In conversations with four different friends over the course of last week I was told that I needed to rest. And so I took that as as a word from the Lord from those who care about me. Our Restore Retreat was such a glorious weekend! We were so blessed and we saw the Father pour out His Spirit over us in truly beautiful ways.
It was apparent throughout the weekend that He had orchestrated all who attended for His unique purpose in our lives. We had women join us ranging in age from 19 up into their 70's, mothers and daughters, special friends, and those who came to make new friends. I was so excited to have my own daughters attend a retreat for the first time. Many of the young women there I had taught when they were little girls and now some even have children of their own.
It was a time of reconnecting with people who have invested in my life and been significant in my own spiritual journey through the years. The opportunity to teach and worship together was a privilege and it was a joy to provide a beautiful oasis for these women. Many of them serve in leadership in other ministries and rarely get to just soak in God's truth and not have to take on the responsibility of leading.
Sherry and I experienced a rich and full weekend as we poured out our hearts and energy and gave out of His abundance.
When you pour out, you must give yourself time to replenish, be restored, and rest your body and soul.
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Rest is defined as to cease work, to restore strength, to refresh oneself. Rest is found in the word restore. According to Websters and other dictionaries, the word restore means to reestablish to it’s original state or to bring back
As I tried to take time this week to rest, I found myself pondering the word. More importantly, I tried to consider what rest looked like for me. I think the things that restore our bodies and souls in some ways are different because we are created with unique needs. Listed below are some of the things that I chose to put into practice this week to replenish and restore myself. My prayer is that as you read you may get some ideas for ways to find rest in your own life.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
As I reflected on these life-giving words, I remembered a beautiful piece of music by the Irish modern day hymn writers, Keith and Kristyn Getty entitled Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God.
When I need rest, I turn to music that speaks truth and the prayer of my heart.... music that lives and breathes new life.
This is one of my favorites by Keith and Kristyn Getty. I’ve been listening to it several times today and I encourage you to take the time to let it wash over your soul.
I love the arrangement because it combines the music of one of my all time favorite instrumental pieces, Gabriel’s Oboe with a reading of the prayer of St. Patrick.
As I look over my list, I see that my choices for rest fall into four different categories.
Worship. Offer songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. Dedicate time to prayer - listening for His heart. For me, at the conclusion of a huge project such as leading a retreat, it’s important to pause and thank the Father for what He has done and listen for His voice to guide me through the days of renewal and restoration.
Focus on delight. What are the things that capture my imagination, nurture my creative spirit and refresh and rekindle passion for life? Take a day or two out of the usual routine.
Rest physically. Let me body find its strength again. The giving out in such abundance requires some recovery time physically and spiritually. A time to soak in His presence.
Reflection. Take time to ponder the past and consider the future. Linger in the Word through meditation. Think about the work God has done in my life in the busy season, the lessons learned. Write them down…journal the blessings and the trials. Simply slow down, declutter my mind. Be still....
And so I encourage you to take a moment and consider what brings rest to your body and soul.
If someone could wrap up a gift box for you filled with four or five things that would replenish your weary body and soul, what would they be?
What brings you delight, rest, restoration?
Who knows, maybe some of your suggestions will show up at the next Restore event or blog post!
We’re all unique and what energizes and refreshes your spirit may be different for someone else.
Or perhaps someone reading today might receive a blessing in his or her life by trying out your suggestion.
So please leave your "rest" ideas in the comment section below if you are reading on the website or reply on the facebook thread. We all need new ideas!
Ultimately, it is Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit who restores us deep within the depths of our souls.
We cannot restore our own souls.
Psalm 23:3. our theme verse for Restore Ministries says, “He restores my soul.”
May you experience the beauty of His rest in the coming days.
Resting in Jesus,
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