Purposeful Faith

Tag - rest

Has the Noise of Life Muted Your Soul?

Post by: Katie M. Reid

I had done too much.

After a productive season, I hit a wall and it wasn’t my body that was bruised from the impact. It was my soul.

Right around this time, there was an event happening that I normally participated in, but I heard Him whisper not to take part. Attending this event was not what my soul needed. It would have resulted in more fatigue for my depleted self. Like a moth to flame, I was drawn to this bright and beautiful thing. But this phrase was stuck on repeat, calling me from it—to come and rest.

Tune out, so you can tune in.

But this event is a good thing, so more of a good thing must be good, right?

Wrong.

It was like I had eaten more than my share from the buffet and I wanted to keep going…keep reaching, keep filling, keep stuffing. It was tempting to want to fill up beyond capacity. But I had gorged on activity for so long that I needed to get empty so I could feel hunger again. Soul hunger. 

I needed a break so I could be put back together.

Too much activity starved my soul of the basic needs it craved:

Space.

Light.

Warmth.

Silence.

A quick fill-up would not suffice. I needed slow, small, quiet to make sense of the ache that throbbed and demanded to be heard above the static.

I needed a respite—not just a break. I needed to rest within so I could breathe deep again.

My days and nights had become so crowded and loud that I could not hear the whisper of love, the healing balm, that my fragmented soul needed. I had overspent myself and was feeling the deficit. I had grabbed in order to gain but I was left more empty then when I started.

Slowing down long enough to hear my soul, I realized she was sad.

Why? I am not sure yet. But I am tuning in to His Love and asking Him to help me find out why. 

What about you? Has the noise of life muted your soul? Have you found yourself trying to do more than you know is wise? Why?

We are prone to gorge ourselves on more but our souls cry out for true (not temporary) comfort. We fill and stuff (sometimes with good things) but eventually we hit a wall.

Our breaking point comes when we realize that our self-medication has gone bad.

Does your soul need a break from striving? Does your calendar need some white space? Have you forgotten who you are—buried underneath try-hard living?

It’s time. Time to turn down the loud and tune into His love. Listen to His voice of love as He restores your soul.

You don’t have to work for your worth. You don’t have to fix yourself.

Lean in and listen. Let Him soothe your soul. Let Him slow your rapid pace. Let Him love you—all of you.

Katie M. Reid Writer and Speaker at katiemreid.com

Katie M. Reid is a writer and speaker who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She inspires women and youth to embrace their identity in Christ and live out their God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea is one of her favorite things.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

With 3 Words, Cut the Negative Power of Fear

This time of year is full of angst. At least it is for me. It is mostly this feeling that I need to do something bigger, better and bolder than last year, but the problem is – I have this sinking feeling – I won’t.

Add this to the swirling questions:

What if something catastrophic happens in 2017?
My children get hurt?
I find out I have cancer?
My husband and I lose our great relationship?
What if I accomplish nothing of importance?
I let God down?
Terrorism hits close?

This list goes on and on and the fears grow bigger and bigger the more I recite them. Before I know it, the bump on my face will surely become cancer and heartburn is, no doubt, a heart murmur.

Me + Fear = An atomic combination

It blows up my life, because I walk around with the destructive air of anxiety. This bad air, then makes others glow with frustration at my bad attitude.

Fear clouds my view of God. While once I could see and admire him, front-and-center – my constant trepidation quickly makes me lose heartfelt dedication… Worry covers wonder, action plans cover the idea – God-has-the-best plan, and prayer gets lost under despair.

Breathe deep.

Sometimes this is the best first step, I think. Any separation from the trepidation falling on you, is always good. If you give God an inch, He can work with that.

And, as I do, as I step back from the angst of 2017 in full motion, 3 calming words and 3 consoling verses come to mind:

Know: “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Ps. 46:10)

Grow: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mt. 6:33)

Go: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Is. 46:10)

These 3 words help me see, I’ve complicated things. I’ve worried about the future, yet, God is in the present. Have you missed God too?

