WOMEN AT REST

Covid conditions have been quite stressful and strenuous for women, especially in the family, more than anyone else. The reason is, I believe, traditionally and by nature, women consider home their domain and their resting place. Men would prefer to unwind outside the home with their friends and cronies, but a woman’s nook of refuge is her home. Like a bird that seeks its nest to rest, a woman would make a beeline for her home, every time. That’s why, when buying or investing in a house, women seem to be finicky and demanding, insisting on a certain way since it is her corner in this wide world. Nothing rejuvenates or restores a woman more than an empty house and a time to de-stress!

Unfortunately, with covid confining the family to the home, women have found it difficult to find a place to decompress and loosen up. More than ever, women, and primarily homemakers have found their realm invaded and inundated by people as well as an unending list of chores and duties. They are lost as they find no place or space for them to recover and be restored. There is no time or occasion for peace and quietness, something which is the strength of a woman. Added to this is the way the family seems to be insensitive to her need for rest and a concern for or an understanding of what truly refreshes her.

Here are some tips for finding rest in covid:

1. Be regular in your day. It is my observation that many women, specifically homemakers, do not plan their day. They don’t take hold of their day, but meet it as it comes. Rather than laying hold of their day, they allow themselves to go with the flow. This is more so in this season of pandemic, causing them to feel like a stick tossed by the day. Chalk out your day and lay hold of it, so that you are not at its mercy!

2. Find your daily rhythm. Women are most flexible and fluid, enabling them to be easily adaptable to any situation. However, during this season, with all the people at home and in constant demand, this works against them. Unless and until they set a routine they cannot combat fatigue. Make your day both flexible and rigid,which will bring order to your life.

3. Start your day with rest. Prayer and meditation is a key to rest, for the quietness you seek will be found in God’s presence. Nothing makes a woman feel refreshed as singing praises to God and doing homage to Him. By nature, women tend to be devoted and often take time to worship. Most men in the family do recognize this stellar nature of a woman and encourage their prayer time, for they recognize its role and importance. So, make time to rest in God as well as to pray for strength and grace for the day!

4. Plan your day. Women at home do not really schedule their home chores as much as women who hold a job. This is because they do not view their home duties the same way a woman does a job. Another reason is that homemakers don’t get paid and the chores they do is taken for granted. Though this attitude is good in itself, it does not give clarity to the work and so no planning gets done. Women, order your chores and plan even your meals for the week. This will help you prepare in advance and give you an edge over the day, even if disturbances arise. Moreover, your husband and kids would be more rolling and happy to help you if you don’t pester them often to run to the store because you forgot a necessary item or ingredient. Planning avoids clashes too!

5. Regulate your work and rest. A prime need for women is to mark out rest hours amidst the work. For instance, you can catch your breath and carve out a moment of peace after breakfast and before lunch work begins. Do the same in afternoon between lunch and teatime, as well as between tea and dinner. Go to bed on time so that you can rise early to have your quiet time before day begins. Don’t wait till the end of day to rest, but find pockets of time to rest!

6. Cordon off your time and space. A major default in women is that we don’t communicate with others. Once you have planned your day and ordered your time, make it known to your family. Teach them to respect it by making them understand how you need it to serve them better. Request help from your spouse to care for your kids during this time. The man who sees his wife is better for having such space will surely give it. Our problem is that we don’t admit our weakness and our need, but try to be superwomen!

7. Do something you really love. An important need for women is to develop a hobby or pastime and to do something beyond housework. Most women are lack and slack in this. They don’t evolve by learning a skill or even participating in a study process, but may spend time and effort in watching soaps and serials. Learn to do gardening or tailoring or crochet or knitting or beadwork etc. Learn driving, baking, even electrical work or earn a degree. Upgrade and encourage yourself in this season by doing something new!

8. Define yourself. Most women are clueless as to who they are and hence, allow others to delineate who they are. At the end of their life or during menopause or after children have moved on, they feel adrift, having lost themselves in the milieu and myriad of roles taken up in the course of life. Women, you are more than your roles (daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, cook, caregiver, daughter-in-law, etc). You are a human being with distinct gifts, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, personality and character. You have the ability to define yourself and not get caught up with who you are in each season of life. Understand this and keep your uniqueness secure, guarding it as treasure. Then, even when everyone in your life has passed on or moved on, you have your being intact to evolve to a new height!

