If you spent time walking with me throughout June and July here on Mindfulness Mondays, you know my emphasis of cultivating an attitude of REST. Born out of my personal soul struggles, God continues leading me more towards stillness and away from striving. This week, I recap all the stops along the way during our journey towards REST in the months of June and July, ending with journaling from a place of REST, including prompts you can use any time. Plus a bonus guide which includes all of the techniques!
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
an attitude of REST
Cultivating an attitude of REST requires we understand the concept of an attitude of rest. generally speaking, REST means a ceasing from “work” or “activity”. While my reference to REST in the last several posts on Mindfulness Monday refer to spiritual rest, the same definition applies. An attitude of spiritual rest requires we cease striving, working and manipulating outcomes, desires and acceptance before the Lord.
Not all spiritual restlessness comes from our working or striving to get what we want, or NOT have something we don’t want. At times, our soul disturbance stems from a genuine weariness in waiting or travelling through hard places for an extended period of time. Either way spiritual restlessness, emotional turmoil or struggles with worry and anxiety all flow from a lack of trusting God, which is the posture of spiritual rest.
the art of stillness
Our first stop in cultivating an attitude of REST led us through learning the art of practicing Stillness. A self-confessed over-achiever, the bane of my existence oftens stems from my constant doing, accomplishing; rather than a settled being. Resulting in physical and emotional exhaustion.
Certainly abiding in Christ implies a settled trust in His sovereign control and purposes, resulting in fruit-filled actions. At other times, abiding holds the same trust in Christ’s sovereignty and control, but plays out in stillness.
resting in stillness
In my post, “Practicing the Art of Stillness”, I taught a simple mindfulness technique for cultivating stillness using Psalm 46:10. Please check out my post for the full instruction for this beautiful and profound exercise. Stillness is life and breath to the soul, bathing it in the living water it thrives on. You need stillness in your life more than you know.
breathing REST in the psalms
Moving from a place of stillness, we lingered in a space of focusing on the sacredness of our breath. God gives us our first breath and takes our last. Yet many of us remain ignorant of the power of our God given breath. Our breath literally affects and facilitates the relaxation of our central nervous system; decreasing stress.
Our loving Savior knows our every need, beckoning us come, rest in His Presence. (Matthew 11:28-29). One way of pursuing rest in God’s Presence is to practice mindful breathing.
breathing through the psalms
In my post, “Breathing Through the Psalms”, I taught another mindfulness technique of breathing while reading the Psalms, using Psalm 63:1-8. Please check out my post for full instructions on this powerful exercise. Any Psalm may be used, one of my favorites is Psalm 103. Breathing through the psalms facilitates stillness. A surrendered stillness which fosters lingering in the presence of God in full contentment. Enabling the full release of cares, striving and busyness; simply resting in the caress of the One who knows us fully and deeply.
finding true rest
How do you find true REST? By coming apart for a time of fellowship with the Lover of your soul. God’s Presence abides continually with you; in essence, you fellowship with Him in every moment. But an intentional lingering in His Presence through stillness or an extended time in His creation refreshes your weary soul.
Ultimately, true REST happens by allowing God to restore, replenish and refocus our hearts and minds. We prepare ourselves for receiving this REST from Him through relinquishing our schedules, responsibilities and demands, encouraging ourselves in Him, shifting from busyness towards Him and trusting everything to His sovereign care.
In my post, “How Do You Find True REST?”, I share a mindfulness technique I designed specifically for times of overwhelm. Moving through the acrostic REST, I give detailed instructions for calming a busy mind, settling anxiety and sitting quietly before the Lord. be sure to head over to the post for detailed instructions and a FREE printable too!
cultivating rest when your mind is full of questions
Regardless of the many definitions or ideas we entertain about rest, resting in God without all the answers requires a level of abandonment we often avoid choosing. God calls us to a place of abdicating our what ifs, how tos, and questions; a hiding place of rest.
Acknowledging our need for rest amounts to the first step only; poising on the threshold of resting in God. The next step embraces an attitude of mindful pausing, including the surrender of our own need for certainty.
five mindful attitudes for rest
In my post, “Resting in God Without All the Answers”, I shared five mindful attitudes for rest, which positions us for a walk based in faith, not sight. Lingering in these five mindful attitudes of rest provides a nourishing respite from the soul noise stealing our peace. Shifting our perspective from a “need to know” all the answers before resting, to a “need to trust” God for the answers unfolding with each step of faith and obedience.
journaling from a place of rest
Journaling from a place of rest provides another tool for Cultivating an attitude of rest for our noisy souls. Putting thoughts to paper releases the burden of the mind, dispelling anxiety and helping us in processing complicated situations and emotions.
Using journal prompts designed for exploration from a place of stillness before God, slows our spiritual heart rate, places our focus on God’s sovereign care and allows us to view our day through a lens of surrender.
journal prompts cultivating a rest-filled day
Whether part of your daily quiet time, a mindful break during your day or a weekly ritual, plan at least thirty minutes for working through one or more prompts. I recommend starting with only one, and using no more than two for each session. The purpose of journaling from a place of rest is reinforcing a no hurry, trusting attitude in our posture before God.
- Describe how stillness feels. Think about how your physical body feels, close your eyes and briefly scan areas where you normally have tension or pain. Think about physical sensations of tightness or heaviness in your chest or stomach, are these present? Consider your thoughts; are they still, racing, confused? Is your breathing shallow and fast or slow and deep? Describe the feelings of stillness in as much detail as possible.
- Choose a Bible verse that speaks rest to you. Slowly copy the verse into your journal. Read the verse through two or three times. Which words stand out to you? Highlight, circle or underline them. In what way do they speak to you? How is God using that verse in your life?Journal your thoughts on the meaning of the verse and why it speaks rest to your soul.
- Choose an attribute of God seen more clearly in stillness. Consider how God has revealed Himself to you during your times of stillness. Which attritribute speaks to your soul as you sit in surrendered quiet? Write a brief prayer of gratitude to God for revealing Himself to you in this way.
- Choose one event from your day which may potentially disrupt your attitude of rest. Write a prayer of surrender for this event giving it completely over to God. Include ways you will trust His will both in the situation and in the outcome.
cultivating an attitude of rest
Ultimately, cultivating an attitude of REST involves surrender: a relinquishing of our will to God’s perfect will. But at the same time involving a process, not a once and done decision. as we grow and mature in our relationship with the Lord, He draws us deeper into an intimacy of REST.
Our journey towards REST in the past several weeks marks the genesis of a slower, more intentional connection between the serenity of a surrendered spirit and the security of a sovereign, loving Heavenly Father.
If you enjoyed the Mindfulness Mondays series on REST, grab your FREE copy of my “Attitude of Rest Guide”! I included all of the exercises and techniques discussed in the posts in one easy guide! If you are a member of the Serenity in Suffering Compassionate Community, head over to the Resource Libraryand download your copy. If you are not yet a member of our community, I would love to have you join us! All my members have FREE unlimited access to my Resource Library along with special occasional freebies through my newsletter. Sign up for my weekly newsletters; a little slice of serenity delivered right to your inbox! As my “Thank-you” you will receive my FREE “Attitude of Rest Guide” for signing up!