Restorative Practices for Moments of Rest

by | May 14, 2016 | Moments of Rest, Sabbath

As a Londoner, you learn to ignore the weather or let it bully you into a corner memorizing the cracks of your walls and ceilings. The absence of light can be a disappointment or an opportunity for restorative practices to do some good work, it’s really a choice isn’t it?

Before we left American soil I was warned about long, dark, dreary days of cold, wet, and drizzle. And maybe it’s just me, but I heard those thoughtful warnings more as challenge to be conquered than facts to be accepted. Come, let’s go on a misty walk together and picture ourselves as characters in an English novel.





The Light is always present and like a good game of hide and seek with the Creator, I am determined to find, capture and bask in the brightness.

Light will overcome the darkness and our circumstances are not a deterrent unless we succumb.


During a period of my teenage years, I was alone and without parental presence, living with a friend’s family who graciously took me in. Lying on a bed in a new room, I flipped through stacks of magazines, cutting out photographs for a history project. I knew I was going to make an A because the pictures were stunning, unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

Those photos gave me hope, not just because I had to finish an assignment but because the beauty spoke of possibility beyond circumstance. I longed to experience what I was seeing.

In absence we identify what we long for deep in the soul. And in order for change to happen, we must long for something first.

What do you long for right now? How could God be using the absence of something longed for as a way to challenge your faith?






Last Wednesday, I took the risk of pushing work aside to be present with women from church, touring Isabella Plantation with my camera. On paths surrounded by a patchwork of vibrant azalea and rhododendron during the height of their showing off. It was only afterward that I realized the rain held off until we were all safely back inside our cars. The sun was hiding but we rested for a few hours in awe of God’s creation.

In the absence of rest, we identify where we need God. And in Sabbath our longings are fulfilled in Him.

Sit down, take in your surroundings and find the beauty among the mess. I challenge you.

Sabbath moments cultivate a sunny heart whatever the climate of life circumstance.

Take a meander, then tell me about it in the comments.

Want to make rest a rhythm of life, not just something you fill in between the cracks of your busyness? Join the Sabbath Society. Follow Sabbath-keepers in community with the hashtag #SabbathSociety and #RhythmsOfRest on Twitter and Instagram and our Pinterest board, Surrendering to Sabbath.


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  1. Pam, apples of gold

    Wow. Wow. Wow, Shelly. What breathtaking photos!! We get a lot of that misty rain, dark days here where I am too… and sometimes it’s overwhelming. But don’t you notice how those colors almost radiate against the misty skies? I always notice that in spring and fall where I am too. Your words and photos sing to me tonight (well it’s after midnight as I write this, so guess it’s morn 🙂 ) Blessings to you in foggy London town!! 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Glad you enjoyed the photos Pam. And yes, I agree that sometimes those colors pop even more against a grey, misty background. Thanks for being here.

  2. Jody Ohlsen Collins

    Oh, I can relate to the rain and drizzle and drab. We’re on the same latitude as you, I believe. Your words ring true, my friend. Thank you for the encouragement. Be well!

    • Shelly Miller

      I’ve never been to your neck of the world but hope to visit some day Jody.

  3. Lisa

    I’m drawn to the subtle light of overcast days. Nature’s color is vibrant on these days, capturing the heart’s tender affection and speaking the deep language of soul sustenance.

    • Shelly Miller

      Beautifully said Lisa. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  4. Nancy Ruegg

    After sunny Florida for forty years, we’ve had to adjust to many more days of overcast skies and rain in our new home, Ohio. But, oh, the pay-off! 1) Lush, green foliage, 2) cozy days out of the glare and under a soft gray blanket of clouds, and 3) in the spring and summer, glorious varieties of flowers. Yesterday was one of those cozy days. Today the sun is shining and I worked a bit in the landscaped beds in front of our house. I love trimming the plants to look their best, listening to the birds sing their praises, and taking note of new blooms and raindrop jewels on leaf and flower. It’s a Sabbath rest, spending time with my Creator amidst his creation–even as I’m weeding!

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