It’s a brand new year and we are on the flip side of another year filled with much adventure, uncertainty, and unexpected twists and turns.  Some of us are throwing up our hands saying, “Enough already!” while others have adjusted to navigating the path and are actually enjoying the twists and turns.  You may be somewhere in-between, swinging between frustration and exhaustion and peace and contentment.   With this new variant ripping through the country, many have ended or are starting off the years being forced to slow it down and just be and REST.

I intentionally took off for ten days between Christmas and New Year’s for rest.  In many ways, I did just that with lots of pajama days and reading.  I decided to get a tooth pulled in the middle of my stay-cation and really wrestled with that as my body asked me for more intentional rest and yet my mind still was resisting that because I had an agenda I did not think was even there.  There were so many things I wanted to get done on my “time off” and people I wanted to see and was one book enough to read?  I have stacks waiting to be opened!  So did I really truly find REST during my week off?!  I came back to a very full week of coaching, which I was excited for, and here my body was still wrestling with the tooth pulling and a dental infection and I was forced to take afternoon naps between clients.  Covid cooties are back in my house for round two and as I laid in bed last night reminding myself to take rest seriously this new week I was exploring what rest truly is and means.  Is it a nap?  A good book?  An epsom salt bath?  Do we wait to have to find rest when illness strikes?  Or do we intentionally seek and find it within each of our days?  Is it literal or figurative?

The Message version of Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

When I reflect upon the rest that God offers to us it is so much more than an afternoon nap.  It is a surrendering of our ways, our control, our fears and our worries to the One who promises to carry us through each moment of this Earthly life.  It is a falling into the Arms of grace and trusting that even in the hard, even in the uncertainty, even in illness and loss we are cared for, Loved and carried.  As we drop the heavy baggage of our need to “do it all” ourselves we receive a lightness and freedom that elevates us from this Earthly way of living.

In my coaching, most of my clients come to me with physical pain, exhaustion and DIS-ease.  All of them are carrying more than they need to.  Every one is thirsty for a rest that goes beyond a nap and step by step, as we peel away their own unique layers of heaviness and they hand them UP their physical bodies breath huge sighs of relief.

Snowy winter walks when the world is blanketed in white peace help remind me of what is offered to us freely each and every moment of our days.  We can find the “snow day peace” even on the stormiest of days.  Today I challenge you to take some time to reflect upon what true rest means to and for you.  Do a mind-body-soul scan and note where it feels heavy.  What are you carrying that you would like to let go of?  Can you give it UP?  Can you accept the gift of true rest?

If you feel led, please comment below what you are carrying that feels so heavy right now. I am happy to pray with you as you release it over to the One who promises to carry it all for you.