Hi, there. I’m Alison, and I’m glad you’re here.
I’m guessing that, like me, you relate to Bilbo Baggin’s iconic description of fatigue. You feel “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” Your plate is perpetually full and your tank perpetually empty. You’re drawn to the idea of “cultivating a soul at rest,” but not entirely sure what that means.
Well, let’s talk about it.
What Does It Mean to Cultivate Rest?
cultivate (verb): to foster the growth and development of a quality, sentiment, or skill.
rest (noun): the ceasing of work or movement in order to relax, recover strength, or be refreshed.
I live in Amish country, so I see (and smell) plenty of cultivation. It involves large animals, sharp plows, and plenty of manure. Cultivation is hard work. Rest is the opposite. Why try to do both at once?
I have a husband, three children, and a career. There are never enough hours in the day to complete my responsibilities. If I wait until I’m “finished” to rest, it will never happen. This is a fact of life for every adult human being I know.
Too many things fly in the face of rest to experience it without some form of intentionality. Ironic as it sounds, we have to cultivate (work at) the ability to rest (cease work).
Rest Is about More than What’s on Your Calendar
On this site, we’re talking about many aspects of rest, including:
- Mental Rest: uncluttered thought and calm reasoning produced by a mind free of distraction and focused on truth.
- Emotional Rest: relief from the turbulent waters of anxiety, depression, shame, and anger.
- Lifestyle Rest: equilibrium established through practical, balanced rhythms of productivity and leisure that are suited to one’s personality.
- Spiritual Rest: security and contentment in one’s identity as a beloved creation of a good, faithful, sovereign God.
- Relational Rest: openness to love and intimacy resulting from acceptance and appreciation of one’s own strengths and limitations.
What Does a Soul at Rest Look Like?
A soul at rest:
- knows who she is and loves the way she’s made without requiring perfection from herself.
- embraces her gifts as well as her limitations, loves her body like a beloved friend, and is confident in her unique contribution to the world.
- is grounded in the love of her Creator and courageous in her love for others.
- is freed from the fretful pursuit of “what-if” answers because she trusts the Sovereign One with her family and her future.
Why You Belong Here
You belong here if:
- you long for self-acceptance and an end to striving for perfection.
- you’re weary of being tossed about by disruptive emotions.
- you crave relational connection but are wary making yourself vulnerable.
- you feel spiritually dry, distant, or unworthy of love.
If that’s you, welcome to the pilgrimage. The ground beneath our feet might be steep and rocky, but we’re going to tackle together. And if we link arms, I believe we’ll go further together than we ever could alone.
Until we rest,