What is that one thing that you like as a couple by which you think others can be inspired doing?

I was asked this question during our recent couples retreat and to be honest, I thought hard about it. Ano nga ba?  What practical things do we do together that can inspire other couples?  Then, I thought of the four letter word. I am not talking about love, but the most forgotten discipline - REST.

Over time, me and Bryan have learned to value, practice and see the result of rest.  I guess this has become a part of our lifestyle since we were single.  We live in the world of teachers wherein summer and Christmas vacations are a part of our year.  Therefore, we have enjoyed "slowing down" when the world is busy saying "work harder".  This also means pausing even before we are tired. Throughout the years, this has been our mantra.  If you would look closely in our lives, we would be the couple who sleeps at 8 hours minimum, the family who is complete at 5pm (Bryan gets off at work at 12noon or 3pm), the one that cherishes long vacations (we are scheduled to fly to Ilocos Dec 12 and be back here on Dec 29), in short, we do not mind skipping the possibilities of earning more in exchange of taking (long) breaks.

To begin, we realized that working long hours does not equate to working hard.  To add, staying busy does not also mean having more money.  We have learned to ask ourselves, "When I work long hours, what sacrifices are we making?  What have we lost?" IF it is rest and family time, then we had to pause and think.

Second, we came to a conclusion that "resting when we are tired", is false rest.  Now, we settle as a form of discipline not as to "I need it right now".  Me and Bryan came to a point and decided that sickness should not force us to stay in bed and do nothing. We want to rest now, while we actually enjoy it. There is joy in doing nothing.

Third, which may be a little surprising -- being on vacation may not always be equivalent to easing up.  We have to accept that returning from a holiday (especially when a trips become stressful) eats up our strength too.  Being away is a form of escape, but it does not guarantee that we are ready to go back to work.  Funny how we need another day to cope up from the travel that we did.  So, gauge trips and feel free to not do anything while on vacation.  Our favorite practical tip?  When doing out of town trips, opt for 4 minimum days :)  This is usually enough to be unhurried and have activities at the same time.

Lastly, me and Bryan rest because we want to obey God.  Yes, this is a commandment of God.  He asks us to take care of our bodies, prioritize Him, our spouses and kids.  What an assurance that we can rest because God is dependable!

Me and Bryan decided to value rest because we are assured that we can rely on God to take care of us and our finances.  That we do not need to work double so He will provide.  That when we do what He asks us to do (for now, this means homeschooling Risen, being in the ministry and not being stressed on growing our business), He will cover our needs and at times, wants.  That it is okay to slow down when the world is screaming work for more.

Wives, you can rest on the Lord, He is reliable. You can nap in the afternoons, do nothing and let the house messy.  You can request for time outs.  If you are working, your career should not define you.  Your position does equate to who you are.  You can rest. Now, to those who are saying, I can't rest because I need to feed my family.  My brave answer is this:  By all means, work. However, remember that you are not the main provider.  That Jesus just provides thru you.  That we are to seek the Provider and not the provision.  That you should allow God to make miracles in your finances.  By all means work, but, do not forget to trust. 

Let me leave you with questions to ponder:
1.  Is it possible that you are not resting because you think you need to work more to have more?
2. Do you worry too much that it leads you to working more?
3. How can Jesus unburden you with your work-sleep lifestyle?