Permission To Rest

God made beautiful for us to enjoy!

Ever notice how kids rest so easily when they are tired? Well, I know that’s not entirely true because sometimes, maybe more often than not, they resist rest; yet when they finally give in, they can sleep in any position anywhere. Adults too resist rest. Okay, I hear you saying, “Wait a minute, I would love to take a nap everyday like my two-year old does.” Yes, most of us would love to kick back and take a short nap, but don’t allow ourselves to do so. Of course, our boss probably wouldn’t like it if we were sleeping on the job, but even when we are at home we don’t often take time time to rest. We hurry here and there; always busy with something more that we think needs to be done. When we do finally stop, we find ourselves too wound up or stressed to really rest. Kids resist rest because they don’t want to miss out on anything. We resist it because we think we don’t have time to stop and rest, but we do. God planned time for rest. In a sense, He created it. By taking time to rest Himself, God gave us permission to rest, permission to rest and enjoy communing with Him, permission to enjoy the world that He made with us in mind.

What else can we learn from young children? We can learn to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world. I love taking walks with my young grandchildren. It’s fun to see what they discover about the world around them. Once when walking with my grandson who was three at the time, we stopped to watch a teeny ant on the sidewalk and marvel at its ability to scurry into the crack. Most parents have experienced receiving at least one dandelion bouquet from the hands of an excited child. The world is a beautiful place full of many wonderful treasures for us to enjoy so let’s enjoy. When one of my granddaughters was younger, she liked to carry a basket with her when on a walk so she could pick up “treasures”. Those “treasures” were nature items – a beautiful rock, a dandelion or other wildflower, a bird feather or a beautiful colored leaf and tons of pine cones. We came home with our basket brimming and our spirits lifted because we took the time to marvel at the truly amazing world God created.

It’s still winter here in my area. No snow, but still a little too chilly to spend a lot of time outdoors, but I’m planning ahead. I’m looking forward to planting seeds, taking walks and perhaps reading out by my water feature on a warm summer day. Even in winter, we get some sunny days where a nice brisk walk is possible. I’m going to enjoy the world God made. Then when I get back from my walk, I think I will kick back and take a nap. After all God did give us permission to rest. In fact He commanded it! Give yourself permission to rest. Work will wait. Take that walk, talk to God, smell the fresh air and allow your spirit to be refreshed. Refreshed by nature, but even better than that, refreshed by your Creator. You will return to your work refreshed and full of new creative energy when you take time to rest and enjoy the beauty in the world around you.

PARENT PRAYER:
Dear God,
I often find myself busy with so many tasks. I have my family and friends to care for and spend time with, my work, writing, blogging, cleaning, repairing and oh so many things crowd my days and weeks. Remind me, Lord, to give myself permission to rest and then really do it. Remind me to spend time enjoying the world you created. I need to stop, look around me and marvel at the amazing God you are. To think that you love me and created a beautiful world with me in mind is mind-boggling, yet you did. What’s more, you didn’t stop there, you are still creating. You are creating new opportunities and new adventures in my life too. You made people in your image. You made us to be creative, to dream big dreams and also to stop once in a while just to rest. Teach me, teach us Lord, to live lives that are balanced. Lives where we are living for something bigger than just ourselves, yet also teach us to stop and celebrate. When you finished creating the world, you stopped. You said, “It is good!” and you rested. Lord, thank you for giving us permission to rest too. When we rest, we honor you and we are rejuvenated to go out and live to the full and with purpose the life you have given us. Thank you Lord, for your world. Thank you for your rest. Amen

RESTFUL WAYS TO ENJOY GOD’S WORLD
1. Take a walk and enjoy nature.
2. Read a nature book or watch a nature show.
3. Visit a nursery and plan your garden. Start some seeds indoors to plant when spring comes.
4. Think of some places in the world you would like to go and plan your next vacation.
5. Find a warm, cozy spot – perhaps by a sunny window and take a nap.
6. Go for a drive to an area you have never been before.
7. Breathe deeply. Thank God for air to breathe.
8. Enjoy a nice warm bubble bath or shower thanking God for water.
9. Get out the crayons and draw a picture of something in God’s world.

Most of these activities you can do with your preschooler so that both of you can appreciate the world that God created.

KID’S SECTION

A RHYMING CREATION STORY FOR KIDS
God made day and God made night.
He made the moon and stars so bright.
He made the sky and the clouds floating by,
He made the sea. Oh me, oh my!
He made the land for plants to grow,
Trees and flowers grow high and low.
He made fish and birds and animals,
Of every size and shape.
At the zoo, I like to watch the monkey,
And the great, big ape.
Then when God was finished, with all of His creating,
He set aside a day for resting and celebrating.
Yes, God created everything, but this one thing I know,
God made YOU special, because He loves you so.

STORY: Creation Day 7 – Genesis 1
Today the story is intended for use with a class of preschoolers, but can be adapted to use at home.

God is amazing! He made the world and everything in it. After God made the whole world, do you know what He did? He said, “It is good!” Say that with me. “It is good!” God did a good job making the world. He did a good job when He made day time for work and play and when He made night time for rest. He did a good job when He made the sky and when He made water. I like to watch the clouds in the sky and we need water for lots of things. He did a good job when He made land for plants and trees to grow on. He did a good job making fish and birds and animals and people. God did a good job making everything.

God did a very good job when He made you! You are very important to God. Do you know what God did on Day 7, God rested and celebrated. He took time to enjoy the world that He made. We can rest and celebrate the world God made too. Let’s say, “Thank you, God, for all you made.”

PRAYER:
Dear God,
Thank you for all the wonderful things you created. You are amazing! You did a good job! Thank you for making me. I know you love me. I love you. Help me to remember to enjoy and care for your beautiful world. Amen

MEMORIZE: Genesis 1:1 NIV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
In the beginning God – (Reach up.)
Created – (Pound fists together.)
The heavens – (Raise hands and wave arms.)
And the earth – (Make w’s with fingers and roll hands around each other.)

VERSE SONG: To the tune of “Frere Jacque”
In the beginning,
In the beginning,
God created,
God created,
The heavens and the earth,
The heavens and the earth,
Genesis 1:1,
Genesis 1:1

KNOW: God made the world and then He rested.
TALK ABOUT: Resting & Celebrating what God made.
ASK: Who made the world? Who made you?
AND DO… Rest, celebrate, enjoy and thank God for all He created.

FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK 
* Enjoy God’s creation with your preschooler. Take a couple of days to relax, unwind and rest. If it’s nice, go outside for a walk, if not bring something from the outside in – a   plant, leaf, feather, piece of bark. Go to an aquarium or indoor nature display or a nursery.

* Take some time to say, “Thank you!” to God for all He created.