January 16, 2013

Resolve to Rest: Part 2, Practical Application

My last blog post, entitled Resolve to Rest, elicited an amazing response from you.  Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts, comments, prayers and verses.  The great number of responses led me to write this follow-up message.  Today, I will provide a practical way for us to “Resolve to Rest.”  To encourage participation, I will choose two names from the comments shared to win a daily devotional.

I read through your comments, prayers, and sweet notes of encouragement. So many of you honestly shared how you too struggled with the very same issue.  It seems I am not alone in struggling to find a place of peace and rest in the midst of every day life.

One of the places I most experience rest is at Ocean Isle Beach, NC.  We go there often as a family. Something about the sounds and sights of the ocean and the beauty of the sunset bring me great peace and an incredible closeness to God.  Below is a picture of one of my most favorite places at the beach to sit and enjoy God’ creation.

Why is it so hard to replicate this feeling of rest in the busyness of the “real world?”  As I sat with the Lord with this question, He gave me a wonderful acronym for the word “rest.”  And I realized that it followed exactly the steps I followed to find my rest in late December.

RESOLVE TO REST

 

Recognize Symptoms

What is going on that feels different, “not normal,” in your life/relationships/health?  List what you discover.

 

Evaluate Cause

Is there a specific cause or is it a general feeling?  Identify it and write it down.

 

Search Scripture

What promises or truths from God’s Word address what you are feeling? Write each one down.  Personalize them with your name.

 

Trust God

Do you trust someone or something more than God?  If you do, identify what or who it is.

 

Proceed through each step and spend time on each one.  Use a journal or notebook.  Begin with prayer.  Ask the question.  Listen and pray.  The Lord will direct your every step.  Write what you hear.

Remember as you begin, the Lord promises that when we seek Him with all our hearts, He will be found by us!  He will be faithful to show up in your time alone with Him.

God does not want us to stay in places of uncertainty, worry, anxiety, restlessness, confusion, doubt and emptiness.  He is Jehovah Rapha, God the Healer.  He wants to bring healing and wholeness to our hearts, minds, and bodies.  Because it is in the healing we will become productive and useful for God, able to live out the purposes for which He created us.

This is a conscious decision you and I have to make.  We must RESOLVE to REST.  Resolve means “to come to a definite or earnest decision about something.”  Make up your mind today!

Resolve to Rest.

I will be praying for you.  Stop by and share how God is at work in your time with Him.  We would LOVE to hear your stories.  And share this with your friends and Bible study small groups.  Committing to new resolutions is always easier when you do it with friends!

And as an incentive for making this resolution, I will choose two names from the comments left to receive a daily devotional.  I will announce the winners the end of next week.  This will give you time to really listen to the Lord and take active steps toward what you hear.

Blessings to you,

 

Comments

  1. Looking forward to applying this in the week to come! Reminds of 2 Chron. 20:3 – Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
    We may not no what do, feel anxious or depressed but we can resolve to REST. And as we REST in HIM He will tell us what we need to hear and lead us to the steps we need to take! Blessings!

  2. Tiffany Trout says:

    Thank you so much for walking us through the practical applications of R.E.S.T. I found your blog through the Proverbs 31 devotionals and you’ve been such a blessing to me. I’m excited to see how
    The Lord will work in my life with my new resolution to REST in Him.

  3. I have done countless Bible studies with multiple groups, including the one I run in my home with other women – dear friends that have been gathering over 11 years now, and I have never heard this perspective on Resolve to Rest. It’s truly profound. I am sharing it with my various groups. Thank you for the Godly encouragement and enlightenment you provide through your ministry, Wendy! May God bless you & all you do!

    • Carla, thank you for leaving a comment today and letting us know how God spoke to you. And thank you for sharing it with your Bible study girls!!! What a wonderful ministry you have.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  4. KAY PARRISH says:

    MY MOST RESTFUL TIME IS THE TIME THAT MY HUSBAND AND SPEND IN PRAYER AND BIBLE READING TOGETHER. IT IS TIME OF REFRESHING AND REST FOR BOTH OF US. IT BRINGS US CLOSER IN OUR RELATIONSHIP. WE ARE BOTH RETIRED AND LOVE THIS TIME TOGETHER WITH OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS KAY

    • Kay, what a wonderful example for all of us!! Marriages would stay together and husbands and wives would be closer and more intimate if they spend precious time like this together in the Word. Thank you for sharing how you find rest.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  5. Mary McCauley says:

    I have the most wonderful memories of God meeting me at a very difficult time in my life on a beach in Florida. My life was a mess, but as I watched the ocean and the sunrise and thought about how God kept all things moving perfectly I suddenly realized how much HE loved me, even when I and my life were a mess. Later at home when sleep would not come I could close my eyes and revist that spot and feel God close, His arms around me, loving me. That allowed me to rest so I could face the challenges of the day ahead.
    I love your suggestions and look forward to applying them as I continue to grow in the Lord and seek Him each day. Lately I have been coming again and again to passages that remind me to “Be Still” and wait on the Lord.

