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How to Find the True Rest that Your Soul Needs

How to Find the True Rest that Your Soul Needs September 17, 2018

It’s fall, and I’ve started a new job and am teaching a weekly Bible study. The kids are well into the crazy school/sports/church activity rollercoaster. We have labrador puppies almost ready to leave their mama (our pet). Life has the potential to take off and drive away, out of control. So when my friend Jennifer Lee told me about her new book, the timing couldn’t have been better. And since I’m a little busy these days, she agreed to help me out with a guest post here. Her message today will give you a great taste of everything in her book, which you can take a look at below. How to find true rest… the kind our souls need. Don’t we all seek that, even if we aren’t over-committed or in a busy life season? I hope you are encouraged by her word today.

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I know how this noisy world can get in the way of me hearing God’s still, small voice. So, in the past few years, I’ve been intentional about quieting the outer noise in my life.

My biggest challenge is silencing the inner chatter.

I know the value of resting in Jesus, but it’s like my brain won’t stop moving in fifteen different directions. Corralling my thoughts is like herding a nursery full of fork-toting toddlers who just learned how to walk and are weeble-wobbling their way toward electrical outlets on opposite sides of the room.

Take, for instance, one of the places where I go to escape the noise: my bathtub. I’ll toss a bath bomb in the water and sink into the warmth. There’s no TV. No iPhone. Yet even here, my mind is running on high gear. I often receive some of my best writing inspiration in the bathtub, which is why my friend Cheri gave me a set of child’s bathtub crayons. (Yes, part of my latest book, It’s All Under Control, was written on the walls of my tub.) So while it might look like I am resting, I’m actually still working.

God is reminding me that my brain needs rest as much as my body does. I loosen my mind by simply dwelling with him: “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4).

If I have a lot of noise around me—even in the form of the silent iPhone scroll—I can’t hear God.

My friend Lindsay Sterchi, mom of twin toddlers, learned the hard way what happens when she doesn’t get the rest she needs. She told me, “Without rest, I’m not very fun to be around— just ask my kids and husband. I get irritable way too quickly. I lose perspective on the bigger picture of life, and the little things seem bigger than they really are. I get in this fog where I’m going through the motions of life but not really living intentionally.”

The answer for her: finding rest in small pockets of time each day. “Rest means that when the kids nap, or after they’ve gone to bed, I’m not going to zone out on TV or scroll through social media, which might seem restful but ends up being draining.” Instead, she does something that feels life-giving—without feeling guilty. Her escapes: reading a book, journaling, or simply being still, alone with God and her thoughts.

Maybe your escape is Netflix, and if that’s the case, you do you. But make sure it gives you life instead of draining your energy.

No matter what: make rest a priority. It’s vital.

Resting in God serves two purposes:

First, rest allows you to intentionally connect with God. God wants to meet with you, not simply to give you the day’s marching orders. He wants to be with you because he likes you.

Second, rest calms the noise around you so you can hear God’s clear direction.

Here are a few ideas to incorporate more rest into your life.


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