Archive for the ‘Rest’ Category

R & R

Posted: April 17, 2014 in Busyness, Miscellaneous, Rest, Thoughts
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Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

I have to be honest. I don’t really feel like writing today. This is one of those lazy days I have sometimes where I just want to relax and do… well, nothing. I want to sit and relax and enjoy the morning. When this happens, sometimes I feel like I am somehow letting someone down. I feel like maybe there is something wrong with that – like I should force myself to do whatever it is I don’t feel like doing. You know, like writing when I don’t feel like it.

And sometimes, that’s true. Sometimes I just need to do it, even if I don’t feel like it. Like, right now, I’m sitting here writing because I know that if I don’t, I will make it easier for myself to put it aside next time. To me, making myself write is worth forcing myself to do so because this is something I want to make a bigger part of my life at some point. But is it OK for me to skip it sometimes?

That is the question of the hour, right? Well, at least it is for me. In all honesty, I actually think it’s OK to skip out on good things sometimes. If you’re anything like me, you’re going all the time. On any given day, I have work, school activities for my kids, kids (always), family, friends, church, and a whole slew of other things. Often, I don’t get a chance to stop and breathe, and I think that’s bad for me. I think that at times I need to stop and just “be”. I need to let the cares of this world fall aside and just rest and relax.

Now that I’ve admitted that, I have to admit, I don’t do this as often as I should. I often keep going and doing all those things out of a sense of duty. And it’s OK to do those things. There’s nothing wrong with doing those things. But when they take over my entire life and leave me with no chance to stop, they are no longer “good” things. They become a ball and chain that I must somehow escape from.

So, while I did take the time to write some today, I’m going to stop here, and go enjoy the rest of my morning before I have to leave for work. I wish each and every one of my readers a very blessed Easter and I will be back next week!

Your turn! What do you think about this? How do you find time for margin in your life?

~Until Next Time,

Karen Signature

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Blessed Quietness

Posted: September 17, 2012 in Growth, Rest, Silence, Thoughts
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Today’s prompt from The Daily Writer by Fred White is to expound upon the “different kinds or degrees of silence as you have experienced them.”  It also asks that I reflect on how silence is important and where someone could go to find the best kinds of silence.

I find it interesting that this should be today’s prompt.  After all, I have the nickname “Gabby” for a reason – I like to talk.  Ok, ok, I admit it!  I love to talk. I love to hear the sound of my own voice.  It does not matter the subject or to whom I am speaking, I just love to talk.  And on top of all that, I like to sing, too.  So as you can probably guess, my experience when it comes to silence might be a bit lacking.   Yet, my experience is not entirely lacking.

As the prompt would suggest, there are different kinds of silence.  First, there is the “impatient silence.”  This is where I impatiently keep from speaking, just waiting for the person I am having a conversation with to stop talking, so I can say what I want to say.  This is one area that I have worked very hard at improving, so that I don’t alienate those that I converse with.  After all, you can’t have a conversation with just one person.  (Well that’s actually debatable, as many of us do talk to ourselves – and in some cases, I have been known to answer myself, but now I digress.)  Just the word conversation implies that more than one person is speaking.  An impatient silence is not one that I recommend.  If this is something that you have a difficulty with, my (admittedly unsolicited) advice is to practice active listening.  In case you aren’t sure what this is, it’s where you listen to the person speaking, and then restate what the other person said.  I have found that doing this helps me to keep from planning what I’m going to say when the person I am speaking to finishes speaking.

Another type of silence is “angry silence.”  This is where I am so angry, I can’t speak.  This is a silence that is felt in the room.  Others in the room can feel it too, and it may even be written all over my face, as sometimes my emotions do get the better of me.  Again, this is not a silence I recommend.  It makes everyone else in the room uncomfortable, and doesn’t really do much for your image either.

A type of silence I love is an “awed silence.”  This is where I have seen or heard something so amazing that I literally am knocked speechless.  I find this happens when I listen to some stirring music.  In fact, this happened just yesterday at church when our all-church orchestra played some special music.  I could feel the majesty and glory and honor being given to our Lord and Savior.  It was absolutely beautiful, and I even had tears in my eyes when it was finished.  Even now, I can feel that sense of awe and wonder just thinking about it.  If you have never experienced and “awed silence,” I recommend that you seek out something that stirs you so deeply, you can’t help but be silent in order to allow the awesomeness of it to seep into the very depths of your being.

The final type of silence I am going to point out is “peaceful silence.”  This is where I am content and comfortable with where I am at and who I am with.  To me, this is the best type of silence because it is when I feel the safest.  I don’t feel fear or anger or hurt.  There is just peace.  The only times I have ever experienced that type of silence is when it comes to my relationship with God.  Only when I am in His Word and following His ways do I know this kind of silence.  This is the silence of letting God work and giving up my control over things I have no control over anyway.  This is the silence of knowing who I am in the presence of a holy God.  This is true quietness.  This is being still.  This is being safe in the arms of God.

