How to Enter Intentional Rest

How to Enter Intentional Rest

Intentional rest includes physical rest, soul rest (mental and emotional), and spiritual rest.

Physical Rest

Physical rest can include us slowing down for a few moments in our day, sleeping or a total change in scenery allowing a getaway from our regular responsibilities.

Intentional Slow Down

Slow Down

Slowing down during our day can be a walk in the morning, at noontime or in the evening. The physical change in scenery allows our body a break from the home or office routine. Slowing down can be a time of reflection that gives a new “perspective” to a current situation. A phrase often used is ‘taking a breather’ or giving oneself ‘breathing space’ which allows a momentary break in one’s schedule or responsibilities.

Intentional Sleep


A small nap, siesta or full sleep time at night allows the body to refuel for a new day. Physical inaction allows the body to restore itself which leads to improved health, stamina, and a positive mood.

Intentional Relaxation


Relaxation means different things to different people. I relax and unwind by reading a book, taking a walk, or by spending time in my rose garden. Many people unwind from their day by watching a movie or scrolling social media on their phones. Sometimes relaxation through a quick getaway for the evening or for the weekend. This can include a walk in the park, a trip to the beach, or a hike in the mountains. The change in scenery can help us physically relax even if it includes physical exertion such as walking, swimming or hiking.

Soul Rest

Soul rest includes restoring ourselves mentally and emotionally. It includes internal and external components which can be consciously and unconsciously processed. We will look at quietness, reflection, refreshment and vacation time. Each attribute to our overall wellbeing.

Intentional Quietness


Quietness includes both internal and external environmental aspects. A quiet environment sets the stage for our mind to process our thoughts, and our hearts to process our deepest feelings and needs. Take Five is a phrase used to convey how a five-minute break can make a difference.

Intentional Reflection


Reflection is similar to quietness but doesn’t rest as heavily on the external environment. Reflection can easily take place in a noisy airport or on one’s back in the countryside. It is an internal process that can be consciously or unconsciously entered into and can be mentally draining or recharging depending on the issue being reflected and if there is resolution at the end of the time of reflection.

Intentional Refreshment


Refreshment implies exchange. Whether the exchange is done with another person, God, or with a beloved pet – the intentional interaction nourishes our soul. Refreshment can be done alone as when one paints, reads or does photography, but even these imply interaction with a blank canvas, characters in a book, or subject matter. The soul comes away affected by the interaction.

Intentional Vacation Getaway


A trip to a different location whether for a few hours or for days, the time off from our regular responsibilities can alleviate undo stress, bring mental respite, and refuel us mentally and emotionally.

Whether we take a drive or hike through the mountains, a walk on the beach, sit on a park bench, or recline in a windowsill, the quiet time of reflection will bring refreshment to our souls.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” ~Matthew 11:28 AMPC

Spiritual Rest

Spiritual rest can include stillness, prayer and study of God’s Word.

Intentional Stillness


Stillness includes the slowing down of the physical body, the soul entering into reflection, coupled with the spirit man being still before the Lord Himself. In this place of our human spirit, soul and body communing with the Lord God Almighty, there is a peace that comes that passes all understanding because of our interaction with the Prince of Peace.

Intentional Prayer


Prayer is our spirit communicating with God. It can include our physical posturing and mental accent, but it is not dependent on the other two aspects because it is ultimately spiritual communion between the Creator and ourselves.

Intentional Sabbath


God set aside one day a week for us to enter into physical rest, soul refreshment, and spiritual renewal.

“So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it [as His own, that is, set it apart as holy from other days], because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and done.” ~Genesis 2:3 AMP

Intentional Study

Study of God’s Word

Study of God’s Word can lead to spiritual growth. Our souls can be renewed in His Word as we behold Him, hear of Christ’s redeeming work on the Cross, and learn to take our thoughts captive. When we know the Truth, we find the Truth sets us free.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8 NASB

Intentional Wholesome Rest

Intentional rest includes physical rest, soul rest (mental and emotional), and spiritual rest.

As we physically allow our bodies to slow down, relax and even sleep, we find we are refueled for the next step of our journey.

As we allow our souls to enter into quietness, reflection, exchange refreshment with others, animals or inanimate objects, we gain perspective. Whether a momentary pulling aside during our regular routine in our normal environment or a complete break in schedule through a getaway excursion or vacation, we find our intentionality is richly rewarded through mental and emotional renewal.

