Planning for Refreshment- Refresh Your Soul Week 2

* I wrote this post before I knew what Sarah Mae was writing on. It is interesting how similar our thoughts are on this subject!*

Let me pray for us as we begin….

Lord, we are weary. We have tried, sadly, for too long to do life on our own. We choose now to abide in Your love, Your arms, Your truth. Refresh our souls as only You can. We wait expectantly for You. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields it’s fruit in season, and it’s leaf does not wither. We give You this year, our time, our schedules, our selves. Use them for Your glory and show us Your will in our lives. Amen.

The Lord will guide you always. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

Last week we talked about refreshing yourself by letting some things go and making time to rest and enjoy life. Now, I want to take it a step further. We need to plan to be refreshed. Not just once, but on an ongoing basis.

We need to schedule in time to drink deeply from the well that is the Lord and find things that truly refresh our soul, instead of settling for what feels good in the moment but in the end leaves us feeling depleted. As I mentioned last week, habits of constant internet clicking, mindless eating, shopping {online or otherwise}, TV watching that is mindless instead of planned are some of these things.

Here is what I am saying. Plan for a little refreshment every day, every week, and a little something extra once a month or whenever you can swing it. 

Here is what works for me. I wake up early early so I can have quiet, with my coffee and my Bible, uninterrupted for an hour. In the afternoon, I take a nap for 30 minutes and then I read for 30 minutes {the twins listen to a book on the ipod}.

In the evening, I get into bed by 8:30 and spend a few quiet moments reflecting on my day. Then I read a relaxing book with a cup of Good Earth tea {my favorite!} in my special mug before lights out at 9. Should everyone have this schedule?! Of course not! My husband flies early so we get up at 4:30am, thus necessitating an early bedtime.

In addition to this, every few months I take a little vacation to the local hotel here in town. It is nothing special, but for 24 hours, I have quiet and air conditioning, which are hard to come by here. I take some music, candles, coffee, Bible, a book I am reading, and sometimes a special movie. I spend the afternoon resting and praying, the evening watching my movie and getting a good night’s sleep, and the morning before I go home, some time in the Word. This is what works for me and my family. Dave gladly sends me, because he doesn’t mind keeping the kids, and it actually helps him because I come back refreshed!

At one time I felt guilty for taking these times to refresh, feeling like I should be filling my time with more important things, giving my time and money to those that need it more desperately. However, I have learned taking care of myself and my relationship with the Lord is the most important thing. Christians these days have gotten things a bit turned around.

We are running around serving the Lord, without actually spending time with Him, ministering to Him or hearing from Him. Jesus frequently took time away from His ministry to be alone with the Lord.

As for me, I want to serve faithfully until the very end, so that means taking a little respite along the way. Otherwise I burn out. 

I want this to be true of me… “{S}He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither.” Psalm 1:3

Find what works for you. Talk it over with those close to you, and figure out a plan of how to make it happen. I am already picturing a host of comments with a bunch of “yes buts”…. “we don’t have the money, my husband would never watch the kids, I don’t like to be alone,” etc.

My plan does not need to be your plan.

YOU come up with your plan with your family and the Lord, and then make it happen. Could you trade babysitting with a friend one morning a week? Could your hire someone to watch your kids while you take a nap? Could you ask a loved one to have your kids for a playdate once a week or once a month to give you some time to rest?

My challenge to you: Think about how you can plan for some refreshment in your day, your week, and your month. Pray over your plan and see what you can do to make it happen!

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  • Amber

    This was a refreshing post! You are so right. We serve and serve and serve because that’s what we’re supposed to do as Christians, but all the while, we’re neglecting filling ourselves spiritually. And so in the end, our serving is empty and forced. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. My way of refreshing myself is to go out and walk through the woods and just talk to God. It’s quiet there, and I’m in His creation so I feel very close to Him. I see all of His wonderful, amazing creations ~ the tall trees, the moss, the dirt, the ferns, or in the winter, the snow, the ice, and the chirping birds that didn’t migrate. It’s always very invigorating.


