Start Fresh with Rest & Sitting Among Friends #57


Starting fresh for the new year for many people means starting with new goals, a one word to be inspired by, or being resolved to being a new you.

I ran into a mom this morning at my kid's school (well, not literally). She said, "We were going to be on time in the new year and we have already blown it." As we laughed, I reassured her she has all year to work on it. 

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the new year. We fill ourselves with promises sometimes too hard to keep. 

I would like to encourage you to something a little different. I would love to encourage you to start fresh with rest. 

I've come across this word and idea of rest in all of my Bible reading. I think the Lord has a message for me or one I should be sharing. I am going to go with both.

We can go all the way to the beginning of Scripture when all was being created. There was Jesus speaking the world into all its vast beauty. 

Light, sun, moon, animals, plants. He spoke and it became. Then in His greatest hour created us. To walk and talk and fellowship with Him. Then He rested.

In giving the Israelites the ten commandments, God commanded rest on the Sabbath to be kept and not forgotten. They too must have gotten wrapped up in their busyness. God had a solution. Rest.

Rest Doesn't Mean Idleness or Laziness. It is restoration for the Body, Mind, and Soul. Spend time in Prayer, God's Word, and Worship.
We almost find this word taboo in our day. As if rest means idle hands or laziness. For some, that causes feelings of panic and distress. But when the Lord rested on the seventh day, it meant He ceased or finished His creating.

God doesn't condemn any type of good work not to take place, even on the Sabbath (the day set aside for rest). Even Christ himself was persecuted for healing on the Sabbath. His response was to continue to do good, even when work was supposed to cease. 

The Israelites were commanded early on to cease working, even during their busiest time of year. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day, you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest. Exodus 34:21 NLT

In this version of the verse they use the words " you must stop working" where some versions use the words rest. 

We get so busy in our lives that we work after we get off work.  We jam our weekends with work and activities because we only have two days to get our extra-curricular time in. We don't take the time to stop working. 

We run run run and most the time on a very empty tank.  

What good can come from rest or stopping for a time?

God didn't rest out of His own necessity or weariness.  Isaiah 40:28 says,  "Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding." But He knew for us it would be a necessity. He gives us this for our benefit. 

God knows what is the best for us and I believe that God sets this standard and precedent because He knows our weary bodies need to stop. He knows our weary minds need a reboot.

Maybe most importantly, He knows the heart of every individual needs a time of refresh and refocus on the One who matters. The One who set it all in motion.

5 Steps to Finding Rest for Body, Mind, Soul in the New Year. Christian Blogs. Pray. Read God's Word, Worship, Rest, Give yourself the Freedom to Rest!
What can we do for a rest?

1. First, give yourself guilt free time to rest. Work when it is time to work but take the time to take a step back. Ask God to honor this time. It is necessary.

2. Take time to pray. We need the time to connect with God and one way to do that is prayer. Not only making our requests known but listening, praising, and giving God our undivided attention while resting in His hands.

3. Take time to read your Bible. God gave us this beautiful book that shows us who He is and what He desires for us. It pours out His love to generations of faithless people. We can know Him more and know how to love Him more by being there with Him. Trust me, you will see Him come to life in your life when you just sit and rest with Him there.

4. We can physically rest. Take a nap. Go to bed early. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes of sleep in the morning.

5. Take time to Worship God. Go to church. Listen to radio sermons. Praise God with Songs. Spend time in fellowship with loved ones. 

So, I challenge you as you begin the new year to start fresh with rest!  Our bodies, mind, and souls will be better for this.

Let me know in the comments what you do to rest or to take a step from the business of life to give God just you. Let us know how often and what are the personal blessings you receive from this?

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This week's featured friend is Angela Howard from No Ordinary Days. Angela writes about how God impacts our imperfect lives in extraordinary ways even on the ordinary days. Thanks for being here, Angela. 



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12 comments :

  1. I often struggle with feelings of unrest and even guilt when I find myself resting Jaime. Even when the rest is for health purposes. I need to pray more about this and ask God for peace. I love all your tips you share for rest and I try to implement them every day. However,I get energized when I am able to do my physical therapy exercises while watching a favorite show on my DVR or taking a nap like you mentioned. Thanks for sharing these insights. Have a wonderful week and many blessings to you and yours in 2017!

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    1. I completely understand. I love taking a nap. Seriously! I do. But when I do, I get guilty feelings for not "doing something". But I am getting rest, especially on nights I write late. When I am not on the prowl on social media for this page, I feel guilty for not "working" the way I think others are. But when I rest in God, knowing I do what I can. When I chose to not "work" and spend more time with my family, I am always blessed. God always does the greater part in everything I thinking I am doing, I need to be able to rest in his authority over my life. There I am truly blessed. Thanks for sharing your heart! We truly appreciate you! Many blessings to you in the New Year!

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  2. These thoughts dovetail perfectly with my word for 2017, because with "STANDING," I'm making a proclamation that I've been placed by God in the space where I am, and he has made that possible by the death of His Son -- not through my efforts!

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    1. Such beauty in those thoughts. You are where you are because of the cross. That is an honor to be holding a place with God! Thanks so much for sharing, Michele.

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  3. Great tips, Jaime! May we all have success putting them into practice!

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    1. Thanks for stopping and sharing here with us, June. Praying for a restful year for all. You have a great 2017!

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  4. The Lord said the same thing to me last night after a very hardworking day and night! So i did today- without guilt - even watched a movie! AND still was creative and hardworking but rested. And took meals to two families in the rain and relaxed w/ my hubby. So thanks for this timely word.

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    1. Even your comments bring smiles to my face. I love it. Rest - without guilt - watched a movie, and delivered meals. What a blessing your restful days seem to be to others, too! Thank you as always for sharing here!

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  5. Very nice. People tend to make me feel guilty when I rest. I feel it re-charges me. Thanks for hosting and Have a Blessed 2017.

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    1. Guilt free. It's what we are about here. I understand the feelings but it truly is necessary for everyone. It does recharge and makes us better for it. Thanks for sharing here, Patrick. May you be blessed in 2017!

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  6. Jaime, this is such an encouraging way to begin the new year, with a fresh start! I think we rob ourselves of this refreshment by not prioritizing properly, and I love that you simplified it. And guilt-free...yes please!

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    1. I know we want to be go-getters at the beginning of the year and this may seem like not going. Rest. Building that time into our go getting allows for the clarity, focus, and restoration we are seeking in all of lives busyness. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with us here, Crystal.

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Seek Him First! Today's Bible Reading

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
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2 Timothy 1:7

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