Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Challenge of Rest

Have you ever made New Year resolutions that were forgotten by January 15? Yeah, me too.

A few years back, I joined the One Word movement choosing to focus on one quality or attribute I wanted to see happen in my life.

Looking back, I see that each of my words build on the previous:

2012 - Joy
2013 - Fearless
2014 - Abiding
2015 - Intentional
2016 - Rest

When you find joy and contentment knowing your Lord and Savior has you in the palm of His hand, you can be fearless. Realizing that peace and fearlessness can only be found in Him makes you want to abide, or dwell, in His presence even more. But, knowing my temperament and my tendency to go all out means that I have to be intentional about spending time at the feet of Jesus. I also have to intentional about finding time to ... rest.

I have to admit that the idea of rest is not alluring to me. I've always been a bundle of enthusiasm and look forward to seeing how productive I can be each day. I'm a list-maker from way back and nothing excites me more than checking off what I've accomplished.

A day with nothing to do fills me with uneasiness.  I feel like it would be a day wasted.

But in God's economy, rest is so important that not only did He suggest it, but He COMMANDED a whole day be set aside for it.

In fact, He even did it Himself. He spent six days creating and then He rested.

If God rests, mere mortals must really need it!

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28 The Message

Today, at The Loft, our theme is our One Word for 2016. I'm excited about sharing this topic with you because I'm going to need as many as who are willing to keep me accountable.

I really don't even know how to rest.

(By the way, rest is more than mindless TV viewing from the couch potato position, which is basically the way I've "rested" all these years.)

So, help a girl out:  let me know how YOU rest? How do you schedule it? How do you make time for it? Does it mean napping the day away? Meditating in silence?

I need me some feedback!

The Loft

If YOU would like to share about your One Word for 2016, leave a comment or link up your own post at The Loft here.


Michele Morin said...

Fascinating that you and Leah ended up with the same word! I am also uneasy with the concept of "inactivity," but I have a feeling that what God has in mind for you two this year will be no more lacking in activity than a drop of pond water! Under the microscope, it's just bursting with life! The challenge will be to rest in Him so that he can show you what's next. I think we're in a similar place, as God is giving me the message that I need to slow down as well. This will be a challenging year!

betty said...

It is hard to sit still and rest. We did it more when we were in Southern California; we intentionally didn't do much on Sunday afternoons. I made it a point not to do any chores on Sunday or even go to the store unless absolutely necessary. We often would nap away the day but it was refreshing at the end of it and a good start into the new week. Now since we moved, we tend to do things on Sunday like go out and explore, but I must admit I do sometimes miss those napping Sundays :)


Leah Adams said...

Boy, do I ever smell what you are stepping in. As Michele said, I am confident that God has something wonderful for us, if we are obedient. So glad I have a kindred spirit here.

DeAnna Morris said...

Wow... I love how your One Words have taught you though the years of God's provision... I read your post twice and am so blessed by your sweetness. Blessings to you!!!

Ceil said...

Hi Jerralea! I have jumped on the word bandwagon myself, for several years now. I love choosing the word, along with the inspiration of the Spirit. Isn't it fun that you have been given 'rest'? And it sounds like it's something you need to work on, that you are not too familiar with the concept!

When I 'rest' it usually means a walk outside. Just thinking about nothing in particular, because mental rest is so needed. I know you'll find your place in rest. You'll love it!

Faith said...

for me, true rest is "be still...and know that I am God." i had that as my word 2 years ago (2014 my word was "Still" as in that Scripture). So..I PLAN (each and every day) after work Mon-Fri and in the early mornings or late afternoons on the weekend, to spend time just being still....RESTING in the presence of my Savior. To listen, meditate, read. Other times, AFTER i have done some time with the Lord, I rest by reading for pleasure, taking a walk or sitting on the deck in the sun, just....being still. It's so important to take 10-15 min each day to "Rest" as women....we are just so busy here in America. Much success to you as you learn to rest!! (we also schedule date nights for "just us", and we go away 1-2 weeks each summer to thoroughly rest...we call it vacation). :)

ellen b. said...

Great choice for your word for 2016. Rest for me happens when there is nothing scheduled on a given day. I have to have those kinds of days interspersed with the busyness of other days...

Karen said...

I like your word choice. I feel rested when I spend time playing with my granddaughters. This usually involves sitting on the floor with them and just letting them take the lead. I also rest by taking naps!

My word this year is clarity. I'm excited to see what is in store for me. I've read lots of good word choices this year. I should make some notes for next year!

About a chiK said...

Rest is a hard word, especially these days. I am working on taking a Sabbath day each week. Hard with two Littles! Thanks for sharing!

About a chiK said...

Rest is a hard word, especially these days. I am working on taking a Sabbath day each week. Hard with two Littles! Thanks for sharing!

Blogoratti said...

Really wonderful thoughts and perspective. Many thanks for sharing. Warm greetings!

Monica said...

Good morning Jerralea. We sound very much the same. I have a hard time sitting. That's why it takes me so long to read a book! I just feel like there is something I could/should be doing. In order to rest most times my hubby and I must get away from the house. We ride a Harley in the warmer days and go to our favorite restaurants in the cold days.
Even sitting to knit or watch tv doesn't last very long. I too really should work on this! :)

Ren Simonitis said...

First, love the thought that even God rested so, a day with nothing to do is not a waste. In the coming year, I hope to take better advantage of the day of rest we have in Sundays. Where I'm at with the concept of Jesus' "rest": I have been focused on politics and the direction of the world an dthe church the last two years. God has been waking me up. Sometimes I can't move myself away from the research, sometimes I really just wish I didn't know what I know so that I could "rest" and not feel the burden of sounding an alarm. When I feel like running away God comes in that moment and gives me His rest. He calms my heart and reminds me that He has it all under control and that I just need to keep being faithful. He doesn't take the burden away, He has not allowed me to ignore being able to see the road and it's end, He's not freed me from the responsibility to keep speaking up with warning, BUT He gives me rest in my heart, in my soul. He gives me rest and peace and those help me to carry on.

Ren Simonitis said...

Oh, and I'm coming to you from The Loft <3

Jamie Miles said...

I'm really good at resting -- though I never get to. Maybe that's why I stay so frustrated. I love sitting reading my bible and studying. But enjoying something and doing it are two different things. I need to be more intentional at letting myself stop the busyness and rest in God -- without feeling guilty. Happy New Year Jerralea.