  • Dayna

    These verses are refreshing. I want to be a tree planted by a stream. I want to feel productive for the Lord rather than like I’m withering by the days end or sometimes before that. I recently went out to do some shopping and see a movie with a new friend. It was the first time I had been out to have fun with someone my age without the kids since my 2 year old was born. It was so nice and definitely refreshing! We vowed to make it happen more often.

  • Mindy

    I love this post. I used to be so good at this and it has been one of my goals to get back to it. Thanks, Joy!!

  • Alexis, A Moment with M.O.M.

    Thank you for writing these encouraging words. Our first ministry should always be our families and our homes, as you mentioned to serve them faithfully to the end we need to stay refreshed. ~Alexis on behalf of everyone at A Moment with M.O.M.

  • Sarah Beals

    Loved this, Joy! We MUST be separated at birth, b/c I do almost the same thing. Peter knows that I need time away every so often…a change of pace from normal life/ministry life. Every so often I get a Saturday to myself, where I grab a coffee, head to my local library or out to some antique shops and lunch with my mom. Other times, I just feel like I need extended time with my Bible. :) Peter is gracious, and has learned to “dwell according to knowledge” with me (either that, or he’s secretly afraid to end up living with a crazy woman. lol) and sometimes surprises us with little over night get-aways…which is where I am headed this very morning. He booked us a room (using a Groupon!! like half the price) in a resort in New Hampshire that looks like the hotel from the movie “Somewhere in Time.” Woo hoo!! Thanks for encouraging us moms. :)

  • Victoria Huizinga

    great advice. I have thought often of doing an overnight getaway knowing that you do take one makes me think all the more seriously about making it a reality for me as well.

  • Lou Ann

    I’m a missionary wife too, and I fully understand what you’re talking about. Whoever we are and however it works for each person, we need to find time alone for the Lord. You are an encouragement for women to put God and family first.

  • Aggie

    First, I love Good Earth tea too, my favorite!
    I love your advice! I think so many of us are programmed to feel guilty about not being busy all of the time. I feel like I need some time in the afternoons to unplug & read before school pick up, I usually take a book with me and sit in carline and read for a good amount of time with the windows down when the weather is nice.
    Great post!

  • Bron

    Thank you so much for this encouragement. As a missionary living in the middle of a mega city with five kids, I need to be more intentional to take time out for refreshing. I discovered about a year ago, that a whole hour every morning to myself is vital, I need that extra time to recharge, but I need to take the next step and somehow plan for more time alone to refresh. By 7.30pm at night I am exhausted and my default for a long time has been to collapse in front of some mind numbing tv until bedtime at 9pm…your post yesterday really convicted me that I need to make better use of that time in the evening to abide in Christ. I am so weary (we have not left our country for 6 years), and until we can leave for a much needed HA I need to look after myself a bit better. Thanks for the practical examples of how to do this Joy, tonight I will be in bed earlier, reflecting on the day and reading a good inspiring book :-). Next is to plan a day on my own without kids…

  • terrie daniel

    Thank you for sharing and for your guidance. Sometimes we, as women tend to get lost and even lose ourselves in the world of caring for others…that we find a fog has settled on our paths. we get lost…
    when we do not know how to take time to refresh, this I know works…

    go to your closet, shut the door, and ask your Father to teach you and show you how to take time to rest before Him. Ask Him to clear the fog and wait. He will show up, I promise.

    More than anything, our Lord wants us to be near to HIM in all areas…the joy and the pain of this life. Psalm 23 says it: Lay me down in green pastures and restore my soul. Lead me beside the still waters.

    Pray out HIS word…these our HIS promises to us.
    just like little children make a “hiding place” to play…
    let us learn as mothers and women… to make a “hiding place” to pray!
    have a blessed day and I thank our Father for HIS grace and HIS love for all of us.
    terrie d.

  • maggie may

    this was so encouraging to me! i think often women want “me time” and often feel guilty about it…but time with the Lord for refreshment is different. it’s putting the focus on a relationship with the Holy One and not just on ourselves. wonderful post!