You know that phrase, “He/She is a pain in the neck.”

It’s amazing how debilitating a neck pain can be.


Moody Sunset - That Pain In The Neck Is Helping Me Learn How To Rest -


This week my neck was so tired that I felt like it could hardly hold up my head.  It sounded like I had gravel in my neck when I turned it and it was painful, too.

So I called the chiropractic office to see if I could get an appointment.  Fortunately, I could get in that same day.

That afternoon, the doctor massaged my neck before manipulating it.

After he finished the adjustment, he suggested that I think about those muscles in my neck that he just worked on and focus on relaxing them.  Then he left me laying on the adjusting table with a pillow under my neck to do just that and allow the adjustment to set in.

When he returned, he spoke with me about all the tension I carry in my neck.  He told me that I’ve been through a lot in the past and that I needed to quit pushing so hard.  That it is okay for me to relax.

That was quite telling.  I don’t talk much about my past challenges, but my body does.


Restful sunset seen at a Lake Michigan beach -


It would be rare to find me in a relaxed state.

Often when I’m sitting, you’ll notice my body is moving.  When sitting next to Tim, he’s been known to ask me to sit still.  Seriously.

And I can drive him crazy when he’s trying to relax and I pop up and down.

If you’ve gone through some challenges, you know how it is to always be looking for a way out of them or through them.  I’m always waiting in eager expectation to see how the Lord will move.  But, my waiting, generally isn’t sitting still.  And if I am sitting still… my mind is moving at a frantic pace.

I said to my husband, after that appointment, “I don’t think I know HOW to relax.”

Sure we drive down to the beach to walk or see the sunset.  Tim and I occasionally watch re-runs of humorous sitcoms. We take walks and sometimes even sit and talk.

But, in the background of my mind, I always have things I feel I should be doing.  Mentally, I’m planning, creating, and thinking about who knows what.


Relaxing sunset over Lake Michigan -


This whole idea of letting go… of caring for my body… of being mindful.  This doesn’t come easily.  Especially since I’m an expert at doing.

Even in the midst of health struggles I let my mind run frantically even if my body is too tired or unwell to be in constant motion.

Retraining is a struggle.

The thing is… God doesn’t want it to be a struggle for me.

In fact, it seems that the way I have lived, in constant motion (mentally or physically) is not the abundant life Jesus came to give me.  I’m short-changing myself and dishonoring God.


Dishonoring God?!

You know, I’ve never thought about it that way before.

I have thought about the importance of resting and the benefits for our bodies and even talked about it in these posts… When Rest and Trust Collide with Popular Convention and What if God wants you to quit the hustle?

It never occurred to me until now that my inability to adequately rest was more than a health issue… it is a spiritual issue.  And until I get this resolved there will be ramifications.


Silhouette of trees against sunset on the beach at Lake Michigan -


How can I do this when… I am just starting a new intensive 18-week class, the holiday season has just begun and my list of projects is long?  And that’s just for starters.

That’s when this verse came to mind…

“Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.”
Matthew 11:28

I have created a heavy yoke for myself.  Maybe you have too.

Jesus tells me that I need to wear HIS yoke because it fits me perfectly AND… he gives rest and only light burdens.

As I embark on a very busy week, I need to do things differently.

I need to bring my plans to the Lord and make sure that all my plans are his best for me.  And if not… I need to make some adjustments.

If Jesus’ yoke for me is gentle and not burdensome it will give me time to relax.  Time to restore my soul and my body.


Sun setting behind the clouds at the lake - such a restful scene -


I’m reminded that a workhorse works better when it is well rested and well fed and well cared for.  That would be true for each of us, too.

Why do we think that we can run like the horses in the Derby or the Belmont or the Preakness without giving ourselves the care that each of those racehorses receives?  We deceive ourselves.

It seems that I’m a slow learner.  Maybe even a stubborn one too.

One thing I know for sure.  I don’t want to dishonor the Lord when he has made every provision for me to live a full and abundant life while wearing his lightweight yoke.

Scripture is full of references that tell us how important rest is, starting with Genesis when God demonstrated the importance of resting by resting on the seventh day of creation.

It’s pretty obvious that this is a process for me.  And one that God has been whispering to me about for some time.

I’ll check in with you later to let you know how it’s going.

In the meantime, if you struggle in this area, please let me know.  We can surely encourage each other.

There’s a ton on my agenda today… but first… I’ll be making God and rest (relaxation) my priority… in that order.  I’m going to trust him to show me how to prioritize the day and rest in him.  And I’m going to take time to focus on relaxing those tight neck muscles, too.


