empowering women on a quest for more

The Gift of Rest

Every Friday, I have the day off.   Right now, you are probably envisioning me with my feet propped up, and a People magazine in my hand.

Nope.  Maybe I should rephrase that.

I have every Friday off because I cram in 40 hours of work Monday – Thursday.  So, really, my day off is my grocery shopping day.  Laundry day.  Catch up on misc. projects day.  Cooking day.  Cleaning day.  My run-errands-I-couldn’t-get-done-during-the-week day.

In other words, my day off isn’t an off day at all. In fact, it feels like I am just as “on” that day as I am the rest of the week.  Life always seems to just go-go-go. I bet you can relate.

But that’s not the life we were intended to live.  

In the book of Ezekiel, we read about God’s punishment of the nation of Israel.  In addition to their idolatry, God is displeased that they have “disregarded My Sabbaths” (22:26).  

We’ve seen the importance of the Sabbath throughout Scripture but I think we forget the true beauty of it.  It is a gift from God to us.  Ezekiel 20:12 Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.

God wants us to work but God also wants us to rest.  From the beginning (literally), it has been a part of God’s design. After 6 days of creating the world as we know it, the God who neither slumbers or sleeps “rested” on the 7th day.  

All of our lives are busy so how can we practically create space for the rest God wants us to have?

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  1. Just say no.  If you are a product of the 80’s like me, it’s a familiar phrase (for a very different reason) but it actually applies to all of us today.  There are countless opportunities around us, from birthday parties to volunteering…but we don’t have to say yes to everything. We may have to say no to what is good so we will have the energy to say yes to what is best.
  1. Schedule an appointment for rest. On my calendar, it is called “Anu time”.  This sometimes means sitting on my favorite chair and reading.  Other days, it may include the words –‘outlet mall’.  Your ‘me time’ may look different from mine but the point is…what recharges you?   Actually marking this on the calendar will help prevent filling that space with something else.

This concept of rest can feel very selfish, especially for us as women.  It seems like we need permission for it but the fact is God already gave that to us – in fact, it made it in the top 10 commandments. Jesus also acknowledges that He wants to give us rest…we just have to make the space in our calendar to come to Him.  

Life works better when we are rested – so make rest something you gotta do. ~Anu

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