Sweet Rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

Sweet Rest | The basic benefit of rest is that it prevents us from getting tired, burnt out and unproductive. | http://ladonnaharris.comAs wives and mothers there are more than enough items on our to do lists to fill every minute of each twenty-four hour day. If we work from home, that list quadruples or more! In our go-go-go society the tendency is to over-schedule ourselves and our families without consideration of a very simple strategy and biblical command that actually allows us to increase our productivity. I like to call this “sweet rest”.

The days, weeks and seasons are a model of rest. Each day turns to night. Each week ends with a command to rest, a sabbath. Each year has a season of dormancy. Early in the Bible we see that Yahweh rests. What an excellent example to follow as we find this same principle commanded later in the Torah and throughout the entire Text with regular rest scheduled for the planting and harvesting of fields.

Daily Rest

My goal for each day is to maintain a period of resting for each member of the family. The baby naps. The others read independently. Each evening we have a wind-down time where the children talk quietly among themselves prior to falling asleep.

Weekly Rest

Our family has chosen to have a day of rest each week. Saturday is this day – the seventh and last day of the week – following the model found in Genesis where God rested from all the work he’d completed. The effort involved is huge some weeks; the temptation to fill this 24 hour period with things that weren’t completed in the week is real!

Monthly Rest

I have a great desire to schedule a monthly time of rest for our family and our business – a time that is booked off from the busy-ness that home based businesses can bring to the home. This would be a time in addition to or as an extension of our weekly rests. I envision camping or extended visits to friends who live “far away”. I can’t wait for this to be a reality!

Seasonal Rest

We have watched a trend develop over the last couple of years in the pattern of our life. Our winter months are significantly dormant compared to the summer. Our bodies tend to take time to heal by sleeping more and our activities are fewer. Due to the cold and snow in our region, the projects outside are minimal. We find this time to be ideal for connecting on a different level with our immediate family and close friends.

Basic Benefits

At its very core, the basic benefit of rest is that it prevents us from getting tired, burnt out and unproductive. Resting increases our creativity, allows for better decision-making and promotes better health. I would say, based on those benefits, sweet rest would improve relationships and save friendships.



What will you do today to schedule some “sweet rest” into your week?



Photo Credit: Dez Pain


  1. I love your idea of monthly rest! As much as I plan for rest it doesn’t always happen. If I could get to a point where we had monthly rest as a family I think that would be so powerful. I do think it would have to be us “going” somewhere so that I wouldn’t be tempted to walk into the office! Thanks.

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