I’ve heard May is the new December. It’s a packed month with end-of-year school parties, finishing up Spring sports, graduation parties, etc. The days are lengthening and the list of commitments are continuing.
We are experiencing this reality in our house and I’m clinging to the promise of summer. I can see it over the horizon with its relaxed schedule, pool time and sunny weather. But summer means a lot LOT more time with my precious, highly energetic kiddos. Goodbye preschool. Hello long days. Will see if my good attitude is still around in July.
Amid the busyness of May, my soul has been craving rest. This is not a new experience for me. I can remember many seasons of life where I’ve felt worn down. Times like competitive sports, finals in college, finding and starting my first job, being a newlywed, becoming a new parent or walking through seasons of loss and grief or seasons of new and unfamiliar. Does any of this sound familiar?
I’ve recently learned this feeling of craving rest is actually considered a rest deficit.
This is a new term I discovered from the work of Dr. Saundra-Smith and it is rocking my world. (More to come in future posts).
It makes so much sense. When our body experiences a deficit it craves more in the deficient area. When I was pregnant with my son, all I wanted were brussel sprouts and McDonald’s cheeseburgers –all day-every day–
I came to find out that I was deficient in iron. Guess what has iron – brussel sprouts and beef. Is McDonalds really beef? I know I asked the same question. Regardless my body lacked it, so it found ways to trigger me to fill the deficit.
Dr. Saundra-Smith has found the same to be true of our minds and souls. When our minds and souls are craving rest, it’s likely that we are experiencing a rest deficit in those areas.
For me, I know my body is in a deficit when I’m tired, always want to nap, and dream of coffee. If it’s my soul – I’m on edge emotionally and the slightest mishap will cause me to snap. I begin to feel more overwhelmed than hopeful.
I don’t like admitting this because I think of myself as an optimist, a glass half-full kind of girl. But when I become overworked, overcommitted and overscheduled I become an overwhelmed, overtired and overfunctioning version of me.
So what do I do when I’m tired and worn out?
I rest in God’s word and it’s there that my soul is re-charged. Scripture replenishes my soul and my mind. My emotions are always calmed too.
Cool Devany. That sounds good in theory but what does resting in Scripture look like on a daily basis?
It was during my Holy Yoga training that I was introduced to Lectio Divina. It’s an ancient 4-step spiritual practice used for meditating on Scripture. I turn to it when I need to be re-charged and replenished physically, emotionally and/or spiritually.
How do I pick the scripture?
I start by listening and paying attention. I’ll hear a scripture at church, or see the “verse of the day” on my Bible app or I’ll think of some words in the shower and after Googling them discover it’s scripture.
I’ve found that as I trust Him with the small act of paying attention, He responds with the big act of sharing His peace and presence.
This last week my “verse of the day” was Romans 12:12 (Message Version).
Here are the 4 steps I followed:
1. Quieting your heart
Find a quiet place to sit.
Perhaps it’s the same chair each time.
Slow your breath and close your eyes.
2. First Reading: Listening (Lectio)
Read through the chosen scripture.
I prefer to write it out in my journal because it slows my mind and engages my hands, so I’m not distracted.
Listen. What words or phrases catch my attention? I underline them.
3. Second Reading: Reflecting (Meditatio)
Notice any reflection or thought that surfaces in my heart as read the underlined words.
What am I experiencing?
I prefer to write down my reflections and thoughts.
4. Third Reading: Resting (Contemplatio)
Read the whole verse again along with my reflections. Then sit in silence.
I set a timer for 1-2 minutes and I listen and pray what comes to mind.
And that’s it!
When I first started this spiritual practice, I would try once a week and it would take about 5-10 minutes to go through the steps. A year later, I now look forward to the stillness and the silence. It has become more comfortable and I no longer notice the time but I do notice the reflections filling my journal.
I’m deeply moved by the the truth that bubbles up through y reflections and its application to my current circumstances. My mind is engaged, but so is my heart. I experience His deep love, I sense His presence, and my soul exhales. When I close my journal and stand up from my chair, I feel lighter, calmer, more hopeful and rested.
If you are looking for a way to…
or re-engage your soul with issue that is causing hurt or confusion…
I’d recommend you to try this spiritual practice.
If you have questions, please reach out! I have learned so much from this practice and I’d love to learn alongside you.