Rest Embraced



Since my cardiac arrest, I’ve been saying a certain little phrase, “Embrace rest,” and I really tried to live it out. I strove to literally move more slowly. I refused to allow life’s frantic rushing to stress me and my family. I reveled in the slow, in-between moments, soaking in the beauty around me: that fresh after-rain scent, words spoken kindly, little girls’ laughter. And when I was tired, I rested. Even in the midst of people, I closed myself off and simply breathed if I needed to. No questions asked. Just. Rest.

Later, my dear friend Jan tweaked the saying from, “Embrace rest” to “Rest embraced.” Isn’t that lovely? I attempted this too—reveling in my Savior’s acceptance, thinking about His love until tears dampened my cheeks, even closing my eyes during hymn-singing at church (not really done at our conservative Presbyterian congregation!). I knew He loved me and I basked in it.

Yup, since January, for the most part I was both embracing rest and resting embraced, but lately …

You see, school started. I’m a homeschool mom, and that means my schedule exploded.

I have a book contract (yippee!) but that means I need to spend hours researching and writing. I love this, but it’s sometimes difficult to find those hours.

I deeply desire  to keep a clean home. I long to bless my family in this way.

And, well, you know how it is. Life is just really busy.

On top of all of this, I caught a nasty cough. It’s just so nasty. I’ve had it for four—FOUR!—weeks now. I feel pretty-much okay, but it saps my energy and makes it hard to keep up with this busy schedule.

Earlier in my recovery, I would’ve embraced this illness as a chance to rest physically and spiritually. Instead, I now feel the pressure of all the “stuff” I have to do. I’ve been grumpy and whiny—in an almost accusing way. “Please God, you know I have so much to do. I need to feel better.”

But here’s the thing. I don’t want to have another cardiac arrest to teach me to rest again. So, I’m going to accept the slower pace this cold has given me. It’s a gift. I’ll thank God for this mild suffering (it could be so much worse), and I will look my kids in the eyes and treasure every moment with them, knowing that as they see me trust, rejoice, and rest in my Jesus, perhaps they will too.

God bless you all as you rest in Him,



Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

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Ocieanna Fleiss