Friday, January 2, 2009


You arouse man to take joy in praising You, for You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.
-St. Augustine

I began a journey with Keri Wyatt Kent in her book Breathe over a year ago. I love the way she tells stories I can relate to about women trying to find time and space for God in their busy lives. My copy is dog eared. I kept it in the console of my car and would read chapters waiting for the bus with my daughter coming home from school each day. I would inhale and exhale the call to quiet my heart and life. Here's the thing though, I felt like the book needed a sequel. I was breathing, but I still felt tired and anxious even when being still. Slowing my life down wasn't enough. I needed to REST. As a sufferer of sometimes very severe fibromyalgia flares the issue of rest is near and dear to my heart. I struggle to even fall asleep most nights and my physical body is perpetually tense and in pain. Although there are very real physiological reasons for my symptoms I know they also stem from an inability on my part to shut my brain down and give all my burdens over to my God. Where does this constant need to strive come from and what is the answer?

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29) This verse introduces Keri's newest book, REST. She begins her book where we should always start when trying to learn and grow in an area of our life--with what God has to say in His word. She then beautifully unwraps the Sabbath, a gracious gift packaged in a command, no longer tied with the ribbon of the old law but with the freedom offered us in Christ.

There is a clear path in the book showing the purpose and progression of learning to live in Sabbath simplicty; rest, reconnect, revise, pause, play and pray. Each chapter spoke to an area of my life, but I was particularly challenged by the chapter on playing. I realize how strange this may sound, that God would convict me about finding time for play, but He did. Keri points out in her book how children when occupied in play are simply in the moment enjoying it. I admit I am so rarely able to find myself in a childlike place when it comes to enjoying the good gifts from my God. As a mom of a six year old and a one year old who also works from home 30 hours a week and holds myself to a very high standard of keeping up my home, I really don't remember how to play. There are things I truly love to do, that make me feel like I am really using my gifts or gathering inspiration, but I don't make time for them. When I do rarely take time to go to an art gallery, a greenhouse or scrapbook and collage, for instance, I feel a joy and a peace that settles my mind and spirit and recharges me. God is calling me to find Him in play and regularly make this part of my Sabbath routine. He is asking me to look on what He has created for me to enjoy and without regret over the past or worry for the future rest in His amazing gifts now.

If you are weary and burdened I highly recommend you read REST and join me in celebrating God's all wise gift of Sabbath. Keri will be dropping by on Monday to answer some questions about her new book and my readers will have a chance to win a copy from Zondervan! Hope to see you then.

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