BY MOMWISE LATUNDE ONABAJO

Rest is important for the human body. Even God, whilst He’s not human, rested on the seventh day. As a mother, I have missed important recitals, church activities, dates, project deadline, family, and friends’ parties, in favor of rest. Does that make me a terrible mother, spouse, child of God, employee or friend? Absolutely not! There will always be more recitals, parties, church events and dates.

I believe that I am the best mother to my children, a work-in-progress awesome wife, a hardworking employee, a great friend, a child of God, etc. But I’m also human. The average human body requires on average 6 -8 hours of sleep per day. That’s a 1/3 of the 24 hours God has given to everyone in a day. Granted, sleeping 8 hours a day is a fantasy for most moms or adults in general, but sleep is one component of rest.

Rest can be defined as “an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.”

I love the word ceasing in the definition above. It is a verb which means a person intentionally does the thing. In other words, you choose to stop engaging in activities so your body can recover from strenuous activities.

If you know raising children can be a strenuous exercise, raise your hands in hallelujahs! So also is working, socializing, living with a spouse, driving to work, meeting deadlines, driving to recitals or evening games after work, etc., you understand my point.

In the midst of all these, our energies can be easily sapped and replaced with stress. Stress induces a whole host of issues on the body that can and does lead to death. I have heard of countless stories of people who just Dropped Dead! When coroners perform autopsies, many times, they find the cause of such deaths to be heart related—stress induced.

Stress makes you sleep less, stress makes you eat, stress elevates the blood pressure, stress constricts your blood vessels, stress makes you take in less oxygen, stress affects your lungs, stress makes you store fat in your mid-section, stress makes you drive impatiently, stress makes you raise your voices (at your kids, at others), stress takes you away from God’s presence, Stress! Stress!! Stress!!!

The cure to stress? Rest… Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 – 30.

No human was created to do it all. Even Jesus, when He was in the human body, rested. I believe God deliberately inspired the texts about Jesus sleeping during the storm to demonstrate that even when we are in the midst of the storm, we must rest: Cease to engage.

Did you know that if you remove the first and last S from the word STRESS, the rest of the word can spell: REST. Remove the ‘ss’ and cease to engage in stressful activities.

Ways I’ve literally engaged in REST:

  1. Call off from work (Sick leave does not mean that I have to literally be coughing and sneezing before I can use my sick leave. If I feel mentally overwhelm, that’s a sick day) And if you can’t call off, can you negotiate teleworking?
  2. Take a weekend vacation sans spouse and children. It might even be just temporarily relocating to the hotel down the street for the weekend and only answer your phone call twice throughout your stay. One phone call to check on your family and the other, to your girlfriend who’s also a mom.
  3. Engage in your hobby or learn a new hobby. No one, and I repeat, No one is too old to learn a new thing!
  4. Early to bed, early to rise and have a few moments to yourself before the house becomes busy for the day. This one of my favorites.
  5. Watch Sunday Service online once every quarter (Optional)
  6. Repeat steps 1 to 5.

Shalom.