Let’s be honest. It’s been a while. Between homeschooling and family issues, I have been one busy bee. Rest was not in my vocabulary. I believed that everything was for me. I thought I could do everything and be everything to everyone. Until I realized that all my efforts did not move goals forward. In fact, they were burning me out.
Nearly every week, at some point, I would find myself in tears, overwhelmed and distraught. I was praying, reading my Word, and asking God for strength, but something was out of alignment.
That’s when I began a Bible Plan called Sacred Rest.
While I totally recommend, the Bible Plan, it was the quiz that grabbed my attention. I took the Sacred Rest quiz. I felt depleted in every single area of rest.
The book explores seven areas of rest that we need to live a well-rested life. I’ll walk through the changes that I’ve been making over the past few months to increase my rest scores and to experience a more well-watered, grace-filled life.
While I was getting enough sleep each night, I wasn’t listening to my body to discover what it might need at any given moment. I couldn’t tell if my body was exhausted and I needed a nap, or if I needed to move around, walk or just be active.
But physical rest is not just sleeping. Physical rest can be moving in a way that allows other parts of my body to rest. For example, it may be taking a bath, stretching, or walking. If I’ve been sitting at a desk all day, it may mean going for a walk. If I’ve been out in the cold all day, a warm bath may be just what I need. The key is slowing down enough to pay attention to what it is that my body needs.
To increase my physical rest, I’ve been taking more naps, and getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I’ve also been alternating activities like walking, dancing, stretching, and running. I plan to explore swimming.
So mental rest is the ability to allow your mind to rest or to focus on the thoughts that you desire, and reject unwanted thoughts. It is bringing every thought into the captivity of Jesus Christ. Every thought is not your thought. Sometimes the enemy will plant thoughts of doubt and anxiety in your mind to keep you from enjoying God’s promises of peace and joy. However, you have the authority to curate which thoughts you allow to live in your mind.
Let’s take a moment and evaluate this. Pull out your phone and set your timer for one minute. In that minute, breathe deeply and focus on the presence of God. You can focus on a scripture or a beautiful vacation spot.
If you try this exercise, and invasive thoughts keep popping up – this may be a sign that your mind is not at rest. To reset your mind, you need to replace your busy, anxious, negative thoughts with the Word of God. Choose a scripture that speaks to your exact issue and memorize it, write it on a post-it, put it on your mirror, and rehearse it every morning.
Set the tone for your day by proclaiming God’s Word over your life. Tell your mind exactly which direction you want your thoughts to travel.
If you need help finding scriptures to meditate on, click here to download my eBook with Creative Affirmations from God’s Word for Creatives, Wives, and Entrepreneurs.
This is one of my favorite areas of rest. I discovered that I was most depleted in this category because I wasn’t owning my voice. I wasn’t taking the time to express my beliefs, values, thoughts and opinions even to those in my inner circle. While I would make room and space to hear their thoughts and to make sure my loved ones felt safe with me. I didn’t take space for myself to be heard, even on important issues in my life. I experienced a death in my family, recently, that caused me to reevaluate my relationships and how I show up. I began to allow the people who wanted to be there for me, to get in close and to truly see me. Not just when I was happy and in a good space, but also when there were tears and sorrow.
I also got around a powerful mentor who told me that I needed to own my voice in this season in my life, so I began to voice my concerns, even when it was uncomfortable. I began to allow others to meet me where I was, even when I was hurting or feeling bad.
Do you have a space where you feel emotionally safe? Whether in friendships, at home, in church, or otherwise? It is so important for us to create safe spaces where we don’t have to perform, we can just let our hair down and ride out the ups and downs in life. Many times we feel like we can’t breathe because we only show up when we are at our best. I dare you to show up, no matter what, in the good times and in the bad. Every day won’t be sunny, but we all need the rain. We plant our roots deeper in difficult times.
Spiritual rest is a benefit and one of the blessings that comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ. The other areas of rest will always be off balance if not centered on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When you have rest in Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, you can trust and depend that all things are working together for your good.
For me, spiritual rest looks like “casting my cares” upon the Lord. He takes on the responsibility of my cares, and my worries…one translation even says “Turn your worries into prayers”. Spiritual rest looks like catching myself mid-thought and bringing that thought to the Lord so He can examine it, test it, and if it’s not true, cast it down.
It is prayer, it is praying in tongues, it is being intentional about laughing even during a storm. Spiritual rest is declaring the Word of God to be truer than any physical observation.
Social rest is the comfort and healing you find in the presence of friends and loved ones who allow you the space to laugh, cry, relax, and simply heal. God said in the beginning, it is not good for man to be alone.
Social rest comes from knowing that you have someone who is an equal. Someone you can relate to and connect with. This knowledge strengthens and encourages you for your journey. Proverbs 11:14 says that there is safety in the multitude of counsel.
When life gets noisy, sensory rest is how you are restored. As mothers, wives, professionals, entrepreneurs and even community volunteers, our days are so jam-packed with children’s clamor, the background noise of the television at any given moment, incessant phone calls, music, podcasts, YouTube, gaming and so much more. There are times where you may need to turn EVERYTHING off and simply be quiet.
If you are looking at a screen all day at work, you may need to take time to just close your eyes, or look out the window at the sky. Your senses, touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste are how we engage in the world. Sometimes, we need to give our senses a break in order to recalibrate. When we continuously bombard our senses, we become desensitized from the beauty of life: delicious flavors, beautiful scents, and lovely scenery. Sensory rest helps you appreciate the beauty around you.
Creative rest is the restorative wave we receive when we are creating something we love. Whether you are cooking, dancing, or painting, creative rest brings joy and color into your life. It renews your sense of purpose and hope for the future. There are many times when all I need is to take time to write, design, or create something. It gives me a sense of joy and achievement. What do you need to create today?
What type of rest do you need? I found that when I started paying attention to these areas regularly, I felt more balanced and joyful on a daily basis. I could identify where I needed to focus my attention and where I could release and allow God to step in.
Leave me a comment and let me know if this has been helpful for you. Also, I want to invite you to join the Proverbs 31 Sisterhood on Facebook. This is our space to connect, let our hair down, and enjoy the beauty of sisterhood.