My friend, Saundra Dalton-Smith, author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity spent hours looking at the smiling faces of her social media friends, wondering what secret they knew that she didn’t.
“How do they do it all and do it well, while I feel like I’m struggling to keep it all together?” she wondered.
It didn’t take long before her comparisons led her down an unhappy and unfulfilling path. One that brought her to the end of herself and propelled her into a new relationship with God.
Her story is powerful and her complimentary Personal Rest Assessment Test is a game changer. Just listen to her story…
It began with a post from a woman I’d never met. She too had been looking at all the pretty pictures, feeling less than and left out. Her question was simple. When do I get to be happy? She went on to describe her role as a wife, mom, daughter, prayer partner, Sunday school teacher, chauffer, cook, tutor, and cheerleader. She elaborated on her to-do list. She commented on how everyone else had a perfect life.
I, for one, was not judging her rant. Rather, I secretly applauded her braveness and vulnerability.
God used her post as an invitation for me to go deeper into evaluating my feeling on busyness, rest, and living fully.
My life was full of activity, but activity is only productive if it’s taking you to a place you desire.
My activity was moving me closer to my career goals and further away from the people I love and the moments I treasure. Something had to give.
Either I could stay fixated in my bitterness, or I could be transformed by the beauty of His Word.
The Bible challenged me to exchange my daily hustle to daily hush in the presence of God. It offered rest for my weariness and promised in the process I would see His goodness. In Isaiah 30:15 (ESV), God says…
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
This verse came to me like an outstretched hand, willing me to grab hold. The final words of this verse, however, stood before me declaring the truth about my current situation. “But you were unwilling…”
I was unwilling…
Unwilling to be still and know.
Unwilling to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Unwilling to trust God to carry the load while I rested in Him.
Rest is not optional. Rest is a necessity for living well and loving well.
Rest is required to fully give of myself and my talents. Rest opens up room in life for creativity to bloom and purpose to be realized. Rest is sacred. It’s a gift from a holy God to a fallen people. It’s His strength poured out in small portions. It’s a gift.
As God worked in my spirit, He also whispered to my mind to redefine how I see rest. Rest was no longer an afterthought in my day but part of my day. I began to see the connection between my cluttered mind and my unsettled spirit.
My to-do list was no longer my master.
I learned the freedom of saying a heartfelt no over a yes out of a sense of obligation. I started listening to my tense body and found the time to prayer walk. I started noticing the flowers, trees, birds, and laughter around me. In it all, I could see the love of God, and it strengthened me.
Are you tired, weary, broken, or lonely?
Take a moment and evaluate the thoughts filling your mental space. What emotions are you feeling? Do you feel any tension in your neck and back muscles? Do you feel alone in your busyness, surrounded by activity but unseen and misunderstood?
Every day you use you used physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative energy to accomplish much. With each type of energy used, you make a withdrawal from your personal account. For every depleting activity in your day, there is a counter reviving activity to restore balance.
Failure to replenish your supple will result in burn-out. If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are already feeling the effects of a burned-out life. It’s time to return and rest.
Just as work is valuable, rest has great value. It is by definition restorative.
What needs restoring in your life? If you are unsure of the area of your life most in need of restoration, visit RestQuiz.com to find your personal rest deficit quotient.
Once you know what type of rest you are missing in your life, begin purposefully including that type of rest.
If you are lonely, you will benefit from the social rest of sharing authentically with others in small groups or with a trusted friend.
If you are tired, you will benefit from the physical rest of muscular stress relief and the mental rest of de-cluttering your mind.
If you are broken, you will benefit from the spiritual and creative rest of spending time with the Healer.
Matthew 11:28 invites, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NKJV).
It is an open invitation to all to receive whatever type of rest is required. It includes rest to your mind, your body, your emotions, and your relationships. It is an invitation without restriction; an offer for rest in every area.
What type of rest do you need today?
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in several mainstream magazines. Daily, she helps over-stressed women deal with their work-rest imbalance and find actionable answers to the thriving lifestyle they desire. Pre-order her book, Sacred Rest, today.
I’m so grateful for Saundra’s words-especially during the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season. You aren’t going to want to miss her book, Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity.
Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested-now there’s a challenge.
How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life?
By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, Sacred Rest gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.
Plus! Saundra is giving away some extra-special-awesomeness when you pre-order (including access to her 12-part video course). Check out all of the pre-order gifts by clicking here.