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It takes time to be like her - Issue 200
May 13, 2011
Hi there! ....

This week is my 200th newsletter. I am a little surprised by how time has flown by. I want to take time to thank God for those 200 newsletters. So often I go to bed Friday night totally blank as to what my newsletter will discuss and I wake up Saturday morning with not only the topic but the outline as well. That is God at work, while I sleep!

I would also like to thank my family who consistently make way for me to be at the computer first up on a Saturday morning.

And thirdly I would like to thank you guys, my readers who often jot a quick note in response to a newsletter. I appreciate the feedback, and the discussions that take place.

Each and every week when I write “live life with your kids” I am challenged a fresh…. To make sure that I do live life with my kids, not just that we do things together, but that I share my life with them in such a way that they grow.

Live life with your kids!

If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Do you take a Rest?

This week as I focused on habits of productivity I also kept coming back to the idea of rest. What is it? Is it important? And if I rest am I being lazy?

Rest is defined as – To cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself or recover strength.

Rest restores our body, soul and spirit. And yet in this day and age we push the boundaries – we keep on going regardless of the signals our body give us – we burn the candle at both ends. This is because we fail to balance the demands of responsibility and the demands of rest. When we don’t rest (and this includes sleep) we get cranky, slow to think, muddled, lethargic and more likely to be sick. Our body, soul and spirit is crying out for rest!

I have spoken to many mums who recognise their need for rest, they just don’t know how they are going to get it. Here are a few ideas that have helped me.

Recognise it is MY responsibility. Early in my mothering I recognised that it was my responsibility to get the rest that my body needed not Peters. We need to take responsibility for our own spheres. So I looked at what hindered me, and I worked towards overcoming that. This is not to say that Peter didn’t help me. There were seasons that he was available to give me times of rest and there were seasons where he was not so available. I had to work with what I had.

Give value to rest. I had to acknowledge my need for rest, the consequences of not resting, and the blessings of taking that rest. How I managed my time affected my family. When I gave value to rest that helped to remove any guilt I had for putting my feet up or relaxing in some way. Rest was important not only to me, but to the well being of my family.

Train my children towards my rest. The first obstacle was that I had little children. As I started to look at my day, considering my need for rest, I saw that I could train my children to either nap or play in their rooms giving me some time where I could rest. I then had to train myself to take this window of opportunity to rest instead of racing around doing other things. Once my children were trained to have their rest time (they slept, played or read) I could ask them to have Room Time any time of the day, giving me an opportunity to take a nap myself. But training had to happen first so that I knew they were reliable in staying in their rooms.

Keep it short. I don’t need to rest for hours (some may, if facing other imbalances in their body, but the norm for me was anywhere between 15minutes to 1 hour). If I rest for too long it is hard to get up and going again and I end up wasting the afternoon. Starting to understand my body clock helped too – there are days that I need to nap at 11.30am other times my body crashes at 4.00pm. This is usually dictated to by my night-time sleep patterns but it is worth knowing, and working with it as much as I can.

What to do during rest time? This is purely personal and for me it has changed with seasons of my life. Sometimes I have needed a nap – sometimes a short one, sometimes a longer one. I have read, had my Bible devotions, watched a movie, spent time on creative projects, talked to a friend, browsed online (though to be honest I find this tiring), occasionally I have pottered in the kitchen. What I do isn’t so important but rather what is the impact of that activity on my body, soul and spirit. Have I truly rested? Do I feel relaxed, refreshed, or recovered ready to move onto the next part of my day.

Am I being lazy? This week I looked at priorities and it is easy to think that work is our priority and rest comes when we are done. But if we understand that our body needs rest in order to keep on going then to some degree rest becomes a priority. True we need to keep it in balance otherwise we will never get any work done we will just enjoy rest. To be honest, that isn’t rest – that is self indulgence, irresponsibility, and yes, lazy! When we understand the definition and need for rest it can comfortably sit as a priority in my life. Once I see it as a priority, I no longer carry guilt, I can make it happen, and enjoy the fruit of it (energy and focus).

The other mind shift we need to make is that work is never done. It isn’t supposed to be done – it is the task God placed us on earth for (see Genesis 1– God gave us work, to take dominion of our spheres – before the curse.) Work is good though we do need to take rest in order to keep on going. Rest is not a reward for a job well done!

With the privilege of staying at home with my children comes much responsibility. I truly need to manage my household and train my children. I also need to look after myself.

Live life with your Kids Blog posts for this week:

This week I wrote My Favourite Homeschool Resource over on my guest column spot, Family Friendly Homeschooling at Homeschoolblogger Company Porch

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My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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