Learning to Rest


                                                                                         ©Joanna Shumaker

Learning to Rest

“Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest awhile”.  (Mk 6:31) 

We sometimes have a hard time balancing kids, house, work and church while still taking care of ourselves.  In the midst of busy lives, hectic schedules, meeting everyone else’s needs, how do you take time for yourself?    When I was in college, a professor of mine gave me counsel on a decision I had to make to be involved in yet another, activity on campus.  As I gave him my list of pros and cons in regard to the decision, he sat for awhile and looked at me and then said, “When do you take time for yourself?  If you burn yourself out, then you cannot serve God anyway.”  This was not the response I expected.  I thought to serve God was to “burn out for Jesus”.  Take time for myself?  Wouldn’t that be selfish?  He showed me passage after passage where God set an example for us to take time to rest. This was the beginning of a theology of rest in my life. 

 Although “being busy” is not a category every woman may be in, most of us still need to take time for ourselves and rest our spirits.  The best example of rest is God, who rested on the 7th day of Creation. (Gen 1:9) Jesus set the example for us in the book of Mark where he instructs the disciples to “come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest awhile”.  (Mk 6:31)  Jesus also couples resting with a time spent with God. (Mk 1:35, Mk 14:23)  After a busy day of ministry, Jesus went to a secluded place by himself and prayed.  His example is a great reminder to us as moms to set aside time away from everyone and everything else, and be with God and renew our spirits. 

As we learn to rest and be with God, our children will see that being busy with ministering to others, or serving in church are not the ways to maintain a relationship with God.  They will see that being with Him, praying to Him, and resting in Him are the ways we have a growing relationship with God. ©




  1. Jennifer Motes said,

    March 22, 2009 at 1:18 am

    What an encouragement. Thanks for sharing this with me. This page was very timely and a blessing to me. What a wonderful ministry you have. I am looking forward to more of these devotions!

  2. Karina Olson said,

    March 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    It is interesting to observe how closely related this topic aligns itself with your previous post on walking with our children. The busier I am, the more difficult it is to walk “with” them. Instead, in the midst of my “Busy-ness”… I’m only within shouting range! and thus… I often resort to shouting, yelling [and should I be authentic enough to admit… on a very frustrated day… screaming] at them, about how we need to practice virtue and kindness toward one another. Never mind the fact that from time to time their quieter version of “arguing or bickering” between the siblings is tonally similar to my husband and I when we aren’t quite seeing things eye to eye. That’s why I’ve set aside most of my teaching ministries for this period of my life, to stay a little more focused here!

    Fortunately for me, My heavenly Father is always much more patient than I generally am. May he continue to “grow me in grace,” so that I will parent more like Him. Thanks reminding me of these good things Jo!!

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