It’s amazing how when you crave a specific thing, you begin to see it pop up everywhere. 2022 seems to carry a theme of rest for many people I know. After two years of pandemic, unrest, uncertainty, and all the other things happening in your life, 2022 is the perfect time to slow down, reevaluate, and reflect on what is best for you emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.
I am heading toward making space for rest in my life this summer. It feels like a great time to make this happen. I imagine making space for rest looks different for you and me. All I know is that it does not just mean physical rest. My brain capacity feels overwhelmed which then affects my heart and soul.
Overload, overwhelm, over capacity, and over stimulated all lead to cramped quarters. Let’s look more closely at what it looks like to make space for rest.
The Overload of 2020
When 2020 began, all was well. Three months later everything in my world and yours shifted.
My ability to do the simplest things fled and I was hanging on for my daily FaceTime calls with my kids.
I loved to read, but found I wasn’t able to concentrate long enough to make sense of a fun fiction let alone a non-fiction book.
Writing was my passion. The only reason I continued forward was because I told myself I was going to finish my book, The Advent Narrative, by the Advent 2020.
Creative outlets became almost non-existent because the ideas had stopped flowing.
If any of these things sound familiar, I’m sorry you also were suffering. I’m glad I was not alone.
Let’s flip the narrative that has been so prevalent these last few years. Let’s reflect on how far we have come since 2020 and the strides we’ve made to move forward.Today we begin again to learn how making space for rest is not just a practice to overcome the mess of the last few years, but the antidote to carry us into creating a joyful life. Making Space for Rest Click To Tweet
What Does Rest Look Like
If I asked you what rest looks like in your life, I believe our answers would vary. When making space for rest, there is no right answer, only what feels restful to you.
During the height of the pandemic, my saving grace was getting outside and walking. Walking brought me joy, energized me, and was restful. It still is today.
It was during this time I also slowed down to notice what was present all around me. The colors were more vibrant and spring seemed to stretch longer as an ode to the joy we were searching for.
As hard as life appeared, there was a sweetness that lingered. It filled the empty spaces of all we were missing.
Making space for rest became a creative endeavor that was marked by CDC parameters, but did not entirely block us in.
Rest today still looks like taking walks. What does rest look like for you and do you crave it as much as I do?
Ways to Make Space for Rest in 2022
Creating daily rhythms has led me to soul rest and a new understanding of slowing down. I can easily fall into the pit of anxiety which then triggers overwhelm. Even though life is not as isolated as it was in 2020, new worries replace the old ones.
Summer feels like the perfect time to embrace new ways to create breathing space. And it is an opportunity to hold onto the rhythms that have served me well. Here is what I know is true in my own life as I make space for rest. Maybe these will ring true for you, too.
Getting outside always reduces stress. Whether it is taking a walk, sitting on the patio, or chatting with the neighbors, my heart rate slows and my spirits lift.
Reading God’s word is a soul-filler. I began The Bible recap this year, which takes you chronologically through the Bible in a year. I discovered that being intentional in my reading keeps me pointed toward God’s truth.
Hanging with my family is always a good time. It may look like an afternoon at the pool, taking a walk together, gathering at my house, or a spur of the moment ice cream trip. Being with my family makes space for rest.
Serving others has become a rhythm in my life in 2022. At the end of last year, I trained to become a volunteer peer counselor at a local women’s center. Meeting one on one with a client or working with a group of women blesses me more than I could imagine.
Let me leave you with these words from Joanna Gaines in the spring issue of Magnolia magazine:
Whatever it may be that slows you down, stills your breath, and steadies your heart, that pushes against the hurried rhythms of the world, is yours and yours alone. But you won’t find the rich, restorative breath if you’re not willing to fight for it. It’s strength lies in its depth, and sometimes I wonder if that’s by design–forcing us to look beneath all of life’s dizzying distractions to the parts of our soul that sit a little deeper.
May you find your own space for rest this summer and beyond! What rhythms have you already embraced?
Empowering women to walk in brave faith one heart at a time!
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When covid shut down our community – it was with relief for me. I needed more time to recover from the spinal fusion surgery I had in January of 2020 – so I embraced the opportunity to recover at my own rate without the busy of everything pushing me to do do do. I need that rest space – it’s a restorative for my brain-soul activity. I’m trying to find it right now – and it takes giving myself permission, even if those around me don’t understand it. Thanks for the encouragement in your message.
I believe God provided what each of us needed during the shutdown. I didn’t think so at the time, but looking back, I can see that. I just heard John Eldredge interviewed and he was saying how we have adopted the mindset that everything is back to normal now so we can just move on. His point was that the last years have created stress and we have some residual PTSD from the pandemic that we need to address. I know for me, this is where the idea of rest enters in. Thank you for sharing and being here.
Rest for me is a morning walk and time in the flower garden. Reading a book or listening to an audiobook is a great way for me to wind down at the end of the day. Mary, I appreciate how you brought for the truth of “noticing what was present all around me. The colors were more vibrant, and spring seemed to stretch longer as an ode to the joy we were searching for. As hard as life appeared, there was a sweetness that lingered.” I agree, savoring the Lord and enjoying His Presence in the midst of His creation is joyful and sweet.
There is nothing so wonderful as a morning walk. I also love reading at the end of the day. It helps me to relax before I fall asleep. Thank you for these kind words. I appreciate you being here.
Mary, yes, making space for rest is essential for our well-being. I began exercising and walking more consistently after the pandemic began. And, even when I’m feeling stressed by all the to-do’s in a day, I still take walks about five mornings a week. I also find rest in photography, in spending time with my family, and in getting into new environments.
Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to make space for rest in our lives.
We have similar ways to of seeking rest. I also love taking pictures. It is a way to chronicle the beauty that God shows me on my walks. I pray you hear the invitation to seek rest throughout the rest of your week.
Love the reminder to fight for rest Mary-intentionality is the only way to ensure we refresh body, soul and spirit!
Amen! I agree with choosing intentionality. It is very easy to get distracted and put rest on the back burner. Thank you for being here.
You are so talented! Didn’t know this side to you! Figured tho, you are so graceful, you put others first and you are just so amazing! Xo
Hi Debbie! I love seeing you here. Thank you for these kind words. I love writing and have been doing it here in this space for over ten years. It’s hard to believe. Love you, friend!
Mary, what a wonderful message. This was so refreshing for me to read. Kind of prompts me to pause and reflect. Thank you.
Thank you for linking up with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.
Thank you, Paula for your linkup. I appreciate your kind words. I pray you find your own quiet space to sit and listen for God.
You’re so right, Mary … it’s like we are being invited to re-invent ourselves, to re-evaluate what matters most, and to quiet ourselves to hear His still small voice.
I don’t know anyone who’s the same as they were two years ago. And maybe that can be a very good thing …
REST is my word for the year, and it’s become a real challenge for me to recognize all the ways I dodge God’s invitation to rest in him.
I always think of you when I am pondering “rest” in my own life since I know it is your word for the year. I relate to how it is easy to dodge the invitation to rest because of all the other things I have going on in my life. Thanks for being here.
You are correct in saying that none of us are the same as two years ago and from my view point that’s a good thing. However, there is a challenge still to lean in close to God and listen for Him in our daily lives. The invitation is always there because God never stops pursuing us. Love you, friend!