Rest: What it is, What it’s Not, and How to Get It

Rest: What it is and what it’s not

You’re exhausted. Scorched. Worn too thin. Wound too tight.

You’ve been slaving away all year and you are ready for some rest. A vacation. A sabbath. A respite.

You need a break!

Well, me too! I’ve been thinking about rest lately, particularly because I have needed more of it. You see, my family and I are in the process of buying a new home AND selling our current one house so we have been on an





How would it be to finally feel rested? Today I want to help you get there – I have come to some realizations about rest, and I’m going to share them with you. We’ll go over what rest is, what it isn’t, as well as discover practical suggestions for leading a more restful life.

Disclaimer:This post is not meant to make anyone feel bad about their choices but rather to offer hope.

What is Rest?

Before I give you a dull dictionary definition, check out this beautiful quote from John Eldredge’s book Get Your Life Back:

Start with something you love. The laughter of your child. Sunlight on the ocean. Your beloved dog. A favorite song, music itself. Perhaps a photo, like my caribou. A favorite spot—your garden, the cliffs at the sea, the family cabin. Someone dear to you. We begin with the things we love; this is the way back, the path home. For we don’t always draw the connection—God made these specifically for you, and he gave you the heart to love them. You’ll be out for a bike ride in the very early morning, cool breeze in your face, all the sweet, fresh aromas it brings, the exhilaration of speed, and your heart spontaneously sings, I love this! The next step is to say, So does God. He made this moment; he made these things. He is the creator of everything I love. Your heart will naturally respond by opening toward him.”
― John Eldredge, Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad

Wow. How rejuvenating does all of that sound?

Now for the dictionary definition:

Google defines rest as

to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

Rest is a time to cease mental and physical demands.

We’re Tired, Folks, and We Don’t Know How to Cope

A recent study from said that “six in 10 Americans say their sleep routine during quarantine has them feeling more exhausted than they’ve ever felt in their life!”.

That’s not good. While we all have time constraints and responsibilities, we owe it to ourselves and our families to find a better way. After all, you can’t give from an empty cup.

What I see in current popular culture when it comes to rest does not refresh the soul. Binge-watching T.V., zoning out to social media or the news, binge eating, drinking, food, shopping, and other mind numbing activities often only offer temporary relief from stress and other difficult emotions rather than reprieve, as talked about in Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge. Shopping, eating, television etc. are all fun treats in moderation, but they will not offer the rest you long for.

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The point is rest is restorative, not quick, temporary relief.

Rest is restorative, not quick, temporary relief.

Here are some tips and ideas for getting rest:

What makes me feel the most rested is just removing unnecessary demands from my life. Making room for white space. Getting in touch with my senses. Going outside. Going for a drive with the windows down. I don’t think anyone would argue with me that these activities are restful but I think this is the difference: don’t forget the basics. It’s important to remove optional activities but I think the “survival mode” culture thinks that forgetting basics will result in renewed energy but often it adds more stress.

True rest can occur when basic needs are met.

True rest can occur when basic needs are met.

What are these basics I’m talking about? Basic activities of living: brushing your teeth, bathing, doing your dishes, making sure you have clean clothes, going to bed at a decent time, eating healthy meals. Give yourself the gift of rest and cover your bases in these areas, as much as you can. You will feel so glad that these things are done and you can do whatever you want with your remaining time. If you avoid these activities you will never feel rested no matter how many “relaxing activities” you engage in. Sometimes, we gotta parent ourselves.

Barriers to Entering into Rest

Maybe a barrier you have to doing these things is time. We are all busy, that makes sense…chances are, however, that you may be wasting your time in an area of life and you’re not getting a return on your investment, in addition to coping in other unhealthy ways. A recent study stated,

“Even though Americans know that health is important and that feeling unhealthy impacts their quality of health and happiness, results reveal that the average American opts for the unhealthy food choice five times a week, even when given a healthier alternative.

In fact, 66 percent agree that when they are stressed, they tend to partake in unhealthy habits.”

Yes there are hard seasons in life with aging parents, newborn babies, working extra hours- there’s always something if we really think about it. We need to remember the locus of control. You can make things happen. No matter your circumstances, you can push the needle forward. We have to learn to master our own self-care so we can be more of a blessing to those around us.

Resilience and Locus of Control in the Time of Pandemic
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Top 280 Viktor E. Frankl Quotes (2021 Update) - Quotefancy
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Maybe another barrier is a mental block. Maybe you have hygiene down but you have a sense of entitlement when it comes to dishes and laundry .Well I hate to break it to you but all human beings need clean dishes and clothes and a clean and tidy home will bring you great peace .

