Grounded Podcast

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Restoring Margin, with Brenda Jank

Do your rhythms of rest need reset? If you’re living in survival mode, facing a never-ending to-do list, or succumbing to the stress in everyday life, discover how you can restore margin. Brenda Jank, founder of the ministry, Run Hard Rest Well, joins this episode to help us learn to embrace God’s heart for rest. She shares practical steps you can take to rest well.

Connect with Brenda:

Website

Episode Notes:

Season 2 of The Deep Well with Erin Davis: Connected

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Erin Davis:Run hard, rest well.” That is your new Monday morning mantra.

Welcome to Grounded. This is a production of Revive Our Hearts. It's a podcast and a video cast that we record live every Monday morning. I'm Erin Davis. 

Portia Collins: And I'm Portia Collins, our co-hosts, Danna Gresh and Alejandra Slemin, are off this week. But Erin and I are here to bring you the good stuff. 

Erin: We're here. We could do it.

Portia: We could do it. So y'all know already know from the southern accent that I live in Mississippi. Erin, you live in Missouri, the Show Me state.

Erin: I do.

Portia: And Grounded viewers, we know that you all live all over the world. Many of you are mothers, grandmothers. Some of you have no children. Some of you have many children, some only have one. (But I feel like mine is two sometimes.)

Erin: I'm in the many children category. 

Portia: Hey, I feel like Emmy is many.

Erin: She is. She is several children in one. 

Portia: I know, I know. Some of us work inside the home. So, I'm working outside the home. There's a lot of variety in our daily circumstances. But one thing is kind of common, we all feel the pressure to go, to do, and to produce. 

Erin: I feel that pressure. That's not just a Monday morning pressure. For me, that is an everyday pressure. One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has done in my life is that I feel like it's poured gasoline on some habits and some beliefs that already existed in my life, about the need to do it all, all the time. 

And you know, what we all experienced this year is having our rhythms go out of whack. For me, and I think for you, too, I'm guessing those rhythms have stayed out of whack. It's been hard. I've been saying I'm fighting some kind of inertia to try and get back into some healthy rhythms in my life. I've said this before on Grounded, and I'm gonna say it again this morning, I have a growing sense that it is time for us to come out of survival mode. 

And that means that we've got to let God define what are healthy rhythms in our lives. So this Monday morning, let me take our pulse. 

Here's a question for you, Portia. We’ll go first; we’ll lead the way. I want to know, and already know the answer, so I want you to tell us a bit, how often do you rest? Now, I'm not talking about sleep, that's one thing. But I'm talking about rest that restores your body, but also your mind, your spirit. Portia, by that definition, how often would you say you're resting? 

Portia: Well, you already know. We are kind of kindred spirits.

Erin: We are. We're built a lot alike. 

Portia: So, I am not resting as often as I should. I have been so convicted by this lately. I'm specifically reading passages of Scripture and just observing how Jesus made time to pull away.

Erin: He did. 

Portia: I think my biggest struggle is . . . We've talked about being caregivers the week before last, and we talked about being moms. I think the theme is many of us experience a neediness from everybody from everything. We feel like we just have to be at it all the time. 

Erin: Yeah.

Portia: But we see from Jesus that it . . . Think about it, if anybody was clinging to Him, if anybody understood the neediness of people, it was Christ. But He still took time to pull away and to raise up. I've been so convicted because I am not following the example. 

Erin: Yeah, I emulate His example of caring for others. I aspire to, I try to emulate his example of being available. He was those things, but I do not do good at emulating His example, right? 

Yesterday was Mother's Day. My husband was making lunch, and he was doing great. I kept trying to get in there in the kitchen and take care of things. He finally said, “Erin, this is your chance. One day a year. Go lay down.” Not easy for me. I struggle with it. 

Portia: I know. Same here. 

Well, Grounded viewers, we want to know how about you? Grounded is a conversation, so we want you to get into the chat and tell us how often you rest? I'll give you a couple of options here. 

Erin: Oh, good. Make it multiple choice. 