9. Live in peace and tranquility. Rest and quietness must first be felt inward before it can be realized outward. Harboring resentment, bitterness, malice and so on, will harm you more than others, since it won’t allow you to rest even though you are doing it physically! Inward equanimity will go a long way in finding rest during the day. More than men, women need to let it go. Forgiveness and forbearance works much to ensure rest for we are emotional beings and when our feelings are in turmoil, we can wave goodbye to rest!

10. Reach out to make friends. Women need companions and thats why women are more invested in marriage than men. Communion and companionship is at the heart of a woman’s being, which makes her a team worker or team mate. So, reach out to cultivate friendship with others and do not isolate yourself. Communicating with a community of cronies does much for mental health. There is a sense of oneness in knowing others also have the same problems as well as strength in encouraging another. Sisterhood should be a way of life if we are to be able to maintain our sanity in this season!

Ladies, let us face this time of unprecedented happenings with zest and vivre, as we always do, by developing a new pattern and way of life. It is no use cribbing about what has been. Let us make do with what we have, thankful in the midst of it all, coming out with flying colors!

Remember, even this too shall pass!

*Read more about rest: http://sabinatagoreimmanuel.com/2020/03/11/men-at-rest/

*Pics courtesy unsplash.com

CHRISTMESSY

My daughter, who is good at play writing, writes, directs and stages, along with her husband, a play for her church’s Christmas celebration every year. This year the title of the play was Christmessy and it portrayed how everything was truly a mess on that first Christmas.

Confusion reigned right from the very way Jesus was conceived (virgin birth), the confusion census that forced his parents travel to Bethlehem, the lack of accommodation there that made a stable his birthplace, the sudden appearance of supernatural beings to simple shepherds, the arrival of wise men from the east led by a star, the mayhem caused by Herod in his bid to kill a child who he feared would someday usurp his throne and to the resulting flight to Egypt.

You would think that when God sent His Son into the world as a baby, things would be in order and everything would go smoothly. Yet it was not so! The play’s concluding message was that God dramatically stepped into this world and invaded time to be part of a world that was not perfect, but in fact, quite messy!

The world we live in, as the world then was, is a mess. Just watch the news or read the daily paper or talk to someone. You would know that people, relationships, nations, events, nature and happenings all getting more and more topsy-turvy and muddled. There are no clear-cut guidelines or guardrails or reference points. There is tremendous chaos and confusion, with the life getting messier and messier.

Yet God chose to walk into the mess of old on that Christmas day as the Messiah, the One Who would deliver from all distress and disorder, both inward and outward. He did not come into a world of harmony and order, even though he created it to be so, but he came to bring restore order and work His creative miracle once again. He came the message of good tidings of great joy that He was giving us a second chance.

Today also, He is calling out to those who feel helplessly entangled in Cimmerian shadows to come to the light of His love and grace. Just as in the beginning when He sent light into the cosmic darkness and ruin, God sent His Son as the only true Light to dispel the Stygian blackness of sin and sickness of this world.

He, the babe born on that eventful day 2000 years ago, died on behalf of all mankind to pay the price for their freedom. He has given all the call to trust and believe in His sacrifice for sins. He stretches out His hand to all who are weary of the mess in their life or the mess they have made of their life. He is inviting each and everyone to become His child and live life under His care

He is coming back to be united with His family and be with them forever. He is coming back to bless all who follow Him with long life. He is coming back to judge the darkness for destroying the most beloved of His creation.

It is up to us to lean forward and grasp His hand to he raised from murky to stand stable on the rock. It is our choice to move from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom and from death to life everlasting.

Christmas is not about tinsel and tree, gifts and galas, turkey and biriyani, cakes and parties, etc. It is about God stepping into our mess, picking us from our messed up state and making us clean and free of that mess, forever!

*Pics courtesy unsplash.com