One of the things I love about visiting the set for the television series When Calls the Heart is that the setting is so peaceful and restful.
My co-author, Brian Bird (executive producer and co-creator of the show), our publicist and I usually go out to Hope Valley several times while we’re in Vancouver.
I love that I can wander around the town. It’s so serene looking out at the pond and the church. There’s a quiet stillness about it that refreshes me. I love to sit in the church and let the cares of the day drain away.
Rest isn’t something I do a lot of — my busy schedule often gets in the way. Sometimes I feel as if my to-do list stretches from North Carolina to Kansas, and I’m constantly adding items to the list. Does that sound familiar to any of you?
Shucks, sometimes I suspect we all treat the word rest as if it were a bad word. Our lives whirl each day like a merry-go-round that keeps going faster and faster — and we can’t get off.
But eventually, we pay the price for countless action-packed days. Our pushed-to-the-limit bodies become sick, or we don’t have time for our families, or we snap at those we love. And often God keeps getting pushed farther and farther away because we don’t have time for Him.
So, knowing my crazy schedule and my seeming inability to say no when asked to do something, I had to laugh when God answered my prayers for a word for this year and the one He sent was rest.
Here are some things that He’s teaching me that might be helpful for you as well:
Exhaustion keeps us from being optimal.
We can accomplish so much more when our bodies are rested. I’m a writer, and when I’m too tired, the ideas and words don’t flow. Getting some rest makes a huge difference.
We have to be intentional about making time for rest.
It doesn’t just happen. So I’ve started adding “rest time” to my to-do list just as if it was another important appointment or commitment. That 30 minutes of reading, a short nap or heading outdoors into the sunshine often gives me the oomph I need to finish the afternoon workload.
Nothing is more restful than spending time with God.
Our deck is surrounded on three sides by woods, and I love to go out there where I’m surrounded by His creation to have my devotions. I’ll start with some praise music, and then I read my Bible and pray. Then comes my favorite part — the “be still” time where I say, “Lord, I’m going to just sit here and be still. I want to hear from you.” Now I have to tell you that it took me about six weeks of remedial be-still time before I learned to shut my mind off and to actually be still, but oh my, the precious moments that have come from that time are beyond my ability to describe.
Matthew 11:28 says,
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Friends, do you need rest today? The best place to start is with Jesus.