Perhaps, we don’t need to know the future, but we simply need to know that God is God. Perhaps, we don’t have to fear growth, progress or accomplishments, but simply seek first his righteousness, knowing we’ll grow as he adds everything to us Perhaps, we don’t need to get paralyzed by what ifs and hypotheses, but simply Go! in God’s strength and protection.

We move as he moves and trust him; he is trustable.

This idea awakens my heart, because when we fear, it is hard to be in God’s plan. Yet, when we know God is near, we lose fear.

This 2017, these 3 words will be my Fear Fight. A rather unconventional fight – one where I remember Jesus has already fought the fight – and won. In this, I’ll stand in his victory. Will you?

 

Interested in joining the Fear Fight? Want to leave behind your tremblings to walk into unbelievable calling? Order my book, Fear Fighting, today!

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How to Find Rest in God

The girl was acting bad in church. I couldn’t help but notice her. She jumped around, like a pent up puppy, giving no attention to the pastor. I apparently was acting bad too because I kept on watching her. She was cute. She didn’t much care for brother though, and with this, Mother shoved her over towards daddy…

To give you some background, I’ve felt unsettled lately. Unsettled in my mothering that seems a bit too intense. Unsettled in this adventure called book and how God will use it. Unsettled by people who have let me down. It feels like a bad cough. These feelings of insecurity rise up as a hinderance to faith. I feel it coming, I hate it too. Yet, I know there’s a cure.

Daddy picked her up and held her. Immediately her head rested on daddy’s shoulder. She looked to the side in a daze. Instantly, her arms that wrapped around him fell. Daughter relaxed. She became a wet noodle fresh out of a massage – all aggression, agitation and irritation vanished in the arms of her Father.

I watched closely. It was interesting. Nothing had really changed. She was still in the same place. She was still just as bored. She was still the sister of the brother that drove her nuts. She was still very much in the same problem she was 2 minutes ago, but actually, everything did change.

She was in daddy’s arms.
Her eyes closed.
She was nearly falling asleep.
Simply because she knew she was safe.

Loved.
Cared for.
Adored.

Do you know this?

You can relax. What is bothersome, burdensome and back-breaking is soothed by the power of love. It is love that pulls you close. It is love that holds you with arms of protection and dedication. It is love that will never break or fall or grow weary of your bad antics.

Perhaps you need to know today you can fall into the arms of a daddy that will not hurt you. You don’t have to resign yourself, any longer, outside of his arms because you are on the blacklist or because you are a bad church-goer. You don’t have to keep him at an arms-length because you are the the ugly step-child or because you are a failure.

Daddy’s pick up daughters. It is as simple as that.

great daddy

In this place, there is no worry of what annoyances are around.
There is no focus on things that are about to ruin you.
There is no attention to the ways you’re life is breaking apart.

There is just – Him.
You.
Covered in affection.
Filled with security.
Embraced without requirements.

I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10

Have you trusted daddy to uphold you in his arms?

The cure to worry, insecurity and the silent jury in your mind, is getting unhurried as you lay in the arms of God.

I know this to be true. Me – the most unsettled of all unsettled people, finds refreshment in the deep-reaching arms of the father.

Daily, I fall there and fail there and it is okay. He accepts me. He accepts you to – in such a powerful way, you can let go of everything and just rest, body fully relaxed, in the arms of his love.

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Peace & Leaving the World Behind

peace wild rest

Post By: Angela Parlin

We should all spend time outside each day. I don’t know about you, but I spend too many hours indoors.

As a remedy, sometimes I work at the kitchen table near the propped-open door to the deck. Hearing the wind rustling through the trees and birds fighting over seeds at the feeder does something for my heart. It’s not all the way outside, but it’s close.

Long ago, I posted this poem, one of my favorites, on the bulletin board at my desk, the one I don’t actually work at very often.

