***This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to our winner Lucy!***
How would you like to live a better life?
Count me in! My friend, author Jerusha Clark has a new book to help, Every Piece of Me: Shattering Toxic Beliefs and Discovering the Real You.
I’m happy to bring you this guest post from Jerusha:
If someone asks, “How are you?” what do you typically say?
For most women, the standard answer is no longer “Fine.” It’s, “I’m so busy,” “Things are crazy,” or “You know; we’re hanging on.” At school pickup, the gym, workplaces and churches everywhere, women talk about balance. We all say we want it. And right after we say this, most of us rush off to the next thousand things on our iCal or Agenda.
Despite our good intentions and resolutions, we seem to pile one obligation on top of another to the point that our entire experience is one gigantic mess of “have tos,” “shoulds,” “need tos,” and “oughts.” No wonder so many women are depressed and anxious!
I am so grateful that Jesus’ plan for me isn’t one extended obligation. Instead, He calls me—and He invites you—to deliberately set aside time for renewal and rest. In fact, He considers it so important that He commanded us to rest once a week. It’s pretty insane that we think we can obey nine out of the Ten Commandments, but completely disregard God’s Word regarding rest.
But it’s also so understandable that we struggle with this command! Many of us are terrified of resting: we believe we’ll miss out, that life will fall apart if we don’t keep things spinning, or that we’ll disappoint the people we love (family, friends) or labor for (employers or church leaders) by saying no. We fear that we won’t have enough if we don’t keep going: our kids won’t get a good enough place on that team or in that activity, our house won’t be clean enough, our work won’t get done well enough, and so on, ad nauseam. For many of us, the very first waking thought is “I didn’t get enough sleep,” and the second that quickly follows is “There’s not enough time to do everything I need to do today.”
My friends, this cannot go on!
Our Heavenly Father always provides more than enough. Many of us heard or memorized Psalm 23 at some point in our spiritual journey. Few of us, however, really live as if it’s true: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Ps. 23:1, emphasis added). Maybe we don’t live this truth out because we’re so busy trying to fill our hands with the good things around us that we miss the opportunity to be genuinely refreshed.
We think it’s a disaster when the WiFi goes down, our plans are disrupted, or sickness strikes, but sometimes that’s the only way Jesus can get us to slow down.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23:2
I have discovered the hard way—through being made to lie down by devastating illness—that, when we rest, God actually does what he promises to do: “He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths…my cup overflows” (Ps. 23: 3–5).
You don’t have to be forced to lie down; you can choose abundant life by deciding and learning to rest!
In the Gospel of John, Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd. He promises to care for us in the same way the 23rd psalmist describes. But to experience the kind of life Jesus offers in John 10:10—“abundant life,” a “rich and satisfying life,” “more and better life than they ever dreamed of”—we must choose to trust, to stop, to rest.
If you’re interested in this, you can start by rejecting fear. If God can literally create the entire world in six days, He can manage your stuff in six days! Don’t be afraid!!
You can also discover practical ways to start embracing rest in “The Unforced Rhythms of Grace,” chapter seven of Jerusha’s new book, Every Piece of Me: Shattering Toxic Beliefs and Discovering the Real You and in Arlene’s book, Calm, Cool, and Connected.
For a chance to win a copy of Every Piece of Me by Jerusha Clark, comment below. Could you use more rest?
Please include your email address if you are comfortable doing so…this will make it easier for me to contact you. Otherwise check back on Friday when I’ll announce the winner.
And if you don’t have FB, no worries. Just email me at arlen[email protected] and put “Every Piece” in the subject line. I’ll know you want to enter.