Learning to Rest

Having a c-section with Blake in January was a real eye-opener for me.  Why?  One of the things that I kept being told was “You need to rest.” – over and over and over again I heard this.  But one of the things I quickly realized was that I didn’t know how to rest.

Blame it on having multiple little kids in our house.  Blame it on being involved in ministry where someone seems to want/need something 7 days a week.  Blame it on our fast-paced, constantly stimulated society.  All of these things were part of the reason I didn’t know how to rest, but when we knew we were going to have a sabbatical this summer, one of the things on the top of my list was resting and to actually rest, I needed to learn what that really meant.

Two books I heard great things about and had to do with this pursuit of finding out what it meant to rest were “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and “Addicted to Busy” by Brady Boyd.  Ya’ll, “Addicted to Busy” has rocked my world.  Like in a way that a book hasn’t in a long, long time.  I had lots of AHA moments and lots of “God has been telling me this for a while” moments. At the end of each chapter, there are a few challenges that you can use to apply to your life, and if you really do those, instead of glossing over them, I think the book can really hit home.

Here are some of the highlights of the book for me and what I am learning about rest over this sabbatical:

1 – Live with slow and wide margins throughout the day.  The opposite of hurry.  Speed is the greatest threat to a healthy life – we move too fast for too long in too many aspects of life.

2 – Rest, not by naps or sleep, but by sitting still with the Lord, undistracted, attentive to where you are, just being.

3 – Follow Jesus’ example – engage, engage, withdraw, engage, engage, engage, withdraw, etc. – rhythmic living.

4 – Know what brings you alive and pursue that.

5 – If you ask someone “How are you?”, more often than not you will hear “I’m so busy.”  Is our busyness a means to impress and make our lives matter?  We want to be important, but we are going about it in entirely the wrong way.

6 – The more rested you are, the less you are driven by what others think of you.

7 – Rest isn’t an obligation – its a gift.  Be thankful for it.

Ironically, Ed is reading a book called “The Rest of God” and it is essentially about, and saying the same thing, as the book I was reading.  It has been neat to be able to share with each other and to be learning the same things.

I am not going to lie, the first week of sabbatical was rough.  It is hard to go from doing, doing, doing to just being and to realize that sabbatical doesn’t mean a 40 hour week reading your Bible.  But, after we settled into a grove, it has been nice.  Ed is actually in the wilderness right now on a 2 day camping trip to just spend time with God and to reflect and refocus.  100+ degree heat days don’t sound like great days to me, but to each his own 🙂


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