Deer in the snow.

“What can I get done while I’m resting?” I wondered.

“Unclear on the concept,” my husband commented.

Sometimes, parents get too busy. Then the world becomes more frustrating. At least it seems so, because we get tired and grumpy, like a toddler who needs a nap. We find our stomachs are in knots, we have trouble getting exercise, and we get sick more easily.

Sometimes we can’t help it. When you have exceptional children, that is, kids with learning difficulties or special needs, you have much more to do.

You are on call 24/7. You’re accustomed to having your plans upended. You’ve seen the emergency room too often. You’ve often had to cancel out on meeting friends because you couldn’t get away.

When you can, you need to rest. But do you still know how to rest?

This week, my to-do list is scary-long, because I am home for only a few days between speaking at back-to-back conferences. I love this work, but this week is hard. And these feelings are the same as when I was busy with children at home. I have to choose to stop and read. To go to bed. To pace myself so I’m ready for the next thing.

Perhaps you have a little lull between driving kids to activities. Maybe you’ve handed off some leadership responsibilities in your local group or organization, and haven’t picked up the new work yet. Maybe you just are home with the flu.

Seize that lull. Don’t always ask, “How can I use these five or ten minutes best?” and whip out your smart phone or your to-do list.

Sometimes what really smart is taking a rest. Enjoy that sunset, those trees. Reread that note from your little one. Hug your kids. Listen to their knock-knock jokes. Admire the curled-up leaves hanging on the trees in February, rolled up and pale, like parchment.

Deer in the snow.

Take time to enjoy what’s around you. See the deer in the twilight?

Give your mind and soul a rest, and give thanks to your Maker. You are not the sum of a list of duties, and you are not a slave of the list. Choose to breathe, look, listen, rest, even if just for a few minutes.

You need it.

How do you choose to rest? Answer in the comment section below.