3 ways to (actually) embrace a rhythm of rest
I’m continuing a series of questions people have reached out and asked. This one came from a homeschool mom whose question was:
“how do I rest? especially calming my mind as a homeschool parent.”
I know its not just me (or the mom asking the question) who finds rest and a calm mind allusive.
There is an angst deep within many of us to to slow down and our souls to breathe. Do you feel it? An ache for a contentment and room for God to move in your life?
This yearning is evidence of God at work in your life. He is drawing you into a lifestyle and rhythm of rest.
There are and always will be seasons of chaotic schedules and scores of demands. Yet, they shouldn’t be our all the time. They should be seasonal and sporadic.
Living a rhythm of rest is counter-cultural and just plain hard. The world functions at break-neck speed and choosing anything different is weird.
And there you have it—experiencing a rhythm of rest will require choices so contrary to our culture, it will at first seem awkward and dicey.
Yet, embracing a rhythm of rest is ACTUALLY possible. Here are 3 ways you can ACTUALLY experience and embrace a rhythm of rest
1. Create Margin
The words of a book make up the meat of the story, without the white borders around the words it would be difficult to read.
Our lives are quite similar. You need margin—breathing room.
So, how do you get breathing room in your life? You schedule it—plain and simple. Obviously, it is much simpler for me to type those words than it is to actually carry it out. So, here’s what you do:
Decide what you want margin to accomplish. Do you want to have more time to read, to spend with you kids, your husband, God, even just time to yourself? Whatever it is, WRITE IT DOWN.
By acknowledging your priorities you are defining your goals.
If you are still reading this article, the very act of making it this far communicates you want to live a rhythm of rest.
Slowly read the next line (and then read it again).
Living an overstuffed life starves an already undernourished heart!
2. Slow Down
Creating margin and slowing down go hand-in-hand.
I’m an enneagram type 3–the Achiever. I don’t say that pridefully. I say it in some ways ashamedly. Sure I accomplish a LOT of “stuff.” But I’ve noticed unless I’m careful, my ‘busy’ can set me up with little room for intentional living.
My busiest, hardest-working days have rarely been my most purposeful and productive ones.
God didn’t design me for busy. Nor did He design me for lazy. He did, however, design me to have relationship with Him!
Busy isn’t wrong until it pushes out room for me to enjoy and rest in relationship with God and carry out the assignments and priorities He has ordained for my life.
You can’t program a slowed heart and mind. But you can make intentional choices to discipline yourself to sit quietly with God with the desire of experiencing God’s rest.
Stop talking long enough (and for some of us that may be longer than we’d like) to hear from God and to purposely slow down during the day to notice the wonder of God at work.
Remember what Jesus told His busy friend, Martha, as she rushed around getting it all done,
“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”Luke 10:41-42
Do you know what Mary had discovered? Mary found rest at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:39)
3. Release Your Efforts To God
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”Colossians 3:23
The Bible never suggests laziness. Yet, in our attempt to work for God, we often try to take charge of the results.
Follow me here, how many of us (subconsciously) make a deal with God that in exchange for our obedience & efforts we get to determine the results of said obedience and efforts?
We work and push and strive for a level of perfection, accomplishment and control that squeezes out room for God’s power.
“These are the words of him who is holy and true…What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”Revelation 3:7
God is more than capable. He is trustworthy with your efforts. Lean in, let go and trust God to put you in the perfect place and the perfect time. Trust Him to accomplish what He has appointed you to accomplish not what YOU decided has to be done.