Seven Resources to Help You Find Soul Rest

Isaiah30-15

Summer is here and it’s time to rest.

I will be taking a break from blogging for the summer. My daughter and her family have one more month here in the states before they go back to China and I want to concentrate on spending time with them. Plus, I am writing a new book (so excited about this new topic!) and I need to spend some serious writing time to get that finished.

I encourage all of you to take some time this summer to rest. To spend some time with family and friends. To do something you love to do, but don’t always have the time. To connect with Jesus.

To help you find the soul rest that comes from connecting with the Savior, I am listing some of my favorite resources for finding spiritual renewal. Pick one and use it this summer!

seven-resources-soul-restHere are the resources, with links and a favorite quote from each:

A Place of Quiet Rest, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss: “God has a never-ending supply of grace, strength, and wisdom available that He wants to flow through us to others. And we need to keep coming back into His presence to get our supply replenished…If we fail to stop and draw from His fresh, infinite supply of mercy and grace, we will find ourselves having to operate our of our own depleted, meager resources.”

Resting Place, by Jane Rubietta: “Rest helps us find meaning in our work and relationships, gives us places to evaluate what we’re doing with our hours and our hearts, what difference it all makes. Rest–reflection, meditation, breathing in God’s presence–lowers stress, calms our heartbeat and redirects our attention from the created to the Creator.”

Satisfy My Thirsty Soul, by Linda Dillow: The “Prayer of Quiet: Dear Lord Jesus, you once spoke peace to the wind and the waves. Speak Your shalom over my heart. I wait silently…patiently. I receive into the very core of my being Your loving command, ‘Peace, be still.’ Amen.”

Finding Spiritual Whitespace, by Bonnie Gray: “Finding spiritual whitespace isn’t about carving out an hour of time to escape the things that stress us. It’s getting away from everything we do to distract ourselves from all the hidden pieces–in order to nurture our soul. Spiritual rest is a journey of awakening our hearts to fully receive.”

Soul Spa, by Sharla Fritz: “The Father invites us to solitude so we can hear His whisper above the noise of the world. He asks us to come away with Him so we can pour out the messy contents of our hearts. He beckons us to time alone so he can give us what we need.”

The Father invites us to solitude so we can hear His whisper above the noise of the world. Click To Tweet

Soul Spa Kit, free download (sign up at the top of this page): “Who needs a spiritual retreat? You do. Although soul care may seem like a luxury, it is actually a necessity for your well-being. When your spirit is tired and worn, your physical self suffers too. You are less able to be the generous and kind person you want to be. Your heart cries out for more Jesus.”

7 Habits That Promote Soul RestA series of posts here on my blog that outline habits helpful for soul rest: “Ah rest, that is what I need. Soul rest. The kind of rest that would calm my heart.The kind of respite that would obliterate the restlessness in my spirit.The kind of stillness that would cancel out the craziness of this world like noise-cancelling headphones wipe out the pandemonium around me.”

Take time to rest this summer. Let the Lord restore your soul.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

Next step: Choose one resource to explore this summer. Schedule time each week to rest in the presence of God.

 

 

7 Habits That Promote Soul Rest: Sabbath

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For years, I struggled with the idea of Sabbath. I knew the commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). But as a pastor’s wife and church musician remembering the Sabbath day meant getting up early, going to church, playing the piano or organ, and rehearsing with the praise team or choir. I loved it all, but it was anything but restful.

Then I began to read about incorporating God’s original idea of the Sabbath as a day of rest into modern life. Truthfully, that seemed impossible. As a wife, mom, piano teacher, and church worker I was already struggling to get everything done. How was I supposed to finish all my tasks if I took a day off?

But God kept tapping me on the shoulder through magazine articles, blog posts, and conversations with friends. Suddenly, everywhere I looked people were talking about the Sabbath.

God was inviting me to rest. 

7 HABITS #5Eventually, I accepted the invitation and began using Sunday afternoons and evenings as my Sabbath. I still need to work as a church musician in the morning, but I use the rest of the day to rest my body, soul, and spirit.

Here are some ways I incorporate rest into my Sabbath:

Rest my body. I ignore the crumbs on the floor and the clothes in the hamper. Instead, I lounge on the couch or take a leisurely walk in God’s creation.

Rest my soul. One the best things I do for my soul on the Sabbath is to take a break from technology. I spend a lot of time on my computer during the week. Shutting down email and Facebook for one day rejuvenates my soul.

