The idea of rest can trigger thoughts of Orbitz flights, apple vacations, and relaxation music.
The truth about rest is that it is so much more than a vacation, an hour massage, or playing relaxing instrumental music.
Real rest is not an emotional or mental outage from chaos, conflict, and confusion. Real rest apparently transcends the noise of our world and finds peace from somewhere within.
The world needs more rest, and unfortunately the quest for rest and comfort continues seemingly endlessly.
Actually, there are so many synonyms for rest.
And searching for quotes about rest nets huge results.
It seems Just like the the old song about love, concerning rest, we’re looking for it in all the wrong places.
We need rest; physical rest, intellectual rest, emotional rest, and spiritual rest. We are body, soul and spirit, and each area needs care. It’s our job to manage ourselves.
There are 3 things to pay attention to throughout the day, in every circumstance, no matter what’s going on around us.
When we give them their due time, we begin to experience more peace, better connectedness to ourselves and others, and life will actually improve, mostly because we will be much more fun to be around and our problem-solving skills will be flowing like oil.
3 simple and powerful understandings
Maybe you were thinking things like, read more, go to bed earlier, unplug from the internet, take more vacations, drink less caffeine, etc.
So sorry to disappoint you.
Those things are helpful, but getting to the root of the issue is best practice for getting traction in life and living with purpose and happiness.
Without rest we are at risk of running ourselves into the ground, destroying relationships, or never achieving our goals in life.
Trust me, I’ve experienced each one. I’ve lost decades to the problems they wreck and am passionate about helping others not let them steal another moment of joy, productivity, and abundance.
2003 I tried to start a school - in my own strength. It closed, and I lost my house.
2005 I started a business with a partner I barely knew. Trust bombs, boundaries crashed, and well…
I have been fed up with being single and caused train wrecks in relationships because of these things. Since then, much wisdom has come my way. Can’t you see the lack of rest in 2005 and the peace in 2018?
2005 vs 2018
You get the picture.
Sometimes it feels like we’re turning the Titanic around when we come off a hectic work week and try to “rest” on our day off. But we get home and the chaos just looks different. There’s family to care for, chores to be done, errands, and after work appointments.
As a single-mom, I’ve juggled all these with the best of them! It’s hard. Kids need us. Time is short and we aren’t the only ones who need rest. Friends need us. Neighbors need us.
It’s so hard to know when to say “no”. But it costs us so much needed rest.
In 2011 I heard a former Navy SEAL talk about why our brains need rest, “mental space”, he called it. Our mind needs mental space as much as our bodies need physical rest. Mental space allows us to solve problems better. Mental space makes room for creative ideas.
We don’t do ourselves any favors when our minds are consumed with the abundance of chaos that life brings and we don’t give it a break. The stress of work, finances, relationship conflict, these big life issues that take up our mental space, take their toll on our physical bodies.
The impact of chronic stress on the brain can increase the risk of mental illness.
The impact of stress on the brain will impact memory.
Remember we are humans with a body, a soul, and a spirit. The soul includes the mind, the emotions, and the will. Too often I see people ignore the fact that we have a soul. The other side of that issue is when people give the soul too much power.
Emotions are real, but they are not always reality. Emotions are like the dashboard in a car; they are indicators that something is happening in the engine. We should pay attention to our emotions, but not let them rule us.
Trust me. I’ve been there. Letting my emotions lead me around and in all sorts of less than desirable circumstances.
Let’s go back to the body, soul, and spirit. Even in the age of mindfulness, spirituality, and making a religion out of atheism, we still forget the importance of spiritual rest.
Since we don’t want to be led my our emotions, and our physical bodies are equipped to lead us, it makes sense that our spirits should be the ones to lead us.
How exactly are we supposed to find rest in any of these areas?
3 simple superpowers each of us possesses.
1 - Trust
At a foundational level, rest is an indicator of trust. We humans are limited beings with the unique ability to dream, envision, and accomplish great things.
Rest is an attitude. It’s a peace in the soul and the spirit, despite what is happening around us.
It’s takes more than hard work. It takes trust. Trust that God will handle things we can not control. We leave rest when we ignore God and try to handle things in our own strength. God did not intend us to live out our destiny on our own.
God intended to live and work through us to accomplish the exceedingly abundant things He dreamed for us.