The Peace of Wild Things 

By Wendell Berry

“When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be.

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

I wonder if so often when we misplace our peace, if the answer is simply to spend more time outside.

I say I wonder, but I already know what kind of person I become when I spend extended minutes under the sky. There I see the rest of the beauty, and it’s not that I forget the chaos of the day. It’s not that the challenges disappear or the discouragement dissipates.

Out there, we realize we can walk away for a bit and the whole thing doesn’t all fall down.

Ohhh, right–it wasn’t really me holding everything together.

In the presence of still water or even angry waves, we remember again we have no control over the things we fear.

We remember Who does control all things—He Who is good and true and beautiful and eternal.

Who is acquainted with all this growing old and wearing away and falling down and rising up again. He Who endures forever and ever, Who is seen at the center of all this worldly beauty.

The Lord is God, and He has made His light shine on us. Psalm 118:27

It takes a few minutes, but I confess the truth. I’ve been taxing my life again, imagining losses that haven’t even happened. Why do I continue to repeat this?

Once again, I return to the wild. I take a walk in the woods past the yard, thick with green and a melody of snapping sticks underfoot. I imagine snakes hiding out like sharks in the ocean, while hoping they’re at least as rare.

Somehow I’ve left the rest of the world behind me. I come into the peace of wild things, and their holy message sinks ever deeper to my core.

Like Berry, I rest in the grace of the world—and I’m free.

///////////

From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

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Angela Parlin

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

The Gift I Have Refused…

Post by: Jami Amerine

My dad and his older brother have a favorite tale they expose about their youth. Their younger brother was a studious boy. He would finish his homework and then go to bed before the sun went down, in an effort to be well rested for school the next day. After he’d been sound asleep for about an hour, my dad and his brother would wake their younger brother for school.  The poor boy would get up, dress, and scramble upstairs for breakfast.  Their mother would be the first to alert the poor dupe of the prank.

Recently, alone in a hotel, I was so duped. I fell asleep at 8:45 in the evening.  We have seven children, and I had been hectic away from home at speaking engagements. I was exhausted.  When I woke I barely recognized my surroundings. I got up, made a pot of coffee, pulled on my cozy robe and opened the light blocking drapes. I was pleased to see the sun wasn’t up yet. As I opened my computer, I smiled to myself; I would have an entire day to work alone in the hotel and I was eager to get started.

That is when I saw the time.

It was only 12:15 am.  I had been asleep less than four hours.

Granted four hours of uninterrupted sleep at home is nothing short of a miracle. Between the teens texting to ask me if I am awake, the toddlers requiring comfort after a nightmare, and the baby demanding a bottle – I rarely get unremitting sleep.

I turned off the coffee pot, closed the drapes, and climbed back into the crispy, hotel grade, Egyptian cotton sheets.

It was both a relief… and a burden.

I lie there giggling to myself.  And then, I worried about my husband, home alone with our brood.  He was probably exhausted too.  I felt dejected I wasn’t there to help him.

Unable to fall back to sleep, I got up and worked until 5, fell asleep on my keyboard and was startled awake at 7:20 when the neighbor in the adjoining room started his shower.

I felt all the pangs of a protracted night and my keyboard was firmly imprinted on my left cheek.

I drug my weary body to the shower and stretched the kinks out of my neck and back.  Steam chased me from the bathroom and I poured a cup of stale coffee into a sorry little Styrofoam cup and added powdered cream. I stared out of the window at the foreign town, straining to spy a Starbucks on the horizon.

As bitter java assaulted my tongue, I bemoaned the day before me.

The sun poured out the freshness of a new morning, yet I felt less than fresh. Scripture floated into my mind, “Come to me all you who are weary, I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Yet, in spite of the rest, He offers me, I sleep on my keyboard and then bathe in culpability when I put my feet up to take a break.

Rest.

I associate rest with something shameful rather than a blessing.

