It’s not just something to think about in the spring any more.  As busy as life has become for you, rest and renewal is a continual necessity.  But, what exactly does renewal mean? Then, how does it take place in my life?  Let’s start with the definition.  Renewal is defined as the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken. 

Sound familiar?

The daily pressures of your career, once filled with promise and an opportunity to make a difference in the world have been replaced with an endlessly expanding job description that has left you mired in paperwork and mentally worn out. Although you try to take care of yourself by eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep, juggling the demands of work, home, and parenting have left you run-down physically.  It has come to the point where your spirit is broken.  Renewal couldn’t come at a better time.

So what can I do in order to experience renewal?  It’s a common question. Unfortunately renewal doesn’t begin with what you do. It begins with how you think. 

Author Lailah Gifty Akita says, ‘Without renewal of mind there is no transformation.’  The Bible says it this way in Romans, ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ Actions by themselves are temporary.  That’s one reason New Year’s resolutions don’t last – they focus on behavior rather than the genesis of that behavior. Change the way you think, your actions will follow.  Renewal at its core begins with the mind.

The first change in thought is how you view renewal.  It is not a one-time proposition; an end of the road fix when you are at the end of your rope.  If you are dangling at rope’s end right now, I understand how critical experiencing renewal is for you at this moment. Please know that renewal can begin for you today.  But, in order to experience lasting renewal it is vital to embrace the philosophy that renewal is a continual process along the journey of your life.   If not, you will find yourself at the end of another rope much sooner than you expect.

The next change in thought is to make investing in your mind a priority.  That begins with time;  time to be still, to reflect, to plan, and to dream.  It’s hard to restore a car while it is still moving.  Psalm 23 talks about lying down in green pastures beside quiet waters. That is the type of environment where the Lord can restore your soul. Make the time to read - for education or just for pleasure. Listen to podcasts of your favorite speaker.  Take a pottery class. Join Toastmasters.  Your transformation will begin with each step you take to renew your mind.  The most important reason for you to make this time investment an on-going priority of your life is simple:

 You are worth it.

We began our time together with a definition of renewal. I’d like to end with a definition of the word renew:  To make something new, fresh, or strong again.  Wouldn’t that be nice? Feeling fresh instead of worn out; strong instead of run-down with a spirit that is not broken but new every morning.

Sound good?  It does to me, too. That’s why Sunrise Center for Wellness is hosting the Rest and Renewal mini-retreat on Saturday, November 4th at the Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way.  It’s an opportunity to experience a welcoming and peaceful environment that encourages contemplation and reflection as you begin the process of renewing your mind.  I’d like to invite you to join us.  Click HERE to sign up for a relaxing morning of group sessions, individual activities, and some light stretching to live harp music.  Breakfast is included. 

I look forward to seeing you there.