Portia: Yeah, let's make a multiple choice. Can you say are you resting daily, weekly, monthly, occasionally, almost never? I'm even gonna just throw it out there . . . never. Are you never resting? Tell us in the chat like what are you doing? How are you resting? 

Erin: I want to know. I will eagerly look up those comments here in a little bit, because I want to know how widespread is this issue of women of faith being unable to rest. I love Grounded. I look forward to every episode. I learn every Monday morning. 

This is not an overstatement. If I was sitting, I'm standing but if I was sitting, I would be on the edge of my seat for today's episode. I expect to learn a lot. Brenda Jank is going to join us in just a minute, and she's going to encourage us. That mantra we said at the beginning to run hard, rest well, that comes from her. She is a thought leader. Get the name, get this phrase in your mind. She's a thought leader in the area of restorative wellness, not just wellness, not just doing more or doing better, but wellness that actually restores us. 

And you know what? I believe as we come out of the challenges of this year, we all need a reset in this area specifically. I've been researching Brenda. I've been watching videos. I've been listening to her. I've heard her say that rest is near and dear to the heart of God. 

And if that's true, and we know it is Portia, because as you were telling us Jesus rested, then I want it to be near and dear to my heart too. So, stay tuned, we're going to hear from Brenda, and we count on you to help us spread the word. Sometimes I'll go back, and I'll see the number of views of Grounded and the number of shares. I'll think, What were they doing? Why weren’t they hitting the share button? So, it's so easy. If you're watching live, you hit the share button, or if you know somebody who is not resting, just let them know Grounded is on, send them a text.

Portia: You know, I always hit the share button. In fact, right before we started, I was trying to hit the share button. I don't know if I did it on my Facebook page. But I did send out my SOSs to all my people and say tune in because you need some Grounded this morning.

Erin: I love that.

Portia: But first, before we get into the rest of our program this morning, we have a tender story to share with you. It's gonna warm your heart this Monday morning. Here to help me tell it is Retha and Christine, a beautiful mother and daughter duo all the way from South Africa. So good morning, welcome Retha and Christine. 

Christine de Villiers: Hi, good morning. 

Retha de Villiers: Good morning. 

Portia: Good morning. Well, so often is the case, today's good news is born out of tragic, tragic news. Many countries are experiencing spikes in COVID infections. Some of you have written to tell us the devastating impact this is having on your own lives. And you know, we need to keep praying for each other. We need to keep asking God to save lives and turn hearts toward Him in the wake of so much suffering. And so, Retha and Christine, tell us tell us a little bit about what the COVID climate is like there in South Africa.

Retha: I think in South Africa at this stage we're just heading into a third wave. It's been better the last couple of months, but now it is getting more and more again. Yeah, so we're more aware of COVID for this first wave. I think everybody's more looking out to each other and for ourselves. 

Portia: Yeah. This is hit very close to home. Retha to your parents both got sick with COVID. I want you to tell us a little bit about your parents and what those first few days of realizing that they were sick. What is that like now? 

Retha: Thank you. Yes, my parents, both of them died about two weeks ago, two days apart from each other. I think Christine will tell you more about those last moments. You were the one with them the last couple of days before they went into hospital. But they were ready about two–three years ago. They called all our children. We have five children, and they said they asked the Lord if they can die together. They want to die together.

So they were so at one in spirit, and they really loved each other. When my father got sick with COVID, and my mother wasn't sick, we know something was gonna happen. My father was in the hospital a couple of days, and then they discharged him. And a day later, he and my mother go to a hospital. They were for there about a week. My mum died first on Wednesday, and on Friday, my father died.

Portia: Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm so so sorry. Christine. I know that you got to spend the last two days with your grandparents before they went to the hospital. You were there when your grandpa was taken by ambulance. Could you just share with us? What were you feeling? What was going on?

Christine: So, my grandparents loved the Lord so much. And like my mom said, they've always prayed to go together. It was just so evident that they trusted God with that. They trusted God with everything in their lives. When we found out that my grandpa tested positive for COVID, we were like, this is weird because because he wasn't even that sick. And my grandma was also still fine. They didn't have any fear, and that was the beautiful part for me. 

