Widmayer Wellness LLC

Encouragement in Your Wellness Journey

Tag Archives: rest

Changing the Routine for Your Mental Health

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[Jesus] said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”        -–Mark  6:31

Summer is winding down. Did you have a chance to escape your normal routine? A vacation should be just that—a break from your normal routine. It doesn’t have to cost a lot; it just needs to be something you enjoy. Getaways are important not only for physical health to rest the body but also for mental health to rest the mind.

I just got back from a week with some of my family. I enjoyed sunshine, sun tanning, and sightseeing. You don’t have to go far away to get rest and relaxation, but getting away from your every day environment helps the brain to slow down.  It is hard to rest at home when there is a heap of laundry on the floor, a stack of dishes in the sink, and a pile of papers on the desk. Breaking your routine allows you to turn off that portion of your mind that is constantly thinking about what needs to happen next.  On a vacation, you don’t have to have a schedule.

Maybe you can’t take the time for a week of vacation.  Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Block out a Saturday, Sunday, or weekend to get outside and enjoy nature.  There is something peaceful and calming about considering Creation.  I love when my vacation takes me to a place where I can sit on a beach and view the ocean; however, I find the same calm come over me when I’m on my deck at home viewing a field of corn or the green grass and the trees that surround me.

Really all you need to do to rest your mind is get away from the usual to the unusual.  A family cookout, an hour at the spa, or lunch with a friend can bring refreshment and renewal to help you rest your mind.

As students and parents return to fall schedules and all that comes with them, I encourage you to take advantage of the late summer and fall days.  Get outside. Enjoy nature. Rest your mind. Refresh your soul.  Be renewed in your purpose.  Give your body and your mind the rest they crave. It is important for your mental health.

 

 

Which Path?

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Jeremiah 6:16a – thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is, then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

As my retirement date draws closer and I consider how I will best spend my time for the next 20 or 30 years, I am thankful that the Lord already knows and has a plan for me. Retirement is not the end of the journey; it is a new beginning. As graduation is not an end but a commencement, retirement is not an end but a new opportunity. Unfortunately, the dictionary definition doesn’t reflect that. It defines retirement as withdrawal or pulling away. But when we withdraw from something, we are going toward something else. Hopefully, it will not be seclusion.

For Christians, retirement should be a time when we can finally and fully devote our time to our number one boss—God. When we no longer have the demands of a full time job, we have more flexibility to go wherever and whenever God calls us. But there are so many paths. How do we know which one to choose? Jeremiah 6:16 provides some direction. And this direction applies to all stages of life.

The Lord says, STAND by the roads. Notice it says roads not road. We are standing by roads that indicate choices or paths. And we are to STAND. Not move. We should not move forward without consulting God. Since there is more than one road, we must wait until He directs so we know which one to take.

The Lord says, Stand by the road and LOOK. Look at the roads or choices that are available. Look them over carefully. Consider where each road might lead. Perhaps consider what is known about each path. Consider our own talents and how they might be put to use on each path, BUT we can’t rely on our own thoughts because the verse says look AND ASK.

ASK for the eternal paths. Notice the plural again. There is more than one path. Why? What does that mean? It means we will have to stand, look, and ask at each crossroad; it means some paths, though different, may get us to the same place. God does allow choices for His children’s lives, but we need to ASK for guidance to choose the eternal paths because some paths may be deceiving. They may look like they lead to eternity, but they don’t. We need to choose eternal paths by the good, old way.

The GOOD, OLD WAY represents the way of those in the past who followed God faithfully. That is why studying God’s Word is so important. We can learn from those who have made choices and see where those choices led them. The good, old way may also represent our own pasts. We look back and see our own choices and reflect on God’s faithfulness in our lives. The good, old path represents the righteous path, not necessarily the easy path. The old way may represent tradition. This is not to say that new things are necessarily or always bad, but old ways have been tried, and history shows their effectiveness. Finally, we must make a choice. This is implied because the next part says, and THEN.

And THEN, WALK—ask and then walk. The implication is God has provided the direction we need and now it is up to us to move. The time for standing still and looking and considering has come to an end. Now move and WALK. Don’t stop or hesitate. Proceed down the path. But WALK, don’t run. There’s no hurry. Just WALK.

