Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thoughts on True Rest

I've been hearing a lot about self-care lately. It seems like everyone is saying the same thing: We need to slow down. And every time I hear it, I think, "Yeah, I'll stick that in my pocket and think about that when I'm a mom or, you know, actually busy. But my days are so slow, rest is the last thing I need. Don't even talk to me about me time, I'm sick of me!"

And then I took a technology fast last week. No Internet (well, besides posting here), no TV, no social media. (Nothing overly spiritual on my part; it was a church thing.)

From day one of the fast, God started to talk me about rest, of all things. Apparently God is on the rest bandwagon, too, because every Bible verse and story I read was about rest. Every sermon, conversation, thought I scribbled in my journal, all centered on the same idea. To the point where it almost got weird.

I was so confused about it at first; This is not supposed to apply to me right now, I kept thinking. Because clearly I need to be a little more Martha and a little less Mary. Rest is for pastors and moms and CEOs, not quiet little me. 

Most days, I have all kinds of time to myself. Time to exercise, to read, to make my favorite special tea twenty times a day if I want. And even if I have the most perfect "restful" day, my mind will still be louder than an airport Starbucks at seven in the morning - shouting out fears and doubts and worries, one right after the other like a long string of double shot latte orders.

But then I began to learn about the difference between true rest, rest found in God, and simply taking "me time". Because vegging out on the couch and finding my hiding place in Him are not the same thing.

True rest, the kind Jesus gives, doesn't always necessarily mean being physically still. True rest is more than a physical time-out, it's our posture towards God. It's trusting in Him.

This week, for me, finding rest looked like belly laughing with a group of girls in the hallway after church. Sitting on my porch in silence, coffee cup in hand and no agenda or phone to scroll through. A sunny ride home from the grocery store, windows down, radio off. Flipping through the Bible longer than usual when I felt like it wasn't quite time to get up yet. Letting myself be fully present, enjoying the exact moment at hand without distraction, and responding in gratitude.

I think this quote from Annie Dillard sums it up perfectly:

Experiencing the present purely is being emptied and hollow; you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.

Right now I'm having all the thoughts on rest, but I'll spare you and simply leave you with a challenge to get some rest this week. Real rest. It's a "challenge" because true rest is not passive, it's intentional. And I think God wants to meet you there.


  1. i really loved this. 'it's our posture towards God.' love, love, love. so good you were able to get that rest in Heather.

  2. This was a beautiful post! So true and a wonderful reminder:)

  3. Your posts always resonate so deeply with me. I think you and I are on very similar paths :) Thanks for another beautiful post.

  4. I literally JUST wrote a post similar to this yesterday. God really opened my eyes to see that my "quiet" times aren't so quiet, when my mind is racing. Man, is it good (and hard) to be STILL.

  5. I definitely needed to read this today. I have ME so need to rest a lot but never feel rested. I need to remember that if I rest in Him, that's where I'll get my energy from. Thank you!

  6. thank you for this! just bought a new Bible study that I think will really help me be intentional about this. And a technology fast? Well that just sounds straight up magical.

  7. Excellent post! I needed this reminder today!

  8. This reflects where I am, feeling as if what I need right now is more Martha and less Mary, and yet your insights about the loudness of "fears and doubts and worries" remind me that even in the stages of life that seem slower paced, I still must find and embrace spiritual rest. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I absolutely love this! I believe that being intentional with our rest can truly revolutionize our life. During Lent this year I did a 40 day social media fast, and for the first time since I can't remember when, I managed to just BE in the moment. Sitting down for 5min straight just looking out the window does wonders to your soul, compared to 5min on Facebook (or 25, for that matter ...) Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for reading! I reply to comments via email, so make sure you're not a no-reply blogger! xo

T I C K L E D Y E L L O W © 2013.

Design by The Blog Boat