They just went on like, okay, let's pack the bags for the ambulance. They didn't expect to die. They actually did expect it in a sense. When the ambulance came, I opened up the door for the ambulance. When I came back to fetch them, I saw they were just praying together. And when the prayer was finished, my grandma looked at my grandpa, and she said, “If this is it this time, then it's it.” 

That was just so special to me. And I know the way that they lived, every single thing like this, was so grounded in God's love and in thankfulness and everything that they do. They're just so thankful. When you live like that, I could literally see that no fear can enter your thoughts. That's just so cool. When I think they realized that God told them, because He is so faithful to those who will ask Him. So in that time, they really just didn't have any fear. Because they lived out of a place of thankfulness in God's will for them.

Portia: This is the punch line, I guess you could say. Like this is the good news—their love for one another and their faithfulness to God. That just really speaks to me this morning, as a believer and as a wife. I want to get closer with God and get closer with my husband in that way. I want to ask you both one last question, especially as we reflect on the beautiful legacy of your parents, Retha, and your grandparents, Christine. I just want to know, even as they faced death, and this news is certainly so tender, I want to know what gives you two hope and perspective this morning?

Christine: I want to go first.

Portia: Go ahead. 

Christine: You've mentioned COVID now, but for our family, like no one mentioned COVID because we don't want to give COVID the blame, because we know that it was God's timing. It was God's perfect timing, and my grandparents also trusted in God's perfect timing. 

And then just another thing for me is God's faithfulness. They always prayed that they wanted to go together. I've prayed about it many times as well, because I knew that was on their hearts. I loved them very, very much. I went there like every holiday to visit them. And for me, I asked God if I could be there with them just in that time when it's time for them to go. For me to actually visit them in a time where they were still fine just before they both went into hospital, that's just amazing. I hoped God just granted that to me. I asked it, but it's the kind of that, “Okay, we'll see if God gives this to me.” I got to spend that whole last week together, especially with my grandma. God is so faithful, and He’s so, so good in the midst of anything.

Retha: Portia, my parents really prayed for our whole family. Every night they took at least an hour to pray, read Scripture, just the two together. When our five children were together after the funeral, we sat and we talked and said, who's going to cover us in prayer? We five children sit back now. We need to take this legacy of prayer and we need to pray for our family, pray for each other. I've got this hope that our whole big, big family will be covered in prayer. Even if my parents are not there, we need to take over their role. So that was very special for us to be together, us five children.

Erin: Oh, Retha, Christine, this is so sweet. I know your grief is very, very new. You're giving God the glory and all of it. You are the leader of Revive Our Hearts:South Africa. So, you're my sister in Christ, also a fellow “under rower” as we like to say at Revive Our Hearts. I've heard some of this story. And one of the things you said about your dad, I'd love to hear from your own mouth, is that he was a gentleman even in death. You want to share that with us? That thought was so sweet. 

Retha: Yes, we wondered why my mother died first. And then I just thought, maybe my father was opening the door of heaven so that my mother could get in, and then he follows.

Erin: Oh, so sweet. I want to pray for you because we love you. I know that the Lord is carrying you. He's promised to be close to you as your heart breaks. We want to pray for you as you walk this path of grief. 

Retha: Thank you.

Erin: Jesus, we love You. And these women are giving testimony to what Your Word promises, which is that You are good to us in life, and You are good to us and death. You are best to us on the other side of that door, so we can praise You even in the midst of this heartbreak. But I pray for this sweet family who have these two people now that they are going to miss. I love that they're giving You the glory. But I just ask You to keep Your promises to them, that You would be close to them as their hearts break; that You would help them navigate the details of managing estates and finances and all of that, Lord. We love You, and we ask You to take care of them. In Your name I pray, amen. 

Retha: Amen

Erin: Thank you so much.

Retha: Thank you, Erin and Portia, for the opportunity to share. 

Christine: Thank you so much.

Erin: Thank you for being with us, what sweet news? 

