by Rayna Neises | Growing in Faith, livingPEACE
Does rest make it on your to-do list?
There are so many things to do just to keep our worlds spinning these days it can be difficult to remember what rest is much less to be intentional about pursuing it.
In the Past
Benjamin Franklin said, “He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.” I would venture to say rest is not valued the same today as it once was.
The Importance of Rest is well known.
Research is showing us over and over again how important rest is to our lives. Healthier bodies, less stress, deeper relationships, the opportunity for reflection, balance, increased production and reserve for life’s emergencies are just some of the benefits Joshua Becker shared in an article, The Lost Practice of Resting One Day Each Week. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/resting/
If you were to put rest on your to-do list what would that look like to you?
When I asked my Facebook friends I got a variety of different answers, here are just a few…
Rest can look like many different ways no doubt.
Ways to embrace rest.
There are many resources to learn how to embrace rest in your life. Try breaking it down into manageable steps. You can think in seasons, Spring is here and Summer is on its way, how can you plan to embrace rest at the change of your routine. Find rest for your brain take up a new hobby, maybe even take a class to learn something new, find rest for your soul by going on a retreat, or find rest for your body by getting outside and enjoy the sun. Need a smaller step? Take a daybreak. Plan a day of rest. Focus on the areas of your life that need it most. Can’t fit in a full day? Set aside minutes here and there throughout the day. Find a way to keep the kids busy so you can enjoy a good book. Call a friend, enjoy a wonderful conversation or even a coffee date. Go to bed early, it might be just what your body needs.
Seek Rest in the Lord.
Finally, jump into the scriptures and see what God has to say about rest can give you great insight.
One of my favorite verses about rest isBefore I love the thought of Jesus displacing worry in my life with peace.
This scripture has been true in my life over and over again. Whether it be walking through a divorce, buying a business and moving to a town where I knew no one, or marrying again even after a failed marriage the peace of Christ always drives out fear.
In what ways have you experienced rest through the Peace of Christ? I would love for you to comment below!
by Rayna Neises | Growing in Faith, Review by Rayna
She Believes challenges us to understand that what we believe affects every area of our lives.
She Believes is full of the most basic things of our faith and what God says about them. Debbie does a great job of breaking down the things of faith into everyday life. This faith thing is real and it impacts everything.
I appreciate Debbie’s transparency about life, relationships, marriage, failures, success, church and her walk with God. By being upfront and honest about life’s struggles her words bring a bigger impact on my heart.
The chapters are short and full of truth. I enjoyed reading a chapter each day to soak in all the wisdom in each chapter.
Some of my favorite chapters included:
Chapter 2: Your Reflection is beautiful. It is so hard to wrap our minds around how beautiful we are in the eyes of our God. The truth of this chapter resonated with me.
Chapter 6: Prayer a Difference Maker. This was a very encouraging chapter to me. Matthew 21:22. “Prayer, open honest, expectant conversation with God.” I love this definition of prayer.
Debbie’s reminder that God is waiting to have a personal and real relationship with us was very encouraging. I loved the way she broke down what prayer means and how to go about it.
Chapter 12: Big Girls Do Cry. Psalm 56:8 “There are some words only tears can speak.” Sometimes we just need to cry. I enjoyed her imaginary walk with God to review the warehouse full of our tears. He is such a personal God, I often don’t keep this in mind enough.
She Believes is a book that will help anyone both grow in their faith and firm it up without a doubt .
Take the time to read it and you will be encouraged and stronger!
by Rayna Neises | Scripture Message
Over and over again Jesus drew attention to the fact that he was not accepted by the religious people of his time.
Luke 5 paints a very vivid picture of two different groups of people interaction with him. Matthew was not the kind of guy you would expect to be called by Jesus but he didn’t hesitate to leave everything and follow him. Matthew didn’t hide his new found faith rather he threw a party for his friends to meet Jesus.
The religious people were confused by Jesus’ choice of Matthew and why he would want to spend time with Matthew’s friends. Jesus is quick to let the religious leaders know that he came to save anyone who was willing to admit their need for him.
I’m not sure about you but I don’t find myself associating with the outcasts like Matthew. In fact, most would describe me as a religious rather than an outcast of society. BUT I am not religious, I am a forgiven sinner.
This story goes on to tell how Jesus was asked by the religious leaders, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5: 30-32.
Romans 3:23 tells us “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Even those religious leaders have fallen short. The sad part is they were not willing to admit it in order to find the lifesaving repentance Jesus had to offer.
I am challenged by this recount of Matthew’s calling. I am especially challenged to tell others about how I met my savior and offer them that same forgiveness.
How likely of a disciple are you? Have you accepted the calling of Jesus to follow Him? What do you do to share the truth of Jesus’ forgiveness with others?
Originally written for the “Come with Me” Book Chat & Facebook Community.
by Rayna Neises | Growing in Faith, Marriage
As a young woman who wanted to love the Lord our God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength I struggled with the concept of submitting to my husband. Not because I rebelled against submission as some do but rather I struggled with checking my mind, convictions and common sense at the door so to speak in order to submit.
I married while still in college and desired more than anything to join my husband in loving and serving the Lord in our marriage.
Sadly, though he did not spend the majority of our 10-year marriage submitting to the Lord. His selfishness and rebellion made our years together difficult rather than being filled with blessing we experienced trials and struggles.
