a rhythm of rest

I just returned from a few sweet vacation days with my family… a rustic cabin by a high altitude river, trail runs under the pine trees, fly fishing, campfires, reading, game nights, puzzles… and too much delicious food.

No cell phones. No TV. No internet.

Just lots of inside jokes and side-splitting belly laughs… very relaxing. Very refreshing.

Our special time reminded me how important rest is in our lives… a time to pull back and think about nothing… or reflect and talk deeply… whichever is desired and needed at the time.  Sometimes I don’t even know what I need until I’ve been away from the busyness and distractions for a while.

A wise friend once shared a recipe for rest that – when I choose to apply it – helps me to ensure that I am resting… even as part of a very busy life. It might help you too…

REST daily

Even 30 quiet minutes a day to get away from the to-do list and everyday chores gives me perspective and energy for the day. I like to set aside time in the early a.m. to read from my Bible and/or a devotional book and pray for guidance and direction for the day. This gets me started on the right track. Others find time to exercise or add a nap to each day.

REFRESH weekly

This is one “Sabbath” day per week that is a change of pace or a break from the week’s schedule and routine. For many this is a church and worship day. For me, this day can include reading, a longer run, working in the garden, fun with friends, sports or anything that makes the day feel special and refreshes me for the next week. I try to stay away from my job, blog postings, or M.A. homework… a break from anything that feels like “work” to me.

REFLECT monthly

For years we have scheduled a whole day or a weekend to review goals, evaluate progress, and plan personal, family and/or ministry activities. This has been a great time to check on personal development plans (PDP), yearly resolutions, children’s character building, and any life-change challenges in process. I like to go away to a favorite coffee shop with my husband, and we have also enjoyed a park setting, a library, a nice hotel, or a retreat center. We take along calendars, podcasts, PDPs, and other resources for our time away.

RETREAT yearly 

This is the longed-for extended vacation, get-away, or escape! For me, it usually involves a complete geographical change and a total disconnect from usual responsibilities and everything virtual or social media related. I love when it includes time with my family, staying up late and sleeping in. These are the treasured times when traditions strengthen, memories multiply, and dreams take flight.

Life flows with a rhythm of activity and rest. I often have to battle prideful, self-made, artificial arguments that claim I am too busy to rest. I need to remind myself that I am not too important nor too indispensable to step aside for a while. I am healthier, more energized, more peaceful – and more pleasant to others – when I rest regularly as part of my life rhythm.

I’d love to learn from you… How do you rest?

9 thoughts on “a rhythm of rest

  1. I do love my power naps. I find exercise relaxing if you can believe it. We live about 15 minutes from a beautiful lake so I love swimming out to my favorite spot and sitting on my favorite rock formation and just take in the beauty around me . . .right now there is an Osprey (sic) nest with a little chick and love watching Mom sit a few branches below. That’s relaxation at it’s best for me.

    • Hi Donna! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! You have added some wonderful restful moments to the list! I also find exercise restful. 🙂 Enjoy those precious restful times!

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  4. Reblogged this on Leader Impact and commented:
    Living well means learning to rest well. We need to take time to sharpen the ax, recharge, retool. There are rhythms to a healthy life which includes rest. Terry has captured 4 simple practices that we have maintained over our married life-not perfectly, but pretty consistently over the years. Learning to rest helps a leader recover from physical weariness as well.

  5. Great summary. Love what you did with the “R’s”. I liked when we joined the national unplug day and disconnected from all technology and social media for 24 hours. That was restful.

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