FreerangeFriday: Make Rest a Part of your Summer To Do List

by Lilly Lewin
summer in michigan

by Lilly Lewin

I talk about REST a lot because I am so bad at it!  I have been sick with some crud for the past 10 days. I thankfully don’t get sick very much but this thing got me. I really needed to rest but I fought it almost everyday. In the midst of this, my dad is in the hospital after emergency abdominal surgery. Dad will be 95 in July. Dad doesn’t do rest well either, but in the last year as he’s slowed down due to aging, I reminded him that Jesus took naps and that REST is HOLY! This is my favorite hashtag! #RESTisHOLY

We were given the greatest gift by God, the gift of REST.

Which brings me to the new month and new season we are entering…SUMMER here in the Western Hemisphere. Sadly here in America, we often get busier in the summer not less busy! Too often REST isn’t a part of our summer practice or on our summer TO LISTS. My dad was a great summer to do list guy, but the list he usually gave us kids was enough for a few years, not a few weeks in summer. He had us painting fences and bushhogging the fields when we’d have rather been sleeping late and resting.

Did you know that there are actually SEVEN kinds of rest that we all need?  Check out the article here.

Saundra Dalton-Smith MD has a great ted talk and book about these SEVEN:

  • Physical rest.
  • Mental rest.
  • Emotional rest.
  • Sensory rest.
  • Creative rest.
  • Social rest.
  • Spiritual rest.
As you read this list which one jumps out at you as something you need? Maybe you need more than one!
When you think of Summer, what comes to mind? Is REST on your radar? How can REST be a part of your next season?
What are the sights, sounds, smells, tastes of summer? What are the memories of summer that make you smile? Spend time thanking God for these things!
What do you wish your summer could look like? What would a perfect summer be for you?
Where would you like your relationship with Jesus to be by September? Take time to pray and journal about this.
What if you and your community had a plan to intentionally grow closer to Jesus this summer?
What if you could open a gift each week… like the gift of rest, or the gift of play, or the gift of gratitude?

We created the Gift of a Sacred Summer just for you!

sacred summer

sacred summer

Open the gifts this Summer!

It’s a downloadable kit which features a 5 minute and 15 minute practice for each Gift of Summer, going deeper activities, and journaling questions that you can do on your own or with your family and friends. There are coloring sheets to use with each gift, liturgies, discussion questions, and social media graphics for churches and youth groups to use.

THE GIFTS are: Silence, Rest, Gratitude, Nature, Justice, Love, Play, Create and a bonus week on Grief to help us all process this past year.

You can do a few weeks or all of them! They aren’t in a certain order, so you can create what works for you and your family/church’s schedule. My good friends and FreerangeWorship teammates, Joanna Cummings and Edward Goode, both pastors, helped write the gifts and we are all excited to see how people “open” them this summer!

So consider how you want to draw closer to Jesus in the weeks ahead… What are the things that help you connect with God? What are the distractions that you want to avoid? What supplies do you need? A new journal perhaps? Or to make a comfy spot to pray in? Talk to Jesus about this. Talk to your family, small group, or housemates about what might be possible this summer. And whatever you choose, choose to REST in the love of JESUS. He is holding you close and inviting you to REST IN HIM and WITH HIM!


Make time for Jesus this summer!

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Jesus. Matthew 11: 28-30 The Message

©lillylewin and freerangeworship



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