Rest my spirit. God’s Word rejuvenates my soul. On Sunday morning I worship with my brothers and sisters in Christ and soak of the Gospel. Later in the day I might read an uplifting devotional book or spend extra time in Scripture. You might even select a book or study to be read only on Sundays–perhaps reading through C.S. Lewis’s works or digging deep into Galatians.

God’s recipe for soul rest is:

Take six days of work.

Add in one day of rest.

God's recipe for soul rest is: Take six days of work. Add in one day of rest. Click To Tweet

Too often I’ve ignored this recipe and the result has been an exhausted, frazzled soul.

Accept God’s invitation to take a break from your usual hectic pace. Rest in His love and grace. Allow Him to renew your soul.

Next step: RSVP with a yes to God’s invitation to rest. Find a day each week to rest your body, soul, and spirit. Make a list of things that rejuvenate your soul and incorporate them into your Sabbath.

If you want to learn more about Sabbath and soul rest check out my book Soul Spa: 40 Days of Spiritual Renewal. CPH.org has a special sale price right now!

 

7 Habits That Promote Soul Rest: One Thing

One Thing

I have long suffered from the syndrome of TTDIA–Trying To Do It All.

My calendar is filled with activities. My planner is stuffed with unmet goals. I try to pack more and more into each day only to realize when it’s time to go to bed that I haven’t accomplished even half of what I set out to do.

My frenetic pace reached a climax a little over a year ago. I knew things had to change, but I didn’t know how to make the shift. I could figure out what action to take.

Then my husband was diagnosed with a disease even more serious than TTDIA. The doctors told him he had non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It was a shock for this usually healthy-as-a-horse man. Medical personnel assured us that his prognosis was good, but now our time was spent in doctor’s offices, medical test facilities, and chemotherapy labs.

Obviously, my priorities changed. Activities and goals that seemed so essential became unimportant.

But life went on (thankfully) and certain things still needed to be done. I felt restless and anxious over how I would accomplish everything.

In the midst of the chaos, God gave me a solution. Instead of Trying To Do It All, He invited me to ask Him what needed to be done.

7 HABITS #4So I began a new habit. Each day I would ask my wise Father, “What is the one thing You want me to accomplish?” I focused on completing this task as soon as possible. Then, even if nothing else got crossed off my to-do list, I had the confidence that I had finished what the Lord had asked of me.

Thankfully, my husband is now in remission. (Thank You, Lord!) But I have continued this habit. This simple morning exercise brings me daily soul rest.

TTDIA is exhausting. If you’ve ever suffered from this syndrome you know the symptoms: feelings of anxiety, fear, and dread crowd your heart.

But when we ask the Father what is truly important and fulfill His desire for our day we will find peace, sufficiency, and strength.

When we ask the Father what is truly important and fulfill His desire for our day we find soul rest. Click To Tweet

[By the way, the habit of One Thing is also one of the habits I teach in my eCourse Distracted: 12 Faith-Focus Habits for a Frenzied World. Find out more about this course by clicking here.]

Next step: Every morning this week, ask the Father, “What is the One Thing You want me to do today?” Then whether He points you to an item on your to-do list or asks you to accomplish something you didn’t even think of, focus on that task first. 

 

 

7 Habits That Promote Soul Rest: Perpetual Prayer

each whispered wordof petitionor thanksgivingconnects us tothe Giver of soul rest1

This post is part 4 in my series on 7 Habits that Promote Soul Rest. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3.

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

The first time I read Paul’s command in 1 Thessalonians I was incredulous.

I mean, how could you possible pray all the time? Life demands things like paying attention in a class or writing a detailed report for work. If you have little ones running around you need to make sure that they don’t empty the garbage can all over the floor or feed the dog chocolate. How can you be on your knees and still do the everyday stuff of life?

Paul’s words not only inspired skepticism. It also produced…guilt. Just reading the command made me all too aware of my mediocre prayer life–often lacking in frequency and length. (Which is another way of saying, I’m lucky if I get in five minutes of concentrated prayer daily.)

But I know prayer brings rest for my soul and peace for my spirit. In another one of Paul’s letters he wrote:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

So how can we learn to pray without ceasing and find soul rest?

I realized that when Paul wrote that command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 he didn’t mean I had to stay on my knees with my eyes closed and my hands folded all day. Praying without ceasing becomes possible when I pray short prayers throughout the day. 

