Every day we are becoming more rushed and sleeping less and less. It is a staggering fact that lack of sleep is costing the United States approximately $411 billion in lost productivity. Sleeping less than eight hours per night causes more illness leading to time off work, less focus leading to on the job accidents and workers to be less satisfied with their jobs leading to apathy.
Most people sleep on average 6.5 hours per night. The recommended amount of sleep by most doctors is 7.5 hours to 8 hours nightly. If we can just increase our sleep nightly by 60-90 minutes and practice gratitude before falling asleep we can increase our happiness and productivity. Let me talk a little bit about how we can please God by slowing down and resting.
Psalm 23:1-3 says
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
God is our shepherd. He tells us to lay down and rest. He tells us to take time to rejuvenate our souls to be our best. He wants us to stop being in a hurry. Remember He tells us to observe the Sabbath, which is a day with no work that produces money or relates to our career. The definition of a Sabbath is a day set aside for rest and worship. This is any day you pick to use for praising and thanking God by worshiping, not preforming your money making job and taking care of yourself. I personally teach a class on Sunday afternoons and blog on Sundays so I choose Friday as my Sabbath. I do things that refresh me like reading the Bible, spending time with my family and having reverence for God.
Exodus 31:17 says
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
God has given us a body as a temple for the Holy Spirit and it requires rest and relaxation to allow the Holy Spirit to work effectively through us. God has blessed us with such a beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit it is the least we can do to appreciate this gift and preserve His home within us. I personally abstain from alcohol after having overindulged in the past. I try to eat within my calorie limit and choose healthy options. This may sound very simple but each practice I can make that will maintain my health I am creating a better home for the Holy Spirit residing in me.
Many people unexpectedly find themselves with an illness that leaves them weak and bedridden. Or possibly they lose their job. Sometimes God puts us flat on our back and out of work because we need to slow down and reevaluate our lives. He is telling us we are wasting our life focused on the wrong things. I know when I was focused on making more and more money God took my largest client from me. I believe He was telling me I wasn’t resting enough and my focus was off. I did realize when I slowed down God took care of me and provided for me. I still had work and was able to pay my bills, it was just at a slower pace.
Luke 10:38-42 talks about how Martha was so busy preparing for a meal that see totally missed what Jesus was teaching. Mary stopped preparing to sit at the feet of Jesus not to miss the opportunity before her.
It reads, Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. A woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teachings. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went us to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion that will not be taken from her.”
It is also important to recognize that to give God my best I need my rest. When we don’t rest many times it is because of envy of what others have and trying to attain those things. It may be that we base our worth on work. The more we work the better we feel because we are providing for our families yet neglecting them at the same time. Also we can value achievement as a way to feel more confident about ourselves leaving us exhausted.
Let’s talk about ways to move away from exhaustive nights to more restful nights. The first thing of course would be to more grateful. When you scan your day in your mind and focus on the good things that happened throughout the day you mind will record your day as positive. When your brain records that day as a positive it will remain in your mind as a positive day forever and can never be changed. Being thankful the last thing before going to sleep has been proven to give you a more restful sleep with less interruption. Being grateful is a habit you must develop so practice it every night.
I like to enjoy thinking about what God has already blessed me with not what I don’t have. Currently I have a beautiful ministry that allows me to show God’s love to others. This is so fulfilling and peaceful for me. I have a husband that loves me and offers me a safe and comfortable home. My family is healthy. We are able to pay our monthly bills. I have good friends that are based in Christ. Yes there are things I am sure I would like but when I appreciate my blessings I don’t feel that need for more.
I have also found that by taking that one day of the week off in God’s Name I am so much more content and I get everything done on the other six days. He provides all the time I need to complete my tasks so I can have that seventh day in reverence of Him.
Lastly I have adjusted my values to truly understand what is important. I have God first in my life to live my life for His purpose for me. It seems when I don’t wander from God and stay strong in my faith He always provides for me spiritually, emotionally, financially and with my health. He puts intention in my days giving me purpose and a plan based on what He wants, not what I want. I am happy with that too!
I am the most peaceful and rested I have ever been and it is because I slowed down in God’s Name. I am appreciating the beauty and blessings He is surrounding me with instead of not noticing them. If you need to slow down I pray you get some wisdom from my blog. I pray for each of you reading my blog to feel God’s love and peace in your heart each and every day. All my love, LoLo