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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

For six days he made the sky, the oceans, plants, and animals. His finishing touch was man and woman, and what did he do next? He rested. I like to think He took a nap.

One of my mantras in life is, “When able, take a nap.”

We run ourselves ragged as women.

We balance a thousand different things and wrestle with a million decisions ranging from Do I buy Frozen 2 on Prime or wait until it streams on Disney+? to My child got in trouble at school for the third time, what is the most effective conversation and consequence? to Am I really happy in my job? Is it worth it? What am I supposed to do next?

RELATED: A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry The Mental Load

Sometimes Wednesday hits, and I’m so exhausted by the seen and unseen tasks of the week, I can’t even believe we have two more days until the sweet relief of the weekend. I look around my house and am overwhelmed by the number of things I need to get done.

I just had all the laundry done, how is there more? Don’t my children understand that you can wear jeans more than once? Why is my toilet always so gross? How do I have ants in the middle of winter in Minnesota? How am I going to fold the laundry, clean the toilets, get rid of the ants, and meet my deadline?

Often times, I try to manage my overwhelm with control.

I make a perfectly structured and efficient to-do list, or I go to the gym and run off my stress. Sometimes that works, but other times I really just need to rest.

We rarely allow that for ourselves because something in our culture tells us to stay busy and seek perfection in our homes, bodies, work, and lives. But we don’t need perfection, we need rest. Rest clears our minds, refreshes our souls, and energizes our bodies.

RELATED: I’m a Mom Who Doesn’t. You Don’t Have to, Either.

This is why I believe in the power of a nap. Even a short one when you never actually move past the twilight stage of sleep, or a mini nap on the floor when your body becomes a race track for a Hot Wheels car, but at least your eyes are closed.

Maybe a nap isn’t for you, figure out a way to get real rest. Read a book, take a bath, pour yourself some tea, just rest.

The work we do is important. It’s messy and it’s hard, but it’s also really beautiful and I want to remember to savor that beauty.

I want to look at my daughter’s eyes light up when she shows me her ballet, I want to listen to my son tell me about the details of his day and really laugh at the joke he made up. I want to give my husband a real hug and kiss when he comes home from work, not just one in passing as I cook dinner. I do all those things better when I am rested.

RELATED: Maybe the Best Way to Practice Self Care is to Care Less

A long time ago, God did some important work. He was really busy. Busier than we will ever be. For six days He created the heavens, the earth, and every living thing. And then what did He do? He rested. He saw His creation was good, and He rested in it.

Today, I’m going to take my really good life and just rest in it. All of the messy and all of the beautiful.

If the God who created the universe can rest, so can you.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

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Steph Thurling

Steph Thurling is a co-founder of Raising Prayerful Kids, a ministry that equips and encourages parents to be praying with their kids in a meaningful way. She is passionate about faith formation at home, almond milk lattes, deep friendships, and beagles. She lives in Minnesota (even though she hates the cold) with her husband and three kids.

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