Stream through the woods in early spring

Are You Getting Intentional Rest?

by | #TellHisStory, Christian Living, Faith | 11 comments

My husband and I talked about taking a trip to Colorado so I could do research for my new book series. However, our oldest son announced he and his fiancé are getting married the same month we planned to travel. Since their wedding had been canceled twice due to Covid, we celebrated with them about their decision and deferred our Colorado trip until next year so we can help with their wedding planning.

Retreat
Silhouette of a couple on the water

Knowing we can’t afford to help with the wedding and take an expensive research trip, my husband texted me a link from work the other day to cabin rentals at a local state park where we spend a lot of time when it’s not cold and snowy. After further discussion and investigation, we decided to rent a yurt for a peaceful week-long retreat this summer.

On Sunday, after he and our youngest son returned from fishing, we drove to the park and checked out the yurt and surrounding areas. We wanted to see what it had and what we’d need to add to our current camping supplies.

We haven’t camped in years—not since our boys were much younger. To be honest, the thought of sleeping on the hard ground in a tent no longer appeals to either of us. However, we are looking forward to going “glamping.” And we’re trying to prepare for the best week we can spend together.

Spending quality time with my husband without the distractions of work, life, and caring for our pets—Grandma will be house/dog sitting—is my number one priority during our camping getaway. Even though we see each other daily and do make time for one another, it’s different when we won’t have to live by a schedule.

Rest

Another thing I’m looking forward to is rest and renewal. Even though I work at home, I lead a busy life—in addition to writing, I also work for My Book Therapy, an online writing program, teach Sunday school and children’s church, manage my household, and make time each week to live out my values of faith, family, friendships, health and wellness, creativity, writing, and work. I prefer to plan out my weeks, and sometimes before Monday even hits, I’m already tired from knowing what’s to come.

Rest is one of those words we talk about and perhaps, dream about. However, rest is essential for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I liken rest to the oxygen safety courses on airplanes—if you don’t don your mask, then you can’t help others. Likewise, if you don’t rest to refuel your mind, body, and spirit, you will be too rundown and burned out to help others.

God modeled rest in Genesis 2: 2 NIV:

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Quite often, it may seem like our work is never done, so how can we take time to rest? There are always things to be done. Sometimes we may need more hours in the day than what we’re given. However, when we say we’re too busy to rest, we’re saying we can’t trust God with our time or our schedules. We’re relying on ourselves instead of leaning into Him.

I love Proverbs 16:9, and I repeat it to myself often as a reminder of Who is in control of my day:

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

When we say we’re too busy to rest, we’re saying we can’t trust God with our time or our schedules. #tellhisstory #rest #faith Click To Tweet
Renew

Water on the beach against a cliff wall

Finding time to rest in the midst of our busyness isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. And I’m not talking about collapsing in bed after your body is worn out either. Or even napping on the couch. It needs to be intentional and purposeful in order to renew the mind, calm the spirit, and refresh the body. This renewal comes in different forms.

Rest could be curling up with a good book, walking on the beach, knitting a sweater, having coffee with a friend, riding your bike, or going fishing. Basically, it’s any activity that allows your mind and body to take a break from the busyness that forces you to keep going.

God commands us to rest, and we need to be obedient in order to deepen our trust in Him and to allow Him to us for His purpose.

What keeps you from getting the rest you need? What steps can you put in place to make it happen?

God commands us to rest, and we need to be obedient in order to deepen our trust in Him and to allow Him to us for His purpose. #tellhisstory #rest #trustinghim Click To Tweet

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11 Comments

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I thought that all my strength would last,
    but now I understand
    that as I now am fading fast,
    that God still has a plan
    to use resources that remain
    to work His work (not mine!),
    and since I still have got a brain,
    I tell Him that it’s fine.
    Before, I never liked to rest
    and put my life in neutral,
    but now He says it’s for the best,
    since pain’s become so brutal,
    to find refreshment in His ease,
    that I might still write poems like these.

  2. Barbara Harper

    My son and daughter-in-law are looking into glamping sites, too. It’s neat how many things like that are available for people who want to get away but don’t want to set up tents or sleep on the ground.

    Rest is such a valuable commodity. We’re so foolish to think we can get by without it. It’s so much better to incorporate it into our lives than to collapse.

  3. Lisa notes

    Staying in a yurt will be something many of us have never done. Sounds like a real adventure ahead! We used to tent-camp when our kids were young, but we haven’t done it in years. I’m not sure how my body would like it now either, but the thought of disconnecting from the “regular” world sounds very inviting. Praying you get real rest and great time with your husband and God.

  4. Joanne Viola

    ” I liken rest to the oxygen safety courses on airplanes—if you don’t don your mask, then you can’t help others.”
    Rest is the gift we give ourselves and thereby, others. It’s the gift that helps us to keep on giving 🙂

  5. Anita Ojeda

    I grew up with weekly rest built into my life. On Sabbath, from Sundown Friday to Sundown Saturday, I step away from deadlines, worries, and all the regular things. I rest. We often spend time with our church community or go on outdoor adventures. We try to avoid consumerism and things that ding (I take a social media fast each week). It’s so refreshing to have a day to be—to rejoice in my relationships with God and others and to set aside all work. As counterintuitive as it seems, I get more done when I practice intentional rest once a week than if I powered through and got worked all seven days.

  6. Michele Morin

    Have you been spying on me from afar???
    I am constantly having to preach this very same message to myself!

  7. Karen Friday

    A needed message, Lisa. Ironic that the Lord must command us to rest. I think of Psalm 23, “makes me lie down in green pastures.” Yet, David knew sheep like the Lord knows His people. We simply will not rest on our owns. These days I’m finding I yearn for rest and renewal more often.

  8. Donna

    Lisa, so happy for you to be able to plan a little getaway and help with wedding planning! You are right, planned rest is so needful, indeed life giving. I pondered Karen’s remark, at the irony of God “commanding” us to rest!!! But I wonder without that reminder if we would be intentional about resting!

  9. Jerralea Winn Miller

    This is something I truly struggle with. I need a rest that is more than dozing on the couch or a Sunday afternoon nap. “It needs to be intentional and purposeful in order to renew the mind, calm the spirit, and refresh the body.” Yes! Refreshing is the word. I need refreshing!

  10. Tea With Jennifer

    I agree with your following statement Lisa,
    “I liken rest to the oxygen safety courses on airplanes—if you don’t don your mask, then you can’t help others. Likewise, if you don’t rest to refuel your mind, body, and spirit, you will be too rundown and burnt out to help others.”

    Which I had to learn the hard way!
    Hoping you have the restful time you need
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

  11. Lois Flowers

    A “glamping weekend” sounds wonderful, Lisa. I stay offline one day a week and that “rest” has proven to be a good reset for me. I’ve also been pretty intentional about taking a 30-minute nap most afternoons … over the years, it’s been just what I need to refresh my energy for the rest of the day.