Walk, Run, Soar: Learning to Rest Without Guilt
By Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young
A note from Sarah: Please welcome my friend, Dorina, to the blog today. I met Dorina through hope*writers, where she leads a group for authors of children’s literature. Dorina’s children’s book inspired by her Filipino heritage, Cora Cooks Pancit, is one of our favorites for introducing kids to new cultures. Cora Cooks Pancit is included in my list of Global-Focused Books for Kids and is a sweet story about a young girl learning to cook a traditional Filipino meal and connect with her family.
Dorina has a powerful story of loss and restoration and is such an inspiration to those dealing with devastating grief. Running has always been a part of her story, and she has a new book full of devotionals to encourage runners, walkers, and really everyone. While I will probably never consider myself a runner, I do love walking with Nick in his stroller.
Dorina’s devotionals have encouraged me to persevere when things are hard and to rest when I need it too. Isn’t it so hard for moms to slow down and truly rest? We have a million things coming at us all the time! You will love her encouragement to rest in God, just like King David talked about in the Psalms.
You may know it all too well. When the alarm sounds on Monday morning and you feel like your head barely hit the pillow. Your body creaks and groans when you try to will it to wake up, to step into the light of a new week. You bargain with time, begging her for a few extra minutes to savor rest.
That morning I was grateful for the moon, which gently greeted me when I made it outside for my run. It sat glowing in a bed of pastel blues and pinks—just a hint of color inviting me farther, not blinding me with the week’s expectations.
I gave myself permission this morning for a slow, worshipful run. I’m cautiously inching back to exercise after the back injury I endured a few weeks ago. No time trials, no pacing, no paying attention to the clock. Just run and savor, I told myself. Just listen to God’s whisper. I heard doves cooing. I stopped to take pictures of the sea of white roses on the corner. I marveled at the purple crepe myrtles in my neighbor’s front yard.
I’m usually the girl who likes to shoot out of the starting blocks. My enthusiasm carries me from task to task. But this summer I’m learning to dance to a new rhythm. I’m not apologizing for a slower pace. I’m training my body and my soul to rest in new ways.
Perhaps one of the most meaningful things Shawn has taught me is the power of rest. When Shawn and I first started dating, we had a conversation that went a little like this: “Soooo, what do you do on the weekends?” I asked him.
“Well, I wake up early on Saturday mornings and I go for a bike ride for a few hours, then I come home and eat a big breakfast and take a long nap,” he said. “On Sundays, I get up early and go on my long runs, then I come home and eat, then get ready for church and usher for the two morning services. After church, I come home and take a nap.”
I remember thinking to myself, Well, buddy, that’s going to change if you invite me and my three daughters into your life.
Shawn is an athlete and a coach. Over his lifetime, Shawn has competed in six IRONMAN® races (which includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run) and dozens of marathons. Rest is not optional for him; it’s an integral part of training. When he joined our family, he helped shift our attitudes about rest.
Studies show that rest days are just as important as intense workout days for runners. Our muscles need time for recovery and regeneration. According to physician Saundra Dalton-Smith, author of Sacred Rest, humans need seven kinds of rest: physical, mental, social, creative, emotional, spiritual, and sensory. Most people rest only in one or two areas and then wonder why they still feel exhausted.
In the Psalms, David talks about the soul rest only God provides. “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him” (Psalm 62:1). David seems to be preaching truth to himself that God is the one who brings true rest.
The same phrase, “find rest in God,” is echoed in Psalm 62:5: “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” God is both our salvation and our hope. The Hebrew word used in this context for rest actually means “silence” related to “being quiet, still or ceasing.” This echoes Psalm 46:10 that says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We are to stop moving, stop striving, stop fighting, and to simply rest in silence and in knowing we can trust God.
Shawn led our family by example and encouragement. In the early days of our marriage, he gave me permission to rest. He congratulated me if I took a nap on the weekends. He helped me carve out time for trail runs, writing conferences, and weekend getaways with friends to refresh my mind and soul. We take naps together on Sunday afternoons as a regular part of our family rhythm. Shawn helped me move away from guilt when I took time to rest. Together we have been training our daughters to listen to their bodies and choose rest as well.
Friend, did you know you are invited to rest too? Give yourself permission today.
Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young is a “glory chaser” who meets God running trails in central California or near the Pacific Ocean. She is a speaker, spoken word artist, Bible teacher, and mama to three passionate girls. She is the author of two Bible studies, Glory Chasers and Flourishing Together, as well as the award-winning children’s book, Cora Cooks Pancit. Dorina is passionate about helping people discover God’s glory on life’s unexpected trails. She and her husband, Shawn, started the Glory Chasers running group on Facebook where they serve up coaching, courage, and community for Christian runners.
Dorina’s new devotional book, Walk, Run, Soar, is releasing TODAY, September 29, 2020. Subscribe at www.DorinaGilmore.com to get all the insider details on the book.