Tag Archives: rest

Finding a rhythm in my rest

For the last couple of months I have mentioned a great book a few times called “Rhythms of Rest” and how it is helping me to see how good rest is. I mean, resting is just as good as taking a pill! It’s the best medication that we can have.

Mind you, it’s fine me saying this now, but just a couple of weeks ago I must admit, I struggled. Why? Because I was in pain.

“But that is when you should rest, isn’t it?” I hear you say!

Yes, it is!

And did I?

Erm…No!

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When life is going well, advice is always easier to take on board. Situations seem to sail along quite calmly.  However, when the tide changes and the seas get a bit rougher, that’s when it’s hard to see the clear skies ahead.

A number of weeks ago, I had a great week making time each morning to read devotions and pray. During that week, I was really productive in getting as much done to prepare for the weekend…trying to get all the washing done (including folding it up and putting it away!) running all the errands that needed running, getting food in, cleaning the house…this was all in between working a full time job and having kids.  I think you get the picture.

What was so important at the weekend that I was breaking my back getting all this stuff done?  I was preparing to have a full day of rest on the Saturday.

Yes, you did read that correctly…A FULL DAY!!

Shock! Horror!!

To think a busy, working mum with 3 kids could actually do that. But I did…and it worked.

Kind of.

Don’t get me wrong, the day was fantastic. It’s what happened the following days later.

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My mind was fully refreshed and charged up after a day of rest,  but my body was nudging me quietly and telling me something completely different.

Was I listening? Was I paying attention to the little signs?

Of course I wasn’t. I’m a stubborn northerner and I think I know best. Anyway, things needed to be done so there was no way that I could stop.

What happened though, was that I had done so much back-breaking rushing around during the week to prepare for one day, that I didn’t notice how tired I was really getting. I mean, tired to the point that I was struggling to stay awake.

After my day of rest, I went straight into rushing around again preparing for the next day of rest, which was to be a week later. In all the rushing around and not listening to my body, guess what?

Crack! I did my back in.  Doing what? Unloading the dishwasher. Of all things! Seriously!! Pain shot through my body.  How ironic that all the back-breaking work I put into having a Sabbath day actually made my back crack!

I really struggled the week that followed. To the point that I was walking like some old woman with a zimmer frame. I couldn’t lift anything. Every time I sat down it hurt. Every time I stood up it hurt. Every time I tried to walk it hurt. Even sleeping in bed hurt. Suffice to say, I think it hurt!
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In Shelly Miller’s book “Rhythms Of Rest”, she writes about how we need to take baby steps towards achieving our Sabbath and how not to feel guilty in doing so.  She makes a whole heap of sense in her book, but unfortunately, like the true Northerner I am, I still really wasn’t taking it in.  I have learnt the hard, and painful, way of trying to rest with a rhythm .

Do you know what my problem was?  Why my back went out?  I hadn’t actually made rest as a rhythm.  The title of Shelly’s book really hit me at that point.  Sabbath is not just about one day, or a specific day.  Sabbath is spending time with God – whenever, wherever, and however. It doesn’t matter if I spend 10 minutes sitting on a bench thinking, or if I spend 10 minutes having a little snooze.

Seriously? Sleep? Yes! Why not? Oh how that was such a revelation to me.

When we make a special meal for someone, sometimes it’s not the first time we have tried to make it.  It might be 3 or 4 times before we perfect the dish, using different ingredients each time.  It’s kind of like that with Sabbath.   We are creating a special time with someone and it takes time to get the right ingredients, and plenty of trial runs!

I loved that day I had, spending time in His presence with my family.  I wanted that day again so much.  It’s just not going to happen though.  Not at the moment in the season that I am in anyway. Having a young family, a job that has a lot of pressure and is very physical,  outside commitments, my health, home stuff and being a wife, I struggle a whole heap.

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I am slowly learning that not everything can be done at once.  I am also finding, just like my life, that I need to adapt more.  I need to be more flexible with my time and not to restrict myself too much.

Shelly covers all these issues, and a whole lot more in her book.  She shares encouraging stories and practical advice in a way that really helps to restore your soul. If you are finding, like me, that you are struggling a little and you need a bit of guidance, then may I suggest that you get her book.  It’s available right now through Amazon.