    • Mary, God met you in His Creation and spoke to you in such a fresh and powerful way. And what is so beautiful is that He etched that in your heart and mind so that you can continue to go back to that place. Thank you for sharing. It shows how He meets us any way He can to speak into our lives and give us what we crave and need.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  6. Somewhere along the way I went from being joyfully busy as a wife, mother & grandmother to feeling so busy and stressed that I knew I had to get off the no-so-merry-go-round leading to no where. I am an Air Force wife and have 2 teens still at home, 1 college student and 2 married children, one grandbaby with 2 more on the way and was falling asleep tired yet content the house was fairly tidy, laundry mostly washed and put up and good wholesome meals were served most days. Enjoyable and valuable time was spend with family members either while just sitting and talking over a cup of tea or cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry together. Wondering where my contentment and blessed peaceful rest went,{sure some days are going to be crazy and hectic no matter what} and why I wax exhausted and could not sleep and felt paniced part of the time ~ the Lord revealed to me through His Word that I had left the path of communing with Him and stopped of at the chaotic carnival and got stuck there. It’s not so easy to break old habits, in thinking and doing unnecessary business. Thanks so much for the REST acronymn, I think it will help me to stay on the right path.

    • Annette, you have described the life of so many of us! It is not that things have gone down into a pit. It’s just that we are exhausted, weary and have lost our peace and contentment. The merry-go-round is such a GREAT picture of what you are talking about. I pray this acronym will take you back to a place of rest and peace in the midst of your busy, wonderful, family-filled life. :)

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  7. WOW! Ocean Isle Beach is my home away from home! Growing up, my family spent summers at OIB and now I’m blessed to have a family of my own that enjoys time there as well (in addition to extended family enjoying time there as a group of 14)!

    To spend time at the ocean is a time to enjoy rest and see the beauty of what God has provided to me. While I don’t get an ocean scene every day and the real world creeps in, my rest is in the quietness of a morning, in the sounds of my boys playing and enjoying one another, in the comfort of my husband’s arms as we watch a television show, in the sound of my parent’s voices on the phone when I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.

    Rest comes in so many ways for me and I’m blessed that God has provided these ways for me to enjoy what is around me……and Him.

    • So fun to meet another OIB friend. It is a little bit of heaven on earth!!!

      And what a sweet description of the places you find rest. Thank you for sharing.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  8. Thank you for this follow up post. REST is something I have hard time doing….always feel like I need to be doing instead of sitting. May I REST and TRUST Him (and only Him)!

    • You are not alone. I too have a really hard sitting and resting instead of doing. But lately as I have intentionally made time to sit and rest, the effect has been profound!!!

      W

  9. Charlotte Askew says:

    Wendy, when I read Resolve To Rest part 1, I felt like you knew how I was feeling. I was not busy over the holidays like you and so many others, so that was not a reason for me to drift away from my Jesus time. However, I drifted and drifted and drifted some more. I have literally been feeling it as I seem to be unsettled, fidgety, aggravated, to name a few “feeling”.

    I know the rest and peace that my life is filled with when I make that daily effort to be in His presence. I understand what you are saying about reading the Bible or reading devotions. While they are ok, they are not about to bring me the rest and peace that I find when I sit and listen to Him.

    I am going to once again, spend daily time alone with my favorite person, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. He has much to say to me, but, I have been so busy, being busy at nothing, that He couldn’t find me still long enough to catch me. Now, I am eager to once again chase after Him.

    Thank you for being so open and honest with everyone. You are an amazing women and I am proud to study under your leadership. Have a blessed week.

    • Thank you for your sweet words, Char, and for sharing so honestly about your struggle with quiet time. It really helps us through this struggle when we know that we are not alone!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  10. I have found in recent months that most often my only time of rest is at night before I go to bed. This is when I am able to give The Lord my full attention, read my Binle and focus on Him. Sometimes it’s not for very long but it definitely fills me up and causes me to pause and listen. Thank you for sharing!