JoyDay! - Pain helping me to learn to rest -


It’s JoyDay!

And time to get our joy meters soaring!

Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful.  This simple exercise of counting and giving thanks together in this space is something we do each week to reset our compasses and put our eyes back on the Lord.

I’ll start…

Thank you, God…

  1. for gently reminding me of the importance of relaxation and rest.
  2. that YOU are our place of rest
  3. for the golden leaves that glow against these gray November skies.
  4. for my dear friend who tells me I look so much healthier. It’s such a wonderful encouragement.
  5. for all the fun we had shopping together on Friday night.
  6. for sunshine.  Oh, how I miss it these days!
  7. for Your limitless grace and for the healing YOU are bringing me.  All praise and glory belong to YOU! 

Now it’s your turn!

List your ‘seven’ in the share your extraordinary thoughts section below.

You’ll be glad you did… I dare you!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature - AnExtraordinaryDay.netReceive FREE inspiration like this in your inbox!
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  1. Minnie says

    Happy Joy Day!
    Wow Diane, you sure have given me food for thought.
    I’m a go, go, goer too and relaxing…phish…don’t know how.
    I must say I never thought about that as not honoring God. Hmmm?
    I’m sorry you are having troubles but I’m thankful that you take them to God and he gives you a full heart and you pass on the love, thoughts and strengths to us. Thank you!
    Lord I thank you for,
    1. The peace I have. For many years I didn’t have it.
    2. The contentment I have that other people don’t have and simply do not understand.
    3. Friday night sleepover with grandkids.
    4. That little deed I was able to do today for someone that was quite unexpected.
    5. This futuristic thing we call the internet. FaceTime with my Texas grandkids is so much fun!
    6. The small stack of books waiting for me to read. Yippee!?
    7. The BIG hugs my grandkids give me. And I mean BIG!
    I hope you have relief from the pain soon and some much needed relaxation.
    Yes, yes I know holidays are just around the corner but take care of YOU first.
    Blessings to you!

    • My sweet friend, you are such a wonderful blessing to me. I LOVE your joyful positive spirit and your grateful heart. Thanks for sharing your ‘seven.’ Isn’t God such a wonderful “Daddy” to us? He’s helping me with my neck and bringing healing and look how he has given you the gift of FaceTime with your grands so far away and BIG HUGS from those present!!!
      Thanks for your kind words… they are so encouraging.
      May your week be filled with unexpected God-moments!! xoxo

  2. Gwen says

    What a joy-filled post. I’ve been saving this to read. I do believe that society as a whole does not know Be Still.
    And I do believe my Be Still May be different than others. There has to be time to enjoy stillness for a forced stillness is not being Still. Isn’t that an interesting thought. The verb to be is an action verb. So to be still is an action of be-ing. Actively being Still. It does not just happen by ceasing to do. As you mentioned the mind can be swirling. And not being Still. I thought about how the world approaches mindfulness as if it’s a new thing. I was told meditate on this show or your neighbor’s hand. Look at it and if a stray thought comes by just imagine a conveyor belt and let it pass by but give attention back to the shoe. I did as assigned but how silly. But to meditate upon God’s Word is never wasted. To let all thoughts pass by and rest imagine being in our Saviors arms. It’s true we are. So that’s not foolish. But just rest. Relax each muscle starting with the shoulder and work slowly around the body even tightening and relaxing as we go. I have done this and it helps. And all the while resting in my Lord. I’m talking to myself too. I do believe we can accomplish long lists of to dos without losing our Be still!!!
    I pray we can be still. Lord help us. We know You know best.
    Joy Day
    1. Curt’s healing
    2. I have my helper today and am soo blessed to have her.
    3. There’s sunshine
    4. In the middle of stuff God is there
    5. It’s been miracles. God has multiplied food this week so that meals of two days miraculously became enough for three!!!! Just wonderfully!!!!
    6. Temperature is cooling down to true fall weather. I lie on a different bed right now and see different sites.
    7. I just covered up with my Great Grandma’s quilt that I’d always loved as a child but it was forever hidden away in a closet! It has velvets and and beautiful embroidery of unusual designs. It’s a crazy quilt yet a piece of art because the colors are put together so welll. The fabric shapes are just so interesting. I’ve not taken the time to truly gaze upon its beauty yet I longed for it my entire life!!! It’s my colors I am drawn to. So many textures. Designs of stitches. I wish I knew more about it. Did my Grandma and Great Aunt help make it?
    I shall turn to the Lord and sing. When I sing to Him my heart calms.