She has been doing a book tour in the US over the last couple of weeks spreading the message of her much needed book. She is coming back this week and will be launching her book in the U.K. very shortly.

She will be starting on Saturday 12th November with a book launch at the church I attend at St Barnabas in Kensington. If you are free, why don’t you come and join me and hear what she has to say in person. Believe me, in this busy world that we live in, her message is what we all need to hear.

Rhythms Of Rest

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A few weeks ago, one Sunday, our family was absolutely wiped out. Why? Because we did too much! It was a hard week that week with the kids going back to school and  my husband going back to work. I was getting into a new rhythm too of getting up early, getting things prepared and doing the school run. Over the summer, I had no worries about having to get up before the kids because there was no rush to get anywhere. Well, apart from going to work that is. But I had an extra hour in bed. ONE WHOLE HOUR! That’s like a lifetime to any mother I think.

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My body is taking a little longer to adjust to the early morning routine now though.  I am taking the kids into school earlier so that I can get into work earlier. The idea is that I can leave work earlier too, so that I can get time at the end of the day getting the little bits done that’s needed for home.   Trying is a bit of an understatement though.  It’s more like I am running a race, and I have an elastic band around me that is constantly pulling me back from reaching the finish line.

We also had an event that we needed to go to on the Saturday with the brass band that we play in. This meant that we were going to be out of the house at midday and not return for another 13 and a half hours later!  We did about 6-7 hours worth of travelling altogether.  So yeah, when we woke up Sunday morning at 6:30am we just wanted to hit that snooze button just a few more times! How we managed to leave the house at 8:15am to get ourselves to church I don’t know.  I think that God must have been driving.

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You are probably wondering why I am arduously undertaking fitting in so much during the week when I can spread it out at the weekend. (I think a part of me is wondering that too if I’m honest). I aim to change though the way that I do things for one reason – SABBATH! I want to enjoy some time at the weekend where I can rest with my family, and with God.  I want to be able to do the things that I love doing. I don’t want to be rushing around trying to get things done that really no body cares about.  I mean, seriously, what will my kids enjoy more…me playing with them, or me making sure that their clothes are clean?  I know which one I would rather do.

Starting a new rhythm though is not easy, but with the help of Shelly Miller’s new book “Rhythms Of Rest“, it has given me a little more grace to make it easier.  Her book is being launched on October 4th and is available for pre-order NOW!

imagePhotograph taken by Kris Camealy.

Inadequately Waiting

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got out of the car one morning.  With my hands full of shopping, there he was perched on my fence. I had to get a picture, and I had to do it quickly. Who knows how long he was going to be there for. I’m fumbling around for my phone in my pocket, juggling my keys as quiet as I can be so not to scare him away, whilst I had shopping in the other hand. I forgot to bring a plastic bag with me when I went shopping, so yes, my hands were a little bit full. No, I didn’t buy a bag either, to save me all this stress. He stayed there though for me to make one shot…

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He got me thinking though. That little robin has no worries, but yet God provides for him. Matthew chapter 6 v 26 says this…

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Me? Valuable? I am in a waiting season at the moment and it has left me feeling really inadequate. It’s like I don’t quite reach the mark and I don’t fit in with other people around me. I am sitting here thinking that I have so much that I want to give, but I feel like I am not good enough. I look at other people and see where they are in their lives and what they have achieved to do…what they are achieving. They are doing what God has called them to do and they are doing it so well.  And yet, I am still waiting. Am I not good enough to do Gods work? If I am, then what is the wait for?

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I know that God has His plans and that everything happens in His time. I know that! I am just so flippin’  impatient. I feel like a little child that is waiting for that special desert. I can see all the good things that will happen, but I can’t have any of it until I have sat through dinner and taken the time to eat and savour everything that is on my plate. But, like that little girl, I just want that sweet thing now.

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I know that God is teaching me something at the moment. With the help of a book called “Rhythms Of Rest” by Shelly Miller, I am learning that spending time with God is giving me moments where my heart is open to what He wants to show me. What He wants to teach me.  This book is not out to the public yet, and God has been very good to me in giving me the opportunity to be part of a fabulous launch team. I am learning that even just spending 5 minutes with Him helps me to bring everything back into focus.

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If making rest a rhythm in your life sounds like something you need, then come and take a look at Shelly’s website to find further information. Although the book is not out yet, you can pre-order it at Amazon by clicking here.