Five Minute Friday: Rush

Five Minute Friday. Free-writing for five minutes on a given topic. Community link-up here – join us!

She texted me, “No rush!” And something inside me breathed again. How many times do I rush, rush, rush? Do I hurry, hurry, hurry? And I hurry making myself harried. I rush and become rash.

Instead, slow. What would slow look like in the midst of a rushing world? I think it feels like a wide open blue sky space when you’ve been walking through a torrential downpour. It’s like a quiet pond with a comfortable bench so you could perch and rest awhile. It gives time for soul work.


A Quiet Pond” by Pietro Fragiacomo

It’s Sabbath every week. It’s sabbatical when needed – or maybe, before it’s needed. It’s vacation that is restful. It’s time away from the demands of your busy life. It’s daily moments to pause, to ponder, to stop.

Just to stop. To stop rushing even when the world around me tells me I must. It’s counter-cultural, and our communities are craving it. Someone, somewhere, to say and really mean it: “No rush.” Just breathe. And pay attention to your life – your one beautiful, wondrous life – and the lives around you.

To stop rushing is to start wondering. And to stop wonder-ing is to start rushing.

“Humble Roots” – a preview of a book

Usually I wait until I’ve read (and reread and highlighted) a book before giving a review. There is a stack of books waiting to be reviewed right now. [Sidebar – I even have one to giveaway … coming soon, hopefully in the next few weeks.]

But the introduction of Hannah Anderson’s newest release is so compelling to my heart this morning, and speaks right into the midst of our anxiety, that I couldn’t help but pass along a few quotes that are calming my own heart – in hopes that it will also bring peace to yours.


Humility frees us to flourish as the human beings we are made to be: to celebrate the goodness of our physical bodies, to embrace the complexity of our emotions, and to own our unique gifts without guilt or feeling like an imposter.

Humble Roots is not a sequel to Made for More [Hannah’s first book which I reviewed in 2014  here], but it is the other half of the conversation. At the same time, it’s also a conversation all its own, one that can be explored and savored for its own sake. If, however, you have read Made for More and it inspired you to think about yourself as a person destined to reflect God, Humble Roots will help you think about yourself as a person dependent on God to do just that. And remembering this simple but essential reality – that “You’re not God” – will lead to the spiritual and emotional rest you long for. 

Happy, restful weekend to you, friends and readers!

[PS – Would love to hear from you about my blog’s tagline if you would complete this one question survey here. Thanks for all of your input so far! I really appreciate it.]

5 Reasons Why We Need to Rest

Today I am a guest blogger at (en)Courage – a blog started earlier this year as “Gospel-Centered Hope to Fulfill Your God-Given Design.” Christina Fox, author of the upcoming A Heart Set Free (which you’ll be hearing more about from me soon), asked me to be a contributor, so I will be be writing semi-regularly there, along with a team of gifted women writers who also call the PCA  (Presbyterian Church in America) their denominational home.



I’ve long viewed rest as a luxury that I couldn’t afford. I was too busy. I’m a part-time counselor/writer/speaker, pastor’s wife, and a mom of young children. When was there time to rest? Rest seemed indulgent, until it became a necessity when I hit burnout in the fall of 2015.

God stopped me in my busy performance-driven tracks, and forced me to be still. Psalm 46:10 has long been a favorite verse of mine – “Be still and know that I am God.” I know that being still is a precedent for part b of this verse, “I [God] will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” I have counseled many others about the value of solitude, going away and being with God the Father as Jesus did throughout his ministry. The practice of Sabbath rest one day out of seven has long been a spiritual discipline which I’ve championed for others, while practicing it inconsistently throughout my life. Isaiah 30:15 is also a favorite verse for me – that in quietness and trust is strength; and salvation comes through repentance and rest. Yet for all my head knowledge, without the regular practice of holistic rest, I grew exhausted and weary as my heart and soul lost sight of rest.

What is Rest?

Before I give you five reasons we need to rest (especially as women), let me first define rest. Rest is the regular rhythm of taking a break from the usual demands and stresses of life and ministry. Rest includes all of these components: mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. … [Read the rest of the article at (en)Courage here.]

when less is more


photo credit:

“More, more, more!” is the mantra of our American materialistic culture. It’s quite too easy to get sucked into this vortex of spending, consuming, acquiring, building, adding. This message of “more is better” spills into the crevices of my attitudes about time, too. So I find myself over-scheduling our summer days out of fear of boredom; and I find myself researching the next best activities in which to enroll my preschool-age daughters; and then while I’m at it, I might as well think about community classes I want to participate in as well. Plus I should actually be using my gym membership on a regular basis, and the memberships we have to a few local attractions. And before I know it, we are all spinning, spinning, spinning like the hamster in her crystal clear ball who thinks she may be running her way to freedom. Nothing has changed though – she is just as trapped as 15 minutes earlier when her owners placed her there for “exercise.”

For a while now, I’ve been challenged to consider “less is more.” Hatmaker’s book Seven is the best cultural expose [don’t know how to add an accent there] I’ve read so far – it will jolt you out of comfortable materialism in the best of ways. Slowly I’ve sought to purge our home of the unnecessary “stuff” and certainly to think twice before buying more. My friends Katherine, Mary, and Maria have inspired me to think about what this could mean for our kids, and I’ve done a few toy purges as a result. It turns out when my kids have fewer options to play with, they really are more focused and contented in their play. (Not to mention that there is less mess to clean up!) Simplicity Parenting is on my summer/fall reading shelf because I want to consider this further.

