About this time of year, for the past 3 or 4 years that I can remember or at least notice that there was a pattern there, I become restless. It starts around June. I just begin to feel stirred up inside. Almost like there’s something important about to happen and I’m not ready. I begin to take an inventory of my life. I see what’s available to me and what’s missing. I notice what are the things that have most of my attention and the things that are taking up most of my time. I start to feel the tug of all the responsibilities of my life and I begin to pull away and isolate myself. I remember telling someone last year that I just want to relax for a while and quit hustling so much. It’s as if my mind and spirit are telling me to slow down enough to really see my life. And it happened year after year until I finally recognized what was going on. August is the month my husband passed away. And now I understand.
It’s as if my soul is preparing me for this event year after year. But not in a way that I’d need to prepare to grieve. If you’ve heard me speak about grief before, you know that if you’ve lost someone you love, lost a marriage, lost a dream or an ability, any type of traumatic loss, you will always have grief because the source is gone. Grief will just look different as you move along. So, no this is not my soul’s way of preparing me to grieve this day on August 5th. Instead, it has become a very necessary ‘life check’ to evaluate my mortality and see if my life is heading in the direction I intend for it to.
Do I have my priorities straight? Am I doing what is in alignment with my passions and God’s design for my life? Is the way I am spending my time bringing joy, purpose, and fulfilment to my life? Am I spending time with God – reading the Bible and letting Him talk to me? Am I focused on prayer – for all of my life and all those that I love? And what attitude do I have doing these things? Is there a pattern of behavior that’s getting me off track? Do I have a dream for my life? Am I dreaming big enough? And are the things I’m doing getting me closer to that dream? Am I inspired? At the end of my life, what will have mattered the most? Will I have any regrets? Will I wish I had tried something that I’m currently afraid to try? Will I be happy with the way that I connected with the things I say are most important? Will I hear, “Well, done good and faithful servant”?
More than anything, I feel the Lord calling me to rest - Rest from work a bit, rest from obligations, rest from a busy mind and busy life. But I don’t think this is just for me at this time in my life with the upcoming anniversary of Brian’s death. I think this is for everyone. You probably feel this at some point in your life. Perhaps there’s a pattern there and you just haven’t recognized it. It’s actually God’s design for our life. Rest is a gift from God. He knows we need it. Maybe it’s a re-set, a re-charge, renewal, a re-purpose. Whatever it is for you, God knows we need it for our mental, physical, and emotional health. And He called it Sabbath. Yes, Sabbath is what God intended for us to observe on a weekly basis – six days of work and one day of rest to totally set our minds and hearts on the things of God – that He established as set in Exodus 20, verses 8 through 10. But Sabbath is also a rhythm and cycle of rest in our life.
Matthew 11, verse 28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
When God said this, He knew we would get weary and burdened in our life. He knew we would need to rest and recharge. And He made provisions for that in a relationship with Him. It’s there where we’re able to see if we’re on track or off track. It’s by the conviction of the Holy Spirit that we know that we’ve quit putting “first things first” as Matthew chapter 6 verse 33 tells us to do. It’s in receiving His love that we realize when we’re striving to please others, find our satisfaction in the things of this world, or get our value and worth outside of His opinion of us.
There’s an evaluation I’ve learned in my coaching practice. But these four questions actually a beautiful evaluation for life. The Holy Spirit communicates to us in many ways, but mostly through our minds and our thinking. So, partnering with Him and asking Him to speak to your mind, ask yourself these four questions. I suggest writing these out on paper so you have a connection between the thoughts in your mind and what your brain processes through sight.
The first question is: What’s going well?
It’s really important to do this assessment first. Our brains are biased towards the negative, so a lot of times we just want to jump to all the ways our lives are not going the way we’d hoped or wanted it to. But it’s really important to take a look at all the ways our lives are going right. The blessings God is giving us, the people in our life, the answers to prayer, the fact that we wake up another day with a beating heart and breath in our lungs. This is the time we take note of all the things we’re thankful for. Gratitude changes our perspective – the lens through which we see our life. It’s important to establish this first.
Because, the next question is: What’s going wrong?
We usually can answer this pretty quickly, especially when we feel like things are pressing in on us or falling apart. But it’s necessary to take some time here and discover why things are or may seem like they are going wrong. If you know why, it’s likely you can find a solution to course correct and begin on a new path.
The next question is: What needs my attention?
This is different than the question “What’s going wrong?” It’s literally just an assessment of those areas in our life that we’re not prioritizing that we need to be. Perhaps it’s your relationships – with God, with your spouse, your children, your friends. Or your health – mentally or physically.
And the last question is: What would I do differently?
This is where you find solutions to problems you’ve identified. Your brain is designed to solve problems and answer questions. It loves doing this! But, sadly, we don’t take advantage of this enough by asking our brain to bring new and creative solutions to those things that aren’t going well or things that need our attention. If we ask it find solutions, it will get busy! So, try that.
But this is also where you get to dream. What would I do differently? If failure weren’t an option, if money wasn’t an obstacle, if you had all the time in the world, what would you do differently in your life? You just might find that your brain finds a solution for your dreams that you think are too far out of reach.
By the way, if you’re wanting to do this eval for yourself, I’ve printed all this out for you to just fill in the blanks on the listener’s guide. You can download the pdf at triciazody.com/guide.
So, I just did this evaluation on my life. And I definitely have things to work on, things I need to work on and things I want to work on, to create, and dream about. But for now, I’m going to rest a bit. And that affects this podcast. It means that for the next four – maybe five – weeks I’m going to do a series called Rewind. And honestly, all that is, is I’m going to bring back the top 4 or 5 podcasts that have had the most downloads and bring them back to you. Some are from the beginning of this podcast up until just a few months ago. Now, if you’re a regular listener – hey, shout out to my friend Pat who never misses an episode and my friend Oneida who knows what I’ve said and what episode I said it on better than I do. But if you’re a regular listener, I want to encourage you not to miss these Rewinds, because we know that hearing it again just reinforces the truth in our brains.
Okay, so this reset ought to get me past August 5th and give me time to really reflect, re-charge, and renew. I’m anticipating something great on the other side, by the way, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Whatever it is.
Friend, I want to encourage you to take a look at your life and try to identify any patterns where you’re being called to rest. Are you doing that? Perhaps now would be a good time to take that evaluation and just see where you are and where your trajectory is taking you. God is calling us to rest – and rest in Him is good for us – body, soul, and spirit.
Hey, I really hope you take advantage of the listener’s guide for this topic. The link is in the show notes. After you’ve done the evaluation and have had time for some personal exploration and you’d like some help moving forward, let’s have a brief chat and see if Life Coaching is for you. The link to my calendar is in the show notes, as well.
Have a fantastic and restful week, y’all. See you next Wednesday for the Rewind series on Another Beautiful Life.
In this week’s episode, I share about a pattern in my life that I’ve recognized. And I’ve finally discovered the source and what it all means. Rest.
Did you know that we, as humans, were designed for rhythms of rest in our life. But sadly, many of us don’t recognize when we’re being called to rest. God designed rest as a gift to us. And He’s made provisions to do so. Join me as I provide a four-question evaluation you can use for your own life to see if you’re in a place where you need to rest and reset.
Get the Listener’s Guide here: https://www.triciazody.com/guide.
Read the Podcast transcript here: https://www.triciazody.com/podcasttranscripts
Are you wondering how Life Coaching works? Would you like a free, 30-minute session? Click this link to set up a Consult Call: https://calendly.com/triciazodylifecoach/30min