Think of these things as self-care. This will shift your mindset.

A More Restful Rest

Routines will help you develop habits that you will no longer think about. Whether or not to bathe should not be a daily decision. It should be automatic, as Fly Lady Kat says, like “flushing the toilet”. A gross analogy but effective- think about it, do you question whether or not you should flush the toilet? No, you do it out of habit. Other basic activities of survival should happen in the same way. It’s called being an adult. Fly Lady Kat is a great resource , she will change your life. When you the basics become habit, you can fully enjoy down time because it will truly be down time and not wasted time.

Is the Noom Weight Loss Program Worth it?

Is Noom Worth It?

Is Noom worth it? In this post, I am going to share my experience with the popular Noom program. Before I get into it, however, I want to make it clear that my baseline when it comes to weight loss experience may be higher than yours. I have battled with my weight for many years. I gained an excess of 50 pounds in college, then I had three babies , after the second I lost 50 lbs, and now I am on my journey again. I’ve tried everything from being vegan, doing keto, the “French Women Don’t Get Fat” plan, intermittent fasting, and just plain old calorie tracking. So depending on your baseline, your success may be different. I had the fastest success when I had outside accountability, i.e. a weight loss group. This is what intrigued me about Noom.

What is Noom?

Noom is a psychology- based approach to healthy eating and fitness. In short, you have a few lessons each day, you take your weight, track your steps, and track your food. For food tracking, they have come up with a color system that encourage you to favor “green foods” – foods which are less calorie dense but higher in nutrients.

How much weight have you lost?

I started about 3 1/2 months ago and I have lost 21 pounds.

What do you eat on Noom?

For breakfast I typically have oatmeal or toast. Sometimes I eat eggs. For lunch I have something small. And for dinner I have soup, salad, or a small portion of whatever I’m cooking for my family. In other words, nothing is off limits – it’s all about increasing those “green foods” and learning to eat everything in moderation which is what makes it sustainable.

Why is Noom working for you?

Again, Noom is working for me because it’s sustainable and it gives me accountability. I am a person who needs external accountability when it comes to personal goals. Since I have three young kids, I need a program that is sustainable and doesn’t require complicated meal plans and purchasing extra food that isn’t what my family would typically eat. I am also over 30, and for women over 30 Noom recommends only eating 1200 calories. No wonder I would never lose weight when I would eat 1500+ calories! also when you work out, it only adds in HALF of what you burned – brilliant. (That also bugged me on my fitness pal. It never seemed accurate. This addresses that issue.)

Noom has also helped me identify what my particular hangups around eating are. I tend sample everything while I’m cooking , as well as just overeat in general.

How are you different after Noom?

Well, I’m not completely finished yet but I’m almost there! As I said before, I have spent copious amounts of time learning about weight loss, psychology, nutrition, and fitness, so much of Noom is not new to me. What makes it different for me is the accountability aspect, and being trained on how to live without Noom and maintain a healthy lifestyle and not just fall back into old habits. I am more mindful of when I “slip” and eat too much, and less likely to beat myself up and spiral into a binge. I just commit to getting back on track with the next meal.

Noom really helps with mindfulness because of the color system. I realized I really eat A LOT of “red” foods. I love fat! Especially saturated fat. It’s not BAD for you, per se, but it’s not where most of your calories should come from either. Noom is teaching me how to moderate those red foods and increase the green. I must say this, though, I am a very all or nothing person. If I am at a party I struggle not to overeat with appetizers, so I think I may continue tracking my food long term, to keep the mindfulness piece. Noom has also taught me that plateaus are okay and they are a normal part of the process. Weighing myself every day has helped me get over the anxiety of nothing changing on the scale and the fluctuations that occur day to do due to hormones, bloating, etc.

My Favorite “Green Food” Swaps

I have made swaps in my home – Dave’s Thin-Sliced Whole Grain Bread, XTREME tortillas, nonfat greek yogurt, fat-free cheddar, fat-free cream cheese, the list goes on. All these foods have become my new staples. My switching out these items I have increased my green food intake.

Daves Killer Bread, Bread 21 Whole Grains Thin Sliced Organic, 20.5 Ounce: Grocery & Gourmet Food
Image source Ole Xtreme Wellness™ Whole Wheat Flour Tortilla Wraps | 8" Size  | 8 Count Each Pack | 6 Pack Case: Everything Else
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So, is Noom Worth It?

Yes, I think it’s worth the money. Especially if you need accountability and sustainability. I definitely recommend it!

