31 Days: Refreshing the soul


Psalm 19:7-10 

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 

The Rhythm of Rest
This is Day 25 of The Rhythm of Rest series (Write 31 Days challenge).

31 Days: Some practical ideas for ways to rest

I’ve been writing about the importance of rest for three weeks now, so let’s get practical for a few minutes. Rest is good. We need rest. But how do we make rest a priority, when it feels like we’ll fall off the treadmill of life and hurt ourselves if we try to slow down or even stop?

There’s always something (usually a lot of things) demanding our attention, our time and our energy.

Well I can’t tell you what you should do. I don’t know what your situation is like, what commitments you have, whether you’d happily curl up with a good book or stare at the ocean if you had the time, or whether you get antsy if you sit down for longer than five minutes at a time. Only you know that.

Making time for rest is not likely to come easily or naturally, and it will probably mean that you have to make it a priority over something else. You may need to sacrifice something you like doing but that doesn’t actually refresh you, or something you think you ‘need’ to do before you’re allowed to rest. You may need to leave some things undone or unfinished until after you’ve rested. If you aren’t used to giving yourself time to rest, you may need to start small as you get used to giving yourself permission to make rest a priority.

(Just quietly, if your skin started crawling at the very idea of leaving something unfinished or undone in order to rest, it just may be the most important thing you need.)


So here a few ideas for ways to rest. Use whatever is helpful for sparking your own ideas. One important thing to consider when choosing ways to rest, is whether they are life-giving for you, whether you feel refreshed. You might love watching movies and back-to-back episodes of your favourite tv series on Netflix, but if they’re not refreshing you, maybe that’s entertainment and not rest.

Some of these ideas may take a few minutes during your work day, some could take a whole day on the weekend. It’s up to you.

  • take a walk along the beach or in a park
  • sit on a bench and watch the world go by
  • read a good book
  • pray, read scripture, and listen for how the Lord might be speaking to you
  • sleep – yay!
  • cook something you love to eat – share it with friends or family
  • write in a journal (maybe in your favourite coffee shop)
  • stretch
  • lay on the floor and listen to your favourite music
  • catch up for coffee or a meal with a good friend
  • take a break from your electronic devices (yes, mobile phone, tablet, laptop, computer – whatever is dragging you along at warp speed to keep up with the world)
  • sit in your favourite chair, close your eyes and listen for the Lord’s whisper (you might need some solitude for this one)
  • do something creative – draw, paint, take photographs, sew or knit, play music (however you like to express your unique creativity)
  • drink more water (note to self!)
  • take regular breaks at work (use an egg timer or an app to remind you to stop and stretch or do something else for a few minutes – try the Pomodoro technique)

I’d love to hear some of your ideas for rest. Drop me a line in the Comments.

Happy resting!

The Rhythm of Rest

This is Day 22 of The Rhythm of Rest series (Write 31 Days challenge).

Image credit: morguefile.com

When a dream becomes more than just a dream

Milford Sound

Recently I took a holiday to New Zealand with my sister. It’s been over twenty years since we first dreamed about going to New Zealand together. Somehow there always seemed to be something else happening.

Whenever people have asked me where I’d like to travel, my first answer has always been Zealand. It has always been at the top of my list – even though I’ve ended up travelling to numerous other countries over the years. Somehow, New Zealand kept being pushed further and further to the back of the cupboard. It lay in a dark corner, unseen, gathering dust.

One day folded into the next, until weeks and months and years passed by. Every now and then I’d come across it while looking for something else.

New Zealand was parked in “I’d like to go … one day.”

Sometimes the stuff we call daily life seems to get in the way of the things we dream about. Even the mundane daily responsibilities seem more important than bringing a dream to life.

One day… One day…

Mirror Lakes on the road to Milford Sound
Mirror Lakes on the road to Milford Sound

Sometimes a dream feels like that’s all it will ever be. It’s easy to give up if you don’t hold onto it.

Until this year.

This year we made it happen. And I loved it. Loved it. Loved it like I dreamed I would. I’ve already started a mental list of the things I want to see and do when I go back. And I will be going back.

Our holiday in New Zealand was like a drink of cold water when your throat is dry. Refreshing. Life-giving.

Perhaps that’s what a dream come true will do for you.

Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo