“Rest”

by SomeGirl on February 17, 2011 · 13 comments

So, you may have noticed there was NO thought-provoking Thursday this week and might have wondered what happened… Well… Yesterday, I sat out in the yard watching the boys play, soaking up the wonderful weather, writing about a spiritual truth I gleaned from my time outside. Late in the afternoon, after finishing the post and scheduling it to publish, I received an email from my sweet friend, Jenny, who has graciously agreed to walk us through Mark on Friday’s in the month of February. Her email had the subject line, “Tomorrow’s post” and I thought to myself, “Aw, my sweet friend has the days mixed up. She thinks it’s Thursday already.” Turns out I was the one who had the days mixed up (it WAS Thursday already)! Guess I’ll schedule my thought-provoking post for NEXT Thursday and share Jenny’s GREAT insight from Mark today (which happens to be Friday, not Thursday). ;)

My sweet friend, Jenny, has so kindly offered to lead us through the book of Mark during the month of February (you are invited to join her by reading through Mark at your own pace). I am SO thankful! She is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and I know you will all enjoy getting to know her! She describes herself as a Yankee girl, born and raised just outside of Chicago, living in Tennessee (where I had the pleasure of spending several days with her last week).

She is a blessed wife and mother of three young children, and the owner of Southern Institute of Domestic Arts and Crafts where she blogs about family, faith, sewing, and healthy living.

I know you’re going to LOVE getting to know her and reading what she’s learning from the book of Mark!

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“Rest”

The past two years I have chosen a word to focus on, a word for the year. This year I chose “Rest”. I knew that this would be a hard one for me to apply to my daily life. You see, I’m a planner. I get overwhelmed by the “to do” list in my head. I like to be doing. Doing does not equal resting. Therefore, I am not inclined to rest very often, unless I’m sick, and even then it’s hard for me to do.

But Jesus values rest. Here was a man who knew that He had but a short time to fulfill His life’s ministry on earth, but still He took the time to rest. He was following the example of His Father in Heaven. If you start reading the Bible from the beginning, you don’t even get two full chapters in before you will encounter the word “rest”.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
Genesis 2:2,3

He made that day of rest holy, set apart. Do we set apart time for Him? Do we take the time to be in a quiet place with Jesus? I’ll be honest with you. It has always been a struggle for me, and often becomes just another thing on the to do list. Wash the dishes, pick the kids up, spend time in the Word… fit in in when I can. This is not what God intended.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

He was speaking of the law and religious responsibilities of the time.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:29,30

Today we don’t impose upon ourselves the same burdens and responsibilities that He was speaking of here, but don’t you know that we have replaced them with our own self-imposed burdens? We are heavy laden. We labor.

What are you laboring for?

Is it the perfect marriage?

Is it the perfect children?

The perfect home?

Are you laboring in your relationship with the Lord?

Have you not entered that rest that He has for you? It is a holy rest, a time to acknowledge that you can’t do it all, and that’s okay. He has promised rest to those who come to Him. He wanted the disciples to come to a quiet place with Him… He wants the same for us.

Lord, help me to rest in you. I desire to be in that quiet place with you. Thank you that you give me permission to jump off the hamster wheel that I wear myself out on. Thank you for your invitation to rest.

{ 13 comments }

Jamie (@va_grown)

Boy, I’ve been trying to reassess how my house work schedules and routines got so out of whack, and this hits the nail on the head. I think before we can be intentionally productive, we have to learn the meaning and boundaries of both work AND rest. Not just bounce meaninglessly back and forth between slug and roadrunner mode. Thanks for sharing.

RuthintheDesert

I think I have the opposite problem. I LOVE rest. I’m good at resting. It’s the doing that is a struggle for me.

suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter}

yes, that resting in God is key. when i don’t set that time aside, i steal moments from other places. not only is it not restful, i feel guilty for not being present where i should be.

we are a sabbath people:) good word.

Natalie at Mommy on Fire

Oh, sweet sisters. Jenny, you were right – I DO love this post. Speaketh to my hearteth at the momenteth…HA!

I’m right there – I have been in a wrestling match really since after Relevant back in October and after three big events of conflict and loss, I am now in a period of rest. I am doing Beth Moore’s new David study and she said that rest must follow our most intense struggles of “wrestling” and that’s exactly where I am!

Thanks for a great reminder – love the verse on the photo, too!

Courtney

Just found you through Gather Inspirit and boy am I glad I did! I was drawn to the word “rest” of course, and I can identify with all of it – your losing track of days and Jenny’s point about rest being okay, holy even. Love that. Thank you!

Deb Chitwood

Wonderful post, Jenny! I love your word art, and the thoughts about rest are so important to us all. It’s easy to forget that we’re meant to rest, too.

Charity

Rest. I am completely incapable of that right now in my life. Not because I am overly busy, though I am but by design. I have been walking a road of postpartum depression since my daughter was born in August. In this, we have discovered I am not your “normal” person when it comes to depression, I do not crawl into bed and sleep, rather, I must be busy. I have lost all ability to be still. I am improving in most areas, but not in rest. I am too afraid to slow down lest I fall completely apart and can’t pick up the pieces again.

Jenny @ The Southern Institute

Charity, I don’t have experience with this but know that it is very real and can be incapacitating, even if it isn’t in the typical fashion. All I can say is to trust Him. Fear does not come from Him, it’s a lie that we fall prey too. Maybe if you take it one tiny step at a time? Do you take little breaks to be with God? Even if just a few minutes? You will get through this, Charity. I’ll be praying for you.

Christi

Great words of wisdom about rest. It can be HARD. Sometimes we just feel like rest is an unnecessary perk, but without rest, we can’t be what we need to be, and we can’t do what we need to do. God uses rest to renew us, and restore us, but we are quick to forget that. Thanks for the reminder to be still enough to listen to God’s wisdom and encouragement in the midst of our busy days.

SomeGirl

I thought about your words while I was at the Mom Heart Conference yesterday… Sally Clarkson was speaking and said, “God isn’t asking you to do more, he’s asking you to rest in him and trust him. The more you rest in him the more you become like him.” God must be sending a message to me through you two! :) Thank you for sharing His word and your thoughts/impressions on it with us!! Love, Michelle

Jenny @ The Southern Institute

I just loved hearing her speak at Relevant! Yes, it seems as though “rest” is on many of our hearts right now. I was forced to rest quite a bit these past few days, as I’ve been pretty sick. Maybe He knew that was the only way I would slow down?

Gina Alfani

Wonderful and thought provoking post! I found your blog through Gather In Spirit.

It is a time of rest for me after many years of restlessness, anxiety and grief experienced after the passing of my husband. All those years, I relied on the words “all good things come to those who wait” even though there were days I felt I was walking through the fires of hell.

My journey has taken me to a very happy place . . . one of rest and grateful contemplation. God is great . . .

Have a wonderful day . . . Gina

Here is my Gather In Spirit post . . .
http://peacelovehappinesshappens.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-did-i-live-without-you.html

Betsy at Zen Mama

I missed thought provoking Thursday but completely understand! I’ve been a little out of it lately, not being able to spend as much time as I want on the blogging. But life continues on!

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