Our life has been a whirlwind of excitement lately. As I write this, I am currently 20 weeks pregnant with identical twin boys. (!!) There are certain challenges and blessings that come along with this news, but that’s not what I’m going to delve into today. Instead, God has been challenging me in the past few weeks with the concept of rest. I figured as an exhausted 28-year-old balancing a full time job, marriage, a social life, regular exercise, and now growing two tiny humans—this is particularly appropriate.
(Here’s a picture of my budding Twin Bump at 16 weeks, and our first ultrasound that showed us we were expecting twins!)
My church recently started a new series on Rest and Distraction, and I truly felt as though God was over here like –“Hey you—this is for you—so pay attention!” So here are my tidbits of knowledge, and where God has been refining my heart over the past few weeks.
- God designed us for rest
- Right from the beginning of time, God modeled rest. Genesis 2:1-3 states, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and rested.”
- Did God rest because he was exhausted from creating the heavens and the earth? I’m gonna go with no. He didn’t NEED a break. But he modeled the behavior that he wanted us to pursue.
- Rest is so important to God, that he set aside a whole day for it
- The less time it feels we have for rest, the more we actually need it
- Many of us have heard of the concept of “taking a Sabbath, and keeping it holy,” however just recently God’s been teaching me what this really means.
- So often, I find myself saying—“I just don’t have time to go to church this weekend, I have too much to do,” or “I’m so tired this weekend, God will understand if I need to sleep in on Sunday morning,” or
“Work is crazy right now, so I can’t go to small group this week.”… the list goes on and on.
- The best example to me was compared to tithing- the promise that if you trust God with your first and your best (biblically, teaching us that 10% of our time, our income, our gifts, belong to Christ and the Church), that God will bless and multiply what is left. (Tithing itself is a whole ‘nother blog post, but the concept here is the same). By taking a Sabbath when I’m busy and exhausted, I’m trusting in God, allowing him to multiply the rest of my time the other 6 days of the week. Now, I haven’t fully put this concept to the test—but it’s something I’m interested in pursuing. Especially as in the days to come, my time will become more and more sparse with twin infants to take care of.
- So what would your Sunday (or whatever day you choose to take as your Sabbath) look like if you fully entrusted it to God. Worship? Family time? Could you turn off your phone? Really unplug from work? What about all those household projects and honey-do lists you have?
- Practical tips for when worries/anxieties keep us from getting adequate rest
- This one is not necessary biblical, but it’s been something that has helped me recently. Late at night, when my mind is running a million miles a minute and I can’t sleep, I’ve started to just write it down. I keep a journal on my bedside table and spurt it all out onto paper. Sometimes just getting it out of my head unleashes some of the burden, allowing for rest.
- This has been a big one for me. I have friends in all time zones, so often my phone is buzzing throughout the night with text message and conversations. And I’ve realized that my pregnant body truly, truly needs 9 hours of sleep a night in order to be a functioning human being the next day. So now, at 9pm every night my phone goes on “Do Not Disturb” mode no matter what.
- Also, I used to end my evenings scrolling through the latest updates on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat. I’ve cut that out too. It usually would just lead to increased anxiety about things I couldn’t control, fear of missing out on others’ adventures while I slept, or even excitement for my friends and family. Hard to relax and unwind with any of those emotions. In case you were wondering, hearing about Justin Beiber’s engagement, or Meghan Markle’s estranged relationship with her dad wasn’t helping me get to sleep any faster.
- Remember that Jesus offered to carry our burdens so that we can have adequate rest
- This one is a big one for me. News Flash: I like to be in control. I like to know what’s going on, play out all the options, and go to sleep knowing I’ve done everything on my to do list for the day.
- Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, 30, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
- Think about the last time you moved heavy furniture with a spouse or a friend who is much stronger than you. The stronger person that you are yoked with ends up taking the majority of the weight
- Jesus is telling us—hey I’ve got this, let me carry that burden for you so you can rest. And as silly as it sounds, this has been one of the most helpful things for me in pregnancy. I picture physically handing my burdens, my worries, my anxieties to Jesus—saying “you carry this, because I just can’t carry it alone anymore.” And then I sleep like a baby J
- In order to get adequate rest, we need to surrender fully to Christ
- Lastly, remember that Jesus walked on water, God parted the Red Sea, calmed the storms, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead….I’m pretty sure he can handle your worries
- My anxieties and worries, sometimes feels like a jab towards God. Like, “Ehhh I’m just not really sure you’re handling this God….let me take a stab at it.”
- But by fully surrendering our worries to Christ, we are fully trusting in him and his plan. And only then can we truly find rest.
So here’s to praying you all have a restful week. Sleep tight!