She Rests
My brain is so very thankful today for the message God gave me to share at She Speaks Sunday. It was called "Come to Me" and the main point was that God wants to give us the gift of rest, yet we get so busy that we forget to receive that gift. (Matthew 11:28-29)

Why is my brain happy about that message? Because it's a really tired brain today and it's holding me to the fact that I need to "rest."

Rest does not come naturally for most of us. We were created for it but we forget that we need it. My friend Karen shared the most amazing verse with me about rest on Sunday morning right before I was going to speak. It's from Jeremiah 50:

4 "In those days, at that time," declares the LORD, "the people of Israel and the people of Judah together will go in tears to seek the LORD their God.

5 They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

6 "My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.

Have we forgotten our resting place? I believe we have. At least I know I do.

I am definitely not a "resting" kind of girl. In fact, I'm such a doer it's kinda scary. Like the time I was trying to "rest" but felt so restless that I decided to go for a walk. When I got back I realized that in all of my inability to rest, I accidentally took my dogs medicine instead of mine.

So what did "rest" look like for me today? Well after sleeping in, my friend Cris and I drove over to meet Lysa and Holly to go running. Doesn't sound restful does it? But it is for me because my brain has the hardest time resting and running doesn't require me to think. Plus it was a great way to keep myself off the computer where work begins and rest ends.

I also loved easing back into life by spending over an hour with my girlfriends sharing our favorite She Speaks memories and moments. Holly even cooked us all poached eggs after we ran. Afterwards, Cris and I picked up my boys and headed to the P31 office to help unload the She Speaks Uhaul with the other P31 team and kids. Still doesn't sound restful? Call me crazy, but it was. We laughed, we talked and just enjoyed sweating and being together.

The biggest lesson for me has been that resting comes in many different forms. Sometimes rest means I need to sit still and do nothing. But not always. Often rest comes when I stop my mind from being active with plans and deadlines, but making myself be active physically with family and friends. The physical activity distracts me from the restlessness I fall into in my thoughts.

So, how do we know what rest looks like each day? It really all depends. I've got to ask the One who calls Himself my "resting place." I have to start my day sitting in His presence and listening to His lead. Sometimes it looks really spiritual with me sitting in a chair reading my Bible and journaling. Other days it looks more like me laying in my bed asking Him to be my first thought, my first breath, my first desire.

Sometimes it's just me giving Him my plans and being willing to not make any of my own - on days when I have optional white space. On days like today, He nudges my heart to go with the flow and follow where He leads me - to a place of rest. A place of rest that may not even look restful to others but for my heart it just the "resting place" this non-stop thinking girl needs to be.

So what does rest look like for you?

If you were at She Speaks, I'd love to hear what rest is going to look like for you this week as you return from the conference and begin to process all that God wants to give you. Share with me in the comments and I'll be praying for you.


Blogger Heather Conrad said...

I love how you described "resting". It DOES come in all sorts of packages. I honesty just thoroughly enjoyed resting with my dear friend Robyn on the 8 hour drive back home to Ohio. I enjoyed resting with my husband as we shared in weekend experienced. I enjoyed resting in my routine of serving in my first ministry with my family, getting the "ship" back in order after a fun weekend with dad. I enjoyed resting in the sunshine as the kids and I visited our local pool, and I enjoyed resting in the cool of the evening, playing basketball and building sand castles. I can't thank you enough for following in obedience, and sharing his message of resting in Him. I pray you have a wonderful week taking the next step.

Blogger Bonita said...

Even though I only volunteered at the conference and didn't actually "attend", I spent a lot of time in the prayer room and God definitely spoke. Rest for me this week is trusting Him to work out the details of the things He spoke to my heart. It also means settling back into a routine, albeit a different routine than I might have had before the conference. And it means writing and putting in lots of hours to finish a curriculum before my Sept. 1 deadline. That may not sound restful, but it is.

Blogger lisasmith said...

Love the verse and the imagery it conjures in my soul. Thanks, Renee for sharing. Praying God will be your resting place today. love, lisa

I guess I'm still trying to figure out exactly how God wants me to rest. I was teaching four classes a week at the gym and just recently cut back to 3. I've been praying about cutting back even more. I babysat last year during school and I feel I'm not supposed to do that again. For me I'm just trying to be in tuned to His Spirit and obey Him.

He has presented some more opportunities to speak so I know I need to cut back in other areas but want to make sure I don't just pile something new on top.

One thing I know is that I need my time with him daily. I love to sit out on the front porch, journal, and read. These times bring so much peace and rest to my soul.

I've been thinking a lot about this subject lately and asking the Lord how He wants this lived out in my life. I'd appreciate your prayers for wisdom and discernment. Thanks Renee. I know your talk impacted of which being Emily from Chatting at the Sky. She wrote about it today. I know the Lord used her blog and your talk for me today as well. Keep on loving and serving Him!! :)

Anonymous Alexis said...


