Creative Inspiration for Moments of Rest

by | Jun 4, 2016 | Moments of Rest, Sabbath


What do you do on Sabbath? It’s a question that often piques from a place of curiosity when conversations slide into the subject.

My answer? To the best of your ability, embrace what restores your soul and walk away from whatever depletes you. Enjoy Sabbath in the way God created you.

How we rest looks unique for each of us. Rules about rest create stifling boundaries that keep us stuck in cycles of busyness.

For me, the act of creating beauty restores my soul, inspires new thinking, and cultivates intimacy with Christ. For you, creating may sound like a lot of work and that’s okay.

Lately, moments of rest involve using my camera to style photographs that tell stories. If you use Instagram, perhaps you’ve heard the term “flat lay” used in reference to styled photographs taken from overhead.

I’ve had the best time learning the fine art of holding my phone at the perfect angle above my writing desk to capture moments of life as a writer living in London. You really can frame a lot in a tiny square but I’ll let you in on a little secret: It takes more than a few attempts to perfect the light and design the way I envision. And thank God for editing tools on Instagram.

Because I’ve had quite a few followers on Instagram ask about creating flat lays, I wanted to share some of what I’m learning from those more experienced. Even if you aren’t into photography or Instagram these creatives teach us how to notice details and create shareable beauty with the world. Prepare to be inspired.

A rested heart is more attentive to the details.

Flat Lay Photo Styling Tips by Humphrey and Grace — Julia has taught me about the importance of style and color palette for creating a beautiful gallery on Instagram. She says it took four years to find her groove, a good reminder that practice makes all the difference! @humphreyandgrace

Mobile Phone Photography Editing Tips by Hannah Argyle — Beware of getting lost in a sea of beauty and inspiration on her blog. She’s one of my new favorite follows on IG @hannahargyle

Makelight by Emily Quinton — Emily lives in the UK and flat lays are a business for she and her husband. She hosts a free tutorial for newbies when you sign up for her email letters. And her newsletter is worth it — chocked full of ideas, resources and helpful hints to make your photography better. @emilyquinton

How to Style Overhead Still Life Photos (It’s so Fun!) by The Nester — I love everything Myquillin does when it comes to design. She’s the real deal and generous with sharing her experience. @thenester

Follow me on Instagram @shellymiller120!

Enjoy Sabbath this week and 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. Leah

    I have come to experience how soothing and spiritually aware photography is for me. I have also realized that instagram puts me in almost immediate bad mood! So none of that for me. There is a great free site: pixl express-that is super easy at editing any digital photos you upload. They have a great text button that allows me to put a quote, my own, over my photo. Also, we are taking Sundays off of church this month as we currently without a church since we moved before we start looking for a local body… I hope to use that time to really listen and write in my journal. Something I have not done much of at all recently.
    Happy Sabbath and Cheers!

    • Shelly Miller

      Leah, I agree with you about photography being soothing and helping to cultivate a spiritual awareness. I love it! And one of my favorite practices on Sabbath is listening. I have journals full of our conversations. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  2. Nancy Ruegg

    Greatly appreciate your definition of Sabbath, Shelly, about embracing restorative activities and avoiding those that deplete. I’m also glad that creative photo shoots is one of your restorative activities, so we can enjoy the results! Those squares at the beginning of today’s post celebrate my favorite color: aqua. There’s restoration to be had just enjoying the details of those pics!

    • Shelly Miller

      Aqua blue is one of my favorite colors too Nancy. And I’ve realized since becoming an Instagrammer how much I love pink. Who knew?

      • Nancy Ruegg

        Yep–aqua and pink make a winning combination. Maybe your new appreciation for pink comes from the gorgeous peonies, roses, etc. that flourish in your rain-drenched English gardens and countryside!

  3. Hannah Argyle

    Thank you so much for the kind mention! xx

    • Shelly Miller

      Hannah, you are so welcome! I have enjoyed following your lovely photos on Instagram. Your gallery is one of my favorites.

  4. Julia Smith

    Thank you for including me in this lovely post x

    • Shelly Miller

      Julia, what an honor to have you here on the blog. I enjoy sharing your beautiful photos with my followers. You have such an inspiring gallery.

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