Trust in God is a very accurate indicator of our ability to rest.
Trust is a whole topic in itself, we’ll tackle that another day. Today, it’s important to understand we can gauge our level of rest by our level of trust that God will handle things.
How do we find rest in a God we are trying to trust?
It begins with an understanding of God’s character and nature. A correct understanding of His character and nature. I love this quote by Michael and Cherrie Kaylor.
Too often we miss this because we do something like this:
We put our experiences with other humans who have broken our hearts and trust on God.
We put our experiences with our father who is far from perfect on God.
When we do either of these things, or anything from our humanness, we miss God’s true character. This is especially huge when we are trying to find rest for our bodies, our souls, and our spirits. It’s impossible to trust God when we put human limitations on Him. He is eternal, infinate, and it is impossible to put Him in our limited boxes.
I get it. I struggled with it for decades. Trusting a God who hasn’t proven Himself trustworthy is hard. But how can He prove Himself if we don’t let Him? Ahhhh…. There’s the rub!
How exactly are we supposed to get more trust?
Recently I made a little chart of God’s names, character, and nature. It reminds me of who He is and includes scripture proof. You can get it here.
One way to begin is by asking 2 questions:
Who is God in your circumstances?
How does He want to show up?
Ask Him. Go with the very first thing that pops into your thoughts. If it’s good keep it. If not, toss it and ask again. God only says things that are encouraging.
Trust is a huge topic. The foundation of trust is relationship. Relationship with a God we can trust.
Rest has roots in relationship.
2 - Relationships
Most of everything in life comes back to relationship. Our mental and emotional rest, or lack of it, is often because of relationships in our lives.
Sadly, even people in our faith-based communities can impact our emotional and mental rest.
How do we find rest in our relationships?
It begins with another question:
Who is He saying that you are?
This is a question I ask God EVERY DAY.
At the very core, you are a son or a daughter. As a son or a daughter, is He giving you access to Him, all He has, because He is a good dad.
Sabbath is not about resting perfectly but resting in the One who is perfect. Shelly Miller
God will come to you as a good dad and let you do one of 2 things:
Rest as His child.
Equip you to rise up and get victory.
Simple questions for powerful living.
Who is God for me in these circumstances?
Who does God say I am?
It’s powerful because as we have deeper relationship with God, we can have better relationships with those in our lives. When we understand who God says we are, we have peace (rest), we can show up better and healthier in our relationships.
We learn how healthy boundaries teach us what’s our problem and how to better support others in theirs. We become empowered because we can manage ourselves in spite of the chaos and confusion around us.
No more emotional outages!
We learn who we are so that we can manage ourselves and live from an attitude of healthy rest; emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually. (This is one of my most passionate areas to share about. Check out more here.)
Let’s look at one more area. Learning to rest takes time. Learning to trust, to be in relationship, is a process.
3 - Process
Learning by nature is a process. Learning to rest, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, is a process.
Process take time. If you get my tips and tools emails, you remember how I had to trust the process of letting the cold medicine work. In the same way, we have to trust the process of learning who God is for us, learning who He created us to be, and learning how to be in relationship with Him.
There is a huge cost if we ignore either of these: trust, relationship, and process.
Our hearts desire more of God in our lives, but when we neglect a healthy attitude of rest it’s counter productive to our hearts desires. It gets us out of God’s will, out of the flow of God’s love, and it disrupts the timing of the next season of our destiny.
Our faith walk begins with rest. In our willfulness and works-based theology, we make the faith journey first about serving instead of rest.
Learning to rest well is a very spiritual discipline.
To sum this up, a healthy lifestyle that is grounded in rest is a moment-by-moment sabbath rest. Trusting that God is working good on our behalf. Staying in intimate relationship with Him throughout the day. And most of all, giving ourselves grace because learning rest is a process.
Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Rest is a peace of mind (that God has it under control).
Rest is having peace in the soul which means that keeps us free from worrying, from anxiety, and from frustration. Rest keeps us calm even under extreme pressure.
What about you?
What is one area of your life, one circumstance, where you would be brave enough to ask God to come in and take over?
Take a moment and talk with Him (not at Him).
Ask Him how He wants to show up in this circumstance?
Let Him encourage you with who He says you are. (Ask Him again and let Him remind you often).
Most of all, Hit reply and encourage me with your story! I love to have you in the conversation.
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