Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sacred Rest by Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD

Rest? Who can rest when there is so much to do? If I'm not accomplishing something, I feel guilty. Isn't it all about productivity?

Dalton-Smith was on that treadmill with a successful and busy medical practice. She found out that there is a better way of living. We need rest. We need several kinds of rest (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, creative). If we don't get the rest we need and are designed for, we suffer burnout.

There were some surprises in this book. