Thursday, March 10, 2011

Soul Stress: The Challenge of Finding Rest

I've been reading Faith Jam Thursdays, but I haven't participated before today. The topic for this week--"Share your craving and journey for rest in creativity, community, or adventure"--spoke to me so loudly that I couldn't ignore it. :) Bonnie's post, which introduces the theme, is I Stress, Therefore I Am.


Introvert or extrovert, we were never made to only do life as maintenance. God designed us to be fully alive: creative, engaged with community and renewed by a sense of adventure.

Without these elements of creativity, community and adventure, we experience a different kind of stress.

Soul stress.
I can strongly relate to Bonnie's words, because this is where I live.  However, I have been preparing to relocate since I reached a point where the routine of life became overwhelming.  I was burned out.

One day someone helped me to realize that my days were spent doing little more than washing clothes, preparing meals, and cleaning bathrooms.  Those tasks are good and necessary, but that can't be all there is.

Of the three restful elements, the one I crave most is creativity--in all three forms that Bonnie lists.

Take time out for creative exploration.  Although I didn't make the connection when I started blogging, one of my reasons was to have a place to be expressive in my own way.  As I've settled into blogging and changed the direction of my blog, it has  become a precious source of refreshment for me.  (This also ties in to the element of community, of course, but that's off-topic.)

Enjoy sleep.  For too long I stayed up too late and woke up too early, in order to accomplish everything on my list.  It's counterproductive, but I was too tired to realize that!  Now I make a point of getting enough sleep.

Schedule in Whitespace.  This reminds me of the 7 Habits concept of sharpening the saw.  Even when my to-do list keeps growing, I take a little time each day to rest, to read, to do anything that refreshes my spirit.  The list is still there, but I'm better able to handle it.

I'm still recovering and learning, and this is something I have to work on every single day.  But rather than allowing that imperfection to become yet another source of stress, I'm choosing to rest in the Lord and rejoice in the progress I've seen.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)
What do you do to de-stress?


  1. Getting enough sleep has also been a big issue for me. I get so excited about all the things that I want to do that I sacrifice on sleep. And you're right it is counterproductive. So I'm working on going to bed by a set time even if I'm excited and want to stay awake.

  2. Oh the many times I have fallen. I am glad I a learning to rest. Nice post!

  3. I am in the process of figuring out ways to de-stress, but my favorite way is to go to the lake or other body of water, sit in a chair and read a book. I don't do this very often. I need to figure out a way to do this more.

  4. Reading a book, blogging, spending time with family. :)

  5. Hooray for you for joining the Jam!

    For me sleep comes before almost every other form of rest . . . or at least it should. If my body hasn't rested, the creativity of writing or anything else lacks.

  6. Melissa! I'm SO happy to have you join the jam! I love how you wrap up your thoughts encouraging us on resting from imperfection. Thank you for sharing fresh in your journey of recovery and rest!

  7. Thanks for sharing. I've marked some of these links to follow up and read too!

    That's one of my favorite verses and it took me so long to realize (ok, "I'm lame" moment coming up here) that he meant spiritual rest, NOT physical rest. Spiritual refreshment. He doesn't actually take away your work, he makes your heart lighter to do your work with a good spirit and your work becomes less of a burden and more of a delight. (More of, I still haven't found real delight in laundry!)

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Beautiful post as always! it's hard to see around the imperfections but we all have them and you'll doing a wonderful job!

  9. Thanks for visiting me at Pursuing Heart. I appreciated your thoughts here on "finding rest" ... I also have to continually train myself to leave my "to do lists" and just relax and rest, also spend time on something that brings refreshment. The verses you have at the end, Matthew 11:28-30 are some of my favorites!


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