Well, it is time to get Grounded with God's people. Brenda Jank is with us this morning. I've spent some time researching Brenda in preparation for this episode. I'm just going to start off by asking Brenda to be my new best friend, because I need her wisdom. And some of you have already commented in the chat about her impact in your lives. She's the founder of the ministry Run Hard, Rest Well, a champion of biblical rest. Welcome to Grounded Brenda. 

Brenda Jank: Ah, Erin, Portia. It is a delight to be here today. 

Erin: Well, I want to go straight to the heart, God's heart. I watched a video of you where you said that rest is near and dear to the heart of God. So, let's start with, can you give us broad brush strokes? What does Scripture say about God's heart for rest?

Brenda: I grabbed my Bible, a section of God's Word in Isaiah was the wake up call to me that there is something more to rest than I had ever heard about or experienced. It's Isaiah 58. It starts with verse 13. 

The Sabbath is a delight. The Lord’ holy day is honorable. Then, Brenda, you will find your joy in the Lord. And I will cause you to ride on the height of the land and feast on the inheritance—feast, soaring on the heights, inheritance. There was a reward and a blessing of rest that I was not aware of that I had never tasted. 

That is what got me going. Because I grew up in the church, I was blessed by the church. They taught me how to pray and love and forgive and serve. But realistically, the teaching on rest felt painfully short.

And so, into that void, I adopted the ways of the world. That way was to run hard 24-7; that rest was foolish. If you snooze, you lose. It’s shameful; it's selfish. And so, I decided that it was time to understand what God had, and not the world when it came to rest. 

Erin: And don't you love that you can take anything to Scripture and go, “Okay, God. I want to hear Your heart. I want to know Your wisdom. I want the more excellent way, Scripture calls it, and He'll give it to us. I love that you're using words like “delight” out of Scripture. What women are telling us in the comments of Grounded right now, they're using a different word. They're using “guilt” over and over. 

So, let's have a biblical definition of rest. Let me set it up a little bit. I'd like you to contrast it with something I hear a lot about lately, which is self-care—something about that idea of rest equaling pampering. It just doesn't sit right with me. So I resist it. But I think I'm probably also resisting something God has for me. So what is the rest that God intends for His people? What is it like? What is that rest?

Brenda: Boy, Erin, your heart is similar to mine. And that word “self-care” was always just one I could not enter into that. What I can do is be faithful to what God has asked me to do. That it has opened up rest. God wove rest into this, the Creation, with the gift of sleep and Sabbath.

You know, Adam and Eve on their very first day of life, was resting, their first 24-hour day was resting. God worked and rested. Adam and Eve rested. And from their rest, they moved into their garden work.

So God got woven into the fabric of our lives. But then He recognized that made in His image, as people with vision and passion, that that ability when sin entered the world was to make work our idol, to define our worth. When it came to Mount Sinai and God created the covenant with His people, rest was no longer just an invitation. It became a command—a life-giving command. I grew up believing that to keep this Sabbath meant: go to a worship service, and then go home and eat pot roast with your family. 

Erin: Yeah.

Brenda: And if you did that you were good to go in the midst of terrible burnout. I loved the Lord and I was running so hard that I by 15 was running nonstop for God. And by 25, God blessed me with a body that could not keep up with my, my my dreams, my passion for Him. There was a pride. I lived off of four hours asleep. And I just I thanked the Lord, “Lord, look how much more I get to do for You because I'm not riddled with the burden of having to sleep.” How dare I take a break? When there's so many needs so many opportunities.

So the change factor was, I read a book by Marva Dawn called Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, w-h-o-l-l-y holistically. And so my journey began with conviction. God's Word has been precious to me since I was 12 years old and read the book of Acts by myself.

I recognized that something was missing, and so the journey began for me. As I explored God, there's just Old Testament, New Testament, what Jesus says, what Moses lived, what David lived, rest and rhythm and restoration. But in the commandment, the change factor was rest is being taught. More and more, we're hearing it. 

Erin: Yeah. I'm gonna jump in Brenda, while your internet catches up to us. I'm in the before for you. I am going off about four hours asleep, and I am burning out. I know the Lord is working in this area, and I fought a lifelong illusion.

