Milk and Honey Magazine article on how Sundays are a day to rest, relax, read Scripture, and find peace!

Sundays = Rest Days

Kate Ashbrook

I struggle with the whole concept of "rest."

I'm one to want to keep going all the time and do multiple things in order to busy my mind, in order to not slip into thoughts the enemy so plentifully floods my brain with. Much like Parks and Rec's beloved Chris Traeger says; "if I keep my body moving and my mind occupied at all times, I will avoid falling into a bottomless pit of despair" - I can't say I'm as dramatic and grandiose as Mr. Traeger, but I very much relate to what he says here. 

I get so very afraid of being still and resting because I'm petrified of being alone with my thoughts, thoughts that can go from 0-100 in a matter of seconds. Thoughts that have brought me down paths I'm ashamed of, actions I've regretted, and thoughts that just make the enemy dance with joy. The idea of the enemy celebrating and rejoicing over my pain and hurt is enough to make my stomach turn. But friends, we weren't meant to live this way. 

We weren't meant to just physically rest as humans to rejuvenate ourselves, but to rest in our King of Kings, the Great I Am - to rest in His plan for us that is more beautiful than anything you can possibly imagine. His plan for us to PROSPER and never to harm us. It mentions rest over 50 times in the Bible and we are called to do so, no matter how hard it might be.

What did God do on the seventh day after creating this great earth? He rested. Simple as that and we have to do the same. As one who suffers from an eating disorder and anxiety, I am very much one to want control over my life. The idea of giving it all to Jesus is really hard for me, but that's what makes me human.

Lately, the Lord has been testing me in regards to physically resting and having quiet time with myself. It's one of my biggest fears and one of the hardest things I've had to do, lately. But as all little stumbles or hardships that present themselves in our life, there is something to redeem from it. I know, can you believe it? But that's why we struggle.

Recently, I've gone through a change in my life where I've given myself my Sunday as my complete day of rest.

I usually start my day reading scripture about resting in the Most High and trusting that the promised prosperity, beauty, and light are to come.

As well as reading scripture, I don't wear makeup at all on Sundays. It's my chance to give my face a rest, time to breathe, as well as the rest of my body. I wear clothes that are comfortable and make me feel safe, fabrics that are kind on the body and looser - making me feel free in a sense. I open the windows, sit on my bed, close my eyes and just breathe.

I realize what a gift alone it is to breathe in and out. I listen to the sounds of the birds in the trees, the wind making the chimes sound outside my window. It's truly a time for me to rest and be still. It's so very hard for me, but with each passing week, I'm realizing what a true blessing it is.

A big part of my Sundays is doing acts of self-love, taking the time for myself to do things that make my heart warm or plasters a smile across my face. I do things to remind myself to thank God for the being He has created me to be, thank Him for the gifts He has given me. Friends, I so recommend taking some time in your week to do things for you.

Take a bubble bath and light some of your favourite candles. Go on a walk and let the sunshine hit your face, smile at the new blooming trees and flowers. Allow yourself to take a nap to refresh and rejuvenate. Write a letter to yourself, congratulating you on how far you've come. Make a cup of tea and curl up with your favourite novel. Make a list of things that make you happy and do such things.

Self love is so important as well as knowing that you deserve to be treated well. We are called in the Bible to love others, but often times, people forget about the second part of the commandment. We are meant to love our neighbors as ourselves. You can't fully love someone the way the Lord wants you to until you accept and love the masterpiece He has created in YOU. Now I'm not saying that I have this mastered because I don't. It's truly hard for love myself, but I have to fight those voices with truth from scripture. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am clothed in STRENGTH and DIGNITY. I can do all things through Him who gives me that strength.

Though I don't like the quiet, I am learning that it is essential. Rest is essential. But I'm not so anxious or stressed about the many  things I might have to do. I have less anger in my heart and fel less high strung. I have a day to look forward to to breathe and live simply as life was meant to.

My dears, in this world that is constantly on the go, know that it's okay to take a step back, be still, and breathe.