And then there’s time. Yesterday I trimmed a couple activities in favor of a more leisurely start to our day, and we were all happier. We need fallow hours in a day. I need them, and my three-year-old daughters certainly do. Less schedule means more quality time spent together in the ordinary, and less rushing. When I say quality time, this doesn’t usually mean that we are all blissfully enjoying one another’s company. It often means I am refereeing the screaming girls as they fight over the most-popular-toy-of-the-minute – but I am doing so without trying to also rush them out the door, to get dressed, to put on those darn ever-wandering shoes, to eat their breakfast NOW. Quality time with preschoolers looks like floor time doing a puzzle or playing a game. Or sipping my coffee while I enjoy their “show” (usually dancing to Frozen’s ever-popular “Let It Go”). And then some more coaching in how to get along with one another, and how not to have a mean face when you’re not getting what you want, and how to listen respectfully to me, and how to enjoy the slow unscheduled time.

Less is quite certainly more. It’s a trade I hope to continue to learn and practice and discover – that when I trade the “more is better” for “less is more” mantra, we all end up with what I wanted more of in the first place. More joy, more quality of life, more tuning in to the important and tuning out the apparently urgent, more of stepping out of the ever-exhausting cycle of acquiring stress and stuff in favor of learning contentment with what I have and appreciating what I’ve been given.


Rest … an elusive concept unless you’re experiencing it. I’ve been studying it a lot lately (which can, ironically, take away from the experience OF rest) in a few different places: learning about its role in the self-care of a counselor, meditating on what it means in preparation for a retreat I’m speaking at in March on “Chasing life/longing for rest,” discussing it with my best friend, Katherine, who’s blogging about it now. (see my links for her blog)

There are many different angles of rest and what is referred to as rest. There’s rest in the sense of a Sabbath rest — a deliberate ceasing of accomplishments/activities for one day out of the week. Marva Dawn writes of it in her book I’m reading now – “A Sense of the Call: a Sabbath way of life for those who serve God, the Church, and the world.”  Listen to this invitation, and feel your heart leap in hope:

“The Sabbath offers the magnificent gift of an entire day to ponder God’s truth instead of our work, to notice God’s creations of beauty, and to relish God’s goodness in our closest relationships. After a beautiful Sabbath of intellectual rest, we will know ourselves more truly and can pursue paths more closely attuned to God’s own righteousness. … this is the goal of the Sabbath: that we can cease our worrying about time and be released from its constrictions into this weekly experience of eternity.”

Of course, as much as you want this, there are likely 100 reasons that come to your mind of why you can’t possibly afford to do this. I’m challenged by the author’s own story of when she began deliberately resting for one day of the week: when she began working on her doctorate! I don’t want to become legalistic about this, but I think it’s a goal I’m aiming for in my life. I have rested more intentionally in other seasons of my life, and I think I need this reminder to do so again. Marva Dawn points out that what underlies my reluctance to rest is often an over-inflated sense of my importance:

“…our Sabbath ceasing has to begin with an honest assessment of how much we keep depending upon ourselves instead of God — so that we can give up and let everything go for a day. But we have such expectations of ourselves. Sometimes it is quite scary to imagine our disillusionment if we were thoroughly to face the genuine reality of our own lives.”

There is also the sense of rest that should be part of our daily rhythm. This requires me to live within my limits — not to rush from one activity to another — and to be content with what I can and cannot do. The old cliche rings true here that we are not human “do-ings” but human “be-ings.” What is my do-ing to be-ing ratio these days?

And of course, there is the broader sense of the term rest that applies to a way of life in Christ. We are called to come to Jesus, to take His yoke upon us, and to find rest for our weary souls (Matthew 11:28-30). This invitation speaks to souls weary because they continually strive to work for what is already given: salvation found in Christ. I can rest because Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient, and I can rest because I am already loved by my Creator God. I can rest because grace is at work, and my work is the overflow of another Life at work within me. My Redeemer’s words call out to me: “It is finished.”  And so I rest.

This moment is for lingering …

It’s 5:07 pm. The sunset lingers on a crisp winter day (and quite cold – high of 20!). It’s my favorite time of day actually. And instead of asking “what do I have time to do in the next hour?” I am asking, “what is this moment for?” A question prompted by Katherine’s blog, which you can read here:

There are a thousand ways I could answer that right now. Dishes have piled up in our kitchen from a week busy with concerns more weighty than dinner clean-up. I am preparing to speak at a women’s retreat in March, and after meeting with a mentor to talk this over, I’m aware of the next stage of work needed. Textbooks for a January term class on “Professional Orientation” call out to me. And I haven’t yet finished the book for book club tomorrow (“Joy in the Morning” by Betty Smith).

But now is a time to linger. It’s been a long week. Many burdens to bear, much praying, asking for wisdom. It is good to rest in this moment. To remember how beautiful creation can be and how good the Creator is.

What kinds of moments do you take time to savor? What distracts you from lingering?