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How I Am Learning to Maintain Rest throughout the Year

Updated Jul 12, 2023
How I Am Learning to Maintain Rest throughout the Year

Rest is one of the more difficult areas of my life to balance. Although I strive to get a good night's rest each night and often do so, it isn't easy to find the mental and emotional rest I need. I realize I have a couple of barriers to enjoying the full rest God intends for me.

Barriers to Rest

Lack of Trust
First, I don't trust God. It's a shocking statement, but if I go to the root of my issues, I have trouble trusting God. Because I've lived most of my life independently, relying on God to do things my way or within my time frame is difficult. When I must be patient and wait on God because he is refining Christ-like character in me, I become upset and disillusioned with my spiritual life. I often want to take the reins and control my life rather than yield it fully to Christ. This never ends well, and I feel mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. 

Difficulty Reaching Out
Second, I have trouble asking for help. It is difficult to ask for help, especially since I've been rejected. When I've asked for use in the past, and people have said 'No,' it makes it more difficult for me to ask for help in the future. Especially in the wake of other relational issues such as betrayals, conflict, and tension, it is difficult for me to rest in knowing that others will come to my aid if I need help. It makes me feel as though I'm lifting an invisible weight that is impossible to maintain, yet I keep trying to lift it and keep it lifted. Life is not meant to be lived alone, but rather in community. When I don't ask for help from others, I feel unrested, causing me many sleepless nights and needless worry. 

Third, I often feel alone. This is also difficult when life is meant to do with others. Ministry is often a lonely occupation. But in the wake of our culture that seeks to do things its way and not seek help from others, it is more difficult to do life with people when I'm unsure if I can rely upon them when I need them the most. If I had people with which I could unburden myself within a safe space, I would feel less burdened and alone. Although I know I need to work on these things, it makes feeling fully rested more difficult. 

Keys to Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical Rest

Time Management
First, I've reorganized my schedule to make more time for recreation. I'm trying to cut off my work time earlier to enjoy more time mentally unpacking from the day. Writing articles, books, and mentoring can take a lot of mental energy. If I can spend less of my time doing it, I'll have more time to do the things that I need to d,o so I can spend time with family and other recreational activities. 

Second, I'm learning to spend more time in prayer. Instead of going for a walk and listening to music, I use that time as prayer time. I talk to God and listen for his voice. Even if I don't get anything definitive on how to solve my problems, I know I feel comforted just by knowing that God is listening, hears my prayer,s and knows my heart. 

Financial Budget
Third, money always seems to be an issue for me. There always seems to be a major repair or problem, or money needs to be spent even when I have saved some. This causes me a lot of emotional and mental energy worrying about how to pay the bills or save for future goals. By God's grace, I have been able to pay down some extra debt, so the weight of it no longer burdens me. This has helped clear my head of emotional and mental clutter. I've also learned to let go of the areas where we've spent too much money on things we should not have. Although some of it cannot be avoided (food, gas, etc.) I know that there are always places where we can trim our budget. 

Emotional Freedom
Fourth, I'm doing the work I need to eliminate anything that hinders me from emotional freedom. Scripture says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice" (Ephesians 4:31). I need to forgive people daily, confess my sins continuously and rid myself of any anger that may turn into bitterness if gone unchecked. This can also help me live in freedom. 

Physical Fitness
Fifth, I'm taking control of my physical health as well. Although I've always been good at daily exercise, my diet could help. I'm trying to switch out sugar and flour and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet. I need to be more intentional about how I eat and what I put into my body to maximize my energy during the day so I can feel more up to enjoying life. Although I have come a long way in drinking more water, I know I don't drink nearly enough to stay hydrated throughout the day. This summer, I aim to drink eight glasses of water daily. I hope my organs can get the hydration they need so I feel less tired and more set for the day. 

Sixth, I'm taking more time to do nothing. Even just sitting and reflecting or enjoying God's creation is helping me to keep my mind clutter-free. Sometimes I'll eat breakfast on a park bench and enjoy the cool air. Or I may take a dip, take a long, hot bath and enjoy the warmth on my skin. Whatever it is, I am trying to do more of nothing throughout the day. As a kid, I would get so bored because I had nothing to do. Now that I'm older, I wish I had more time to do nothing! But I also know that being an adult is difficult as it can sometimes have its rewards, and I know that doing what God wants me to do leaves me time to enjoy life with him and others.

Rest is not always easy to maintain. When stressed with difficult tasks we may or may not know how to complete, it's easy to tax ourselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. But God wants us to be free in every area of our lives. He doesn't want us to feel stressed but rather yield our lives to him, give him our burdens so he can shoulder the weight for us, and instead allow us to live in the freedom meant for us through his death on the cross. 

 Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Prostock-Studio

Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.