There are probably many other types and degrees of silence that I could write about, but these are the ones that strike me the most.  While there are “silences” I would not recommend (as stated above), I do believe that having silent moments in our lives is important.  If I am never silent, I do not hear what others have to say.  If I am not silent, I do not hear what God has to say.  If I am not silent, I miss out on things that I would otherwise have been able to experience.  Without silence, I would never hear a bird sing or a cricket hum.  I would never hear the water flowing over the rocks.  Without silence, I do not give myself the time to reflect and know who I really am.  Without silence, I hinder my ability to grow and mature.

What about you?  Do you find it difficult to find silence in your own life?  Do you give yourself time to reflect and think and listen to others?  What are your thoughts about silence?

Rest

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Christianity, Rest, Thoughts

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  (Matthew 11:28-29, NASB)

Rest is very much on my mind today.  It probably has something to do with the fact that I am feeling so extremely tired.  As I was lying on my bed trying to force myself to get up and move, so I can go to work this morning, the verses above came to mind.

Jesus said, “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (vs 28).  How often do I call on Jesus when I am weary or burdened?  I do sometimes, but more often, I try to muddle through on my own.  But Jesus said that if I call on Him, He will give me rest.  How comforting to know that He is there to do that for me.  I do not have to muddle through on my own power.

Sometimes I get so caught up in “doing” that I forget to rest.  But to God, rest is very important.  He rested Himself after He created the earth and all that is in it.  He also commanded His people to rest on the 7th day of the week.  If God felt it was important enough to make it a command, don’t you think it should be important to us too?

Now, this time, my weariness most likely has more to do with the time change than with doing too much.  But more often my weariness is a direct result of “doing”.  Yes, God wants us to do work for Him.  Yes, He asks us to serve each other.  But He also wants us to rest, and He doesn’t expect us to do everything ourselves.  In fact, He longs for us to call upon Him – so that He can carry the bulk of the burden.

Will you join me today in finding rest for your soul?  You don’t have to do it all either.  If you are weary and burdened, call on Jesus – in Him, you WILL find rest for your soul.

Until Next Time,

Relaxing Day

Posted: October 9, 2010 in Christianity, Rest, Thoughts
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I have found that I have a tendency to go, go, go all the time, without stopping to take time to relax and recharge.  Take last month for an example.  I cannot think of a single weekend that I did not have something planned from the first weekend in September through the first weekend in October.  So, not only did I work all week long, but I didn’t take time to rest on the weekend either.  Is it any wonder that I ended up sick and it took me so long to get over it?

Now, don’t get me wrong – there was nothing that I took part in that was bad.  There are a lot of good activities that I took part in.  For instance, one of those weekends was spent at the Answers in Genesis conference – it was a full weekend, which started on Friday night and ended on Sunday night.  It was totally worth going to, and I don’t really regret going.  Another weekend, my girls had an over-night party at the church.  Not that I didn’t get to have some alone time, but it wasn’t really a relaxing time – I pretty much ran around trying to get stuff done that I normally wouldn’t be able to.  Another weekend was a brunch for single parents, which was held at our church.  And then last week was my birthday, so of course there was a party!  So, as you can see, my weekends were pretty busy.  I don’t get time during the week to relax because I, of course work every day.  So, that leaves Sundays, which are spent at church pretty close to the entire day (there are a couple of hours in between the service and our afternoon drama/choir practices).

All this is to show that we get caught up in DOING.  So, where in all of this is there a time for rest?  Isn’t rest important, too?  Obviously, the answer to this question is yes.  In fact, God commanded His people to rest.  He said, “You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest” (Exodus 34:21, NASB).  In fact, God set the example of that at the creation of the world.  Genesis 2:2-3 says, “By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (NASB).  Looks to me as if God thought rest was pretty important.  So, why do we spend all our time doing, instead of taking the time to rest?

When we do not take the time to stop and rest, we set ourselves up to fail.  Rest is the way our body recharges itself, the way it regains its energy.  If we do not take the time to rest, we keep ourselves from reaching our full potential.  When we do not get enough rest, our bodies and our brains do not work properly, causing us to make mistakes, get sick, and if deprived long enough, we could even die.  Now, my guess is that most of us would not allow ourselves to go until the point of death, but I do know many of us tend to push ourselves to the point of exhaustion.  This doesn’t do any of us any good.

Now, you may ask, why I would even take the time to write about this.  Well, I got to thinking about it because today, I got a chance to relax.  I slept in for the first time in a very long time.  Normally, I am up no later than 8 am on the weekends (I’m up at 5 am during the week).  But today, I slept in past that time.  I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.  I got a chance to really spend time in God’s Word, without feeling like I was ready to fall back to sleep at any moment, and I could tell that I was REALLY in His Word, and not just going through the motions.  I got to type up my notes for the Bible Study I’m trying to write.  I got to play a few games on my computer.  I went to the library and checked out more books.  The most non-relaxing thing I did today, was to do our laundry – and that really didn’t take a lot of effort.

Today, I feel like I really LIVED.  I didn’t feel rushed or stressed.  I got to enjoy today, all because I took the time to rest.  If only I would do this more often.  I might find myself growing in so many ways.

So, what do you think?  What do you do to relax and recharge?  Do you do it often enough?  How could taking the time to rest and relax help you to grow?

~Karen