You're taking yourself back to your teenage years. I can take myself back there. I fought a lifelong illusion that rest is for the next season. So, it's when I'm done with college, or it's when I'm not pregnant anymore, or it's when those babies sleep through the night, or when I don't have a deadline at work, or it's when my nest is empty. I just turned 41. And I haven't arrived at the season where rest is easy yet. I have a hunch I'm not going to just get there naturally. 

So why is it so challenging for us? And I'm talking about women who love God. I'm talking about women who aren't chasing worldly ideas in this area. Why is it so hard for us to rest?

Brenda: Because ultimately, more is caught than taught. The people who have been our mentors, who have cheered us on, they run hard, but they don't rest well. We have no model, we have no mentor. And that's where in the command to rest, God just made it so clear. That rest has to be a community commitment. Because otherwise, the guilt will eat us alive. God said to us, “Okay, I want you to rest, but I want your sons to rest, your daughters. I want the people in your household. I want people visiting your country. I even want your animals to rest.

And God was brilliant in that. Because when it is a community commitment, we can do it in a God-honoring way.

Erin: That's right where I'm going I'm gonna have you turn off your video because I think it might help your sound, and I want to catch every word you say. These are some statistics that I have known for a while. I really looked them up this week to see if they're accurate. 75% of pastors say they're extremely stressed. 90% of pastors say they work between 55 and 75 hours every week. That's a lot of hours. Only about half of pastors take a regular day off. 85% of pastors have never taken a sabbatical. 

Now, I love pastors. This is not a criticism of pastors, but and it's not primarily pastors watching and listening to Grounded. But what's happening with our shepherds does reveal something about what's happening with the flock. So how can we become Christians who rest well, even if that continues to happen with our pastors? Which I hope it doesn't continue to happen with our pastors. But what are some steps we can take to rest well, Brenda?

Brenda: Right. One step is we need to begin to look in the mirror. Self-inventory is critical. It's been the starting point. We have to recognize what red flags are flying in my life.

In all of our lives, there's the good, bad, and ugly. There's good things in my life. There is bad in my life. There's hard things in my life, but the ugly, the ugly is what comes out of me. And the more overload and exhaustion is all I know, the more the cortisol the stress hormone is flying through my body. Then the ugly comes out. And so that inventory. I love John 4:6, Jesus, tired as He was, sat down at the well.

It's easy for me to understand Jesus as God and holy and perfect, but He knew the realities of human life of muscles, of headaches, of sore feet. God by His design made us people with limits. And I believe in that, then we can rely on Him. He's given us four rhythms that breathed life into us.

I believe we need to learn how to rest relationally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. And we don't when we don't rest. 

Those red flags fly relationally when I am not well rested, I'm irritable, I'm impatient. Relationships suffer. 

Physically, boy sleep goes out the window, blood pressure issues, hormone imbalances, weight gain, early death. 

Emotionally, we wrestle with anxiety, depression, anger, addictions. 

And spiritually, joy is an early casualty. Our faith is a relationship. It's not a religion. And a defining aspect of our relationship with God is one of joy. We have the God of the universe, who is in constant pursuit of us with His arms open wide, and the joy of that. 

So in the world of 24-7, go, go, go, go produce, go do. God says, “Pause, hit pause.”

And so relationally, I always start with the relational rest, because that's the one that God commanded. You work six days, work a sweat, what you do, makes a difference every day. But rest in a way that honors your Father that feeds your soul, and fuels your go. 

Erin: I love that. You mentioned this before, but really, biblical Sabbath is something we do together. It's not, “Hey, I'm going to get away from everybody, and I need a break from you.” It's rhythms: a rest for our families, a rest for our churches, for our communities. At this point in the pandemic, I feel like we have an opportunity to say, “Okay, what did we learn that we want to take with us moving forward? And what is it we want to leave behind and just chalk it up to that crazy year?”