The Fly Lady System: My Experience

I have been trying the Fly Lady System over the past several months. I am improving my home management skills and helped me feel more in control…who wouldn’t want that?

What is the Fly Lady System?

It’s a system for managing your home which includes customizable daily routines . You will focus on a zone each week. Eventually, you will have a clean home all the time (with practice) but never be slaving away all a day. “The dripping of water wears away stone.”(Not sure who said this but I like it! )

Who is the Fly Lady System for?

Fortunately, both women working in the home and outside the home can use it. The routines are completely customizable.

What if I have small children hanging on me all day?

Fly Lady Kat gives amazing advice on what to do with children underfoot as well as training them to do chores and couldn’t we all use a little help with that? I feel like she’s a long lost auntie who won’t let me get away with anything , ha!

What’s so great about the Fly Lady System?

It puts my mind at ease. All the typical pitfalls of homemaking are put to rest. Likewise, when I am just irritated or sick I know what is realistic to expect of myself and when I should give myself grace. It empowers me to keep holding on to the wagon.

How do you implement it in your home?

Firstly, I identify the routines that take more focus and do them at times when my kids are having planned TV time. Next, I do the rest with them or when they are playing.

Lastly, I schedule my focus areas for my zones into my planner.

How does it make you feel?

To sum up, I feel so taken care of and my mental load is reduced because I’m not reinventing the wheel everyday. Routines and habits are life-changing! In addition, when a routine becomes a habit it takes hardly any willpower to do it! Do you think about flushing the toilet? Brushing your teeth? The power of habits, I tell you!

Here are some resources on the Fly Lady System:

Fly Lady Website

Fly Lady Kat Youtube Channel

Take Things At Face Value

I haven’t written in a long time , not because I don’t want to but I’m still learning the ins and outs of homeschooling and raising three little ones! Today’s subject has come up in my life so many times, and after listening to Jen Fulwiler’s recent episode that I decided I had to write about it. (I’ve linked the episode below.)

My husband and I both have some form of anxiety and we have learned tips over the years. The first therapist my husband went to told him he had to take things at face value.

“Take things at face value.”

What he meant by this was not to infer/interpret/read between the lines with other people. Just accept their words AS they were spoken. This will save you much anguish. Of course it’s possible they meant something else but it’s also possible that you are an-extremely-intelligent-person-who-happens-to-have-a-very-active-mind-who-can-fabricate-all-kinds-of-tales-based-upon-the-presence-of-capital-letter- in-a-text-message-or-the-amount-of-time-it-takes-someone-to-reply. (Phew, I’m outta breath just writing that!) You are better off assuming positive intent. It’s on the other person if they aren’t making themselves clear. We are better off taking things very literally in communication with others and not filtering it through our past hurts and cognitive biases. We need to be like my old co-worker at Starbucks who had a very engineering mind – when a customer asked him for half the ice he gave him a cup filled with half ice. The guy wasn’t please but you get the picture here. We have to let go of the desire to have control over what others think of us because there’s no way to possibly know. We need to focus on our side – how are we treating others? People will hurt us and take advantage but we have to do our best anyway and be kind anyway. We can never be guaranteed complete protection from getting hurt or disappointed or ridiculed. Any worthwhile human connection takes vulnerability which in turn means we are opening ourselves up to being hurt.

You don’t have control over your reputation and it’s actually a good thing. The reputation you earn for yourself you have to keep earning. When God gives you favor it’s a gift . It’s much better to turn your reputation over to the Lord. Did you know that even Mother Teresa had haters? Can you believe that? But instead of getting caught up in people pleasing and controlling how other people perceived her she focused on the work God set in front of her and handed over her reputation to the Lord. So counter cultural but imagine the peace of living your life this way.

Create Spaciousness in Your Soul

I was listening to The Next Right Thing podcast episode 2 , and I felt inspired. Emily P. Freeman talks about “soul minimalism” and how we need to take time to rest in God, even just five minutes.

I’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed. When I get that way I tend to try harder and harder. But then I burn out. Because I’m carrying burdens that God didn’t intend for me. When your body is aching and your mind is racing and it wasn’t because of an unexpected emergency or something of that nature , it’s time for some rest. It’s time to stop for a moment .

What is the goal of the five minutes?

There is no correct way to do this which is why it’s so hard for go-getter types to do this. Just set a timer for 5 minutes , lay down , and close your eyes. By doing this you are making space in your soul for God to come in and carry your burdens. You stop doing. You realize everything will still be waiting for you when you are done. God is with you.

