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Prioritize Rest

As a child, I was no-nonsense when it came to the work that I have to do. My mom never needed to remind me to do my homework, plan for my sports practices, or whatever else I needed to do. I was just wired that way. For me, it felt difficult to relax and have fun when I had my to-do list top of mind, and that pattern certainly carried into adulthood.

This year the Lord called me into a season of rest after working a very wonderful but strenuous job for the past 4 years. Leading up to my last day at work I was so excited about moving into this new season and would daydream about all of the amazing time I would spend with the Lord resting and rejuvenating. However, my first week in, I discovered that I was not very good at resting. Though I wasn’t working, I was still creating a to-do list a mile long and was always on the go! Now, I know that there are seasons where we are always on the move, but the Lord was specifically calling me to slow down for a time, and all I could think about was doing all the things I couldn’t get done while I was working.

God often uses natural things to teach us spiritual principles and I think that it speaks volumes that our bodies need sleep every day, that our sun goes down every day, that even our computers will get hot, if we run them too hard, and need to be turned off! Rest is important, and is a priority to God. He himself rested to show us how much he values it. And, if it’s a priority to God it needs to be a priority for us!

A few things that the Lord has taught me about rest:

  1. Seek First - Seeking him first helps us to rest in him throughout the day. I think we’ve all had those days when you get up with your to-dos for the day on your brain and think, “of course I’m going to pray! I’ll just run this quick errand first, or make this quick phone call first so it’s off my plate.” Then 5 hours later you’re still on the move and haven’t slowed down to get God’s specific direction for the day. When I prioritize seeking God first, I get his direction for the day and often he will rearranging my priorities for the day so I go about my day much more peacefully as I follow his plan.

  2. Invite Him Into Everything - In this season of rest the Lord has been challenging me to invite him into EVERYTHING that I do, from preaching to not overspending when I go to the grocery store, and all the little things in-between. So on the days when I actually have a huge amount on my plate, I’m constantly praying as I take time between each task to invite the Holy Spirit's wisdom and guidance, and helps me with all I need to do!

  3. Smell The Roses - When we’re busy we can often cut out the life-giving things that we love to do: singing, dancing, writing poetry, dates with our husbands, etc. And, in this season the Lord has reminded me that these things are an invaluable part of my emotional health. I personally love to exercise, be in the sun, and write music, and as I intentionally incorporate those things into my week, I have much more peace because I’m feeding desires that God has put in my heart.

I’m sharing a Psalm I wrote to the Lord on my first Sabbath day in this new season, and pray that it blesses you and encourages you to prioritize rest in your life!

Lord make me like the ocean waves

Who always wave their hands

Who sparkle under sunlight's kiss

Who ushers to the sand

“Join us as we magnify the one and only God

Join us as we dance before the one true King”

Lord make me like the careless bird whose song is always new

They raise their voice before you raise the sun to give you what you're due

“Join us as we magnify the one and only God

Join us as we sing before the one true King”

Lord make me like the emerald grass who waits upon your breath

They never move unless you breath they marvel in your rest

“Join us as we magnify the one and only God

Join us as we wait upon the one true King”

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