Here are three ways I use short prayers to connect with God:

7 HABITS #3Turn every worry into a prayer. One day I decided to take these words of Paul literally. I realized that when I’m worried about something, I don’t think about it once in the morning and once again at night. It is on my mind constantly. The concern pops into my brain while I’m driving my car or having a conversation with a friend. So what if I turned every one of my worrisome thoughts into a prayer? 

I would be praying without ceasing.

Pray short prayers of thanks. My worries became the catalyst for my first experience with short prayers. But soon I began to add short prayers of thanksgiving to my repertoire of short prayers. When I saw a beautiful sunset, tasted an exquisite strawberry, or heard the sweet song of a bird, I whispered a quick prayer of gratitude to my awesome Creator. When I found my lost keys or got a string of green lights on my way to an appointment, I said, “Thank You, God.”

Use Scripture prayers. Recently I’ve begun another way to use short prayers throughout the day. I choose a short prayer from Scripture that I whisper back to God whenever the Holy Spirit prompts me. The first prayer I used like this is called the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.” At first, I felt uncomfortable with this prayer. I didn’t like reminding myself that I am a sinner, but every time I spoke this petition, I felt peace. I knew God answered my prayer with His grace. I felt soul rest because that prayer reminded me how much I need my Father and how little my own efforts mattered in the grand scheme of eternity.

Here are a few more short prayers from Scripture that you can use:

Not my will, but Yours be done. Luke 22:42

Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on You. 2 Chronicles 14:11

Show the wonder of Your great love. Psalm 17:7

We find soul rest in perpetual prayer because each whispered word of petition or thanksgiving connects us to Jesus–the Giver of rest, peace, and soul stillness.

Each whispered word of petition or thanksgiving connects us to Jesus--the Giver of soul stillness. Click To Tweet

Next step: Choose a short Scripture to pray throughout the day. Click to get a free resource of 15 more short Scripture prayers. Write the prayer on a card to carry with you. As you pray this prayer in small moments of your busy day, it will become a habit. And this habit will draw you closer to God–the Provider of soul rest.

 

 

7 Habits That Promote Soul Rest

soulrest

I started a new habit this week: brushing my teeth while standing on one leg.

It looks silly, but the idea is to improve my balance. I heard about this practice from the book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, by Gretchen Rubin. Rubin is one of my favorite secular authors and I found this book fascinating. Her premise is that habits make our lives better, because once they are in place we don’t have to think about them. For instance, my overall health is better because I exercise every weekday. I don’t struggle with the decision if I should exercise or not. I just do it. (Huh. That would make a good slogan.)

While I was reading the book, I got to wondering if habits could improve my spiritual life as well. Are there things that I could do every day that would improve my relationship with God? 

7 HABITS THAT PROMOTE SOUL RESTThis idea is not new. God, in fact, instituted a few habits for His people in the Old Testament.

Every year, they were to practice the ritual of Passover–remembering God’s mighty act of bringing them out of Egypt.

Every week the Israelites were to celebrate the Sabbath–ceasing their work and instead spending time worshipping God.

Every day they were to call upon God–“Every day I call upon you, O Lord, I spread out my hands to you” (Psalm 88:9).

 

These habits were all designed to draw the Israelites out of their normal routine and into God’s presence.

God told Moses:

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14)

Ah rest, that is what I need. Soul rest. The kind of rest that would calm my heart. The kind of respite that would obliterate the restlessness in my spirit.The kind of stillness that would cancel out the craziness of this world like noise-cancelling headphones wipe out the pandemonium around me.

So what habits and routines promote soul rest? It seems from Exodus 33:14 that the answer is: any routine that draws us into the presence of the Lord.

Over the next few weeks, I will explore a few spiritual habits that will help find that rest. Some will be routines you probably already have in place, like a daily quiet time. But some may be new to you, like prayer journaling. Each habit will have one purpose in mind–to connect with Jesus.

And I promise I won’t urge you to brush your teeth while standing on one leg.


 

Check out all seven habits! Click the links below.

#1 Daily Meeting With God

#2 Gratitude

#3 Perpetual Prayer

#4 One Thing

#5 Sabbath

#6 Prayer Journaling

#7 Personal Spiritual Retreat


 

Next step: Choose one of the 7 Habits that sounds intriguing. Practice it for 21 days to make it a habit. Accept God’s invitation to rest. 

 

Free Resource: 59 Ways to Care For Your Soul

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Have you seen the Baby Blues comic where the Baby Blues mom is driving and gets pulled over by a female cop? The policewoman says, “Ma’am, I noticed you have three small children in the car. Please step out of the vehicle.”