I am thanking God for your message on rest! Sunday I had the perfect opportunity to rest in God- EVERY single one of my flights got delayed! As I sat in the airport for seven hours, I was able to just rest in the fact that God is God. He is everything that I need Him to be, even in the craziness of life. Even though I was frustrated by the delays, I had an overwhelming sense of peace that can only come from God. Thank you for your message and your passionate heart. As I venture the waters of this week, I will be sure to rest in the loving arms of my Creator. I pray the same for you.

Blogger amykat said...

I NEEDED that message on Sunday morning! God spoke so gently to me through your words. There was such a peace of mind in knowing that I didn't have to mentally unpack my to-do list as soon as I got home.
I loved how you emphasized that we have a ministry at home...and I rejoiced in that truth as my husband, 16 year old daughter, and 3 year old son welcomed me at the airport.
I felt great peace as I rested in His Spirit as we cooked dinner, as we got ready for bed, and even as I sent out emails to my new SheSpeaks friends. Resting truly is a state of mind.
Thank you for a much-needed Word!

I hate to admit this, but I missed your talk. I was in the Prayer Room being loved on, crying my eyes out and praying. I know that's where God wanted me to be at that time, but I probably could have used your message too!

My brain is the hardest thing to shut down. Yesterday I was going to try and rest, but the lessons I learned at She Speaks this weekend just wanted out of my head. I ended up posting twice yesterday about it. I was going to try and do one a day, but they wouldn't wait.

I also just wanted to share with you that during a time I was feeling overlooked, it was really nice to walk up to you, for you to know who I am, and to give you a hug. Thanks for that blessing :)

I hope your brain can shut down and rest for awhile -- at least until God gives you more messages for you to deliver to us!!

Blogger Judith Hernandez said...

Thank you for the message Rene:

I learned so good, I took Monday off from work and sleep all afternoon.

I am obedient.

Love you!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently in the process of relocating and from where I'm standing it doesn't seem feasible. Financially I can't pull this move off by myself. But I know that God wouldn't have opened this door of opportunity up if He wasn't going to be my provision.

I am anxiety-stricken and I have a hard time in resting in God's capable arms. I am constantly worrying about the figures and trying to figure how I'm going to come up with the money to move. I just need help in prayer to help give me peace of mind. I know that God is more than capable, I just need to tell my overactive mind that. Thanks for any prayer ladies.

Orlando, FL

Blogger Mari said...

Well I was planning on resting except our townhouse took a lightning strike while I was gone. And we have no a/c (we are in Raleigh, NC by the way) and our phones periodically stop working for no reason. So resting has been hard.

But yesterday while it was 92 degrees in our house and they were working on the central air, I sat on the sofa next to my mom, who's visiting, and took a nap. Later, instead of TV or computer, I prayed for 30 minutes and proceeded to read my Bible. I don't remember for how long but it was an extended period of time. That was restful to me.

The rest of my week is crazy busy but I plan on trying to make my "last thing before bed" a time of extended Bible reading. What a way to begin the evening's "rest".

Blogger Cassandra Frear said...

Enjoyed your post and my first view of your delightful blog. It looks so inviting!

Recently (July 28) I wrote a post about rest and remembered how important it is.

Anonymous Lynn Cowell said...

Thanks for the reminder. When I got home, life just took off. We are looking to go to the beach and take a few days before school starts which I am looking forward to.
Thanks so much!

Blogger Connie said...

I so appreciated your message on Sunday gave me a deeper understanding of that passage.
Rest for me this week involves spending time with my family and not jumping head first into all I want to do in response to what I learned at SheSpeaks. I want to take it slow and let it unfold...and not at the expense of hanging out with my husband and kids.

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Mari, WOW, what a dreaded surprise to come home to - no a/c! It's so hot here. I can't imagine but you sound so good in how you are handling it. I love the image of you napping on the couch next to your mom. I love how you chose time in the Word instead of time in front of the tv or computer. I am balancing rest today with some a small deadline I have. Putting those very important people before projects. God really honored that so far. I just finished something I thought might take hours.

Praying for you and the rest of the week - that even in the craziness you will find a resting place in your heart with Him!

Loved seeing you this weekend!


Anonymous steph said...

Just popped over to your blog for the first time and LOVE the design, but even more this post!

My post tom. is titled "I" and sponsored exactly from your devotion this past Sunday. God spoke through you into my heart. I really can't get the whole take the "I" out of resist and have "rest"...a word in due season.

As for rest, I planned NOTHING Monday. My two boys and I got to have sweet snuggles and fun in our PJ's - much needed after such a power-filled weekend!

Love, blessings and thanks,

Blogger Antique Mommy said...

Your message on Sunday was exactly what I needed to hear. I felt like you were talking just to me. (And I can't tell you how often I've driven around with a 6-month old gift with ribbon that is begging to fray.)

I am so tired, but can't seem to find rest. I am crying a lot, but not sad. My family is being extra kind to me and letting me be a slacker. Right now I just need a few days of doing the bare minimum and getting some thoughts out before they evaporate.