Curious, the Maker of Heaven and Earth produced this body for survival in an unconscious state. Eyes closed, breath steady, mind in a playground of non-sense, unprovoked folly, escapism, and suppressed considerations.  Occasionally, darkness creeps in and a chase ensues or great terrors play out, still, He fashioned me for slumber.

To rest.

Society demands I work harder, invest more and rest less. He waits for me. The blessing of rest in His gentle hand, and instead of wrapping up in His majestic creation of slumber, mind, and body – I analyze, supervise, and contrive.

I am weary. And I am most weary of the weariness. Self-induced standards of being most effective, crowning production, and the bragging rites of minimal repose.

If He were here now, if I stood before my Lord and He presented me with a lovely package; a medium sized box wrapped in shiny paper, an enormous bow, glitter, and streamers, would I decline the offering?

Would I boastfully retort, “I don’t need that from you.”

Oh, my stars! The mere thought slays me. Yet, I refuse Him… often.

But not today. Today, I closed the heavy swathes of my room. With lotioned flesh and a soaking wet head, I slipped back into the pajamas I had tossed aside before my shower.  I hung the “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the outside doorknob.  A mischievous smile crept across my face. I poured another cup of coffee and snickered when I uncovered two tiny cups of liquid creamer underneath the packets of dehydrated Coffee-mate powder. How had I missed those?

A gift.

A gift of rest.  I might write.  I might watch the I Love Lucy marathon on channel 18.  I might nap. A package of crackers and bottled water sit on my nightstand. Today, I accept the gift of rest.  This is a rare occasion, still, I wonder, how many days I neglected the gift? A load of laundry dominates the opportunity to cuddle on the couch with my babies. Running to the grocery store in lieu of a lunch date with my husband, or staying up another hour to catch up on that which will never actually ever be fully settled.

Coffee with a friend; bubble baths or just a moment alone on the closet floor begging His help maneuvering homework and dinner – so that I might sleep just an hour before the baby wakes.

A good Father, Creator of the gift of rest.  And more than this rare occasion where I celebrate loneliness, I know I will need the rest He offers in times of worry, heartache, and grief.  What will I say then? Lord, I pray I remember you stand in wait with the majesty of rest. Rest only you can bring me.

Thank you for that, my Lord.  Thank you.

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547592_3961306391397_890561921_n (1)Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

Come Away With Me

Post by: Karina Allen

I’m a doer by nature. I’m always on the go. I’m a mover and a shaker. My schedule is full and my planner is happy. I like it that way. However, sometimes my body does not.

Like right now. I think my body hates me. I have been exhausted for the past several weeks. Summer, for me is just as busy as the rest of the year. I’ve had a few trips and the travel always wear me out.

So here I am. Pretty much every morning I have woken up tired, which makes for an incredibly long day.

So, what do I do about? If you are in the same place, what do you do about it?

I’ve been sensing that Lord wants His children to rest a bit more and strive a bit less.

The Lord knows what’s best.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;” Psalm 23:2-3

I more than often think I know best. I tend be strong and independent. I push myself to the limit expecting not to crack. The last thing I want is to experience burnout. But that is where we are heading if we continue to move at a breakneck speed. It’s interesting how these verses in Psalm 23 say that He makes me lie down. God knows that we don’t want to stop. We don’t want to rest. We don’t and sometimes can’t be still. But that is when He does His best work.

Restoring comes out of resting.

God is the giver of rest.

“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”. Matthew 11:28-30

Rest doesn’t have to be a fight for us. God intended for it to be a gift to us. He delights in giving us rest. We trade off our heaviness and weariness in exchange for His joy and ease. Problems don’t disappear. Hardships still exist but The Lord’s joy brings us strength. So the weight of our circumstances don’t crush us.

If you’re feeling weighed down and overwhelmed, do not lose heart.

Trust that God knows best.

Trust that He will give you His rest.

Trust that He delights in restoring your soul.