Mom gets out of the car and asks, “Is there a problem?”

Cop replies, “No, I just thought you could use a moment of peace and quiet.”

Once in a while, we all need to pull off the road of carpools, meetings, and errands for a bit of peace and quiet. Taking the exit off the busy highway of life for a short time enables us to experience silence and stillness. Solitary times help us connect with God and hear His voice.

Who needs a spiritual retreat? You do. Although soul care may seem like a luxury, it is actually a necessity for your well-being. When your spirit is tired and worn, your physical self suffers too. You are less able to be the generous and kind person you want to be. Your heart cries out for more of Jesus.

And that’s why I created the Soul Spa Kit: 59 Ideas For Creating Your Own Spiritual Retreat. Inside this resource you will discover the who, what, when, why, where, and how of soul care. This kit is a little like a three-day spa weekend for your soul.

Most of us seldom think about soul care. I know I didn’t. As a type-A person I was much better at making and completing to-do lists even if it meant ignoring my soul’s cries for rest. I said yes to many worthwhile activities and pursuits, but didn’t stop long enough to hear my soul cry out, “Stop!”

Finally, I listened to my soul and took the time to get off the busy highway of life long enough for Jesus to care for my soul. I discovered spiritual practices that helped me connect with my Savior in a deeper way.

What about you? Is your soul crying out for rest? Some of the symptoms of soul fatigue are a feeling of emptiness even though life is full, an almost constant sense of being overwhelmed, and, well, being more than a little snippy with the people you actually love.

We can keep on pushing through life, ignoring our souls and becoming more empty and overwhelmed or we can get off the roller-coaster of life long enough to hear the cries of our spirits and care for them. We can go to Jesus–the Healer of souls. We can take time for a spiritual retreat.

Here are a few ideas from my Soul Spa Kit:

  • Meditate on the Bible story in John 8:1–11. Imagine yourself in the story. Hear the sounds, smell the smells. Look at Jesus. What does your heart experience in meeting Jesus in this story?
  • Dream. Write down your most extravagant dreams for your life. Ask God to show you if they are in line with His will.
  • Create a photo journal. Take a walk in nature and snap photos of things that remind you of God. Later, create a slide show or photo book of the photos with captions of prayers of thanksgiving.

To get my free Soul Spa Kit and find more ideas like this, simply enter your name and email address in the form on the top right-hand corner of my blog.You will then receive a link to the Soul Spa Kit in your inbox.

Give yourself permission to take a little time off from your responsibilities and obligations. Nurture your soul.

59Ways

My Brand New Book: Soul Spa

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Do you need a place to rest your heart?

We all live busy, stressful lives. Our souls feel like they are being pulled in a hundred different directions. We are desperately soul-tired, but not sure how to find the rest our spirits need.

When our muscles ache or our skin needs a moisturizing treatment, we know where to go. A spa can provide a relaxing massage or a soothing facial. But where do we go when the most important part of us needs care?

Believe me, I can relate. As a Bible study teacher, Christian speaker, author, blogger, church musician, and piano teacher I feel pulled apart every week. My spirit grows tired and worn. I know I need to take time to rest. I know my soul needs the care only the Savior can provide, yet I continue sprinting through my days, not paying any attention to my soul’s cry for help.

Finally, after years of ignoring my spirit’s need for rest and restoration, I decided to change. I began to learn how to bring my exhausted, fatigued, and shattered soul to the God who alone can restore it. I studied holy habits that Christians have used for centuries to draw close to the Savior. As I explored these practices, I found that they opened my heart to God’s working in my life. They gave Him the time and space for Him to restore my soul. All of these experiences led me to write Soul Spa–a book that is like a spa for the spirit.

I invite you to come to the Soul Spa where God is eager to meet you and care for your heart. Using spa analogies, this resource will guide you to engage in spiritual practices such as Scripture meditation, Sacred reading, discernment, fasting, and prayer. In the book you will learn how to develop your own personal plan for soul care.

Features of Soul Spa: 40 Days of Spiritual Renewal:

  • daily devotional readings
  • in-depth Bible study questions
  • exploration of Spiritual disciplines
  • reflection/discussion questions
  • perfect for personal or group study
  • memory verses
  • creative ways to spend time with God
  • instructions to form your personal soul care plan
  • fun spa activities to enhance the group experience.

Come to the Soul Spa where the Holy Spirit will nurture your soul with grace, mercy, and peace.

204196  Check out my new book at CPH or on Amazon!