I’ve not been the best at writing to you girls. I’m sorry about that. We’ve been in the process of moving and traveling and it’s been a crazy couple of months. It’s all good things, just very tiring. Lately, because of all the shifts in our life, I’ve had to revisit my values. I’ve been protecting my rest, taking time to stop and spend time with God because it’s too easy to get caught in all the “to-do’s” and forget to take care of myself. Since this is a focus of mine lately, I thought I would share about this value of rest.
Through experience, I’ve learned God’s definition of rest is more than sleeping or doing nothing. Resting is a conscious decision to say “no” to the demands of people, the distractions of life, and actually give your soul time to stop and recharge.
We live in a culture that places a high values on being productive and staying busy. Therefore, we are not always taught how to rest. I didn’t know how for most of my life. I was the girl who pushed through, who had every day of my week booked with something, and stressed my body to the max in order to help people. I was doing these things for God and figured He would protect me. Unfortunately, His protection came in the way of me becoming sick. I was forced to stop and take care of myself and I learned the hard way about rest. Hopefully you won’t have to learn the way I learned.
Princesses, your body is a gift God has given to you. You are the perfect person to have the body you’ve been given. You have a responsibility to protect, to honor, and serve your body well. There will always be something that needs to be done, someone that needs your help, and some place you need to be. It’s part of life. But I can’t emphasize this to you enough: You must take time to let your body rest. It’s God’s purpose for you.
Come, let me show you.
Remember the Sabbath
Do you know about the Sabbath? It was originally given to us from God in the Ten Commandments. It says in Exodus 20:8-11, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.”
Back in those days, people were put to jail for making a sandwich on the Sabbath. Pretty harsh, right? However, when Jesus came, He changed the way people looked at the Sabbath. He would challenge the Pharisees for judging Him because He healed people on this day, a task that was considered “work”. He was trying to help them understand why the law was made, rather than focusing on just keeping the law.
So why was the law made? Why do we have the Sabbath?
Honor Your Body
In Mark 2:27, Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Did you get that? The Sabbath was made for you. You are that important. God made sure it was written in stone for you to take a full day of rest once a week because He knew it was important for your body. In this one command, He bestowed on you the responsibility of taking care of your being.
God didn’t create us to be workaholics. He created us to abide in Him, to delight in Him, and share with others what we learn from Him.
If you want to change people’s lives and be rock star for Jesus, you need to learn how to value yourself, honor your body and rest. You can only love others to the extent that you love yourself.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
Know How To Say No
It’s hard to believe it but even Jesus would leave the crowd sometimes (Luke 4:42). Can you imagine? He left people who needed Him desperately because He went to have alone time with His heavenly Father. I wonder if people judged Him. I wonder if they thought He didn’t care. Even if they did, He didn’t let people control Him and He didn’t change His direction to please them. Jesus always obeyed His Father, even if that meant disappointing people in the process.
Sometimes when we choose to rest, it’s not well received by others. But I think if we want to be more like Christ, we need to know how to obey those whispers from the Father when He wants us to step away from the busyness and come away with Him to the quiet. Because in the resting is where we will be strengthened, restored, and loved. I am not here to be a people-pleaser, and neither are you. We are here to follow Jesus, wherever that takes us.
Princesses, I know each of you are called to do amazing things. Maybe you are called to go to distant lands and maybe you’ll only go as far as the little corner shop on your street. I love ministry, I love my job, but as He reminds me today, I’d like to remind you: Wherever you go, whatever you do, never forget to listen and obey the voice of the Father. Nothing is more important.
May you protect your rest in the midst of serving others and doing good. May you meet God in those moments and gain clarity and strength for whatever would come next in your life. May you never feel guilt or shame for resting, but complete peace in the fact you are being a good steward of your body. May God always give you wisdom on when to go and when to stop. May you feel loved every day.
p.s. I never did share what rest can look like practically. Haha, oops! Well, let me share how I rest. I like to read, take walks, play piano, or anything that helps me to relax, enjoy the day, and connect with God. But you do you girl! Make your own beautiful rest-full day. :)