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Karina AllenKarina
is a devoted follower of Jesus from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has made her home in Baton Rouge for the past 15 years. She spends much of her time leading worship at church, writing, reading, dancing and mentoring the next generation. She has a huge heart for serving and missions. She is an advocate for the local church especially the one that she attends, Healing Place Church. She also enjoys working out, traveling, photography and going to concerts/conferences.

Karina believes that every woman has a God-sized dream on the inside of them and it is up to an encouraging community to help nurture that dream. Her goal in writing is to see women get a revelation of God’s Word and discover how to apply it to their lives in order to walk in freedom and live the life that God intended. But the most important thing to her is to live out the call of Isaiah 26:8…For His Name and His Renown are the desire of our souls! You can connect with her at “For His Name and His Renown.”

Help Me Catch My Breath

Catch My Breath

Post by: Katie M. Reid

I am running. Panting hard, unsteady breath—not effective.

I need air. I need to breathe deep and steady or I’ll double over from exhaustion.

I am covering ground but I am losing it at the same time.

I’m exerting an excessive amount of energy and depleting my reserves as I take shallow breaths. I am flying past the scenery and missing out on the depth of beauty found on these country roads.

As I mentioned before, I am training for a half-marathon. The task is beyond me. I can’t do it without the help of the One who put this body together and is able to sustain me when I reach my limits.

In just a little over a month, I’ll come face to face with cold November air and more than a dozen miles stretching before me.

I have been living as if life is a 100 meter dash, not a marathon. I need to grasp a marathon mindset or be injured or maybe even taken out of the race.

But I’m not just talking about this literal race.

Covering Ground

Have you been training? Have you been doing time on your knees? Have you been stretching your faith muscles through prayer, so that you are prepared for what’s to come?

Are you giving your body a rest?

Have you been taking time to slow so that your body can be repaired?

Are you caring for those in your charge or are you pushing them to the limits as you race ahead?

Are you relying on your strengths to push forward or are you receiving His grace for your lack?

I am not proficient in prayer or rest—in fact sometimes I’m a downright pathetic pray-er and a restless rester. I want this to change. It has to change for the sake of my health, family and spiritual life.

For the next 31 days I am focusing on this dynamic duo—prayer and rest—and asking God to help me grow.

I like to plan my course, but I want God to lead these days instead.
I like to know what the outcome will be, but I want Jesus to overcome me instead.
I like to avoid pain, but I want the Holy Spirit to burn through my weaknesses instead.

Are you following His pace for your path? Are you leaving space for grace?

As we settle into our stride may we keep in step with the Spirit. May we not lag behind nor run ahead. May we stop running ourselves ragged and run instead to that old rugged cross—wrapping ourselves around His love.

May we enjoy the route that He has ordained for us—even when it’s uphill, even when it’s muddy, even when there are detours.

We will likely stumble on this journey, but instead of throwing in the towel, let’s receive and extend His grace for ourselves and those around us.

There is beauty to be found at our feet, let’s not miss it. Let’s embrace His pace for each of our lives.

Let’s Pray

Dear God:

Help us to catch our breath and wake up to Your Presence. We are not able to breathe without you. May we not take the next breath for granted but “breathe in Your grace and breathe out Your praise*.”

May You recharge us as we go down the road that You have laid. Help us to drink in Your grace as You set the pace. Help us to lay down our hurry and scurry and grab hold of Your Body and Blood, broken for us.

We repent of wimpy prayer lives and ask You to strengthen our resolve to cry out to you, often, and with great faith. Help us to unwind in Your Presence, through prayer and rest, as we grow in trust that You will be with us each step of the way. Help us to run the race set before us, faithfully.

Thank You that You are able to take our frazzled and harried days and transform us—free and healed.

Amen.

