Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

Robertson’s reads Archive



March 2016

Hope Reflected: Remember to Rest

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Eleanor Brownn quote

We’re well into the New Year, and our schedule is picking up. It seems like each weekend is accounted for, and when Wes and I aren’t working, we’re running (and I don’t mean working out). There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done.

Interestingly enough, Wes has been making time in his evenings to read a book entitled, Living the Sabbath. While the book in and of itself isn’t about the importance of rest, it’s about the importance of delighting in the Sabbath and what that means for our lives each day of the week. (Likely another column to follow on that later).

Wes going through this book has been a reminder to me of the importance of rest. Especially with a whole new year ahead, where plans are being made and goals are being set, it’s crucial that we remember to take time to rest.

Rest has several benefits. Not only does rest recharge your body and your mind, rest can also help improve mood, memory, and health. Additionally, the Bible talks a lot about rest. While God’s Word talks about rest in several different contexts, these are some areas that I find practical in applying to my life today. We all experience trials, we all have personal problems, and we all work. When I need rest and encouragement, these are some of the Scriptures in which I find solace.

  1. Rest from life’s trials. One of my favourite portions of Scripture is Psalm 37. Psalm 37:7 (KJV) says, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” When we commit our way to the Lord, and find our strength in Him, He will direct our paths and provide rest for our souls. It’s amazing the peace that comes when we commit our paths to Him.
  2. Rest from personal problems. Especially in our world of instant gratification and constant connection, anxiety and depression affect so many people. What’s the solution? Find your rest in God. Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV), “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” God’s peace = rest.
  3. Rest from work. While some career choices are more stressful than others, everybody needs a break from work once in a while. Rest from work is essential and part of living a balanced lifestyle. Even God rested! Genesis 2:2 (KJV) tells us, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Additionally, in Mark 6:31, Jesus encourages His disciples, “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”

Throughout the year, some weeks will inevitably be busier than others. Remember the importance of rest. Not only is rest Biblical, it’s good for your health. Whether it’s turning off your phone, turning off the TV, or taking time to eat dinner around the table, remember to take some time this week to rest.


Originally published as “Remember to Rest.” Minto Express. January 13, 2015: 5. Print.



April 2014

Hope, She Wrote: In Praise of Slowness

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work, Uncategorized


Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! It’s so easy to get caught up in circumstances and day-to-day activities, but it’s so important to — regularly — take time to slow down. I need to remind myself of this almost every day (and it’s a challenge). Here’s my latest column with five ways to practice slowness.

Every year, things seem to move faster than they did the year before. Personally, the past few years of my life have involved so much activity that it’s difficult to remember a time when I moved at a slower pace. This is thanks in part to advancements in technology that allow for us as a society to do so much more. (Theoretically at least.) We live in a society where it’s just not cool to stay in and go to bed early; where clocking over time, taking on excess work and personal responsibility aren’t appreciated – they’re expected.

I recently discovered that I belong to a growing number of young professionals who are “dual-device” – people who carry two cellular devices, one for work and one for personal use. While in some ways it’s an advantage to be continuously connected – I can tell you at any given point in time what the latest news headlines are, how certain stocks are performing, and even see fuel prices at the nearest service station, – being continuously connected is also a growing concern. People everywhere are always plugged-in, and with this expectation that we should be that way, when and how are we supposed to slow down?

I’ve written before about the bad word “busy”, and Carl Honoré (Canadian journalist and guy genius), has written a series of books on the subject of the “slow” revolution. He practices this whole psychology that slowing down allows us to savour more of life – applying the art of slowness to relationships, food, and even medicine. Both of Honoré’s books, In Praise of Slow and The Slow Fix should be mandatory reading if you frequently feel “stressed” or like you never have enough time to finish everything that needs to be done. (Note to self)

With this notion of “slowness” in mind, here are five practices that I find help me slow down and live more fully. Easy enough to write, these are areas that I actively have to keep in check.

  1. Shut down screen time. In the spirit of being always connected, it can be a real struggle to shut down technology in the evenings. Nights when I’m at home, the hours between 6pm and 10pm are crucial for unwinding.
  2. Sleep. I frequently hear “sleep is over-rated” and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” from people who want to make the most of out life and enjoy every moment. One of the keys to enjoying every moment to its fullest is being properly rested. Do some research on sleep stages for more on this.
  3. Cook. It’s no secret that I love food, and experimenting in the kitchen (or at the ‘Q) is something I’ve really grown fond of the past few years. Ever heard the saying “it tastes better when it’s made with love”? It’s true! When you’re relaxed, the process of preparing a meal somehow makes the food more flavour-filled.
  4. Face-to-face communication. Whether it’s taking a walk with a loved one, or making a “no phones at the table” rule during dinnertime, actually having a conversation with someone is not only meaningful, but can help combat stress as well.
  5. Decompress. I refer to this in #1 as “unwinding”. For me, decompressing involves reading, exercise, writing, or watching PBS (although I limit direct screen time right before bed).

I’ll leave you with a quote from Carl Honoré: “Much better to do fewer things and have time to make the most of them.” What are you doing in your life to promote the practice of more fulfilled living?

Robertson, Hope. “In Praise of Slowness.” Minto Express 9 April 2014: 5. Print.