Friday, October 3, 2014

Lessons learned from RESTING (Part Two)

What comes to mind when you hear the word….REST?  Slowing down, taking a nap, giving yourself a much needed break, or maybe the ultimate rest…“Resting in Peace”.

Did you know that RESTing can actually be a spiritual thing?   For some resting is required for their physical health, while others may need a spiritual rest to regain their focus and connect more with God. 

A spiritual rest for me is taking a “time out” if you will from the busyness of life.  It is limiting some activities or commitments for a season (how ever long I feel led) to focus MORE on God. 

When I feel run down, spiritually empty, or emotionally drained, I know it’s time.  It’s time to slow myself down and calm my heart.  I want God to have all of my attention.

In my last post I shared some lessons I learned from resting (  
Today I would like to add to my list.

1.      Gives me a fresh perspective
2.      Challenges me to re-evaluate

3.     RESTING refocuses my attention on Him
Have you ever felt just plain dog tired.  You run and run and feel like you can never get a break.  Your mind is scattered with all of the things you have to do, need to you, and want to do some day soon.  It’s overwhelming to think about and there is never enough time to do it all.  Sleep and rest seem like the last thing on your list… and when is there enough time for that!  Your list seems never ending and the stress is through the roof!
Am I reading your mail today?  I must admit I have been there at times.  In fact, I remember a time when my boys were little that I was the poster child for stress… the boys were probably 1 and 2 at the time (they are 16 months apart) and I was stressed out.  They felt like twins at times… I lacked sleep and energy, I needed a shower and desperately wanted some alone time.  I was a weary, tired mommy.  I remember sitting on my couch in a moment of despair, taking a deep breath thinking… “When am I ever going to get a break”…  I was maxed out! 
Almost immediately after my emotional pity party began the doorbell rang.  It was a group of little kids.  The leader with them explained that they were from a church down the road.  These kids were given a special challenge.  If each child quoted their memory verse to a certain amount of people, they would win a prize.  He asked if I would be willing to listen to them quote their verses and sign off that they did it on each paper.  I said sure… my kids were distracted in the toy room for the moment so why not.  I must have been a sight to see with my unkempt hair and unsheveled mommy attire.  The first child started out…
  “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
It wasn’t until the third and fourth kids repeated the verse that it started to sink in deep within my spirit.  I am weary… I feel burdened down… I NEED rest.  Wow!  That verse was overwhelming, powerful, and life-changing!  I have been longing for rest, but avoiding unintentionally the ultimate place and person of rest… JESUS.  If I go to Him, He will lift my burdens, and bring peace to my weary soul.  WOW… it only took about 8 kids at my door for God to get His point across to me.  I guess I am a slow learner.
As the dust begins to settle from our running circles in busyness, something incredible happens…in our RESTING we begin to see Him more clearly. 
I don’t why, but it seems like my physical resting is always tied in to a much needed spiritual rest.  When I have to slow down and stop at times, I seem to hear God more clearly.  Not only is my body strengthened, but He breathes life into my spirit.  The word comes alive, His whispers to me are more frequently, and I feel energized deep within.  In the quiet of resting…God shows up!
Psalm 46:10 reminds us of this… God says, “Be still and know that I am God”
RESTING refocuses my attention on Him. 
4.     RESTING prepares me for what’s ahead
I am a planner.  I like to know what is coming up so I can make the adequate preparations to be ready.  I make lists, I have a family calendar, and I even have a weekly schedule laid out on a pretty little dry erase frame I made for the occasion (A Pinterest project win!)
Even though I make plans, everything doesn’t always fall right into place.  At times I think God messes with my plans to remind me that I can’t control everything.  Me a control-freak… never!  I just like to prepare for what’s ahead.  The problem with this is that I don’t really know what’s ahead.  I have a general idea, but there is no possible way for me to factor in unexpected surprises, circumstances that may come beyond my control, family emergencies, natural disasters, or the like, but God knows.


Proverbs 16:9 says…

 “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (NLT)



I can make MY plans, but I need to trust God with the details.  He knows what is best for me and what needs to happen when.  He sees the big picture.  RESTING helps me learn to trust God with the details of my life… “What’s ahead”.