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*adapted from Your Grace Finds Me lyrics by Matt Redman

Katie M. Reid Headshot by Adopting Natinos

Katie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman, of the recovering perfectionist variety, who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, four children and their life in ministry. Through her writing, singing, speaking and photography she encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. Katie is a contributing writer here at Purposeful Faith and also over at God-sized Dreams. Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com

Learning to Find Rest

Find Rest

My 4-year old son asks me a million questions a minute. Rapid fire, it’s like a barrage of bullets that I feel I can’t dodge sometimes. But, he wants to know, he must know. He won’t quit until he DOES know.

It’s a personal pursuit for him; he is trying to figure out how he fits into this grand ole thing called – the world.

I answer.
He always believes. 
And asks more. 
And is eager. 
Hungry. 
Hopeful. 
Listening. 
Ready.

Willing to learn. Expecting to hear.

My son makes me think…

We love to focus on this verse: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Mt. 11:28-29

We jump up and down when we read this one: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Mt. 11:30

But, we hardly consider the verse just a couple lines above it: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; Mt. 11:25

Could it be that verses are related?

Might we not feel our burden is light,
because we haven’t really established God as our sight?

Perhaps, we haven’t fought after God’s ways like a child would – like my son would.

A child might beg, “What things do I need to learn? How do I do it? Tell me. Tell me. Tell me. Show me too. I want to learn! I want to do it!”

Do we want to learn? Not in a heady, heavy and show-offy sort of way, (like the wise and understanding ones that God hid truth from), but like the hungry, listening, watching and active children that are rambunctious for truth.

God easily hands out rest to those seeking children; they need it – they tire themselves out with their relentless pursuits. He lays them down in the comfort of his safe pastures, under the wings of eagles and in the safe refuge of his mighty tower.

God lets the hungry be full – with his nourishment that never stops filling.

They seek God and they find him.
They hope for an answer and they hear one.
They wait and they receive the power of his Word.

Hungry. Hopeful. Listening. Ready. Eager to know the one driving them around all the time, leading the way, staying close minute by minute to make sure they stay in good health. 

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Mt. 11:27

The Father knows the son, the Son knows the Father.

How can we expect to know the Son, without asking to see him?

Pleading to see him,
leaning in to know him and
crying for a chance to behold him.

God picks up the whiney children wailing for more,
and carries us to make our loads lighter.

Then, we lay up against rest and lean on trust.

Gone, is the weight of striving and, present, is the hope found in abiding.

Our daddy takes good care of us, as he always does for a loved child. Our souls find the rest after listening to the answers for our million questions we were always hungry for. 

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Linking with #DanceWithJesus and #FiveMinuteFriday.

Rest & Life & Everything Else

Rest Life Jesus Christ

Post By: Angela Parlin

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

(Matthew 11:28)

This verse follows me around these days, everywhere I go.

From a series I wrote last year to a recent sermon at church to a card from a new friend with this verse painted on the front. Two books I read this summer discussed it at length, and last week, our community group sat around the living room, talking about ways we need to listen to these words.

Do scriptures sometimes chase you around like that?

Like arrows, they point the way to things we need to see.

Since I know these words well, I almost read past them. But there’s gospel wrapped up in them, and they’re worth listening to again.

Come to me.

This means, first of all, to believe and receive Jesus Christ as Savior.

To come is to eat the bread of life and drink His living water, to enter through the Door and spend time being with Him.

Come to who?

Come to Jesus. Our faith should never be wrapped up in a church or other believers or even ourselves. Salvation is found in a Person—Jesus Christ.

Who should come to Jesus?

All you who are weary and burdened.

This means all of us. We are universally burdened by the weight of our sin. When we come to Jesus, we admit we are chained and He is the only way to freedom.

He desires to set all of us free from sin–if we will come to Him, humble to admit our sin.

There are other ways we are weary and burdened.

The people Jesus spoke to were spiritually weary. The Pharisees placed heavy loads on their shoulders and insisted on a legalistic reading of the law, causing unnecessary spiritual anxiety.

They were weary, and this was not the way of Jesus.