But I don’t have time

A wise priest once said at mass that if we feel like we have no time to pray that we actually don’t have time not to pray. The same goes for resting. When we get to the point of such stress and overwhelm that we are saying “I don’t have time I don’t have time” that is EXACTLY when we need to stop.

But I have kids

So do I. You can take 5 minutes before they get up, when they are taking a nap, after they go to bed, while they are watching TV or incentive-ize it and offer a reward for giving you 5 minutes. Or teach them how to do it too. That would be a great lesson!

Now I feel more overwhelmed

Emily P. Freeman said this can happen. But doing this more often will help decrease and slow down all the worry in your mind. Just keep doing it.

Don’t fall into this trap

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you will feel completely better after taking this moment of rest. That’s not the point. The point is realizing that it’s okay for you to stop doing for a moment. The whole world doesn’t depend on you. You are not God. Give yourself a moment to rest in Him and be His child. That’s what you are, afterall.

Intentional but Simple Self-Care

I don’t know about you, but when I think of self-care I think of spending money and buying something for myself, or taking a bubble bath, or painting my nails.

But I think there’s a better way to get the most out of your self-care time. You have to consider your life wheel. If you are someone who is on top of personal grooming, taking a bubble bath isn’t going to impact you the same way that it would for someone who neglects this area. You have to pay attention to your feelings because they will clue you in on where you may be put of balance. For instance, I have been feeling inadequate and comparing myself to other people when it comes to work done for money. I was listening to the Clutterbug podcast and she was talking about making yourself proud and honestly is was exactly what I needed to hear. She said we need to take small steps and do things that make us proud. It could take 10, or 15 minutes. I recently started homeschooling so I feel good about where I’m at as a mom and teacher, I have also been spending time on my home and decorating recently which is great, but I’ve neglected money-making opportunities like selling things online, blogging, my podcast , etc as well as being taking time to be social. I also got off track with exercise in the past week because of the poor air quality here in California. So taking Clutterbug’s advice , I made a list of small things I can do to feel proud. That’s why I’m writing this blog post right now.

Instead of “I feel sad so I need to watch a movie…”, you need to think deeper. It turns out the best self-care isn’t always resting and pampering but sometimes it’s producing something or helping someone or creating something.

Grace For Hard Times

Many of us are embarking on a new (or newish) journey this fall, whether it is homeschooling, distance learning or keeping our kids safe in a school environment. Or maybe we are starting a new job, a new goal, or a new commitment. I don’t know about you but when I start something new and it’s hard, I feel like I’m failing.

Like I’m not cut out for this.

Like I want to quit.

But thats normal, right?

God’s Voice or Someone Else’s?

When we start something new all the self-doubting happens and it ain’t nothin’ but the devil. Here’s a quick way to see if you should listen to these voices:

The voice I always hear is the one that rushes me. I often feel behind and push myself to hurry, hurry, hurry.

Balm to the Soul

Today I was watching the Do it On a Dime YouTube channel (I love it) and she was making an episode about distance learning. She talked about how she had such a hard time with it starting last March even though she has a master’s degree in teaching and she was beating herself up about it. But she heard advice from someone (I don’t remember who) that said find a picture of yourself when you were little , like age 5 or younger. Now say the same hurtful thoughts to that little girl, go on, berate her. Tell her :

Who are you to think you can do this?

What are you thinking?

You’re not capable !

You should know better because you have a degree!

If you were any good you’d be better at this.

But I bet you can’t. I bet you can’t talk to her like that. Because she is precious. She is adorable. She is a child. And you my friend, are a child too. A child or God. This is the way God sees us. So I got out my picture. I spoke to the little girl how I talk to myself. I said :

You are doing so good

You are trying so hard.

This is so hard but you can do it.

You’ve got this.

And I cried. It was like a drink of cool water after being thirsty for so long. In came God’s grace, God’s peace. God’s healing for my wounded soul.

More beautiful quotes

Who doesn’t benefit from more encouraging words? (Can you tell words of affirmation are my love language?)

My Summer 2020 Favorite Things

Just for fun here’s a list of my favorite things that I’ve purchased or enjoyed this summer.

Alexa Dot – I got this for my husband’s birthday gift and he’s really enjoying it. We hooked it up to smart light bulbs so we can turn some lights around the house on and off.

Soap holder- I got this at Dollar Tree and it’s working great to hold my sponge in the kitchen sink

Dollar Tree command hooks – I’ve been using these everywhere around my house. Inside kitchen cabinets, in the kid’s bathroom so they can reach their towels, in the kid’s bedroom so they can reach their bathrobes. It’s perfect for them!

