics was rest. It gave the unique persepctive that rest is not selfish; in fact, it's necessary in order to continue a life of sacrificial service. In order to serve our families, and serve them well, we need to replenish both body and soul. I'm not a "self-care" promoter because that sounds "self-ish" and rest is not selfish. It's quite the opposite actually. It refuels us so we can best serve others. It's necessary, Biblical, and even God did it on the 7th day and told his followers to do the same every Sabbath. Even athletes work rest into their training schedule. Our bodies need that day to repair in order to strengthen. We need rest to come back stronger, and in my case, more patient. Without that rest I'm sloppy, impatient, and frazzled.


Bottom line: when I don't rest, I yell. I'm just plain mean. I destroy all of the progress I've made over the entire day in the last two minutes of the day. I work SO hard all day to create a nurturing, fun, God-centered environment and in one harsh sentence I erase all the bridges I built. Instantly I see the light in my daughters' eyes dim and their souls' being crushed in those big, beautiful eyes. I instill fear in them instead of being a safe space they can always come to. I feel like a hypocrite, failing at all the lessons I've been teaching them. When I don't rest I'm more likely to damage my relationship with my girls and my husband.


People often don't believe me, but I can be so ugly to those I love most. I have said awful things that I can't take back, only to come back on my knees to ask for forgiveness with tears in my eyes and my heart in my hands. I have acted in shameful ways that I never thought I was capable of. A sleep deprived, overwhelmed mother run ragged with no rest for days on end is not herself. My guilt over taking some time to myself every day was ruining the very relationships I was trying to build.


Saying there's no time to rest is a lame excuse because it's not like it has to be long or complicated. Often times it's spent doing my quiet time with God for 20 minutes, because I missed it that morning. Other times it's spent exercising while listening to a Christian podcast or just Christian music if I need to clear my head with praise and prayer. Some of us have the most clarity when we're sweating. When nap and toddler quiet time align I might even sneak in a glorious power nap. I think my favorite rest times are spent feeding my soul in fellowship, laughing with a mom friend over a latte while our children play and (mostly) leave us alone.


Hard to believe I could ever raise my voice at those cute, squishy faces

I have never met a mother who isn't weary and at times, burdened. We are burdened by the struggles our children face in this day and age. We are weary after taking care of sick kids and when our husbands take long business trips. I could go on and on, but we just have to know that whatever is burdening us and making us weary, God wants us to dump it on him and find rest in His presence. He doesn't want to pile more religion on our plates, He wants us to convivir with him. Hang out. Read. Chat (pray). Pour our hearts out like you would with a best friend or sister and leave the rest to Him. (You see what I did there ;) )

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." -Matthew 11: 28-30

The pastor's wife in Mexico City during my time there had a huge influence on my life as a Christian and mother. She was with me through the four scary hospital visits in 6 months between my newborn and barely two-year-old (more on that in the blog Perfect Peace In The Eye Of The Storm). More than once she has encouraged me with Isaiah 40: 29-31, and whenever I recall it I think of her and how it gave me the strength to keep going, and still does:

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Mic drop.


I haven't perfected this rest thing yet, and sometimes we just need groceries and quiet/nap time doesn't happen, so bedtime often doesn't go well because I'm spent. When the youngest gets a car nap, I'm doomed because it ends when the car stops so you can bet a true, restful time to myself won't be happening today. That's when I rely on the verses I already learned to give me the patience to make it through bedtime without yelling at a kid to brush their teeth for the 17th time. I also feel guilt-free when I turn on Minno (awesome kids Christian streaming channel) on those days when it's been 4 o'clock for like three hours.


When the demands are high and the patience is running low simple prayers will suffice. "God help me to not roll my eye's at this kid's ridiculous tantrum over being denied a snack at 5:55pm." "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed," as it states in Luke 5:16. Hoards of people were stalking him and he still managed to slip away to gather his strength from the source. If Jesus could make the lepers wait I think I can manage to pull my little leeches off me for five minutes to gather my strength in prayer.


So what does R-E-S-T mean to me?

Read my Bible

Exercise

Sleep

Time in fellowship (I know, it's a stretch, but the other three worked so well!)


P.S. Someone please comment and tell me you get what I'm alluding to with the title of this blog. It was completely lost on my husband and I'd like to know that someone out there gets my cheesy sense of humor.









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Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me.


Man, this was good. And God is using you at just the right times! I had a very "burned out/mom-guilting" kind of day. This was a good redirect. Thank you.

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Brooke Ramos
Brooke Ramos
Jul 28, 2023
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Yes!!!! Someone not related to me gets me 😉 Always here for you friend and so glad I could help.

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He needs to listen to a little Aretha Franklin. I get you, but I’ve known you a little longer than him. Love you Stinks and this was all so true!

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Brooke Ramos
Brooke Ramos
Jul 28, 2023
Replying to

I played it for him. He’s learning.

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