Do weariness and overwhelm settle as a weight within you as the dream of a restful heart hovers just beyond your reach?
As a mom determined to love and serve those around you, you crave rest. So you have sought rest. You nap when the baby naps. You try reading your Bible every day. You set routines to establish order. You allow yourself to take a break.
But you still aren’t satisfied with the level of restfulness in your heart.
You know God created you with a need for rest, modeled rest in Creation, and commanded His people to honor the Sabbath. You know Jesus encouraged Martha to be like Mary, offered to give rest to those carrying His yoke, and slept in the midst of the storm.
But this knowledge multiplies with guilt as hopelessness piles on weariness and settles heavy in your heart.
I invite you to join me for 31 days of cultivating restful hearts in ourselves as moms.
Read all Seeds of Rest posts here
Each day in October, I will be posting one simple seed of rest. One simple step you can take to promote a more restful heart in yourself.
Your arguments already ring in my mind. I know the reasons you cannot find rest – because I live with many of the same. There’s no time to rest. Rest is not practical in our culture. My circumstances are just too difficult. I already feel guilty for not doing what I know I should do.
Your mind screams that pursuing rest is hopeless.
But somewhere behind the noise of life and your thoughts, you think you hear a whisper. A still small voice says, “Just perhaps.”
Do you dare listen to the whisper in your heart rather than the taunts of your mind?
Just perhaps…Perhaps a restful heart really is possible in the midst of your mess.
I urge you to heed the whisper.
Observations from our recent Seeds of Rest for Moms survey
This was certainly not scientific research, and the sample was only 140 moms. But there were some interesting insights to consider as we begin this journey.
Many moms who responded doubt a more restful heart is possible.
95% of respondents want to cultivate a more restful heart. But only 76% think it is possible.
We tend to present ourselves as more restful than we really are.
On a scale of 1-5 (1=weary, overwhelmed, fearful, anxious…5=restful, calm, gentle, joyful), 80% would rate their own heart as a 1, 2 or 3. However, 89% think others would rate them as 3, 4 or 5.
We don’t always listen to our own advice. Or perhaps, it’s just hard to follow through.
Many moms rated themselves as only a 1 or 2 on the restful heart scale, yet they had beautiful tips to share with others on how to cultivate rest.
Many moms want rest but have no idea what to do.
When asked for tips for a friend seeking a more restful heart, dozens responded “I’m not sure”, “?”, “I have no idea”.
You have encouraged me with practical tips to seek rest in my heart!
I’ll be sharing many of your tips throughout the month.
The primary message I heard is: God’s daughters are hurting.
My heart has been breaking as I read your stories of what prevents rest in your heart.
Relationships, Work stress, Cancer, Past abuse, Wounded hearts, Anxiety, Chronic illness in yourself, Illness in your child, School issues, Rebellious children, More than you can juggle, Messes, Perfectionism, Depression, Aging parents, Staying up too late, No support system, Comparison, Finances, Ministry stress, Special needs children, Lack of plan, Expectations.
And that’s just the tip of the iceburg.
As I have been reading your surveys, I have been praying that you will hear the whisper.
The whisper is not your own heart desiring rest. It’s Jesus.
It’s Jesus calling, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest.” If Jesus really made this claim, then rest must be possible.
Even in the midst of our messy lives.
Oh friends, please, heed His whisper.
Join me in this journey.
These 31 days will not simply fix everything. These seeds are not magic. Yes, you already have too much to do.
So why should you plant seeds of rest for your own heart?
This is a journey of small steps. Small steps are doable even for the busiest of moms. But beyond that, you should embark on the journey because you are valuable, because today is eternal and because the seeds are mysterious. But the journey of cultivating a restful heart is absolutely worth the effort.
Because You are Valuable
Jesus Loves Me, This I Know. You know it is true, but are you living like that is truth? Do your actions give evidence that you trust He will provide for your every need? Do you choose to rest as an act of faith that He cares?