I tried to be quiet and follow but I bet if you asked him he didn’t see it that way. I felt the need to express my opinions but always gave in to his leadership in the end. Our marriage did not survive.
I am remarried and one of the things I spent much time in prayer about before marrying again was submission. I was thankful the Lord helped me understand His heart for marriage and submission as I sought him.
Just recently I read about Abigail and Nabal. It was good to have a reminder of those things which God had taught me years ago about a marriage relationship.
3 Things I learned from Abigail’s Extravagant Obedience to God in Numbers 25
Abigail was a woman of great worth apart from her husband….
3 His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”
It really stood out to me how valuable Abigail was to be highlighted in the Old Testament. As a young wife I did not find myself in a relationship that valued me or my thoughts. I ended up losing myself and forgetting my value. I became unhealthy in the struggle of caring for my husband. At one point of brokenness and pain I was poured out my needs to the Lord, He assured me that He loved ME and I was worth DYING for. I had forgotten that.
Abigail knew God and honored Him even when her husband did not…..
18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.”
As soon as Abigail heard that Nabal had sent David’s men away with insult she jumped into action. Her drastic response to her husband’s foolishness was eye opening. In that day and age, she definitely took her life in her hands by honoring David even when Nabal did not. Her quick action brought a blessing from David instead of the revenge he was on his way to extract on Nabal and all those he was responsible for.
Abigail was blessed in her obedience…..
35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”
It can be confusing at times when it appears that scripture contradicts itself. After all Ephesians 5:22 states clearly “ Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” Obviously, Abigail did not do that.
I think that God is clear, we are to follow the first commandment always and all the others after that. If we are being asked by our husband, father, boss or anyone to break the first commandment which Christ told us in Matthew 22:37-9 “ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I was blessed and encouraged by the reminder of Abigail and her actions in Numbers. I don’t spend a lot of time looking back to find things I would change or regrets in my life rather I look to learn and do better today.
In my marriage today I am thankfully I have not had the struggles of submitting to my husband in areas that I know are not God’s will for us. But even as I read of Abigail I am encouraged to Love my Lord and my Husband well!
What are your thoughts about Abigail’s actions? Have you ever experienced a time when you had to follow the first commandment rather than submit to someone in authority?
by Rayna Neises | Growing in Faith
Have you ever forgotten how much God loves you?
I recently struggled with this idea without even realizing it. I was avoiding sitting quiet with the Lord, I started focusing more on my checklist of things to do during my devotions than on my relationship with the Lord.
I know that I need to spend quiet time listening for the Lord’s voice to continue growing in my relationship with him but there are times that I find myself avoiding just what I know I need. Do you ever do that?
When I finally took the time to stop and ask the Lord what was going on He revealed to me a fear I had I did not even realize I had.
As a 16 year old I learned my mom was suffering from the horrible terminal illness called Alzheimer’s. At her young age we were told to expect the disease to run its course in 5 to 7 years. Mom lived 12 years but as many of you know Alzheimer’s steals a person’s memory and often their personality long before it takes their life.
I would say I was 19 when my mom stopped knowing my name and recognizing me as her daughter. Believe it or not so I did not grieve this loss much, I knew it was coming. There was so many other losses I think I just over looked much of it.
As a 36 year old my dad was diagnosed with the same horrific disease. Losing a parent is a very difficult life experience but watching them disappear in front of your face seems so unfair.
There has been much grief in the 10-year decline of my dad’s health. We are/were very close and it just seems impossible that I would lose him much less watch him fade away.
Needless to say processing the loss of different parts of my relationship with my dad has had to become common place. I think that is why is surprised me so much to realize how angry I was at God for letting this happen again.
But as God and I talked about my anger I found the root was even deeper than that, it was the fear that God would forget me.
Seeing that on paper seems silly but it wasn’t at all.
The people on this earth who made me and loved me first and probably more than anyone else couldn’t tell you my name. That hurt to my core.
If they could forget then God could too, right?
As I sat with the Lord crying and listening He reminded me of a couple of truths I was overlooking.
Though both my mom and dad reached a point in their lives that they did not know my name nor realize I was their daughter they both knew me in a way that brought them happiness and peace when I was/am around them.
My Mom was always happy to receive a hug from me, have me just sit by her side and listen to her music with her almost to the end of her life. This was not true of strangers, they made her nervous. She somehow knew me and loved having me with her.
God also reminded me of how my dad smiles really big or is playful and tries to hide each Thursday when I return to KC to take care of him for another weekend. It brings him joy when he sees me. Though he doesn’t have the words I can see the love when I look for it.
God promised us in Isaiah He would never forget His people. He brought this verse to my mind. Isaiah 49:15 “Can a women forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you! ESV
Maybe it wasn’t such a silly fear after all. God wrote these words to His people long ago. Maybe you haven’t experienced your parents forgetting who you are but you are feeling forgotten by God because of unanswered prayer or just life experiences.
Take comfort. He knows You. He Loves you. Turn to Him. Tell Him how you feel. Let Him whisper His loving words over you and show you what you are missing.
If you are struggling with seeing the Hope in the Middle of Your Stinky Life I would love to talk with you about how coaching with me might be just what you need. Contact Me