Updated: Nov 14, 2022
Thank you all for choosing to continue or begin your wholeness journey with me. It has been a crazy journey for me personally, but I am extremely grateful for every pain and victory. This last category is probably the hardest for me and the one I am struggling with and growing the most in currently. Everyone seems to be okay with working hard, sweating out the stress, choosing apples over ice cream, and even beginning to look at exercise/fitness/health in a positive mindset but peace and rest is for the weak and lazy right? Doing something is always better for me than doing nothing right? Accomplishing a visual result is the only goal right? WRONG! Unfortunately, every time I need to learn this lesson or grow in this area of peace and rest, I become injured in some way and or I end up in counseling....so take it from the girl who has fought a little too hard against it, JUST DO IT!
Peace, "freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility," or "freedom from or the cessation of war or violence." (cessation is "the fact or process of ending or being brought to an end.") Quietness is something many people are afraid of yet in order to experience peace sometimes you need to shut off the world. This shut off includes the war inside yourself. Yes, we are in a constant war with our inner self. Whether you believe the Holy Spirit lives inside you and your human self is constantly trying to break lose or if you just believe in a right and wrong (side note, where does right and wrong come from if not from an innate being, aka, God). From the deepest part of who you are to the facade you allow others to see, there is always a battle. It can be you against you, you against God, you against satan, you against opinions, you against your reflection, you against someone's words...quietness needs to reside in your inner self at some point in order to experience peace.
Unity, a word that defines wholeness, among others. Have you ever seen or been apart of a conflict in the midst of unity? Me either. Therefore what has to happen in order to experience unity? Agreement. This is defined as, "harmony or accordance in opinion or feeling." Where else is harmony found? In the definition of wholeness which reads, "the state of forming a complete and harmonious whole; unity or the state of being unbroken or undamaged." Unity and peace are one in the same, so now let's talk about rest.
Rest, "cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength," or "an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity." To quite work or movement.... so that the end result would be to walk away a fresh, recovered person. How many of you can actually say you rest? A rest that does not involve an electronic of some sort and or sleep. In order to see and recognize your brokenness and damage one must be able to experience quiet personal time of reflection. This can only be found within rest, a stress free moment to gain your sanity.
Peace and rest is not common in an everyday setting. Honestly, I didn't begin to choose rest and peace until my only option of rest, sleep, was taken away by panic attacks in the middle of the night. When you are faced with the option of stop and relax or running on minimal hours of sleep you choose to do yoga for 10-20 minutes before bed. The funny thing about your body is that eventually it will make you choose the correct action for it. So why is it that we neglect until forced? Time. It is such a sensitive word now a days. We never feel like we have enough; yet, look at what we choose to do with it....social media, netflix, complain, video games, allow bitterness, movies, binge watching, gossip...I mean the list could go on and on. Imagine how much different your life would be if you read the Bible every time you used the restroom. Not being gross or weird but I struggled a lot my junior year of college and I found that anytime I was sitting on the porcelain throne I would take out my phone, get on the Bible app, and read till I was done. Because the alternative is mindlessly scrolling through a social media app or playing a game, which brings about more stress and other icky feelings 7 out of 10 times. When you wake up or before you fall asleep what is your go to action? The phone.... During college instead of starting or ending my day with the bright screen of stress, I would pray as soon as I awoke, and put my phone on charge on my night stand or in a drawer around 10 pm and not look at it until after my morning routine, if I had time. Choosing Jesus over selfish, or easier actions is making the most out of your time. If God thought we needed more than 365 days in a year, 7 days in a week, and 24 hours in day, don't you think He would have given it to us? It's not His fault, or father time, or that we are getting older, or your kids, or your significant other...the problem is YOU. What is your time consumed of? Peace and rest are always available.
Situations like injured bodies, panic attacks, on edge actions and feelings, over eating, not eating enough, headaches, unpleasant vacations, all occur as a result of not choosing to rest and experience peace. Have I experienced them all? Yes, yes I have. Trust me you will know when you need to rest, the issue is will you listen? Damage and brokenness can develop quickly when you decide to neglect a little time for you. Self-care is a real thing, and if not done when needed or if not put into your life style can lead to burn out and complete failure of body, soul, emotions, and mind. Of course it is not all about self-care, the ultimate fix is of course encountering Jesus personally and pursuing a personal relationship with Him.
Our three main verses for the series are very relatable in all four subcategories of wholeness. Within the peace and rest, the most helpful one to me personally is Colossians 3:1-2 which states, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." You see the best way to get rid of stresses, find rest, and have peace is to constantly be thinking about heavenly things... such as whatever is noble, true, praise worthy, right, pure, admirable, excellent, and lovely (hmm sound familiar, Phil 4:8). Taking 2 minutes of silence and repeating those 8 words is a great place to start bringing freedom to your peace and rest. Every time I lose focus my mom always asks who this life is about, and it's certainly not me or you, we are NOT the point! However, we cannot bring God the most glory without choosing peace and rest. An empty or half filled cup cannot quench thirst just like we cannot give our all when we are burn out and broken. This also ties in with the second verse of the series which is 1 Corinthians 10:31 which commands, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Again there cannot be glory given if we do not choose to make time for renewal, rest, and unity from and with Jesus (choosing to experience and incorporate rest and peace also brings God glory).
Lastly, Romans 12:1-2 and it says, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." I believe the latter part of this verse rings so true within choosing peace and rest. Allowing our transformed life style of busyness, stress, and chaos to be turned into a renewed, unified, tranquil, still, and peaceful life.
Tips and Tricks:
1. BREATH! The first thing the counselor taught me is how to breath. 4 7 8. Inhale for 4 counts (through nose), hold for 7, exhale for 8 (through mouth). Also, choosing to breath in through the nose and out through the mouth is a HUGE way to experience peace within the body.
2. Put the phone away at a certain time each night.
3. Download the abide app and actually listen to it! There are options for 2/5/10/15 minutes. (the free version might only offer 2). Or another meditation app!
4. Set a timer for 2-5 minutes and be still and silent.
5. Spend intentional time with Jesus, again set a timer so you don't have to keep looking at the time.
6. Youtube a 15 minute yoga routine and do it twice a week.
7. Take time to do something you love once a month!
8. Memorize scripture verses that pertain to your stresses.
9. Go in the bathroom for 3 minutes and lock the door behind you... I've known multiple moms who have done this for a minute to themselves...you deserve it!
10. Go back to your hobby, whether that is your love for coloring, art making, dance, collecting something, bird watching, scrap booking, and make it a regular part of your week.
The End Side Note: Just like choosing to make better food choices, working out/being active, and choosing correct thought patterns, peace and rest is no different. You have to choose to make time for quietness, for contemplation, for growth mentally/emotionally, and to allow your body to be free of stress. The choice my friends is yours.....remember everyone has the same amount of time, if we needed more God would have given it to us. The problem is what we choose to do with our 24 hours each day.