I rest in the victory that Jesus has provided me, that the battle has been won. In that I shall rest and just "be" for a few more days.

Blogger Debbie said...

Hi Renee,
I unfortunately had to miss the Sunday message so I could fly home. But, to answer the question, I am resting by like Wendy talked about. I understand now that God won't forget what He has in mind for me, even if I don't keep pestering him. So, to rest, I will continue to care for my family, prepare for a new ministry year, and keep doing what He wants. Pray. Study. Read. Rest. Thanks for an awesome, amazing, unforgettable weekend.

Blogger Leebird said...

You can read my heart here:

Had fun visiting with you even if only for a few short elevator minutes! :)

Blogger Jill said...

I so greatly appreciated meeting you and getting a chance to listen as God spoke through you this weekend. I was touched. And as far as rest, I appreciate your perspective check and reminder of it's importance. I just returned home Tuesday night, as my family and I spent a few days with family, but now it feels reality is back. But before the mountain of laundry, bags full of who knows what, the list that never ends, I plan to just hang out with the kiddos and reconnect with where ministry really begins. Thanks for your prayers as She Speaks approached and encouragement to attend I am still blessed beyond words. Truly amazing!
Love, Jill

Blogger O'Nealya Gronstal said...

Sweet sweet Renee...I am so blessed to call you friend. I am so blessed God has placed you smack dab in the center of my life in ministry. So glad to share the Dining Room Seminary credential with you!

Each message you spoke this weekend has changed my life, my ministry and my heart. Thank you for being obedient!

I posted a post-conference post on my blog (no pun intended). If you have a minute to jump on it. You can see a glimpse of what God has done with one of His girls!

Love you!

Blogger BE STILL GIRL said...

WOW!!! When I think about this past weekend, that is the only word that comes to mind. REST, REST, REST is the message I heard and it was the cry of my heart before I came to the conference. In fact, I was so exhausted by the time I got there on Thursday night, I had even said to my roommates that if I did not get some rest, I was not even going to be able to function at the conference. Rest is something that I have not allowed myself to do because I feel that I have to do it "ALL" in order to be loved and accepted and yet our Lord loves me unconditionally and He wants me to rest so that I can be His hands and feet in ministry. It was a great Word my friend and such a needed message for my life. Thanks for all that you do behind the scenes and for your heart for women. It definitely shows in your walk for Him. Blessings,

Wendi Westmoreland
Be Still Girl
(I still laugh at my "nickname". It is like the Lord is saying to me "Be Still, Girl!!!!).

Blogger Kimberly said...

I am so glad to see that all went so well at the conference!!! :) And I love how you say that you can rest even when your body may be physically busy. That was me over the weekend. I went on vacation with my family, including my mom and my brother, and it was so restful. No wireless meant no computer...which was a good thing! (I was only able to actually read my e-mail once...and that was to read your prayer request! I was praying!) :)

Anyways...sweet blessings to you as you rest in Him!
Oh, and I love how you were just what Lisa needed when she was feeling overlooked. You have been a similar sweet encouragement like that to me before, too. :)

Love to you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot even tell you how your message impacted me on Sunday morning. I am such a "doer" as well. I wear myself out on a regular basis. I don't even think I knew how badly I needed rest, until I listened to you on Sunday. Then, when we came to the cross to pick up our verse, God affirmed that He wanted me to rest. The verse I picked up was Isaiah 30:15 "In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength." This was one of the first verses that spoke to me when I first began my Christian walk. I knew it was His word for me. It is one of my absolute favorite verses.
All that being said, rest did not really come until today. I was able to get up this morning and go for a run also. I am new to running and never would have thought I would enjoy it. But when I go out for a run with some amazing worship music on my iPod, my mind rests. I find fellowship with my God. I find peace. I find freedom from computers and cell phones and laundry and endless to do lists. I find rest. I found rest in Him today while running and praising Him.
Thank you so much for your message. I needed to hear it!

Blogger Proverbs 27:19 said...

Hi! I was blessed to attend the conference and I am thankful! Your message on Sunday was perfectly fit for preparing me to go back home.

I did not return to my home until Monday and instead of immediately e-mailing manuscripts or putting all that you all taught us into practice, I remembered to rest and not to forget my ministry that I had before I left, Anton, Eyanna, Cailem and Jaslyn, my husband and children!

Thank you Renee!

Blogger DOakley said...

I rest at meal times. I'll turn on the radio and listen to the news during breakfast and lunch. My 13-year-old and I have gotten in the habit of watching a movie while we dinner (my husband works most evenings so we use this time as a chance to just "be").

Because I'm always anxious to get back to work, I usually only watch about 30 minutes of the movie, but it does my brain good.

I also read several devotionals and blogs in the morning and a couple of devotionals and a chapter out of the Bible before bed (I'm in the Psalms), and journal. I also like to read, but I don't always get a chance to because sometimes I have too much to say in my journaling, and sometimes I'm just too tired to keep my eyes open.

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