So, Pastor…Having a hard time resting?

Did you know that the biggest barrier to growing joy is the lack of rest, have you checked your joy levels? Do you need to schedule some rest so that you can raise those joy levels?

Are you are one of those individuals who means to rest, but finds that actually doing it is difficult? I’ll bet when you sit on your deck and look out over what you have to look over, your mind goes to all the things you could do and should do and would do if you weren’t sitting there with your heels up. The guilt kicks in and intrudes on your meditation. Argh! Might as well get up and at it! If your scenario of difficulty runs something like that I have a suggestion for you. Write an action plan for resting.

That’s right, an action plan for resting!

Background: I have this type A daughter. She is in sales if that tells you anything. This girl is perky, a party waiting to happen.


She does not sit still long or rest well at all. Recently she came down with bronchitis. My suspicion is that not resting well is what got her there, betcha. The doctor ordered rest. She dressed for the occasion…

     fuzzy pink slippers

a very important way to tell your brain that you are in resting mode! But still found herself struggling. She gave me permission to share what she wrote:

Woman with tissue and hot drink           Image courtesy of Corbis

Stupid Bronchitis

Stupid Bronchitis. I’d throw a temper tantrum over being sick this week but it would just make me cough. So I sit in my fluffy pink slippers and quietly say nothing because talking makes the coughing worse. If history has taught me anything it’s that I don’t “do rest” really well. Thoughts of all the things I should be/could be/would be doing if I were my normal perky self cloud my mind and make me restless. So I made myself a list – an action plan for rest. I know what you’re thinking a “to-do” list for rest? Yup.

  1.   Take medicine
  2.   Eat breakfast and take    vitamins
  3.   Read
  4.   Take a nap
  5.   Drink water
  6.   Take a shower
  7.   Take a nap
  8.   Take more medicine
  9.   Drink more water

10.   Watch a show



11. Take a nap

12. Feed the cats

13. Make lunch

14. Watch a show

15. Take more medicine

16. Take a nap

17. Surf the net

18. Send a text

19. Drink some tea with  lemon,  ginger and honey

And there you have it. I’m a list geek and I don’t mind telling you I felt so accomplished crossing things off. (end of daughter’s post)

So what do you think Pastor? Can we come up for an action plan for resting for pastors?

For #1 and 8 – What “medicine” do you need? It could be a quick hug or a joy moment shared with a family member!

For #3, read – Here you can read a chapter (or two) of one of those books on your guilt pile. My husband has a stack beside his recliner.

For #10, watch a show – What about some video that has come across your desk and you never have the time for it or a replay of a good message? Or maybe something crazy to make you laugh until the tears roll.

Maybe one of your items needs to be “take a walk” instead of the shower since you probably did that already?

Throw stones in the water or “take Jesus to lunch!” I like this one. And then journal the thoughts that come to you during your lunch. Go someplace with ambiance—whatever is “ambiance” to you. It could be a really nice restaurant or it could be grabbing a gourmet sandwich and sitting by the lake.

And feed the cats? That just means do something that needs to be done but does not take any brain cells to do and very little energy!

Do you rest easy when you’re sick or exhausted or do you soldier on and push through your ailments and times of low joy? I challenge you to make an action plan to rest, test it and share your results with us!

By Carol A. Brown, B.A., M.A.C.I.

Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive

WIP (work in progress)— Joy Starters

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