Rest

Friends, we’ve done it: we’ve survived another school year and are heading into summer break! And, you know, I’m so relieved. I mean, the last few weeks have been touch and go, right? 

True confession, while I am no longer teaching full time, and have no kids at home anymore, somehow, we are still very busy. Like, much busier than I’d like to be. So, while over the past 6 weeks you might have found yourself in finishing up baseball mode, dance recital mode, piano recital mode, end-of-the-school year lunacy mode or any number of other “modes,” or, all-of-the-above, I have been in my yearly “I quit” season. 

Yes, every year, somewhere around Easter, I enter my “I quit” season, and I want to quit everything. And, I do mean EVERYTHING – teaching, writing, speaking, small groups, Bible study (sorry, God), cleaning house, cooking, laundry, friends, family, shopping, smiling, showering and quite nearly, breathing. (Which pretty much only leaves eating and sleeping-two things I vow to never quit.) 

By this point you might be a little concerned, like, “Sherra, are you serious? Why in the world would you want to quit everything?” Oh, it’s so simple, friends: I’m tired.

Actually, I’m exhausted. And, look, three-quarters of the year, I love and adore all of the before mentioned things, but there comes a point in the year when I’m just done – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I mean, we just go and go and go until we just can’t go anymore! Can I get a witness? 

And, truly, the vast majority of our activities are impactful and have eternal importance; but, that doesn’t mean they don’t wear me out. Yep, it’s time for a break, people, and that’s the best thing about summer!

I hope you all take some wonderful trips-to the beach, to the lake, camping, to Walt Disney World, or any other wonderful place you might have a hankering to go to, but more than anything, I hope you get some REST this summer. 

Ah, rest; just the word makes my blood pressure drop a few points. In addition to taking one fabulous trip and spending time with family and friends this summer, I fully intend on doing a lot of sleeping in, laying around reading and watching movies, and just generally relaxing.Resting, resting, resting! And, friends, that will do my tired mind, body, and will so much good!

But how do we rest spiritually? How do we make sure, while we’re making time to rest our bodies and minds, our spirits get some attention, too? Well, I intend to REST, and here’s my plan:

• R-ekindle my relationship with God. If you’re like me, when things get crazy busy, some of our very best routines go by the wayside. Unfortunately, this can include the time we spend with God. So, why not take time this summer to rekindle your relationship with your God? Talk with God about all that’s happened over the past 9 months, study a new book of the Bible, start a new devotional; spend time at the place you feel closest to God-the beach, the lake, the mountains or even just your back porch with a cup of coffee. Whatever works best for you to really reconnect with God, do it!

• E-xamine my activities and commitments.This is a big one for me, personally. Busyness is something that can very easily get us off track with our relationships with God and our families-even being busy doinggood things. Some questions I intend on asking myself this summer are:

o “What are the things that I know God has called me to do?”

o “What are some things/activities/ministries I need to give up?”

o “What am I doing that has the most eternal value?”

Examining our activities can be difficult and takes some soul-searching, but it’s also truly beneficial. Be brave! When school rolls around again and regular life comes with it, our willingness to do this hard work will bring us one step closer to living our best lives.

• S-mile. One of the things I should do when I start to feel stressed and overwhelmed, is to count my blessings! It helps me to review the landmarks in my life-recounting the many, many ways God has come through for me, the ways I have grown in my relationship with Him and how dear He is to me. This activity always brings a smile to my face!

• T-rust. Trust God, friends. Trust Him with the questions you can’t answer, trust Him with an uncertain future, trust Him with your troubled past. Trust that He is leading you, giving you wisdom; that He is always with you, no matter where you go or what you’re up against. But most of all, trust that He is good, always; trust that He has only good planned for you and loves you with a fierce, unfailing love. Just trust Him.

As we usher in summer, and all the crazy fun it brings, I so hope that you will find rest for your weary soul. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus tells us,

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

He really means it, friends. Bring your tired, weary self to the One who can make you new. There is no rest like God’s rest. So, let’s do it.friends. Let’s rest.

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