I don't want us to keep this frenetic pace of doing everything all at once all the time. That's something we could leave behind. Brenda, you're a mom, I'm a mom. We've been talking in the past several episodes about being caregivers. I want to present something you mentioned a minute ago, and something that I've heard you say that really resonated with me. You prioritize rest, because the impact of your lack of rest impacts those you love. For me, it becomes chronic irritability, which is frankly not God honoring. I'd love to hear your heart for how when we are women who refuse to rest. It works against our desire to love and care for others.

Brenda: When I was growing up, I had one desire, and it was to be a mom. By the time I was 12 years old, I had read every parenting book in our public library. 

Erin: Wow. You are a doer. 

Brenda: Before my husband Tim and I were married, we knew we wanted to adopt special needs kids. Our family is made up of three who came home to us to the miracle of adoption and two through the miracle of birth.

We've said yes to a child with sickle cell anemia and yes to a child with cerebral palsy. What we have in our family is a child with sickle cell anemia, a stroke disorder, Asperger's, severe attachment disorder, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, fetal alcohol, and bipolar too.

Erin: Wow.

Brenda: I share that because God knew He had to get a hold of my heart 30 years ago, in this arena of rest, because there is no way that I would survive every day. My kids used to and still today need more from me that I can give. And Erin and Portia, my kids have their needs have broken me. I came through life and didn't think I had an angry bone in my body. I love Jesus; I loved impacting people.

And there was that chronic level of irritability. So my go to was time in the Word in prayer. There was that defining moment when my son Sam, with tears and a quivering lip, said, “Mommy, why are you so angry? Your anger scares me.”

I have had some beautiful connections with A.A. Alcoholics Anonymous. I recognized that we need safe places and safe people to be real and take off the masks.

And so, in my brokenness, I finally named and claimed what I was, instead of dealing with it on my own. I needed people to come alongside of me, to pray with me, to bring me to the Lord. That was the change factor in my life. It was sweet and life giving. I have never been the same and more broken, or recognizing that I need a Savior. I met our resurrected Lord in a way that has changed me. 

Erin: What a testimony, Brenda. I had somebody say to me recently, it seems like those Grounded hosts are always struggling, and in some ways we are, but I am in the apex of this struggle. It is sin in my life. It is sin in my life, that I don't obey the Lord on this command and that I allow my disobedience in this area to lead to all kinds of other sin. As you were mentioning A.A., I thought this is an addiction. Going and doing is my addiction, and it is ugly. 

I am broken by it. So, thank you so much for being with us such a thought-provoking heart-softening discussion today. I have great hope from you because the Lord worked on your heart in this 30 years ago, and you're not still in that place of struggle. He's done a work in you. I want Him to do it in me. 

We're going to drop the link to your ministry, Run Hard, Rest Well. I hope everybody runs hard to that link. You have a lot of wisdom to offer. Thank you so much, Brenda, what a delight you've been to me this morning. 

Brenda: Thank you. Thank you. 

Portia: Yes, thank you.

Look, like I'm over here, Erin. I don't know if you saw me, but I grabbed my iPad to start taking notes. Because honey, she read me like a book. 

Erin: Me too. 

Portia: I've never told her any part of my life. But everything that she said was all applicable. So, thank you.

Erin: So, here's what I got. Joy is the first casualty. Hello, hello, whoo. Okay, well, Sabbath rest requires self-control. I have felt convicted as Brenda was talking and even as I was preparing for this episode, because I've tried and failed, tried and failed. I've written books about Sabbath. And I'm not living out the words I've written and put in print. I cannot do it in my own strength. 

So if you're feeling that conviction, we can praise God for His work in our life. If you need God to help you in the area of self-control in the area of rest, or in any area, I want you to be encouraged. You've got a really short reminder, just a minute from our Grounded friend, Mary Kassian, that we can lean into God's grace when our self-control is lacking. Watch this.

Mary Kassian: When I was assigned self-control, I thought oh no, because I don't have enough self-control to talk about self-control. But that's a good thing, because it's all founded in grace, and we are all in process. And I can testify to the fact that I have more self-control as an older woman than I had as a younger woman in various areas of my life.