God wants you close to Him
God created you with purpose, yet He also allowed you to have some limitations. Perhaps He allowed our limitations and weaknesses so that we would draw closer to Him. He wants you close so that He can give you the rest your heart desires.
Jesus offers you an invitation to rest
You know the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus visited their home. Martha was busy and distracted with her serving while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him. Perhaps Jesus’ words to Martha sound like a rebuke. But I hear an invitation. An invitation to be with Jesus and rest.
A restful heart is a gift for your family
You know you are valuable to your family. But it’s not just about what you do. Your restful heart might have more influence over them than what you actually do for them. Cultivating rest in yourself will enable you to continue serving them well. And don’t underestimate the value of modeling rest to your children.
Because Today is Eternal
How many of your days feel like they will last forever? The hardest of days often seem to never end. We know the reality: our days are really short in light of eternity. But they are part of eternity. Rest today gives us a reminder of the bigger picture.
Your spirit craves eternity
God has placed eternity in our hearts. That ache in your heart is not just for a nap. It is for eternal rest. Cultivating a restful heart today gives a glimpse of the eternal rest God offers you.
Your body is temporal
You were created for eternity, but your physical body was only created for this earthly life. You need physical rest. You were not created to do everything. If you look at today in light of eternity, perhaps it will be easier to allow yourself to rest.
A restful heart aligns your perspective
When your heart is restful, you can see today as a glimpse of eternity. The problems won’t disappear. Struggles will remain. But a little space to breathe will help you see beyond the current moment.
Because Seeds are Mysterious
A tiny seed. Bury it in the ground. New life springs up. Flowers, herbs, trees, vegetables. Botanists explain the process, but there’s an element of mystery that just can’t be explained. Will you believe that God wants to produce an abundant harvest in your heart through some simple, mysterious seeds? If you will bravely plant the seeds, He will produce fruit to nourish and beauty to refresh others.
Planting seeds is simple
The act of planting is simple: prepare the soil, dig a hole, drop the seed, cover with soil. When it comes to planting seeds of rest, it is an act of faith. To plant a seed of rest, just take one simple step to promote rest in your heart.
Cultivating seeds is a process
Cultivating a restful heart is a journey of simple actions over a period of time. Take your one simple seed and repeat. Over time, sowing seeds of rest becomes habit. Taking simple steps is not overwhelming, and every mom can take simple steps daily.
A restful heart displays God’s power
We plant the seed in the natural, then God does what only He can do in the supernatural. A boy gave a basket of food, and Jesus fed 5,000. A widow gathered pots, poured a tiny bit of oil, and God filled all the pots. A mom plants simple seeds of rest, and God produces a restful heart. The mystery of seeds displays God’s power.
Refuse to settle for the hopelessness of a heart not at rest.
Pursue rest because you believe you are valuable. Allow rest to realign your perspective that today really is eternal. Sow mysterious seeds to display God’s power as your heart grows more restful.
Dare to hear the whisper over the noise. A more restful heart is possible for you. God will work His mystery. These next 31 days are all about implementing ideas of simple, yet mysterious, seeds to plant.
Commit to planting one seed at a time, cultivating it over time, and watching God perform the supernatural in His time.
It’s time to heed the whisper and start planting some seeds.
Today’s Seed of Rest:
Commit to this 31 day journey of small steps.
Take a tangible first step to commit to the journey.
- Invite a friend to join you.
- Write it in your journal.
- Tell your husband.
- Sign up for daily emails.
- Share on social media.
- Just do something intentional.
October 4, 2017 at 9:19 pm
I love this and will definitely check out your ideas and advice. Sometimes I love to just lie down with my nursling at night with worship music on and pray quietly and let myself drift to sleep like that instead of forcing myself up to work or waste time on the internet. Not always possible but so refreshing. I did a Write 31 in October a few years ago on the topic of the Holy Communion, and there was so much there once I really started studying. Rest is a topic we need to hear about too!