Book Review: “Sacred Rest” by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
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You know those moments when it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that the Lord is trying to get your attention? When the topic keeps coming up in conversations, on Instagram, in your devotion, etc.? That is how “rest” has been for me over the last few months. I knew I needed to slow down because my health was not allowing me to keep up the pace I was used to but that was not by choice. Then, I started seeing “rest” EVE-RY-WHERE! My devotion? Whole week on resting in the Lord. K-Love? Talking about finding rest in God. Bible Fellowship lesson? Discussion on Jesus being our place of rest. It was at the moment that I was sitting in a Women’s Ministry Team meeting when this topic came up for the 4,000th time and I realized the Lord was trying to get my attention so when someone suggested this book, I immediately pulled out my phone and headed to Amazon. I then had to wait two weeks to start it because I was too busy to find time to read, which is everything you need to know about why the Lord was trying to get my attention.
From page one, I knew I had found balm for my soul. This is not written by a woman who doesn’t get the struggle of saying “yes” too often or never shutting your brain off. She is a type A, overworking, control freak and that gave me hope because I knew she “got it”. On top of that, she is an internal medicine doctor who has witnessed, on the frontlines, the pandemic of fatigue that is gripping our culture and especially women. Finally, and most importantly, she is a Christian who knows that we have been created by our Father for more than surviving. All of this gave me great optimism for what I’d learn.
What stressed me out was the fact that she said there were SEVEN types of rest! SE-VEN! Like, what?!? I knew I wasn’t doing well but I didn’t even know I could fail seven different ways. Then, she provides a quiz (restquiz.com) to help you evaluate where you are in your rest journey and oh, dear… It’s like knowing you’ve gained some weight but then stepping on the scales and realizing how far off you truly are. All of this may seem hopeless. You may be thinking, “I already feel bad about myself. Ain’t no way I’m going to be told I’m worse than I thought”. Dr. Saundra has some encouraging words for us all…
“What is it you see when you look at your life today? Analyze everything from your family, your friends, your home, where you live, the work you do, the foods you eat, the positions you value, the places you enjoy, the music you listen to, the books you read, the sports you play, the people you encounter, and the difference you make in the lives of others. If any of these areas do not accurately reflect the abundant life available to you, congratulations! You are in the perfect place to witness your life resurrected.”
She’s right. God uses broken things. We are reminded all throughout the New Testament that the Lord uses our weaknesses to show His strength. We don’t have to have it all together but we do have to let go of control.
So, if you are tired all the time, wake up exhausted, find life lacking joy and daily tasks overwhelming, then I’d bet you are suffering from at least one rest deficiency. You can’t pour out of what you don’t have. Trust me, I’ve tried. You will either learn to rest or you will be forced into it but you can’t escape it.
Grab a copy of this book for direction and if you’d like to hear more about my rest journey and the girls’, you can check out episode 5 of season 2 of Hey Y’all: The Podcast at the tab above.