Resources to Rest and Restore the Soul
Welcome to the Resource Resort! All summer long, we’ll be helping you relax and enjoy a fun, peaceful summer vibe. Be sure to check back each week for new content!
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This series examines the concept of rest from what kind best fits our personality type to how we can instill it in our children.
How do we actively practice restorative rest when our brains never stop? How do we turn ourselves off enough to experience the benefit of doing nothing when there is still so much to be done? Rest is something that some of us may never master. The important thing is to not let this stop us from trying. I work continually to get better at rest. Here are a few things I have learned along the way that help me quiet my busy mind.
I’ve always considered myself a goal-oriented person and normally this is a good thing. I can see what needs to happen next and take the necessary steps to get there. I enjoy looking into the future, imagining what can be, and going after making it a reality. But sometimes that desire to get things done can slowly morph into “it all depends on me.” Sometimes avoiding the pressure of the next achievement can leave me feeling lost. And sometimes the reason I feel weary is not just outside circumstances but inner patterns of thinking that rob my peace and joy in Christ.
As our bodies, minds and spirits continue to recover from the incredible stress of a prolonged, world-wide pandemic, it’s important to be intentional about resting and recharging our batteries. But just as our household appliances require different types of batteries, rejuvenation is not a one-size-fits all approach. We respond to stress differently, depending on the unique way that we are wired. And the de-stressing technique that will work best may depend on our personality.
After all of His creating, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-3). The word used to describe God’s rest is the Hebrew word shabath and it’s where the word Sabbath originates from. The literal definition of Sabbath is to stop. God’s exclamation point on creation was a whole day to stop creating. Millenia later, the Sabbath has all but disappeared from our collective consciousness. The fourth commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Yet many of us even feel guilty for taking a day “off” yet no, or very little, guilt for working seven days a week.
In good times and in dark, nothing shines brighter than God’s promises.
I took a deep breath and skimmed her shoulders, sleeves, and dress. I double-checked her eye. No lens. I couldn’t leave her there helpless, but how could I find this woman’s contact lens on a filthy supermarket floor when I couldn’t even find a jar of honey on a shelf?
One of my favorite times on vacation are my morning walks. Each morning when I am on vacation I get up before the sun and spend time alone walking. Sometimes I listen to something, sometimes I talk to God, sometimes I contemplate things in my life, but often I just walk in silent prayer enjoying the world around me and listening for whispers from God’s Spirit. I simply walk and take in the wonder of the world God created and try to be present with Him and in the blessing I have to be on holiday.
Why would I participate in an activity that had “grueling” in the description? Why do I think that this was a good idea at all? I feel like our hiking adventure is like the adventure I am on with Jesus. He knows what I can handle. He knows this journey will test my strength, stretch me in ways that I did not know possible, but He also knows I can do it.
Moving home with your parents is a humbling decision, but we were so uncharacteristically at peace with this new path that we knew God was behind us. He continually showed us another way to live — we could finally slow down enough in life to see Him move, instead of uncontrollably swirling around in a tornado of bottles and babies.
When we think about giving God control, for many of us, it’s like looking at the ocean. It’s too big. It’s too scary. We would rather stand on the sand, holding tightly to our ideas of how things should go, even when we’re miserable. We learn to trust Him only by experiencing Him. After we have felt His solace at a time of discomfort in our lives, it’s hard to imagine sitting in sweltering heat instead of being refreshed by the tide.
If you always wanted to know more about what LifePoint does outside of our building, this is the series for you.
Most parents of school age children would agree that 2020-2021 was a harrowing year for education. And yet, although it may not have been in the way that we were accustomed to, or the way that we had planned, education continued despite the pandemic. Our children were never denied a chance to learn…at least this is true in the United States. Staff and students at the Kigali Christian School (KCS) in Rwanda had a much different experience.
If you had asked me before this what I might have in common with a Ukrainian orphan, I don’t know that I could have answered you. But as Zhenya spoke, more and more of what she said about Oleg, 23, resonated with me. During a season of graduation celebrations and weddings, first time home buyers and baby announcements, I’m reminded of how the transition into adulthood is something we all experience, but not everyone has a family to offer a safety net as they do.
When Sandy McCann, the Guatemala Country Coordinator at LifePoint, visited Down Guatemala on a mission trip in 2018 she remembers hearing about a boy named Jonathan from Quetzaltenango (also known as Xela) who traveled 4-5 hours by bus each way to receive therapy. The people of Xela are mostly indigenous, coming from low-income homes and speaking the native Mayan language. Shouldering the financial hardship of the commute to provide Jonathan with care spoke to the love and commitment his parents had for him. In situations like Jonathan’s, Alfredo and Irene saw the need for another center that could serve the families farther from Guatemala City. They prayed that God would provide.
In 2011, Keeley Murphy, then in 9th grade, approached her father Sean with a simple request. She really wanted to go on a mission trip.
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Let us know what you think, or share your own restful summer ideas!