A Fresh Wind

When it comes to rest, I think we all have a lot of preconceived ideas about what rest is. Many of us think rest is binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix all day. Some of us think rest is a very passive thing where you do absolutely nothing all day long. Some of us think rest is equal to taking a nap and that’s all. No matter where you stand, I think we as a society don’t fully know how to rest. We get to a break in the year, whether that’s Christmas break, summer break, or even a vacation, and we don’t know how to stop, be still, and legitimately rest. We are so accustomed to having something to do that we don’t know how to respond when we don’t.

So, what is rest and how do we do it well? Where are we burnt out and rundown and how do we allow a fresh wind to come into our lives again? To rest is to “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” Step one of rest is to stop. Legitimately stop—stop work, stop the stressful routines, stop your mind and your body, whatever you need to do to stop and be still. When you stop, you create space for something new to happen. More specifically, when you stop and be still with the Lord, the possibilities are endless.
 
I got an image over the summer where I was driving a car and the car ran out of gas going up a hill. So, I started pushing the car up the hill. After pushing a little way, the Lord showed up with a full can of gas, but I wouldn’t let him put the gas in the car—I kept pushing the car up the hill by myself. The crazy thing is though, He kept walking beside me the whole time. Finally, I let Him put gas in the car and guess what happened? I could drive the car again! Crazy how that happens. Anyways, I think this image beautifully shows what rest is with the Lord. He shows up when we feel rundown and empty and fills us back up with whatever we need.

Whether it’s hope, joy, passion, or even love. When we stop and give the Lord space to fill us up, we can then experience the resurrection and life we so desperately need and even hope for. I think to rest well is to recognize what you need and then meet those needs. Rest is something that should actively engage every part of who you are—body, soul, and spirit. The best part about this is we get to figure out what things are actually restful for us!
 
For me personally, I feel rested when I hang out with my close group of friends and spend quality time with them. But on the flip side, sometimes I feel rested after reading a book all day. However, I don’t know what I need until I stop and assess where I’m feeling empty. So, if you feel empty mentally, maybe do something to stimulate yourself mentally (I love playing sudoku or doing a puzzle). Or, if you feel empty spiritually, spend some time with the Lord—whether that’s journaling, reading the bible, or even painting! Sometimes when I don’t know what I’m feeling or what I need, I just start painting. Normally by the end of it, I feel significantly better than when I started. It’s so easy to get in a rut over breaks and end up doing nothing for days on end. Challenge yourself to do something new or even something restful that you haven’t done in a while. Be intentional with the time you have over break—plan ahead for things, make a schedule, or even block out time for specific activities or spending time with the Lord. Rest is something that takes intentionality. Breaks are a perfect time to get in the habit of resting daily, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. Take the time to take care of yourself—ask yourself what you really need and then do it.

Author | Elizabeth Sprinkle

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