Highlight: The illusion of fake resting

We all need rest. However, we often don’t get as much rest as we need or fail to take advantage of opportunities to truly rest and recharge. Shauna Niequist says that many of us are more practiced in fake rest than legitimate restorative rest.

“Fake resting is when the rest of your family is legitimately resting. They are watching TV, doing puzzles, they’re playing games on their phone; they are doing whatever they want to do. You look like you’re doing that, you’ve got your pajamas on, maybe a cup of coffee in your hand, it’s Saturday morning. But on the inside your internal engines are just a mile a minute.”

“The illusion is we are all just having a lazy day.”

This fake rest can cause us to feel overwhelmed, worked up, and agitated.

“If they’re all resting, and then when they’re rested and ready to go on to something else you snap at every one of them because all you want is a moment of peace. They look at you like we’ve been having hours of peace. What have you been doing?”

This scenario of agitation following the illusion of rest is one Shauna has lived out in her family many times. Despite the opportunity for rest was there, but Shauna wasn’t taking advantage of it.

“The opportunity is there for me to leave things undone, for me to lower the stress level in our house a little bit, for me to choose a less complicated path, and I’m the one that she keeps choosing a complicated, to-do-list, push, push, push, way of living.”

The first step to breaking patterns of fake rest is to recognize that there is an opportunity to slow down and truly find rest. We each have the opportunity and responsibility to take advantage of it.

“The bad news is I create it myself. The good news is I can uncreate it. That’s what I’ve been working on I’ve been working on taking lessons from my husband and my boys that when they’re resting I let myself rest too instead of running circles around them trying to get done a thousand invisible tasks that will eventually leave me resentful and exhausted.”

Shauna encourages those who are guilty of fake rest to make space for and strive for silence. It is here that we will find rest and reconnect with God.


Shauna Niequist is the author of Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living. Shauna is a bookworm, a beach bum, an enthusiastic home cook and a passionate gatherer of people.

Key Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:7

Featured Songs: No Turning Back – Chris Tomlin; Eye of the Storm – Ryan Stevenson; Through All of It – Colton Dixon

Present over perfect

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