2017 went by too fast and 2018 is starting out the same way for me.
Perhaps it’s because my children are getting older. There is more that we are doing now. And with that there is even more of a need for us to focus on slowing down and taking time to rest.
There’s so much to consider and there is so much to learn when it comes to rest. I was reminded as I was reading the other day but rest is not something that is suggested but rather it is something that is commanded. Not to be desired but to be needed. A necessary. Something good.
Of course there is so much more to rest than most of us think. I recently began reading and studying this for myself. Already I have learned so much about the depths of rest. A greater purpose and meaning. It is not just about “sleep” but a state of mind and body. Can we rest in how we eat and the activities that we engage in? Can we embrace and seek to succeed in a sacred rest?
Simplicity in the meals. It certainly is a bit more challenging when it comes to shopping and cooking but you have a fresh meal but isn’t full of all kinds of crazy stuff. We recently got an Instant Pot and with that I am beginning to see so many possibilities. I have also dusted off my slow cooker because – healthier meals make for healthier bodies and minds. And when those are in a right place, we feel better and can enjoy and appreciate rest all the more. We keep it simple; simple enough some of the meals even the kids can help make!
We are also trying to rest more in that we know we cannot say yes to everything. There are archery lessons; book club and hockey and Bible quizzing. So many things that we would love to do and places we hope to enjoy. But when we are running all the time – trying to fit it all in – we are not rested. We are not truly enjoying the experiences we are having either. We need to slow down. Last year my focus was on mastery. It was a time of encouraging my children to find and stick to something. My oldest son has really stuck to his drumming. My younger son to his hockey. We still get out now and then to do what we can (wood carving, sledding, hiking, baking, rip sticking) but we are more careful. My kids may not appreciate the stream of “no’s” that they hear some days but we are learning to enjoy and be at rest in all that we do and where we go.
We are trying to focus (in this super cold Wisconsin weather even) on turning things off; unplugging and getting out there. Certainly there are benefits, I am learning, to these screens, but we need to be wise with how we use them. I have a cell phone, I wish I didn’t. I have a kindle which i really do appreciate but there is nothing better, than to get away. It’s so hard sometimes to really relax and appreciate all the beauty of creation when there are all these beeps and alarms and ringtones going off. I always tell my kids, when I was little we didn’t have a television, and the phone wasn’t something that it is now. We were happier, healthier, more at peace. We need to go back to that. Maybe not every day but sometimes. Because I think it is sad how disconnected we all are from one another. So much opportunity to communicate yet so little true relationships are made. It is work to build strong relationships. But it is work that needs to be done.
There is so much more to living a restful and healthy life. As I read in the pages of Sacred Rest, there are so many different forms of rest; every one of them needed in order for you to stay well rested, and satisfied. As it is said within the pages of this book, “Staying busy is easy, Staying well rested–now there’s a challenge.” As one who feels (with four children) constantly in a struggled to find and enjoy “rest” I appreciate being able to learn more about what it means to rest. And why I need to rest, in all the various ways, we ought to rest. Like so many things, God gives us exactly what we need. Surely the Sabbath was commanded, because without rest, where will we be? It is uncomfortable (for sure!) to start doing little things, to make time to rest (creatively, spiritually, physically, socially) but there is a peace that comes when you do. And there are promises given, to those who, in faith, rest. What better way is there to show that we have that perfect faith, than to take a break, pause and rest. In the middle of whatever mess we are in … To rest and be blessed ❤
This year is the year to celebrate and live the Sabbath day, every day, in some way. To begin to share and live out those simple habits that bring about a peace in the body, mind and spirit for the whole family. The Bible tells us again and again to choose joy; we are reminded that we are to be led with joy and gladness. This year is about resting. And finding a deeper relationship with the Lord, in that rest. Not just for myself. How I want to be able to pour out those good things; how I want to be able to reap a harvest for the Lord. But first we must be willing to submit and enter in …. And so I shall. Whatever it takes. 🙂
“The stars do their work without fuss; saints of God also ought to do their work without fuss. It is through those who are one with God that things are done all the time. Saints cannot be overcome by panic but should be at absolute rest, because of their oneness in Him. Consequently he can work through them. A sanctified saint is one who is perfectly confident in God because sanctification isn’t something the lord gives us but rather, Himself, in me. A sanctified saint is at leisure from himself and his own affairs; confident that God brings all things out for good.”
This learning of rest continues to encourage me in so many ways. I am not there yet but I’m slowly making steps that will allow my family to live a life that is full of that sacred and a beautiful rest. We have to chose to slow down, we must make the choice to intentionally rest. And when we do this we will experience a peace like no other. We will see the light, instead of the darkness.