*Disclaimer: When I talk spiritual rest, I’m talking about Christian spirituality. So what I am about to write will only apply to those who believe that Jesus died and rose again, and is currently seated at the Right Hand of God, and who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior.
This is the most important post out of all the #JustStartResting series.
And honestly, after talking with Bria last night, a lot of my perspective of what I’ve already written about physical, mental, and emotional rest has already been changed a little.
First of all, I want to make it clear that I don’t have all the answers. I mean, you probably assumed that already, but I don’t want y’all to think that I’m writing this because I’m an expert. I’m still trying to figure all of this out. So all the suggestions I have made at the end of the past few posts were just things that I think are best for me. Some things are better for others to do, and I totally understand that. Please don’t take my word as gospel, because it definitely is not.
Second, I am stressing this whole thing about rest because I personally realized that all of my priorities in these areas are so messed up, causing me to focus on things that I shouldn’t really be focusing on, and prioritizing things that should probably be placed on the back burner.
And, as of now, my priorities are still messed up, if I’m honest. I’m still trying to figure things out right now.
A note on balancing things – on how we need to focus on ourselves first before we can focus on others – what I wrote before has been challenged by the thoughts of my best friend. It’s really made me think, and I present these thoughts from Bria to you. You can decipher what you think about it, and if you’d like, share your thoughts with me because I’m curious as to what you think…
Thought #1: What if prioritizing self-care in order to care for others is just a part of Western thought? I mean, if I really think about it, who came up with this whole “Take care of yourself. You deserve a break. You need to take some ‘me time’.” idea anyway? Where did it come from? Bria made a good point last night – this isn’t in the Bible. At least, I don’t remember ever reading anything about self-care in the Bible.
Thought #2: As Christians, should we just trust and have faith that God will take care of us, and with this in mind, we will be able to take care of others? And here’s where my thought came in – Remember when I said we were human, and that we have limits? Well, shoot, if we have limits to caring for others, what makes me think that we don’t have limits when caring for ourselves? Hence, why we need to lean and rest on the Lord. Huh. Super interesting thoughts from talking to Bria. I definitely need to think more on this, but honestly, I kind of lean more towards allowing God to care for His people so we can care for others. But what does that look like?
Anyways, just some thoughts to think about…
If there’s anything I am sure of, it is this – my relationship with the Lord should always come first. And if I’m honest with you, and with myself right now, lately it hasn’t.
And that is my problem in this area. I haven’t made resting with the Lord my main priority, therefore, the other areas of my life have been pretty chaotic. I haven’t spent time with the Lord, and I haven’t rested with Him. And I wonder why physically I feel like a mess, and I’m mentally and emotionally overwhelmed.
The foundation of it all comes from my walk with the Lord. I cannot have physical, mental, or emotional rest without resting on my Lord and Savior.
That being said…
Changes need to be made in my life. Stat. I see now how much my life is suffering in some ways because of my spiritual unrest. And maybe as you’re reading this, you’re thinking of some things that you need to change.
I will say this: it’s okay to realize that you’ve been messing up. That you haven’t been prioritizing the right things, or that you are not in a good place. But once you realize it, you can’t stay there. If you truly want to see a difference in your life, you have to move towards changing.
So what does that look like for me?
I did so well this past summer with having a couple of hours to just pray, read my Bible, and really rest in the Lord’s presence in the mornings. Even if my day wasn’t the best, I still felt grounded and secure because I was being spiritually fed in the morning.
However, ever since I stopped doing Tybee work, and started the job I’m currently in, I haven’t been able to have that time because, quite honestly, it’s harder for me to get up earlier in the mornings. Every night before I go to bed, I tell myself that I’ll get up to have those couple of hours of devotion before my day begins. And every morning, I just sleep in.
The plan now is to do my devotions either right when I get home from work before I do anything fun (like writing or bike riding), or right before I go to bed. I honestly would rather do it in the mornings because I would start my day off with that, and maybe I’ll just read a little devotional in the morning, and keep the heavy studying at night.
But this needs to change. I miss being filled by the Word of God daily, and I can tell that my life’s being affected by the huge lack of it.
Even More than That…
My relationship with Christ shouldn’t be limited to even two hours of every day, but should be something that I focus on throughout the day. So, I need to find some ways to do this, whether that be through reading some books or listening to podcasts, or just creating something that will remind me of the Lord’s Truth throughout my day.
I know for a fact that I cannot encourage my brothers- and sisters-in-Christ if I am not filled up and encouraged daily through the Word of God.
What does this mean for #JustStartWriting?
Seriously, you guys, I’m slightly embarrassed that I hadn’t made this a rule from the get-go. But again, I think I had just heard the whole “taking the Sabbath” thing so many times that it kind of went over my head, and I just brushed it off. But I’m really starting to realize the importance of it.
Which means, #JSW (and I) will be taking the Sabbath – there will be no #JustStartWriting posts on Sundays from now on, starting tomorrow.
There’s this thought that technically the Sabbath is on Saturday (Biblical studies major friends + Dad, help? Is this true? Text me and lemme know please), but I’ve decided that my rest day will be on Sunday. It’s the day right before I have to go back to work, so I want to spend that time focusing on what I learned in church, reading some more of the Bible, and doing things that just allow me to fully rest.
And, not that #JustStartWriting is super hectic or chaotic for me or anything, but I also think it’ll be good for me to take at least one day out of the week to just stop and think about #JustStartWriting, and where it’s going, and what’s up next. It’s awesome to just sit down and start writing – this is kind of the whole purpose of #JSW. But I’m starting to see this more as just my personal project/challenge, and I’m excited about it all. I just need some time to think through things.
Honestly, I feel like my walk with God has sort of crippled due to #JSW because I’ve been trying to keep it afloat all on my own.
But this gives me an opportunity to trust God with it, even though I miss one day of writing out of the week. It will not be the end of the world, or the end of #JSW.
Plus, I actually need to pray for it. I mean, that sounds kind of silly when I type it out, but I think #JSW is also something I need to trust God with. I sometimes feel pretty lost doing this (if you haven’t noticed, that’s kinda cool haha), and I need some guidance and some peace as I continue this.
And so, there we have it. I hope this little series about rest has prompted some thoughts about what rest looks like in your life. If I haven’t completely rocked your world with the thoughts I’ve put out there, I at least appreciate you reading my whole thought process through this! 🙂
It s almost 11pm, and I need to clean off my bed, take a shower, and do my devotions before bed. I love you all, and I hope you have a great Sunday tomorrow. Rest up for the new week!
Monday, I’ll be introducing a new series AAAAANDDD…some new writers.