we are free to rest

A million people have talked about rest and women and how we're not always that amazing at it. I feel like I've talked about it many different ways here.

Today I thought we'd just look straight at lies women believe about rest and look straight at what God's Word says about those lies. I casually asked something on twitter about lies and rest and the response was overwhelming. Here are some of the things we seem to be hearing and here are some Biblical truths that I am trying to apply as I struggle right alongside you. 

We believe that rest is not productive or helpful or moving forward. 
If our Heavenly Father and Jesus both rested in the midst of their ministry, can't we put this to bed? Even in nature we see that pruning is a part of growing things. It takes pruning, watering, and waiting. Rest grows things in us. We wouldn't expect our kids to grow well physically if they weren't nurtured or rested, why do we expect the same of ourselves?

We believe that rest equates laziness. 
Genesis 2 tells us that rest is good and Holy because God not only invented it, but did it Himself. 

We hear that we should find rest in Jesus and we are lazy if we need physical rest. 
I have learned throughout the years that I can try to have my heart in the right place, but if I've gotten no sleep or no introvert time or no time to be recreated by the Lord - I will still seem straight up crazy. I'll do the crazy crying or the crazy yelling and it won't matter how many quiet times I've had. 

We believe that rest is deserved only in proportion to how crazy full our life is. 
Rest is grace and a gift. If we only got rest in proportion to how much we need it, our Father wouldn't have needed any. He was and is the source of all life forever and ever. Rest is a graceful gift and that means we can't (and shouldn't try to) earn it. 

That rest is impossible if we have young children. 
As important as physical rest is, as a former three-under-three mama, I know sometimes it just isn't there. But I do think Jesus meets us in the crazy times and makes Matthew 11 become real to us. I also think that as women we have a hard time making time for physical rest and there would be times when I'd truly deny physical rest because I couldn't accept grace from the Lord. My husband offers me time to nap around once a week and I think I've taken him up on it twice in our entire marriage. Why? Because of pride and a lack of wanting to accept grace. 

If you feel like physical rest isn't available to you, be sure you're not denying it. 
But if it truly isn't available on some days or in some seasons, walk in the full knowledge that you know the God who created rest and He can give it miraculously where needed. 

We might believe that rest is only found on the beach with an alcoholic beverage and no children around. I think any believer who has sought rest on a deserted beach with an alcoholic beverage and NOT invited the Lord into their rest can tell you - even that is not restful. Rest for us is simply letting the Lord restore and recreate us - physically, emotionally, mentally. I personally think there's nothing wrong with a beach and the occasional margarita, if it's done in a worshipful way (1 Timothy 4:4-5). Likewise, sometimes the most restful days for me are sitting on the couch and engaging with my kids or going to the pumpkin patch with them. 

Sometimes I find rest in reading and writing with the Lord and sometimes I find it in corporate worship with other believers. The key is to remember He says "come to ME" for rest. We've got to stop seeing rest as reclusion from everything and everyone (including the Lord). Sometimes rest will be in the community of other believers and it should always be as we're in communion with the Lord. 

That rest is "me time". 
Being recreated and rejuvenated by the Lord who gives us rest isn't indulgent no matter how it looks. Likewise, being indulgent with selfish motivation isn't true rest with the Lord. Don't judge your rest by it's appearance, judge it by your heart. 

We think that rest is selfish. 
I think that as women, rest can be one of the most selfless things we do. In my own strength, I want to keep going and going and going. And yet, when I want best for others - for those that I'm loving and serving, I know it works best when it's done from a place of rest before work where my strength, gifts, joy, and work are all coming from Him. 

To cap it all off, I'll tell you this. 
Last night I was in a yoga-type class and the super wise Nancy from N:Motion said this, "Women typically go one direction - fast and forward. And yet the Lord made us to go in so many different speeds and directions." Could it be that we're not walking in the fullness of relationship with Him because we're not exploring other speeds and directions? 

What would it look like for you to get wild and free in your rest today? 
Would He meet you there? Might there be more of Him and His goodness for you that you've resisted because you've refused His rest? 
Let's talk about it.