…And Relax!

Hey, friend. Welcome back. How are you? 😎 

Feels like it’s been a minute since I sat down and shared an update on how I’ve been. I hope you’re doing well. 

Here’s a question for you:

What does rest look like to you?

Which activities fill you and make you feel rested, and which ones deplete you and make you feel drained?

Today, I wanted to share some practical tips and Bible plans that have been helping me grasp the idea of rest: what it really means and looks like for me (which is unique to each of us), in case you’re on this journey, too.

It’s been a journey…

As you’ve probably seen, it’s been a packed few months for me, with lots of releases and publications. Ironically, though, at the same time, it’s been a season where I’ve been learning this topic of rest. I realised a few months ago that it’s something I’m not very good at. I often feel more comfortable being ‘productive’: armed with a to-do list and loving the satisfaction of ticking things off that list.

But God has really been using this year so far to challenge me to understand this side of myself; this need He’s built into all of us. He’s taught me that rest is so important not only for us but also to Him; in fact, it’s one of God’s 10 commandments. We see in Exodus and Deuteronomy that guarding and honouring a day of rest within our routines isn’t an option, it’s an in-built need, underpinned by a God-ordained commandment. One of the Bible plans below went so far as to explain how the sabbath day actually marks the fact we’re no longer slaves, who never got a day of rest; that our right to rest is actually a marker of our new identity in Christ as God’s children! We’re wired to require rest, and our Creator knows this more than any of us.

What a loving God, that He commands us to take time out and rest!

Practical Tips for Prioritising Rest

Over the month of April, I completed several plans that really helped me understand how important rest is physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and even relationally. I learnt that when we’re in a mindset of constant and ceaseless hustle and striving, we run the risk of burning out. Not only that, but anything that’s started out of a mindset of striving will more than likely require striving in order to maintain it.

And in the current climate of a pandemic, with so much unknown and uncertainty, and a lot of change, rest is even more important. Couple that with many of the tragic global events that have happened in the past year which can feel emotionally draining… it’s so important to take time out and regroup.

As a result of what I’ve learnt, I’ve started (and I hope these help you if you’re looking for ideas):

  • blocking out a ‘Lights Out’ hour before I sleep, with no internet or technology around me.
  • keeping my phone on airplane mode until I’ve completed my morning devotional.
  • working out first thing in the morning, so that before anyone else gets my time and attention, I do.
  • replying to non-urgent whatsapp messages in one go. ‘Batch replying’ at set times through the day, rather than in dribs and drabs, one at a time, throughout the day.
  • offering people voice-note catch ups instead of calls, which I sometimes find draining when there are lots of them in succession (I’m an introvert, y’all!).

Bible Plans on Learning to Rest

In addition to those practical ideas, here are my top 8 Bible plans (available on the Bible App) that I’ve completed on the topic and would highly recommend. If you’re someone who struggles to prioritise time out, my challenge to you for May into June is to complete at least 3 of them, and see what God may be trying to share with you. 

I would love to hear how you find them – please feel free to drop me an email!

So, my encouragement to you? Make time for yourself, first. Meditate on what rest means to you, and build in margin for it. Fill up before you pour out. It’s not a matter of choice, but really one of health, life and death — and remember, the devil loves a depleted Christian.

Stay filled up.

See you in June,

Imani x

Photo: Max van den Oetelaar

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