About the Author

Alia Joy is an author who believes the darkness is illuminated when we grasp each other's hand and walk into the night together. She writes poignantly about her life with bipolar disorder as well as grief, faith, marriage, poverty, race, embodiment, and keeping fluent in the language of hope in...

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  1. This has been a crazy summer, but this week I had a half-day of completely-alone-time, and it was glorious. Like you, though, I need to be working on embracing the rest that Jesus offers in the midst of the stack of dishes, the dog hair on the floor, and (in my case) a garden that is literally belching forth veggies that need to be picked and canned. Whenever I catch myself grumbling about the abundance of this full life, I try (really try!) to look hard at the reality that I’m actually complaining about rich blessing that is too big for my heart to hold. Thank you for this encouragement to love the evidence that life is full, and that I’m surrounded by my people.

  2. Your writing is beautiful, soothing as a long soak in that waiting tub. Thank you for this much needed reminder. “The tender care of a life together is not a burden, but a blessing.” I needed this.

  3. Alia Joy,
    Your post is exactly what I needed this am. I’ve spent all week “recuperating” from a retreat….a vacation. This may sound weird, but trying to go away someplace stresses me out. It’s lists of things to take, things to cancel, arranging for a pet sitter and re-arranging when the original falls through. It ramps up my anxiety until I’m a mess trying to drag my suitcase out the door. Re-entry can be stress inducing as well. Why are we tired after a vacation?? I wholeheartedly agree. We/I need to look for rest in the everyday. I’ve learned, as I’m working at home, to glance out at the bird feeder and watching the antics of all my varied friends who come to visit. I study the individual flowers and their unique color and design as I water them. I stop and rub the velvetine ears of my beagle while he sleeps. I breathe along with his soft snoring and enter into rest with him. (We could learn a lot from our pets). Grabbing these small moments of rest put me in touch with God much more so than a retreat. I don’t have to pack for them or make lists….I simply need to stop, breathe, and notice. Absolutely beautiful!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I agree that coming home after vacation can be stessful. There is the dirty laundry from the trip that has to be washed, the mail that has accumulated has to be gone through, etc., etc.. When my husband and I used to travel it was always by car and I remember as we were returning home we would be in our town and I could not wait for the last few minutes of the ride to be over and for us to be back in our house again.

    • LOL. This is so real. Vacations are lovely if you’re able to have them but the recovery time can be exhausting!

  4. ‘How do I model rest in my life if the only time I find rest is in retreat?’ WOW it’s like you’re reading my mind! Thank you for your heart baring share!

    • This is my story too! Loved the prose and hoping I don’t forget the message when my troops come home from church today, boasting about their Sunday school lessons, forcing coloring pages of Jesus in my face, and demanding lunch. (Home with newborn for a “rest” Sunday.)

  5. Beautifully stated. I am finding more and more each day how much rest is a requirement.
    This rest begins as a start to our day and several moments throughout in order to be sustained by Him. ♥️ Great piece. Gbu.

  6. Oh My Alia Joy, I need to read this today. I feel can’t retreat from the demands without chaos ensuing. Husband’s health, our two very active special needs boys, grandchildren, grown children, elderly mother, now school closing in, appointments, paperwork, my home, etc, etc. I take time, but feel guilty and then don’t feel rested, or when I’m sitting with a mug, I’m doing something else that is screaming for attention because it does need to be done. I feel God saying now this has to be in the midst, in quiet appreciation in my soul. I know God chose my family so He also has this figured out too. Thank you also for the way your weave words with the message I can receive in beautiful word pictures. I too dream of the vacation in my mind, and I’m here. Thank you also for listening so you know the message to create in words. Blessings, Joanne

    • Yes. Sometimes I get frustrated when I see people talk about rest and it looks more like walking away from things or retreat because that’s just not possible for a lot of people. Sometimes we get that time and solitude and when we do, we should be thankful but also, sometimes there is no stopping in the middle of our lives with responsibilities and needs and we need to find that rest in the middle of our lives. God meets us here too.

  7. Hi Alia Joy, I loved your message, and if you will permit e to condense its lovely meaning for my own purpose, in which I have been learning to “Rest Along The Way” Taking your words and their description I quote the meaningful phrase “the tender care of a life together is not a burden but a blessing. And to practice rest often not as a reward, but as a requirement, to replenish the soul. In the midst of life’s daily interruptions and imperfections, “choose rest” and Peace shall come and wrap you in its comfort, and the things of this world shall grow strangely dim. In this manner you shall rest in the Spirit of Him.

  8. Alia Joy,
    Your post brought Bro. Lawrence, Practicing The Presence of God, to mind.
    A 13th century monk working in the kitchen saw his job as a way to worship and praise God in all things; among the pots and pans.
    At our age, most of our friends are traveling. We are home to 4 aging dogs and one age unknown cat. I think of walks on the beach. Walks in the mountains. We have enjoyed many of those days.
    We have grandchildren now. They remind me often! of the days of non stop dishes and snacks and messes. I no longer mind those things. I savor the moments. Redemption moments.
    I remember the Calgon take me away days. Those days I wondered if there wasn’t more to life than scraping food out of the carpet. Now I know the answer. Kisses on my face. I love you grandma moments. This is the finest time.
    Washing dishes is a great place to thank God for all of the blessings. To ask for his protection over our daughter and her children. It makes scraping the plates and pans a time of reflection and hope in the days to come.
    Thank you for your word pictures today.

  9. Alia Joy,
    I echo the thoughts of some of the other ladies comments here on your well written post, thank-you.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  10. Oh, Alia Joy, what a beautiful post written straight from your heart. It is sometimes (actually a lot of the time) so hard for me to rest. Not sleeping rest … resting in The Lord and allowing Him to fill me up and replenish my soul.

    Recovering from severe anxiety, panic attacks and depression has been a tough journey (Thanks be to God that I’m doing very well now) for me, but He is teaching me day-by-day, minute-by-minute-by to trust Him and to not worry.

    Thank you again for a beautifully written post!

    Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!

    Joy in Jesus,
    Lara

    • Oh yes, I can relate to how hard it is to feel rest for your soul in the midst of those struggles. Sometimes it’s that minute by minute reliance that teaches us rest and dependence the best. I’m glad you’re doing well!

  11. Thank you for this beautiful meditation. I find insight, validation, and solace in your words; you speak to a my struggle eloquently. I have no idea how to find rest, and am also grasping to find myself as my children grow independent. I need one for the other. I escape my uncertainty in busyness that feels necessary, but needs to be more intentional. thank you for sharing your gift.

  12. Beautiful and honest. Reading this post was truly inspirational … as I now return to the countless tasks awaiting me. The dishes, laundry and mundane housekeeping chores that will surely reappear with tomorrow’s sunrise. But I go forth smiling with a joyful spirit and a grateful heart. For your words bring to mind a favorite Scripture passage: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31). With each task and moment of rest this day, I shall give thanks.

    May our tasks be purposeful and our rest intentional as we discover the love and peace of God in both.

    Thank you!