The REST Project

New Year. New Life. New Hope.
It can be ours, with a fresh start.
This fall I was introduced to the writings of a beautiful young woman with a heart for Jesus and a passion for the intentional life. Her name is Jenna and last September she wrote a short post called “The REST Project.” I filed it away for our New Year’s post and Jenna is graciously allowing me to share it. She writes …

I have noticed that I’m bad at resting. I’ve also noticed that I’m not alone. I know lots of people who are bad at resting. Some are bad at taking time to put work on pause, and some are bad at sleeping. I am bad at doing things to rest that are actually restful – things that make my body and soul refreshed and healthy.

When I have downtime, I tend to scroll, scroll, scroll through the infinite abyss of social media on my phone. In the time that it takes to catch up with what everyone on all of Instagram did while I was working, I lose all momentum. Has anyone ever gotten off of Instagram feeling refreshed or checked Facebook to get pumped up for the rest of the day? This way of looking for rest is not just lazy; it’s ineffective.

I know that God’s desire and plan for me is rest. That message is littered throughout the whole Bible. The opposite of rest – striving, worry, fear – is outside of God’s plan. Often it’s these things that send me scrolling through the internet, but avoidance is not the same as rest, and my soul will not be fooled.

I’m examining how I take time to rest, and I’m planning a little experiment that I’m calling the Rest Project. Starting on October 1st, I’m going to take 2 weeks to live a paradox of working on my rest.

Here are my rules. Each day I will:

  1. Have dedicated solitary rest time after work (minimum 15 minutes).
  2. Spend no more than 15 minutes of my time at home on social media.
  3. Record my thoughts and prayers in a journal.

That’s it. I’m excited. I’ve been brainstorming things that are restful to me. Things like coloring and writing and running. Things that are active and things that are still. Things that have nothing to do with my 9-5 (or my 7:45-3:45 as the case may be).

I’d like to invite you to join me in improving your rest. Write your own rules or use mine.  Your boundaries may be different because of when you work or how many little people live in your home or just because you are you and I am me.

If you’re feeling tired, discouraged, or not like yourself, you’re invited to find rest. Let a new month bring a new beginning. In Matthew 11, Jesus invites, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

What do you think? Are you up to the challenge, the opportunity?

3 things? What 3 things would breathe New Life into your New Year?

Share your list. It might spur you on – and encourage someone else!

Please visit Jenna and say hi. She writes at http://hoosierhospitalitea.com/the-rest-project-an-invitation/

First time here?

8 thoughts on “The REST Project

  1. Love that “Find the NEW in you NEW Year…”

    JOHN LEE Online Chaplain STUDENT SERVICES IWU- NATIONAL & GLOBAL

    INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

  2. Brenda, this is so powerful. Thank you, and Jenna, for sharing. My word for 2018 seems to be commitment. Will I commit to rest? I must.

    • Betty,

      Jenna gave us such a gift in the post.
      Commit!
      Will we.
      That is our cry, our hope, our prayer.
      Ps 62:5 “Find rest, oh my soul, in God alone. My hope comes from him.”

      Amen!

    • Pastor Greg, Rest comes to us as a gift in many forms.
      I believe our deepest rest comes from time with Jesus.
      Being present with Jesus in His Word, our prayers, and our heart-felt reflections and brutal authenticity … pave way to beauty, freedom, and great joy.
      Rest Well!
      Brenda

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