Rest for the Weary

My husband is a youth pastor and this past weekend, we took our youth to a lock-in. If you are not familiar with a lock-in, it is basically a slumber party where nobody sleeps. You don’t even get to put on pajama’s or bring a pillow. If you are weak, you might curl up in a chair somewhere or get into child’s pose on the hard church floor, but the real troopers keep it going until the sun comes up. And then of course they pass out in the van on the ride back home.

To say I am not a fan of lock-ins is an understatement. I was not a fan of lock-ins when I was a teenager. I like to sleep. In a bed. So this past weekend, I dropped my husband and the teens off at the church, and then drove to my in-laws house nearby to get a good night’s rest with my boys.

Sure, I could have went and shown off my mad Wii bowling skills for a few hours before crawling onto a pew praying that morning would come soon. But there is a little piece of wisdom I have attained in my 4 short years of mothering and that is this…

Moms do not get to catch up on lost sleep.

My two year old doesn’t care if I stayed up watching Downton Abbey until 1am the night before. He has an inner alarm clock that wakes him up at 7:30am every morning and he wants his “chokit milk.”

The days of sleeping in are long behind me, and I don’t see them anywhere in my near future.

I know this, but yet I continue to go to bed late just hoping that this will be the morning that my boys magically sleep until 10am. But they don’t. And I am tired and cranky and not really ready to face the busy day of mothering, homeschooling, and ministry that lies ahead.

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

For more health benefits of sleeping and how far they reach, you can also check out this article.

As you can see, sleep is pretty important. But yet we moms sacrifice sleep again and again so that we can clean up the toys, fold the laundry, watch our shows, finish our book, or simply browse the internet.

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of self-care, and that it truly is okay to put yourself higher on your priority list because the whole family will benefit from a happier and healthier you. And I guarantee you that your children and husband will benefit from a well-rested you. The mess and the laundry will be there tomorrow, and the shows and internet really aren’t that important. But you are and you need your rest.

Cultivating Intention:

Tonight I encourage you to go to bed at a decent hour. You know how much sleep you need to function at your best and you know what time you need to get up, so do the math and give yourself a bedtime. Try it for one week and see if it makes a difference in your attitude and how you feel throughout the day.

Cultivating Grace:

Don’t be ashamed to make sleep a priority. It isn’t a weakness. And despite what the fly-lady says, it’s okay to go to bed with a few dishes in the sink.

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:2-3

Our heavenly Father obviously thinks rest is important and I’m sure if you ask Him, He will help you be more intentional about making rest a priority. So tonight, I encourage you to get some rest. You will be better for it in the morning.



This post is Day 4 of the 31 day series I am writing on cultivating a life of intention and grace. For a complete index of posts in this series, click here. To read more 31 Days series, please visit The Nester.

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  1. This post could not have come at a more perfect time. My son decided to stay up until 11:30 last night….and yet somehow still had the audactiy to wake up at 7:30 this morning! LOL This momma is definitely going to be “on time” tonight!

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      It’s guess it’s a little ironic I stayed up until 11:30pm myself working on blog stuff. I need to take my own advice! 🙂

  2. latoya @ a peaceful crib says:

    I chuckled to myself with your comment about your two year old not caring whether or not you go to bed on time because milk is the number one priority in the morning. My daughter is two and she is the EXACT same way. She used to wake up every morning at 6:30 and she would ask for juice and her favorite show. She’s been battling an ear infection which has caused her to get up as early as 5 am still demanding the same thing. I tell her we all need our rest and it is absolutely to early in the morning to want to watch tv and drink juice but those two year olds just don’t understand. I’m looking forward to the days she becomes a teenager and I can wake her up at 6:30 and tell her it’s time to get going:)

  3. Ah, thank you for this reminder! For the last week I have been saying I will go to bed early…and every night I find myself bleary eyed and awake at midnight!! I am going to pray that God helps me with this.

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      It’s ironic that the day I publish this post, I went to bed after midnight. This is an area that I still have to work on in my own life!

  4. Love these topics!

  5. maureen says:

    I’m reading this a few years late, but this entry was exactly what I needed to read today. So on point that I cried when I read ‘Don’t be ashamed to make sleep a priority. It isn’t a weakness. And despite what the fly-lady says, it’s okay to go to bed with a few dishes in the sink.’ (… I’m probably emotional due to lack of sleep ;))

  6. I’d love to this topic. Thanks for sharing

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