And so, the Lord does the work in our spirits and on our lives, and it's God's good work. I also can say that when I lean in and am seeking to walk a life that is controlled by the Spirit of God, that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, and that it is a gift that God gives me. When I am distracted and don't have time for the Lord and forget about those things, self-control becomes much more of an issue. 

Portia: Well, it's time to get Grounded in God's Word. Open your Bibles to Isaiah 40. We have Laura Booz with us this morning. I love Laura. She's the host of the podcast, Expect Something Beautiful. This is a one of our family of podcasts here at Revive Our Hearts. We just love it when Laura is here with us on Grounded. So welcome, Laura. 

Laura Booz: Thanks, Portia. Hi, Erin. Well, I have a surprise for you. I'm going to lead us through a mini-retreat. Right here, right now, we're going to create a margin. We are going to draw near to the Lord, bring our weariness before Him, and seek Him to restore our souls.

So, you can join me. I'm going to begin by reading a short passage from Isaiah 40. And then I'm just going to lead us through a responsive prayer. So do what works best for you, when you are drawing near to the Lord. You can journal your responses. You can add your responses to the comments. You can just close your eyes, lay your head down. But join me in drawing near to the Lord right now to lay our weary hearts at His feet and to seek His restoration. So the passage is Isaiah 40:28–31:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

So would you join me, let's just go to our heavenly Father right now with this passage, and pray through it together. We're going to begin simply by praising Him, praising Him for being the Father who does not grow weary. 

So let's start with this. Father, I praise you because You've never grown weary of loving. You've never grown weary of causing the sun to rise again. I praise You because You've never grown weary of seeing me through the hard times, and giving me plenty of good times.

And let's also praise Him because of His understanding of the problem that we're rolling around in our mind right now, the problem that's keeping us up at night. 

Father, I praise You, because You fully understand this current problem in my life. Talk to Him about what that is. 

I praise You, You understand all the ins and outs. You know the depths of that person's heart. You know all the circumstances.

Now, let's bring to mind when God has restored you in the past. So, thank You, Father, for bringing me power and increasing my strength in the past when I felt like giving up.

I want you to think about no occasion. When was that?

For me, it's labor and delivery; certain problems in my marriage when I felt like giving up; certain sins I struggle with. I just felt like finally giving up, but He gave me strength.

When did He give you strength? And how can you praise Him for that today? Father, you've done it in the past, and I know He will do it again.

So now, our weariness is before Him. Lord, today I feel weary and exhausted because … tell Him why. Why do you feel weary? What has exhausted you? Father I feel faint-hearted from … What just makes you faint? Your calling? Does it just make you want to give up? What about your work? Maybe your illness? You just faint-hearted from it.

Share that with Him. Heavenly Father, I feel like giving up on …. Is it someone? You feel like giving up on someone. You feel like giving up on something? Feel like giving up on the country, on the world, on my son or my daughter on who, what, whoever, whatever? Share that with Him now.

And Father, I've stopped caring. I've stopped caring about this thing, this precious thing I used to pray, about these I care about, but I've just stopped.

Lay it down at His feet.

And then, we pray heavenly Father, would You please renew my vision and renew my strength, like a miracle, like wine made out of water renewing in this area. Lay that area at His feet, whatever it may be. Please, renew me Lord, re-energize me, put wind beneath my wings, Lord. Because I'm just about giving up. I need you to renew me.

Then pray with me. With Your strength in me Heavenly Father, I can soar like an eagle. I can just imagine what it will look like for me to be strong in this area, again. You alone can make me run with focus and endurance. You alone can make me walk courageously and faithfully to the end.

And we'll close with this. I'll give you a few moments just with your father. heavenly Father, I will wait for you.

Oh God, we praise Him that You see us wherever we are in our homes, at work, in the car, and you will renew our strength. Thank You. Thank You for our great victory in Jesus and His welcome, that we may approach Your throne and find help and mercy anytime we have need. Help us to do this again and again. In Jesus's name, amen. 

