I am a busy girl.  I like being busy, I like being needed.  I like to be in charge of things.  I like my world to be ordered and I like my house to be clean. I like my kids to be well educated and I like them to be busy with quality programs and purposeful activities.

I like all of those things.  However, I need down time.  I don’t just like it, I need it.  My hardworking husband needs it, my College boy who is maintaining an A average and working for MIT needs it.  My 10th grade twins, who are busy with AP and Honor classes, Bible Bowl and Robotics, need it.  If I am honest, I will also admit that if I don’t plan down time for all of us, it just won’t happen.

I am currently teaching my 4.5 year old niece once a week using My Father’s World Kindergarten.  She wants to learn to read and apparently, Auntie Dawn, is the only who can according to her little self.  We do a modified version of two or three days of K depending on her attention span each week.  We have also been doing all the days of creation and we just got to Day 7, the day of rest. We read, “ By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”  Whenever I have have taught this lesson ( and not only have I taught it to my kids but I have used several times for Sunday School),  the kids always seem to wonder if God was so tired after all that work?  Caileigh asked if God needed a nap because he was grumpy after all that work?  (She was clearly remembering  all the times I would ask if she was tired and needed a nap because she was grumpy.) I always say, ” No, God didn’t need a rest.  He was showing us how to live and He knows that we need to rest.”  God patterned a work week for us. Six days of work and one of rest. He created us and knows what is best for us.

When we were doing Creation to the Greeks, the curriculum scheduled us to have a true Sabbath as we study about the Feasts and Festivals of the Jewish Nation.   So we cleaned the house on Friday, made a big meal for Friday night and prepped all the food needed for Saturday.  We had dinner by candlelight and watched as the first star came out.  The next day we ate, played games, took a walk, and watched a movie together.  What a lovely day it was.  We laughed, played and enjoyed each other and I was reminded that God’s Fourth Commandment was to remember the Sabbath.  It is directly between the commandments about our relationship with God and our relationship with man and I think that’s on purpose. When we rest, we have time to focus on God’s blessings but it also allows us focus on our relationships.  Without having to worry about whether the house needs cleaning or the laundry done, we can just focus on our family. We are going to be more patient, loving and kind if we submit to God’s plan for our lives. Note that the Sabbath pattern also plans a time to work hard and then rest.  God knows us and He knows that we are probably not gonna rest if our house is a mess and food needs to be made.  I love that about Him.

If you were sitting with me right now drinking tea ( okay, you can drink whatever you want, I will be drinking a London Fog tea), I know the next thing you would say is, “That sounds wonderful but how in the world am I gonna do that?  Do you know how busy we are?”  Life is busy and homeschooling can be crazy busy but it must be scheduled.  Do I plan this kind of Sabbath every week?  No, I don’t because Soccer and Bible Bowl and Robotics and Driver’s Ed have to happen.  However, I do plan it every month or two.  I take some time and look at our schedule and plan it every month or two.  I put it on the calendar and then I say, “NO!” to anything that pops up after that.  We are busy that weekend, we are resting.  We watch movies, stay in our pj’s, eat fun foods, play games and rest and we are better for it.

Daily rest must also be scheduled.  Quiet time should happen in each and every homeschool home.  It’s important.  Quiet time still happens in our house and I have teenagers.  Whenever we are done with school ( usually 2:30 or 3:00) we usually scatter to read, relax or nap.  By 4:00 we are rested and ready for all of our afternoon and evening commitments.  When mine were little, I mandated a two hour QT.  They could read, listen to books, play quietly with Legos but they must be on their beds in their room, being quiet.  For the first hour, I would clean, do laundry, prep dinner etc and the second hour I would read, watch a show or nap.  Then we would get up, have a snack, watch a Veggie Tales and get on with the rest of our day.

Rest makes our days much calmer and all of us much more patient and loving.





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