Written by guest blogger Melanie Redd
It’s a popular topic these days.
Books have been written about it, podcasters speak about it, reels tout it, videos teach it, and even newscasters mention it from time to time.
In simplest terms, to rest is to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
To rest is to be restored, renewed, refreshed, and in recovery.
A Great Example of Rest
Years ago, I heard the story about a group of men who were cutting down giant trees in the forest. They were all well-trained lumberjacks.
In the group of about 25 of these woodcutters, there was a great deal of motion, noise, and activity. All of the men were busy chopping at the trees except one.
The one man sat alone with a tool that allowed him to sharpen his ax.
He spent several minutes sharpening his ax.
When asked why he was “wasting” so much time with the sharpening tool, the lumberjack simply replied, “I’m taking time to sharpen my ax so that my work will go smoother and quicker. I’ve found that a few minutes of sharpening allows for hours of good chopping.”
We ALL need time to sharpen our axes.
However, most of us spend our lives frantically chopping and don’t take the time to come apart and give ourselves the chance to fine-tune our blades.
What if we took a little more time to sharpen our blades? What if we allowed ourselves more time to rest and be refreshed?
Could our lives improve if we added more rest to our days?
Here Are 5 Simple Ways to Add Rest to Your Days
Although this is not an exhaustive list, I’d like to share five activities that have greatly helped me to add rest to my days.
All of these things give me time to sharpen my ax and fine-tune my blades.
First, I start my day with prayer and in the Bible.
Every single morning, I enjoy a few moments with the Lord. Sometimes, I spend 15 minutes; other days I take a whole hour. The point is not the length of time. Rather, it is taking the time to enjoy the presence of God.
Second, I take a walk outside – if at all possible.
We live in the deep South, and it gets really hot in the summers. In order to walk outdoors, I have to get up really early.
However, I’m always grateful to have the time to walk, think, ponder, plan the day, and take a few deep breaths outdoors in God’s amazing creation. My walks bring rest.
Third, I put good things in my mind all day long.
My daily plan is simple: I limit the bad and pour in the good stuff. I listen to podcasts, praise music, and books on tape while I’m getting ready, cooking dinner, folding laundry, and driving.
Additionally, I turn off the news, the negative, and the bad as much as possible. I try to limit how much junk I allow in my mind.
Fourth, I journal every day.
Each day, I write by hand in a journal or notebook. This practice has been so cathartic and so healing. It’s like the journal is my counselor as I write out prayers, frustrations, hopes, and dreams.
Finally, I go to bed 30 minutes earlier than I used to.
Why not try this one? Turn off the television and go to bed sooner. A little extra sleep will make you feel so much better!
What About You and Your Plan for More Rest?
None of these things that I have shared are profound. However, they do work. These daily practices add margin to my life.
Rest comes when I take care of my body, soul, and spirit. Rest happens when you and I intentionally plan to take control of our time, our habits, and the things we are focused on and listening to.
So, what will you do to add more rest to your days? To your life?
A Free Tool to Assist You in Rest
To enhance the quality of rest in your life, I’d like to share a free printable gift with you. It’s called, “101 Ways to Experience More Rest.”
We’d like to suggest 101 ways that you can begin to experience more rest:
- In your home.
- In your work.
- In your relationships.
- With your family.
- With your friends.
- In your health.
- In your spiritual life.
- With your time.
- As you are going throughout each day.
*To get your free copy of this PDF Printable, click on this link: “101 Ways to Experience More Rest.”
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety and depression affect 40 million adults in the US age 18 and above. This is 18% of the total population.
I also read about a group of college counseling directors that were surveyed. 95% said, “the number of students with significant psychological problems is a growing concern in their center or on campus.”
In fact, this same article suggested that the biggest problem impacting college students today is anxiety; depression was a close second.
Many people struggle with these things.
You may be one of those who struggle with worry, fear, anxiety, or depression.
Would you like to learn how to find deep rest for your soul?
That’s what this new resource from Hope Ministry is all about! It’s called, “Just Rest: A 90-Day Devotional Journal.”
Just Rest is a 90-day journey to find peace, calm, and soul rest.
Included among the pages of this short devotional is an area to journal thoughts and prayers while reading this encouraging book.
You can learn more by clicking on this link:
About the Author: Melanie Redd
Melanie is a best-selling author, blogger, speaker, and podcaster.
She’s been married to Randy for the past 31 years and serving alongside him in ministry. Additionally, she’s mom to two awesome young adults and a crazy Australian Shepherd. God’s grace never ceases to amaze her.
You can find out more about Melanie & her ministry at melanieredd.com.
Listen to a conversation with Leah and Melanie at Embrace Your Everyday podcast.