Why Rest?

Extended Rest

Extended Rest (Photo credit: MikeVC)

For a musician, the symbol for rest on a sheet of music signals them to completely stop playing for an interval of time.  It is a period of silence that is sometimes used as a dramatic pause to draw attention to the next few stanzas, sometimes it is used as relief for the intensity of the previous stanzas, sometimes it is used when changing from one cord or instrument to another, and sometimes it is used to mark the beginning or the end of a piece.

There are several different symbols used in music to signify different periods of rest such as whole note rests, quarter note rests and eighth note rests.  Just as in music, we too have different periods and purposes of rest in our lives.  We need rest both mentally and physically in order to renew our strength, gain proper perspective on our circumstances, or prepare of a period of future intensity such as the birth of a baby, new job, new home or new relationship.

Daily Rest.  Our bodies are naturally designed for daily rest through sleep.  The amount of sleep depends on the individual, age, and circumstances of the day.  For instance, a growing newborn baby requires more sleep time than awake.  In contrast, an adult doing little physical labor may require less sleep then one engaged in daily physical labor.  When we lack sleep or lack good quality sleep, our mental and physical abilities are not at their best performance.

Weekly Rest.  However, we need more rest than our daily sleep requirement which is why one of the Ten Commandments is to honor the Sabbath.  The Sabbath is one day from sundown to sundown of complete rest, no working every week, giving praise and thanks to God.  Some celebrate this day on Saturday, some on Sunday, and some on other days of the week depending on their work schedule.  This is an essential period of rest because it rejuvenates our energy levels, aids in proper perspective of our lives, and recognizes our blessings come from God.

Yearly Rest.  But the Bible does not stop there.  There are seven other holidays commanded in the Old Testament that last for a period of seven days or one day.   Each holiday has a different purpose, significance and period of rest:

  • Passover, one day holiday reminds us of God’s deliverance from slavery;
  • Unleavened Bread, seven-day holiday reminds us that we leave the old life behind and enter a new life;
  • First Harvest, one day holiday reminds us of God’s provision for our daily needs;
  • Harvest (Pentecost), one day holiday shows joy and thanksgiving for the harvest;
  • Trumpets, one day holiday expressing joy and thanks for the new year;
  • Day of Atonement, one day holiday reminds us of our sinfulness and restores our fellowship with God;
  • Shelters, seven-day holiday renews our commitment to God, trusting in His guidance and protection.

These periods of rest are designed to be like the rest notes in a piece of music.  Each has a purpose and period of time designed to renew our strength, give thanks, restore our relationships, reflect on the past, and remember the goodness of God.

What are the holidays that you celebrate?  Are you using your vacation days every year and resting?  Are you taking out one day a week for complete rest?  Are you getting enough daily rest through sleep?  Our periods of rest as in a music sheet helps to mark the significant events of our lives, binds us together as a family and strengths our faith in God.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Advertisements

The Stress of Moving: Setting Reasonable Expectations

Admittedly, the title of this article may cause you to respond with a “no duh” comment.  Having to pack up all of your belongings, sort and organize them, label boxes, hope that nothing breaks, and then unpack everything while trying to find a new home for your stuff is stressful enough.  Add to that whatever caused you to move in the first place: new job, new marriage, new house, new pet, more kids, divorce, foreclosure, loss of job, declining health, loss of a loved one, lifestyle change, change of schools, or expired rental agreement and you have a recipe for a full-blown panic attack.

It is no wonder why moving is so stressful and it should be stressful.  Yes, you read right, moving should be stressful.  One of the many contributing factors to increased stress and anxiety is unrealistic expectations.  Unrealistic expectations that the move will go smoothly, that everything you currently have will fit neatly into your new space, that everything will work properly, that you will have all of the boxes unpacked in a few days, or that your new space needs to look perfect before someone visits.  These expectations are unrealistic and add to your moving stress.  So what do you do?  Try these suggestions.

