Parents, are you finding time to rest?

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“We don’t have time to stop right now. We need to keep the pace. There’s so much to do and so little time to do it.”

But the sidewalk’s edge was so inviting. It compelled us to stall our pace but for a moment.

“We’ll sit right here for a bit,” we said. “It will be good for us,” we said.

And it was.

After 25 years of first days of school for my kids who have now all grown and flown, I’m watching from the sidelines as moms all over the globe take the first day of school pics and watch their children head back into the classroom. Regardless of our school choices, our mom hearts stand still for the glimpse of their backside as they walk towards that place of not needing us a little bit more. Poised and ready to smile and blow a kiss for that hopeful backward glance we mentally scour the backpack of their souls hoping everything they will need is safely tucked into a pocket somewhere.

The few short weeks of summer break have been sufficiently crammed with all the fun family time we possibly could muster energy and budget for and now we’re ready for some much-needed rest. For the few hours our children will now spend on their school work, parents everywhere will have a bit of mental space freed up to catch their breath.

“Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength… It is wisdom to take an occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.” – Charles Spurgeon

My husband and I went to a concert. We had returned from our whirlwind trip to Europe only two nights before. I had purchased the concert tickets before our trip thinking we would be fine but I failed to consider other life circumstances that would be tossed into the mix. The fast approaching overseas move and jet lag would weigh heavily on our eyelids. But alas, it was Sara Groves! Sara is in my top few faves of all time and with our impending move, I could not miss the opportunity to worship with her. We stopped for a grande double shot cuppa and were on our way.

I woke up late the next morning, which means I missed my husband’s and my scheduled morning check in that has become a priority. I woke fretful, heavy-hearted and a bit teary-eyed as I fought feelings of failure. Again. As my husband and I discussed how tired we both were, he mentioned that the concert was exactly what we needed. He met my feelings of failure with grace and said that the concert and the sleeping in was a good thing – that “we needed to sit on the sidewalk for a bit to rest.”

Sometimes rest will come at a price but most of the time it’s worth paying.

I had paid extra for “gold circle” tickets so when we got there we found our seats on the front row feeling like VIPs. We sat on the sidewalk’s edge with our hearts in a posture like that of a young child with arms wrapped around their folded knees watching in wonder as the cars went by.

The evening was balm for our souls. God exhaled and we inhaled. He filled the worn out spaces in us as we listened. Upon arriving back home, our heads hit our pillows in peace. We had sat. We had rested. We had worshiped.

That season of life found my husband and me in a constant state of gasping for air. It was essential for us to take the time to sit on the sidewalk and breathe. And we drew it in slow and deep.

Rest is essential to life. God knew we would have trouble with this so He gave us the sun to work by and the moon to rest by.

A deep breath is the great charity of life. For if we do not make the time to inhale we will not have anything to exhale. If we do not take the time to rest we will not have anything to give.

“Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship. Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.” Romans 12:1-2 

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