Portia: Amen. Amen. Thank you so much, Laura. I needed that. Like, seriously, I needed that. That was such a sweet moment of risk right here in the middle of Grounded. I really think it has set the tone for my day—and not just my day, the remainder of the week in the coming months. I'm praying to continue this posture of heart. So thank you, thank you for showing us that rest is possible. It really does restore our souls.

Before we say goodbye, we want to tell you about a new podcast season from The Deep Well  with our girl Erin Davis. Erin, I'm so excited about this season. And I hear that you have a sweet cohost joining us. 

Erin: So I say this is from both of our girls, Erin and Laura are together. It is a sweet, sweet season. Laura and I've been friends for a long time, and we had some really great conversations on this episode of The Deep Well

Laura: Yeah, it was so fun. So, so fun. Erin, I love it. Actually, I pulled your book off the shelf just to tell everybody about it. This season is based on this book. It's called Connected: Curing the Pandemic of Everyone Feeling Alone Together. It's excellent. Yeah. 

Erin: We talked about the fact that I wrote that tagline in 2013. I didn't know what was coming but . . . 

Portia: Prophetic, huh?

Erin: It sure seems timely to talk about everyone feeling alone together, doesn't it?

Portia: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, we've got a short clip of the podcast to listen to together this morning. I think it's a perfect fit for today's topic. Let's listen.

Erin: We really can change. In fact, God really can change us. That's the only way we can change. We don't have to be exhausted and disconnected all the time. So as someone with only one life to live, you deserve to know that rich relationships with Jesus and rich relationships with people really are possible. You can rewrite your own story. You don't have to keep pace with the rest of the world. You can spend time alone with the Lord today. 

Well, like I said, I've written about and obviously taught about this topic before, but I need the Lord to do a fresh work in my life. So, if you need Him to do a fresh work in your life, I hope this season of The Deep Well will minister to you. We're gonna drop the link because we always love to give you the good stuff. 

Portia: So, you can listen to that season. It's all about God's plan for our relationships, which does include rest and white space. It's about finding our way back to each other, and you'll get to listen to a lot of Laura. She is as soothing in this podcast as she is in Grounded. e hope you'll listen.

“Run hard, rest well,” that is sticking with me. Like, that's exactly how I want to live today this week, and every other week. 

Erin: Me too. Me too. Jesus, would you change me in this area? Hey, next Monday, we're gonna have what I really feel like is a continuation of this discussion. In fact, we've had several episodes here that have really built on each other. We've talked about being caregivers. Now we've talked about rest. And next Monday, we're going to continue talking about really restorative wellness, because we're going to talk about our bodies and our body images and how we treat our bodies, which is part of the equation. We're not disembodied spirits, at least not yet. 

Portia: Heather Creekmore is going to be our guest next Monday. Put it on your Grounded calendar. Put Groundeded on your calendar and join us back here. All right? We want you back here. Bring some friends. Tell the women that you know: tell the women at your church, tell the women at the hair salon wherever you go, the grocery store . . . 

Erin: Everybody. 

Portia: Yes, tell them that Grounded is the place to go for hope and perspective. So, let's wake up together, next week on Grounded.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit www.sheshallbecalled.com.  Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta. 

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, studying the Scriptures, discipling, teaching, and learning alongside women. Currently, she supports her husband as he serves as a church planter in Victoria, BC, Canada. Alejandra loves herbs, designing headbands with her daughter, being outdoors, and serving her community.

About the Guests

Laura Booz

Laura Booz

Laura Booz is the author of Expect Something Beautiful: Finding God's Good Gifts in Motherhood and the host of the Expect Something Beautiful podcast with Revive Our Hearts. She'll cheer you on, share practical ideas, and point out the beautiful ways God is working in your life. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan, and their six children. Meet her at LauraBooz.com.

Brenda Jank

Brenda Jank

As a catalyst for personal and organizational change, Brenda is high energy and story driven, equipping people of all ages to explore biblical, transformative rhythms of work and rest. Founder of the ministry Run Hard. Rest Well., Brenda is a thought leader in the arena of Restorative Wellness. Brenda and her husband, Tim, lay claim to five of the finest, feistiest children ever assembled under one roof.