Rest can be defined as:
- Cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
- Remain or be left in a specified condition: “rest assured”.
- An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.
- The remaining part of something.
Or one of my favorite verses in the bible that refers to rest:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30 NIV)
I feel like this time of year brings change, if we allow it to soak into our souls. But this time of year for can bring challenge…. Could you imagine actually resting this week? Or have you been thinking about your “to do” or “to see” lists? Have you been consumed with thoughts of “how am I going to get this all done”? Or perhaps you are going through a bit of a bump in the road right now health wise, or financially, and thoughts of “when will this end” come to mind?
We choose how we can respond to this time of year. We can choose not to race, worry, or get caught up in the small “stuff” this time of year. I have come to realize that in the moments when we slow down and allow peace and calm to fulfill our souls – we begin to feel easy.
Over the course of these past few months, I have begun to reflect. I have reflected on choices made, and sometimes let my mind race into the future. I allow my mind to start thinking about the “what if’s”. My husband often tells me, “paralysis by analysis Ness”. He is so wise. Our minds can get caught up in the crazy busy life, and overwhelmed with the circumstances so easily. I am sure the devil sits back and thinks “Yes! I am winning here.” But the question is, will we allow it to overcome us? The one thing that we must all remember is that we can create our own mountains to climb, when in all reality it is just a little snow drift that we can just shovel aside. The snow may be heavy, but eventually it becomes light.
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life”.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?” (Matthew 6:25-27 NIV)
The worry affects how we feel, our health and how we react to others. This statement in the bible paints such a clear picture of the impact of worry. It can consume and ultimately decrease the time that we have here on this earth. Yes life can be hard sometimes; it can push us in a variety of directions. It is how we react in these situations that make all the difference. We can control how we respond. We all have choice. I chose to be light, I chose to have strength in hardship, and I chose joy to cherish every single moment with the ones I love and care about.
Tonight as I put my son to bed, he is trying to stop a habit that he has had since he was a baby, and he started asking me “Mommy what if I can’t do this?”, and I responded to him like “What if you can? We are not going to think about the what if’s because I know that you are going to be successful”.
Children are sponges, they have the ability to change, shift and absorb quickly. For adults, we have to teach or train ourselves to think differently, and it takes weeks to change our response. However, it is possible. All it takes is thinking about the possibilities and not allowing the impossible to filter in. In those times where you feel like you can’t breathe, lift up your worries. Lift them up and let them go….
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
So as we enter this wonderful Christmas season, be blessed. Slow down and rest. Rest your weary mind, and allow the peace to settle in.
- Sip a cup of tea or your favorite latte, and look back on pictures of family or friends.
- Read a book you have not had a chance to read.
- Meditate, pray, and enjoy the moments.
- Take account of 3 things every day that you are thankful for.
- Spread the happiness, send a little note to a friend or loved one.
- Tear up the “to do’s” or “task” lists. And just roll with it.
- Shift your thinking from having to do, to wanting and enjoying every moment.
- And finally, but not least, be blessed for who you are and what you have.
So I ask you, can one moment of worry add another day to your life? Replace that worry with prayer, thanksgiving, and joy.