    • Gwen, it’s interesting, but through this process, I’m learning just how tightly wired I am and how much I need to relax. Our God has created us with so many complexities. We will never stop learning on to live and breathe completely in his grace and strength. Amen to meditating on God’s word. That is always nourishment to the soul and strength for the spirit and calmness to the body. Yesterday I jumped on my self-made hamster wheel and before I knew it I was in a knot of stress. All self-made. So thankful for God’s gentle teaching and my dear husband who slowed me down.

      My heart leaped when I read your first JOY… Curt’s healing! I rejoice with you, my friend, that is such good news!! And I love reading the beautiful ways God expresses his love to you through your days! {{hugs}}

  3. Lucy Beliveau says

    Hello Diane! Oh, my! We must be secretly related! I, too, suffer from this odd inability to quiet down and it is beyond annoying. To hear you speak your mind makes me sad, as I know exactly how you feel. Do your worrisome thoughts fall into one specific spot in your body? Mine all end up in my chest and sometimes I joins it difficult to even breat.
    Since I had the Retinal Detachment and have had to stay in bed on my side for almost a month now, my body has slowed down considerably but my mind has tripled In worry and concern. My anxiety is off the charts and considering my move back home, I suppose I can understand completely!
    Aside from the wonderful ideas you suggested of meditation and breathing, turning to the Lord is, of course, the only real way to resolve this complex issue. His love and compassion are waiting and he longs to help. I just need to believe more deeply and realize how important it is for me to go to him with my concerns. I spend so much time in my prayers being grateful for all of the blessings he has bestowed upon me, I just don’t ever think my needs are as important as my thank yous.
    Thank you for opening up my eyes. I will try to spend a bit of time, now, asking for His help.
    Much love!?

    • Hmm… maybe we are wired in the same way. Surely we are kindred spirits, Lucy. 😉
      Yes… meditation and breathing are helpful… but praising God and focusing on HIM and praying are THE BEST! Praise seems to quiet my thoughts better than anything. I’m sorry about your eye… praying for full healing. {{hugs}}

  4. Lucy Beliveau says

    Oh! My Joy Day thank yous!!!

    Thank you Lord for:

    1- Letting me turn to you with my worrisome thoughts.
    2 – My children’s concerns about my traveling sitting up on the Amtrak train for 40+ hours and purchasing me a lovely bedroom ticket for my long trip to Dallas!
    3 – Allowing me a quiet and comfortable place in which to rest on my side after my eye surgery.
    4 – My precious brother who has helped me in so many different ways. God bless him, Lord!
    5 – Allowing me to recover from my eye surgery. Many people do not and they are severely made to do without their eyesight for the rest of their lives. I am truly grateful.
    6 – Guy’s part time job.
    7 – My precious children and grandchildren who I will finally see after being away from them for 1 year and 4 months!

  5. penelope says

    A slow learner? I think perhaps I may have you beat in that not-so-auspicious contest.

    And as for rest, I could sit on the couch all day and still be ‘exhausted’ from all the mental worry and stress I manage to inflict on myself. I often think of Jesus’ words about the light yoke and wonder how I have buried myself under such a heavy yoke. And more, I’d like to know how to give it up.

    I’m thankful for chilly autumn days and beautiful blue skies.
    I’m thankful God loves me, despite my stupidity and seeming inability to learn.
    I’m thankful for my family.
    I’m thankful my God is gracious and forgiving.
    I’m thankful there is purpose in my struggles, though I may not understand what it is just yet.
    I’m thankful for so many things.
    I’m just .. thankful.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Penelope. 🙂 And for sharing your “seven.” So many wonderful blessings.

      Some thoughts to your off-handed comment about how to give it up. When we make our problems HIS problems the burden is lighter. Sometimes we simply say, “Lord… (this) is yours. I’m handing it off to you… you’re bigger, stronger, wiser… and I will trust you.” Now… in honesty… this prayer may need to be repeated many times during the day and weeks… but it is effective in changing our mindset and loosening our fingers so clenched on the burden. Gaining an understanding of how it honors God to lean on HIM is big, too. And lastly… keep a gratitude journal open and at hand. Sitting down at various times during the day to list things lightens the heart. Keeping the journal (notebook) open and ready helps to change our minds to be watchful for seeing God’s goodness and hand at work and eager to jot those things down. Hope that helps, Penelope! Be blessed this week and look for God to fill your heart to overflowing with JOY!

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