    • He loves any time we give Him!! As it says in Zephaniah 3:17, He takes great delight in us; He quiets us with his love, and He rejoices over us with singing. This is one of my favorite verses, and I picture that this is what He does as we sit alone with Him praying and studying His Word.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  11. I love the acronym that you used for “REST”. I will be writing this down and trying to follow each step. I have a chronic illness that actually requires rest, and with life circumstances being as they are right now, I haven’t had much rest. I do know that I want to rest in God and all of the things that He promises for me. Sometimes this life throws so many things our way that we try to rely on our own strength instead of leaning into the one who meets us right where we are. Thank you for your post!!

    • Kim, thank you for letting us know how God used this post to encourage you! A wonderful answer to the prayers I prayed as I wrote it. God is so good that even in the midst of our busyness, if we give Him time, He will quiet our hearts and take us to a place of rest!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  12. Thanks wendy, this is a wonderful post. Karen

  13. What a great practical way to help us R.E.S.T. Love this! The Lord has really blessed my marriage and my prayer life as I now walk almost daily with my husband and we pray together. When I’m alone…being with the Lord can mean getting face down on the floor and praying. I look a little weird, but this is one way of relaxing my body and the mind follows. Plus I’m less distracted!

    • Elise, another wonderful story about a husband and wife praying together!! Such a powerful model for all of us. Also, thank you for the example of praying face down on the floor….a biblical posture that reminds us of our humanity and God’s holiness!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  14. Wendy, again this has flowed from your heart to hearts and souls in need. I am trying to re-focus and re-group, trying to ebb the flow of hurt, doubt and feelings of betrayal that seem to consume my mind and my heart. As much as I try to turn them off, they are ever present. REST is what I am begging God to allow me to experience right now. A time of peace, calm and the chance to feel His love that I so desperately need right now, I need to hear His voice for I know that He is God!

    Thank you for your timely message once again.

    Blessings,
    karen g

  15. As a mom of three in college full time, I find it so hard to find a quiet place (or the time) to sit and just be with God. Those times are like an oasis in my hard days. I know this hard time is only for a season..

    • Kristy, it is so true. Some seasons are harder than others to find long periods of rest. But even on the busiest of days, carving out a few minutes to be with the Lord will bring us peace and refreshment. Your word “oasis” is a wonderful description of our time apart with God.

      W

  16. Rest seems to be a major theme for me right now because I have such a difficult time doing it. Not just as you described, although I am where you were. But also physically resting. I keep going from morning until night, day in, day out, and never resting until I finally collapse from pure exhaustion. No joy, no peace, just busy….busy….busy. And the worst part is, I’ve begun to see my children doing this same thing, always wondering what we can do next. I don’t want that to be the life my children lead, and so I am resolving to learn how to rest and then do it!

    • Jennifer,

      It is so hard to read your words because I so know the place you are describing. I pray the Lord will enable you to set time aside each day to rest at His feet. I pray that as you rest and sit with His Word that He will meet you, speak to you, and refresh you in very real and personal ways.

      And you are so right….we are role models for our children.They watch what we do!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  17. I really needed this posting to speak to me today and remind me to REST. Thanks!

  18. This is a huge struggle for me. I work at a part time job, my husband is retired military and we have a special needs teenage son. I have plenty of time to read and sit but I find myself letting my family and “things to do” take over my time. Father God, help me overcome and find peace, joy and rest.

    • Jana, I agree with you in prayer and ask the Lord to help you carve out a little bit of time each day to spend with Him in prayer and in His Word. And I pray that as you do, He will show up in sweet ways that will show You He is at work and blessing your obedience.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  19. Three years ago my daughter got a certificate from school which awarded her free chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A. I’m not a huge fan of anything fried going into her body, so I resisted her requests until a Sunday when I had extra Holy Spirit running through my veins.

    When we drove there and saw they were closed, she couldn’t comprehend why. When I explained that they are a Christian business and they respect the Sabbath, she was still confused. I realized at that moment, she was confused because I never used to stop to REST! Her role model was no role model at all! From that point on, I’ve made it mandatory. I thank God for that divine appointment. Sadly, I would never have seen the need given our society’s patterns of busyness.

    I’m praying over ALL of our REST! Wendy, you certainly know the heart of God and I am beyond grateful that you let that wisdom flow through you to impact our lives. I love you friend!

