Rest for the Soul

Guest Post by Betts Baker

Sometimes getting rest can be as simple as giving up our own agenda and slowing down — a truth a baby taught me.

We lived abroad when our first child was born. The following summer, we visited the U.S. to share our nine-month-old son with friends and family.

The first half of our visit sped by as we enjoyed green parks, leisurely hours with friends and my husband’s family, and meetings at our home church. Halfway through, we borrowed my brother-in-law’s Honda Civic for the 450-mile drive to my family’s home. We packed the trunk and back seat full of baby gear, suitcases, and gifts, leaving just enough room for the baby’s car seat.

I looked forward to the drive. We’d always enjoyed the mountain scenery and, most of all, in eight hours we would be with my family. Anxiety nibbled at me, however, for I suspected the baby might find the trip taxing. I packed extra snacks, toys, and picture books, and we left early.

As anyone with small children knows, no baby can ride for hours and hours in a car seat and be happy. David slept the first hour, played with his toys, snacks, and books for a second hour – then he cried. The longer we drove the more his cries turned into screams.

I fumed as the deafening screams filled the car. We’d only just started our trip.

My husband patted my knee. “We’re not in any rush. We have all day.” With that, he pulled the car off the highway.

I sat on a bench as our son toddled around. My husband snuggled me close. “It’s a beautiful morning. Enjoy it.”

I looked up to the mountains beyond the tree tops. The early morning sun shone in

Used by permission and Pellinni
Used by permission and Pellinni

a clear blue sky. Blue jays flitted among the pine trees, and a cool breeze wafted piney perfume across our faces. Slowly my irritation drained.

Before long, we strapped the tired baby back in his seat for a nap.

This emerged as the pattern of the day: the baby slept for an hour, took an interest in my in-car activities for an hour, and then cried until we stopped for exercise.

With my husband’s help, I stopped straining against the realities. A twelve-hour trip was still a one-day trip. And each time we stopped, we could enjoy the countryside, something I usually yearned for when we whizzed by scenic spots at 55 miles per hour.

Late morning, we stopped on a pass under snow-covered 14,000-foot peaks. We ate lunch in a river gorge where clear water chuckled over rocks. At each break, David picked up sticks and stones, marveling at each small piece of creation. I, too, marveled —at the beauty and peace we would have missed if I’d insisted we drive while he screamed.

Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29) Perhaps some of our fatigue is due to resisting what God allows in our days. Learn from Him. Embrace the unexpected twists that come our way, and find the rest He has for us.


Betts Baker is a freelance writer. Reach her at:

Cindy K. Sproles

Cindy K. Sproles is a speaker, author, and conference teacher. She is the co-founder of and and Christian Devotions Ministries. Cindy is also the co-founder of WRAMS (Write Right Author Mentoring Service) where she works with Lori Marett and Ann Tatlock in mentoring writers). Cindy is a best-selling, award-winning author with two of her latest novels being named Novel of the Year by the Christian Book Market. Cindy has her hand in various projects but her love of teaching new writers stands above the rest. She is an Appalachian-born and raised gal, proud of her heritage and happy to share it at any time. Cindy lives in the foothills of East Tennessee with her husband and son.

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