When we run down a path, we are concentrating on the end result and may miss the beauty along the path. The destination is not the only good thing. There is beauty in the journey. And there are probably some really cool things along the path—perhaps surprises or lessons or people or opportunities. If we run, we might miss them. When we walk, we are moving steadily forward, but we still have time to notice and enjoy our surroundings. We have time to appreciate and savor the journey. We will not pass this way again. At the end of the journey, not only will we have arrived at the appropriate destination, but we will have more memories and more lessons to look back on as “old” ways because we took time to observe. And we will also find something.

AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS – The “then” is implied in this clause. Now that we’ve made our decision and chosen our path based on God’s direction, we move forward or walk. That is the result of our standing, looking, and asking. Since we are to walk, our decision has finality. It’s not maybe or possibly. It’s decisive. Once the decision is made to move forward, don’t look back. We shouldn’t second-guess ourselves or cast glances over our shoulders at the paths we didn’t choose. They are not for us—at least, not at this time. If one of those other paths is something God has planned for us, then the path we have chosen will wind around and connect with that other path at a different point in our journey. Because we have chosen God’s path, the right path, and God is our Guide, our souls are at peace knowing we are following the eternal path God designed just for us. And we will find REST—rest for our souls.

Our souls can rest because God’s yoke is easy. Our souls can rest because His burden is light. Our souls can rest because He gives peace. When we are walking with God, peace is a by-product.

So rest in Him, and just keep walking.

Until next time,

CKWidmayer

Entering the Rest of God

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“Let us therefore exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter into that rest of God.” — Hebrews 4:11

This verse first came alive to me during the dreary month of February, when the challenges of being a teacher and the dark, cold days of winter often make me weary.  The physical demands and mental challenges of teaching and dealing with students, who are also weary, arises each year, and I wonder if rest will ever come.  I’m sure many who live in northern climes can relate to the feelings of weariness that tend to attack in the winter, when days are short and darkness is pervasive.  I was seeking rest and refreshment in my time with God, when I read Herbrews 4:11.  I strongly desired to “enter into that rest of God.”  Here was a verse where I could find an answer.  But closer study revealed a seeming paradox.

Do you notice the two verbs in the sentence?  Exert and strive?  Does that sound like rest?   What kind of rest is it?

Some observations:

  • This rest of God is not referencing our final rest because dying does not take exertion or striving on our part.
  • Exert and strive are action verbs.  We have to do something.
  • The rest of God is a place because our efforts allow us to enter.
  • We must strive diligently, which implies it isn’t a onetime exertion; we have to keep at it.

How do we do it?

Exert is defined as “to put forth or into use, as power or to apply oneself diligently, to make a strenuous effort.”  So, we are to put to use God’s power to enter His rest.  As with everything in the Christian walk, we need to rely on God to accomplish this.  We can’t do anything on our own.

Interestingly, the origin of the word is Latin and comes from exertus, meaning “thrust out, put forth,” from ex- “out” + serere meaning to “attach, join, or bind together.”  So, if we bind ourselves to God, we will enter His rest.

The other verb in this verse is strive.  We often think of strive as meaning “to try hard or to make an effort toward a great goal.”  However, this word also means “to contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete; to struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance; or to rival or vie.”

 To enter into God’s rest, we must battle the enemy.  We must believe God’s word over the lies of the enemy.  For who robs us of our peace, if not the enemy; who comes to us with lies, discouragement, and doubt?

How do we use God’s power to battle the enemy?  We must walk in faith. By reading and studying God’s word and praying, we build our faith.  Then we apply our faith to the battle. The battle is won through faith and prayer.

The Israelites did not enter into God’s rest because they did not exercise faith in God.  Hebrews 3:19 (AMP) says, “They were not able to enter [into His rest] because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust to and rely on God.”

Entering into God’s rest means we strive to battle the enemy’s lies and bind ourselves to God.  If you are weary, you may be trying to fight your own battle.  Enter into God’s rest, trusting that God will accomplish good things in your life as He promises in His word.

“Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him.” (Psalm 37:7)

And rest.

Until next time,

CKelli