    • Noelle, this is such a great story!!! Thank you for sharing. It goes along with Jennifer’s comment about how our children watch what we do. We model what a Christian relationship with Jesus looks like. If they see us set time apart, they will learn to do the same. They will do it more so if they see that quiet time affects our hearts and our homes.

      Isn’t it sweet how the Lord uses every day experiences to create great teaching opportunities for them AND US?????

      Love you,

      Wendy

  20. Friends, I am sorry that I have not posted until today. We had our She Speaks Intensive Conference Sunday through Tuesday. It was an AMAZING conference!! And today we had an all day meeting with our Proverbs 31 Team. Loved being with all my P31 sisters!!!

    Sitting here this afternoon reading your comments has been a true blessing. Please stop back by and share how this week has gone as you have applied R.E.S.T!!!

    Wendhy

  21. I came over here to visit, I read your blog here on R E S T. I sure need it. I then found your Proverbs study and started it. You are a blessing Wendy.

    Thank You friend.

    • Thank you, June, for your kind words of encouragement. And I LOVE knowing you are going through the Proverbs Study. I pray the Lord teaches you fresh new truths as you walk through Proverbs with Him.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  22. It was a joy to come back and read the “conversation” here! Thankful to hear SSI went well…that’s exactly what I expected!

    I’ve been “Resolving to R.E.S.T” and God has been using this in my life. As I began to recognize symptoms I realized I was a bit unsettled and uptight, which was caused by a decision I was trying to make. As I studied the scriptures, God led me to look up every verse I found in my index under decision. This was quite the journey, but one that brought insight and wisdom. It also created peace and led me to step 4 – TRUSTing God! And led me to the place of resolving to OBEY!

    This is a practical process and one I plan to use again…I especially pray I remember the R and E steps – some proactive steps that are very important and ones God can use to guide me to the scripture I need to hear. Thank you for sharing Wendy!

    One other thing…as the week came to a close, my husband was gone to a conference for 3 days and I was home with 4 of our kids – 2 who were sick. Well by Thursday I was sick as well…anyway that afternoon I had help with the kids and knew I needed to sleep, but I couldn’t. I laid there knowing what I needed to do, but it wasn’t happening…I prayed about it and God whispered to me, “Jill, you can’t rest because you are focusing on the pain.” Honestly those were 3 days I would have loved to avoid, but God had a lesson for me, and maybe even for somebody here – sometimes we can’t rest (either literally or in HIM) because we are focusing on something else. Again we must RESOLVE…make the choice, to do what He commands us to do – not always easy, but always worth it!!

    Looking forward to hearing how God used this in others’ lives this week as well!

    • Jill, I so appreciate when you share because you give us such practical application for what we learn. Thank you for stopping by and modeling how R.E.S.T. can work in the every day life of a busy mama!!

      Blessings to you,

      Wendy

  23. This is my first time here and although I stumbled upon your website, I have no doubt it was divine intervention. Lately, I had been wondering about my purpose here on Earth and feeling a bit discouraged with the same mundane, monotonous routine of daily living. I realize that every day there are things that need to be done like going to work, house work, cooking, etc., but many times I don’t feel like doing anything! However, I do spend a lot of time on the things I do want to do, but none of it is God oriented. Although I live a life that’s pleasing to the Lord, I go to church and pay my tithes faithfully, I don’t devote myself in setting aside time to pray or in spending time with Him. I know it’s necessary and know what I need to do, but can’t seem to get motivated to do it. I believe a lot of how I feel stems from the way I feel about myself. I I’m a single parent raising my 12 yr old daughter, divorced, and at the moment I’m not seeing anyone. I’ve had troubled relationships with almost every man; men who cared for me, but believe I sabotaged and pushed them all away. In some cases, I was being used, but there were those who had fallen in love with me, but at no time did I ever fall in love with any of them. I can honestly say, I’ve only been in love once in my life at age 19 and that was my first love, but I ended up devastated when he cheated on me. Afterwards, I was in and out of meaningless relationships trying to find love in the wrong places. At age 39 I finally got married, but not for the right reasons, I wasn’t really in love. I think I just wanted to be married, but it turned out to be a very verbally and physically abusive relationship and after 2 yrs I divorced him. I’m now 51 and still wondering if I’m ever going to have that feeling again of being in love and being happy. The only regrets I don’t have about the marriage is the pregnancy of my now 12 yr old daughter. I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for her. Please keep me in your prayers.

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