As we allow our spirit man to commune with God in the stillness of our inner being, in prayer, on the Sabbath day of rest, or through studying and meditating on His Word, we find refreshment that no human words can express.

Personal Rest

This month, I entered intentional rest by daily slowing down, quieting my soul, and in the stillness of the garden, I communed with the Lord. I entered into the soul exchange of refreshment with daily walks with my husband and dog. I enjoyed a two-day prayer retreat with a friend in a nearby city. My soul was refreshed when I photographed several gardens as I traveled to and from our meeting site.

Rest can be simple or elaborate, in the midst of daily life or an excursion which includes a break from our regular routine. How it looks isn’t the point. The point is to be intentional in refreshing and refueling our spirit, soul and body through rest. How will you intentionally enter rest today? This week?


Intentional Delight, Worship and Prayer Intentional Delight, Worship and Prayer – Strength with Dignity

Intentional – One Word 2022 Intentional – One Word 2022 – Strength with Dignity


Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Amplified Bible, Classis Edition (AMPC) Copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.

New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

What is the Verb for Rest? Retrieved May 19, 2022, from What is the verb for rest? (

Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member #bgbg2 #BibleGateway

I’m joining The One Word 2022 group. If you would like to join us, Lisa Burgess has sign up information here: Want to Join a Group for Your One Word 2022? (

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26 thoughts on “How to Enter Intentional Rest”

  1. Lisa, I love all of your insights, suggestions, and scripture to enter into intentional rest – not just for our bodies and minds, but spirit. This week I will be more intentional about rest in all of these areas. We have started a new mini veggie garden and I do find rest and peace in carrying and watering the plants. I will also start my walks back up as that is a restful time for me too. Also reading. I love your explanation of what of Spiritual rest and I will intentionally take breaks through out the day. Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you were encouraged, Deborah! Finding ways to rest our spirit, soul and body makes such a difference! Mini gardens are so fun! I’m enjoying ours! May you experience times of refreshing in His Presence as you walk and read! I’m so glad downtime doesn’t have to be elaborate as simple enjoyments can run deep.

      1. I appreciate all these ideas for rest. I think we often use TV or social media when we’re seeking rest, but don’t always end up rested that way. Some of my deepest rest comes from meditating on the truths on God’s Word.

  2. Honestly, physically shutting down is much easier than mentally doing so. For me to rest, a quiet environment or aloneness is vital! Night times work best for me.

    I will try some of your suggestions. Thanks, Lisa!

  3. Thank you, Lisa for your practical, holistic approach to intentional rest. So often we think a little time off to sit and relax is all we need to rest, but God made us to enjoy rest in so many ways! This is so important, “How it looks isn’t the point. The point is to be intentional in refreshing and refueling our spirit, soul and body through rest.”
    Thank you for the reminder to pursue rest intentionally!

    1. I’m thankful we can incorporate rest in our day-to-day living, Donna, but you’re right, we do have to be intentional about it.

  4. Thank you Lisa for all these wonderful insights on rest. It is a real struggle for many moms, yet we need that rest and renewal if we want to be the best mothers to our children. I love the quietness and spiritual rest. This has helped me many times in my own life. thanks for sharing.

    1. I’m thankful that as Moms we can incorporate rest in simple ways so that we can continue to love on our little ones.

  5. Lisa, your insights here are so refreshing. I have lately been thinking about the need for pauses during the day, to take time for walks, for a change of scenery, and more. You have inspired me to make a greater effort to care for my whole self – physical, soul and spiritual. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at the one word linkup!

    1. I’m so glad you were encouraged and inspired, Gayl! Rest is such an important part of our self-care.

  6. Thank you for sharing all the different ways we can rest. Sometimes we’re more lacking in one area than in another, and we need to be intentional about finding rest. I appreciate you saying that sometimes even a five-minute break can make a difference. Glad you’re linking up at our One Word linkup!

  7. I was also thinking meditation would even fall into the rest category… but my favorite is definitely vacation! LOL

  8. Love the sleepy kitty!

    There are a few in this group that are on a “restful” journey this year and I’m learning so much from each of you. Rest goes so well with my 2021 WOTY (abide) that I may need to circle back and choose rest for 2023!

    1. Rest would be a great WOTY for 2023, Barb! My word this year is intentional, and it has been interesting to see how the Lord has led me to focus with intentionality on something new each month. I’ve learned so much!

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