Set reasonable goals.  Before you move, establish a timeline for competing of getting settled into your new space.  For instance, if you have a one-bedroom apartment, it may take you a month to get fully settled into your space but if you have a four-bedroom home, it may take you six months to get fully settled into your space.  Take into account any additional changes, such as new job, relationship, or town and add an additional month for each major change.  This is a far more realistic goal.

Set reasonable boundaries.  You do not need to have a house-warming party within ten days of having moved into your space.  This is far too much stress to put yourself through and may cause you to crash if you try to achieve it.  Be kind to yourself and the people around you and set your house-warming party up following your goal month.  Allow others to help by bringing over a meal or helping to unpack some boxes while not allowing you to feel guilty for accepting help.  There is nothing wrong with needed and receiving help.

Set reasonable breaks.  One of the Ten Commandments is to take a Sabbath every week.  This is especially true when enduring major life changes.  The temptation is to work through the day of rest to get it all done but this is actually counter-productive as it leaves you sapped of your energy on the working days.  It also makes you a bit snappy, irritable, short-tempered, and overwhelmed.  Twenty-four hours of rest once a week is not too much and you will feel refreshed for the rest of the week.

Yes, moving is stressful but how you handle moving will determine your level of stress.  By setting reasonable goals, boundaries and breaks, you can reduce not eliminate the intensity of your stress and be more productive at the same time.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Bible’s Top Sexual No-No’s

Ever wonder what the Bible says about sex?  It is filled with plenty of practical information about our daily lives including advice on love, money, wisdom, relationships, and work but what about sex?  Surprisingly, there are many verses about the matter and even an entire book called Song of Solomon written about it.  Yet not much is discussed in Christian circles about how God views sex.  There is much discussion about how other people view sex (just look at the titles of magazines at your grocery store), but few if any discuss how God views it.

So after looking over many verses, it all comes down to a couple of basic ideas and here are the top sexual no-no’s in alphabetical order.

  1. Adultery is sex with someone who is not your spouse.  This commandment was given by God through the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:14.  Jesus expanded the definition in Matt. 5:28 to include someone who looks at another with lust in their heart.  This therefore would include any pornography.
  2. Homosexuality is sex with a person of the same-sex.  Lev. 18:22 and Rom. 1:26-27 warns against such practices.
  3. Incest is sex with family members or relatives.  Lev. 18:7-18 provides quite a long list of relatives which include immediate family and extended family as far removed as first cousins.
  4. Lustful pleasure is what the Gentiles live for according to Eph. 4:19 and as Christians we are not to act like them.  This means we do not live to have sex, it is part of our lives but it should not occupy the majority of our thoughts.
  5. Obscenity and coarse jokes are inappropriate sexual comments in a public setting.  Eph. 5:4 calls such behavior unfitting of a believer.  This includes sexual harassment.
  6. Orgy is having sex with multiple partners at a time.  1 Cor. 6:16 states that sex is intended to unity two people, not three or four.
  7. Prostitution is paying for sex or receiving payment for sex.  Neither a male nor a female should be a prostitute according to Deu. 23:17.
  8. Rape is forced sex without the consent or permission of one of the parties.  Deu. 22:26-28 calls for death for the person committing the rape.
  9. Sexual immorality as defined by 1 Cor. 5:1 is having sex with a member of your family not biologically related (which is incest).  The example given is a man having sex with his step-mother and would also include abusive sex.
  10. Sexual sin is outlined in 1 Cor. 6:12-20 and it explains that every time a person has sex with someone, they are joined with them becoming one.  By this standard, any sex which is not meant to be part of unifying two people (such as marriage) is sexual sin.
  11. Sodomy is unnatural intercourse such as having sex with an animal.  Lev. 18:23 calls such behavior perverse.

Having said all of this, the Bible also makes it clear through the book of Songs that He intended sex to give you pleasure and within the bonds of marriage, you are free to express yourself and share your bodies with your partner.  After all, He is the creator of sex and intended it for pleasure and procreation.  With the exception of the items listed above, sex should be a natural outpouring of your love, commitment, dedication and intimacy with your partner.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.