Proverbs 3:5-6 says…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (NLT)


We don’t have to be afraid of what’s ahead if we trust Him!
RESTING can be a time of preparation for what’s ahead.  God may need to teach us a few things so we are ready.  Maybe that might be… learning to hear His voice better, so we can hear Him more clearly in the midst of the raging storms life might throw at us.  It might be learning to dig deeper into His word (the Bible) so we have a place to draw strength from in our times of weakness or we are ready to share His truths with others when given the opportunity.  Maybe God might want to grow our faith stronger (deeper roots in Him) so we are able to stand no matter what we might face.  Life is unpredictable. 
Sometimes RESTING is a great time for God to feed, water, and cultivate godly fruit in our lives.  This process might include some pruning or pulling out deadly weeds that might threaten to suffocate His presence in our lives like… bitterness, anger, un-forgiveness, resentment, jealousy, hatred and the like.  Getting to the roots of these weeds can hurt at times, but the end result is a healthy heart and life connected to the life-giving source of Jesus.
In this season of “Spiritual rest”…
God may be preparing you in the quiet of resting for a new chapter of your life, a new ministry opportunity, a new spiritual challenge, a season of stretching your faith, a leadership role, or more… only God knows what’s ahead for YOU.
REST… soak in His presence.  Listen to His instruction.  Allow Him to remove what is unnecessary in your life and replace those empty spots with MORE of Him.  Invite Him to mold you and make you into the person He created you to be.  Let Him reveal Himself to you in new ways.  Learn to recognize His whisper and obey His leading.
It is in resting that God speaks, directs, transforms, heals, delivers, restores, refreshes, and sets free.  In the quiet of resting, God shows up!
RESTING prepares me for that next step.  We don’t have to face our future with fear.  Just obey God's leading for that next step for YOU.  God will give you one step at a time.  Draw close to Him and when He whispers guidance to you… follow through.  Learn to hear and obey quickly.  Each step He gives you will be a step in the right direction of where you need to be.  Before you know it, you will be amazed at where God takes you.
It all comes back to this passage again…

Proverbs 3:5-6 says…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (NLT)

Trust Him friend in the midst of your season of RESTING.  He is forever faithful!
I read an article recently that has given me a fresh perspective on the whole idea of RESTING.  As I read it, God breathed life into me.  Here are some bits and pieces I have gathered for you to read from it (To the Girl Who’s Tryingat

She writes….
A woman who loves me sat me down about a year ago.   She looked me in the eyes and told me that if I ran around and tried to do every single thing now, that I might burn out. And, even if I didn’t burn out, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the process along the way. I wouldn’t be able to celebrate the victories in life if I was always stressed about moving on to the next accomplishment.
I felt like she gave me permission to slow down, to be ordinary. There was no expiration date on any of my goals. There was no great rush.
She didn’t diminish my gifts or hopes. But, she did say, I’m afraid that you’re going too fast. I’m afraid you’re not resting or finding your identity in Christ alone. She worried that I’d be tempted to place my value in my production…what I did or created in the world. She challenged me to hold metaphorical hands with the Lord and just move forward, making sure to have energy to be in constant communion with God, making sure I had energy to love my people well, and even making sure I had energy to take care of myself.
She then challenged us from her heart of rest…
You being exhausted by the end of the day every day after day does not serve anyone well. I know you’re doing your best. I know you’re trying to live up to the potential people have always seen in you. I know you’re trying to stand out and make an impact and not waste any bit of life. 
I’d love to see you live from a pattern of rest. Not rushing, not striving. Swinging into work, swinging back into rest. Always, always, tethered to the Lord.
You’re going to do great, sweet girl. Celebrate the victories. Take note of all the good. Keep track of your progress, because you ARE making progress! It’s going to be great–and the world will keep spinning when you stop to take a rest. I promise!
I LOVE, LOVE, her heart on this topic… SO inspiring!  I want to live from a pattern of rest.  Not rushing, not striving… always, always, tethered to the Lord.
As I continue to practice the art of resting, I pray you are inspired to try it yourself…
Living to leave a legacy,

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