These days, many of us are weary because we rarely stop striving. Maybe we’ve swallowed the lie that we are not enough, we need to prove ourselves, and God is just waiting for us to get our junk together and DO something for Him. Also, it better be big. Flashy. Measurable.

Maybe we’re trying to keep up with what EVERYONE ELSE is already doing, or there’s another reason we work so hard. Either way, we are tired from all we’re doing. We’re burdened by commitments we take upon ourselves unnecessarily.

We may also be burdened by the demands of others, because sometimes the people we care for DO need more. Sometimes, others place loads upon us that we weren’t meant to bear. Other times, we carry wounds caused by others’ sins against us.

Jesus sees all of this. He sees the reasons we are weary and burdened, and He cares.

Jesus—the way, the truth, and the life—offers a better way.

He wants to give us true spiritual and physical rest. He offers eternal rest, as in salvation, and then He gives us even more. The Greek word here carries with it the idea of relief, refreshment, ease, blessed quiet, and even recreation.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)

We may daily enter into the rest of Christ, but this is not something we can earn. It is His gift to us, as we come to Him for life.

At first, we come to Jesus as sinners in need of salvation.

Once we know the way, we come to Him AS the way to life.

We take His yoke upon us, instead of our own. Instead of what everyone else says we need or we need to do. We learn from Him.

In Jesus Christ, we find rest for our souls. With Him, we live out the beauty of the gospel. In Christ, we find rest and life and everything we need.

I’m praying that rest is yours today,

~Angela

Angela Parlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

 

Find Beauty in the Restlessness

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

The feeling swept in with the morning rain clouds, as I sat by the window drinking coffee. Restlessness.

There were no defining edges to it. I couldn’t quite grasp where the emotion came from. It was just there. And it consumed me.

I daydreamed about moving to another town. We’d lived here four years so it was time, right? There were plenty of good reasons to migrate further south.

Like my mom’s stroke last year. Being over five hundred miles away was not ideal, and my parents weren’t getting any younger.

And I won’t even dwell on the winters here. This southern girl learned how to use a snow shovel a few years ago and purchased a new set of all-season tires, but I’d prefer not to have to use either.

Yes, I change of location was exactly what we needed. Wasn’t it? I was sure my restless ache would stop when the scenery became white sand and Palmetto trees.

But as the sun set later that evening and I watched my boys soaking up the last daylight hours, I sensed God speak.

Look for the beauty. Right here. Right now.

I saw the way the rim of the mountains slowly transformed in pink and deep blue right before nightfall. I felt the crisp evening breeze I often longed for on the sultry, humid evenings down south.

I watched the boys play and laugh with friends they’d made at church and smiled when the teacher bragged about my oldest son at a school fundraiser.

Later that week at dinner, I listened to women I’d grown to love share their kids’ latest antics and make plans for summer camping trips, trips to the pool, and marshmallow roasts.

Yes, there was beauty here. In all my restlessness and longing, I was missing it.

Sometimes instead of changing my situation, God changes me.

He wants me to see with his eyes and notice the blessings right in front of me. He is molding me and transforming me, and the some of the biggest, most life-changing transformations start with gratitude.

A full life isn’t made of moments counting down to the next major event. It is made of the moments we count our blessings.

 There may come a time when God moves us closer to my family. He knows how much I miss them during their absence and how I long to savor the time I have left with them.

But he also has an assignment and a ministry for me right here, within the walls of my home and in the community around me. When we are faithful right where we are, God is honored.

 He is glorified when instead of counting the days until my next trip south, I am present in the now.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14 NIV

Today, if you’re feeling restless and cannot seem to pinpoint why, I encourage you to count. But don’t count the minutes until vacation or naptime or bedtime.

Count blessings.

Instead of counting the minutes, let’s savor the day.

Guest Contributor

Abby McDonald is a writer who can’t contain the lavish love of a God who relentlessly pursues her, even during her darkest times. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, she loves hiking, photography, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.

Abby would love to connect with you on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

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