How to Intentionally Plan for Rest

When it comes to taking care of yourself, you’ve probably heard some version of “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” and yet the world would have you believe that you can and somehow should! There’s resources on how to feel better on less sleep, how to become a multi-tasker, how to get more done in less time, and the list goes on. The world tells us that if we aren’t keeping up with those around us, we’re behind, and that just isn’t the case. The Lord created us thoughtfully and purposefully – He created us to need rest and sleep and times where we are just sitting in the stillness of His presence. Don’t let the world tell you otherwise.

But finding rest in the midst of the busy lives we live can seem elusive at times, if not downright impossible. It has to be an intentional effort to choose peace and stillness and time with God over moving and going and marking the next thing off your to-do list. There are some intentional ways that you can plan for rest and quiet time with the Lord to ensure that your cup is full and that you are able to pour into others.

First, make time for what’s important FIRST. When you open a new planner, turn to a new month on your calendar, or just look ahead to tomorrow, it’s important to first block off the time that you need to rest and spend time with the Lord. If you want to have a quiet time in the morning before work, then write that down, block off that time in the morning, and don’t schedule anything else to overlap with it. Keep your time with God sacred and important. If you want to spend time at home with your family on a Friday night instead of making plans with friends, make it happen! You have the ability to keep that time sacred and not let anything else interfere. Making time for what’s important and submitting our plans to the Lord is the only way that we will be able to find true and perfect rest – in Him.

Commit your activities to the Lord, and He will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3)

Next, if you find yourself staring at an overly-full calendar and to-do list and feel the overwhelm setting in, prioritize! Look at your calendar and determine what is important – what is going to matter when you’re 80 and what is just temporary? I often find myself filling my calendar with “to-dos” that need to be checked off of a list, and oftentimes these things are not important or life-giving. Let’s strive to make the time we have count and use it for what is going to fill up our hearts and souls.

Life can get busy and overwhelming – it’s bound to happen to all of us eventually. But when we are intentional and thoughtful, constantly seeking the Lord and submitting our plans to Him rather than trying to do it all ourselves, we will often find that our cup is overflowing. We can always find rest when we seek Him.

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