Finding Rest

In a day and age that demands so much of us, how can we find real rest? This is a question we think about a lot at Starlight. We know it’s possible to live lightly and freely, but often, we can’t find that path.

In all likelihood, most people in my life wouldn’t say I’m a person at rest. They’d say I’m busy. Whenever I call my Dad, he thanks me for calling him because he knows how busy I am. That breaks my heart. My own father doesn’t feel like I have time for him. And honestly, some weeks it’s true. I run around at an insane pace and hurry myself and everyone around me along. I am a great to-doer. Give me a task, and I’ll accomplish it in no time. But that’s not what I want my life to be about. I don’t want to just live a life of crossing things off my to do list.

And when I’m living like that, I am not at rest. I am racing against time and somehow there is never enough time for me to get everything done. I end up exhausted and burnt out and wanting to crawl in a dark room alone where no one can find me.

That’s what happened to me right before I left for my last vacation. It couldn’t come soon enough. And while a much-needed vacation is always a great way to reset—and I highly recommend unplugging, getting away, being in nature, forgetting what time it is, living without a schedule…I am big fans of all of those things—what we want to talk about in this post is how to find rest in your everyday life.

Here are a few things that work for me (Amy):

1. Starting my mornings still and quiet and not launching into my day immediately. I like to listen to music, pray and read scripture, but this might look different for you. This helps me get centered and remember that it’s not up to me to make life work out my way. My day is 100% better if I start it this way.

2. Asking God how he sees me and who I am to him? This helps me to not constantly look to those around me for that validation.

3. I just started this one, but I’m really enjoying it: not rushing myself. Telling myself that I have plenty of time. Telling myself it’s ok if I don’t get to every single chore or email. Trusting that God will show me what he has for me each day and accepting that it’s not every single thing that is fighting for my attention.

4. Spending time in nature with my dog. I love taking my dog Saba to the dog park and walking around there with no plans. Watching all of the dogs play and just have fun restores my soul. This is what I imagine heaven is like.

5. Listening to music. This is a big one for me. It helps me connect with God and something bigger than myself and my small, small world.

6. Turning off my notifications. Nothing robs me of my peace and takes me out of the moment more often than when I see my screen light up or here that ding. I’m going notification-free more and more these days and loving it. I’m harder to get in touch with, but people figure it out!

And here are a few that work for Allison:

1. Before I wake up my children for the day, I offer myself to God and invite him into how I parent them. Even though I only have them for about an hour before they’re off to school, that hour can go sideways in a hurry if I’m not centered.

2. When I’m on track, I begin the day without looking at my phone and end the day without looking at it either. Instead, I say a prayer, journal, or read a book.

3. Lately I’ve been surrendering my schedule to God each morning. I ask him to help me do what needs to be done that day.

4. I make it a point to have a quiet 30 minutes of alone time each day. During this time, I try to get a better perspective on my life. This might mean reading something that speaks to my heart, saying prayers, or just sitting still and listening to God or breathing/meditating.

5. I try to leave my phone at home when I walk my dog or go to pick my kids up from the bus. Looking at the trees is so much more restful than looking at my phone.

6. I say no. A lot. Even to really good volunteer opportunities or being room mom or team mom.

7. I say yes to a painting class, a phone call from my sister, exercise, church. Things that bring me life.

8. I’m still not on Instagram. I can barely handle Facebook without overdoing it. I know I’d like Instagram—therefore I don’t even want to get started. I really have to work to keep social media from dominating my quiet moments.