City of New Orleans song – this is just such a feel good song.

Clutterbug podcast – I always get so inspired by her podcasts. Also her new show is awesome too!

Blogging on my phone – this has been crucial in me being able to blog more. The WordPress app is awesome. Right now to make blogging easier since I’m so busy it’s the only way.

Schwann’s – I was going to have a meal prep party to get me through the newborn phase but then something called Covid-19 happened, so I rediscovered Schwann’s.  It’s been so nice to have delicious frozen food delivered!

Your Blue Flame by Jennifer Fulwiler – this book is super inspiring and it will make you want to pursue your dreams.

Our quiet time shed- my husband and I got an insane deal on a shed. We wanted one so we could have a place to go to chill out and have some quiet time to read, write, workout, etc.

Antique Compote Serving Bowl- I saw this at an antique shop and my husband went back and got it for me.

My herb garden – I’ve never been good with plants but this time around I’m really trying to learn. It helps that my plants are always in my sight right above my kitchen sink. I’m growing basil, oregano, mint, parsley, and rosemary. Outside I have some green onions. I had cilantro and lavender but they both died sadly.

In Awe by John O’Leary – this book inspires you to live a life of wonder and remember what is essential around you.

Fabulous50s workout videos – I found these on YouTube. The lady who makes them is Australian and she has such a lovely accent. It’s intended for women over 50 but I don’t care I just really enjoy watching her.

Ninja blender- our old blender bir the dust so we had to buy a new one and we wanted to make sure it was good quality. enter the Ninja blender. We got it at Costco and let me tell you the name is so appropriate. There are three blade. THREE. This thing is a ninja, people. After making 10 million frappuccinos in my life having worked 11 years at Starbucks, I know a thing or two about blenders. I highly recommend it!

This quote –

Dollar Tree craft supplies – Dollar Tree has really amped up their craft section, check it out! I made this :

If Something’s Not Working…

I’m about to start my journey as an official homeschooling mom.

I’m nervous.

I’m excited.

And I’m a little overwhelmed. I have perfectionist tendencies and I’m always trying to find the perfect routine. But routines are supposed to bring order and peace not stress and anxiety. So if something’s not working…

Make a List

It’s not time to shame and blame yourself. It’s not time to try harder. It’s time to be objective about your time.

List all your basic duties and overestimate how long they take to give yourself grace. Lately I have been feeling like I’m falling behind on my duties so I decided to do this.

You’ll Be Shocked

Guess what? Even without including time for cleaning the house (not tidying , dishes, laundry I’m talking about scrubbing and vacuuming) it said I need 3.5 more hours in my day.

3.5 more hours. 3.5 MORE HOURS! THAT’S INSANE! But it also makes me feel better. I know that it makes sense why I feel stressed. Because i *actually* am doing a lot.

Here’s What You Gotta Do

So what to do? I need to base my daily schedule on the reality of the day. If things are missed that need to get done that week I will allot time on Saturday as my catch-up day. I used to have the whole weekend freed up because I got my work done in the week but my life is different now. I’m homeschooling and I have a new baby. Time to adjust.

It’s Not All Up To You

I heard recently something like “when did we start working for our kids instead of with them?” AMEN SISTER! Remember Little House on the Prairie? Mrs. Ingles didn’t run around doing everything while her kids relaxed. They worked with her according to their capability.

I will also delegate more things to my kids and consider a meal planning service or cleaning service as my budget allows. I also need to decide what truly needs to get done weekly and what can be done less frequently. I always miss cleaning my car and I feel bad about it. Well maybe it’s time to schedule a day once per month to do it. Same thing with meal planning , detail cleaning, decluttering etc.


I also plan on leaving ample wiggle room and white space to give myself grace. No more rigid schedules. I have kids. I need a routine. When this is done we will do this, then when that’s done, we will do this. We will, however, break for meals. Also, I will allow screen time as I see fit. If it’s before 3 pm I will make sure it’s educational and ask my kids questions about it. I will use it at a tool so I can get some focus time or as a reward.

Funny Thing is…

After one day of doing things differently I actually feel like I was MORE productive and far less anxious. I had mental space to delegate things for my kids to do and didn’t feel overwhelmed teaching them about it. I even took them to a park (not playground it’s still Covid-19 lockdown sadly) which I didn’t plan originally. I had time to do fun things like browse Thredup. I had some time to rest. I prepped dinner for the next night. I call that a win, my friends.