Choosing Rest

 

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from NavPress

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Choosing Rest (NavPress) was my first book and I still love it, even though I have to admit that as I continue to speak about the remarkable truth that we can find a home for our hearts in the midst of the God’s love, I often wish I could add some things, say some things a little differently. But that is life, isn’t it?

Choosing Rest has been a bridge for many women. It has helped them to move away from their fears and driven-ness, their emptiness and their tangled-up relationships into a heart that is at rest in God. I still love the three phrases that came to me in the midst of writing the book. Rest is learning to take a break (it’s not all up to me!), it’s learning to celebrate the goodness of what is (sometimes it takes vision correction to see the what-is-goodness of our own lives) and rest is the ability to let the present be imperfect and not be undone by the imperfection. I have loved letting those realities seep into my own heart. Other women have as well. Here are a few things they have said.

Choosing Rest achieves that rarest of all feats – it ignites my longing for rest without making me ashamed that rest so often proves illusive. And then it woos me, step-by-step, to that garden place Jesus reserves for me. Sally’s book is the best guide I know to a hear that is genuinely at rest in God.

– Paula Rinehart, author of Strong Women, Soft Hearts, Sex and the Soul of a Woman, and Better than My Dreams

Choosing Rest is a very readable, practical and inspirational book full of heartdeep concepts and inspirational stories which reach out beyond the popular how to's of time management and stress busting strategies to the very core principles of spiritual rest.

Anyone who struggles with intense or low grade anxiety or stress knows the vicious cycle of trying to control life circumstances by using an exhaustive supply of creative resources only to continue to feel chronically overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated with God, ourselves and others. This book encourages women at all stages of life and circumstances to look at the deeper heart issues which often get us demanding of God and others to have guarantees of victory, freedom from pain and suffering or at least a "doable" life.

Using relevant scripture stories and modern examples Sally respectfully challenges us not to absorb the stress of our secular and Christian cultures as inevitable but rather to take responsibility to understand and continually reframe them into realistic gateways to long term peace and rest.

I have learned greatly from Choosing Rest in my own walk and have used many ideas in teaching and speaking. Sally uses an engaging, clear writing style with just enough personal input to let you know she is a fellow struggler. Because "choosing" rest involves daily discipline and a passion for long term change this is a book to read and reread and use as a constant resource and reminder of the need to deliberately and prayerfully make space for rest in our lives.

The chapters successfully identify and address specific themes problematic to rest and several will no doubt speak directly and powerfully to areas in your life that present ongoing struggles.

I have recommended this book to several women in my counseling practice and am using it in a small group women's study I lead. There are several thoughtful questions at the end of each chapter for further introspection or discussion.

– Geri Fitch, Chartered Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, Calgary, Alberta

Feel free to download this chapter by chapter Bible Study I have written to accompany Choosing Rest. It makes a good study for a small group or to do on your own.

 

The Shame Exchange

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The problem of shame is real. Things people say, things people do, the systems of our families and cultures – that’s just the beginning of the problem. Add to it things we have done, just who we feel that we are in the secret places in our souls – shame heaps up and eats away at our souls. The result? Shame becomes our personal world view. It damages our sense of identity, our view of life and our ability to relate in love to others. The Shame Exchange (185pp.) faces the problem of shame head-on. This book will help you understand the origins of shame, and it will help expose the unhelpful ways we deal with shame’s power. But more than just diagnosing the problem The Shame Exchange gives a Biblical perspective on how you can face shame and through it discover a door into the deep mercy and love of God that leads to freedom.

Listen to Sally and Steve's Interview on the Debbie Chavez Show

Listen to Sally talk about The Shame Exchange on the Ted Elm Show

"I began reading "The Shame Exchange" over a month ago, thinking I would enjoy an evening in an intellectual discussion that would further my understanding of shame biblically as well as how it contributes to any or all of the issues people seek prayer and counsel for. This objective approach soon turned very subjective for me as I realized that this was not a quick topical read that I could accomplish in an evening or two without an emotional involvement...a very personal emotional involvement. I was not far into the book before I knew I was into something I would have to become engaged in, like it or not. This slowed me down in my reading as I needed to find times when I could be more present to that which was being touched in my own heart. Having finished the book, I have not finished with the topic of shame in my life.

"I want to congratulate you for making a significant contribution to the Church and the helping community with your book. Your book has given me a deeper understanding of shame biblically as well as its part in the issues we seek help with through prayer and counseling. I believe that personally I have opened up some areas that with perseverance will further my own transformation and bring more joy to my relationship with Christ. My hope and prayer is that many others will encounter their shame through your work and come into greater freedom and love."

Keith
Counselor and spiritual director

About the Authors:
Dr. Steve Breedlove, Senior Rector of All Saints Church Chapel Hill-Durham
Sally Breedlove, Author and Co-leader JourneyMates
Ralph Ennis, Director of Intercultural Training and Research for The Navigators
Jennifer Ennis, Counselor and Co-leader of JourneyMates

Limping Toward the Beautiful City

Presently Sally is working on a book called Limping Toward the Beautiful City. As she writes, she is asking the question how do we find answers that sing and that strengthen the soul so we walk with courage and joy to all that is promised but hasn't yet arrived?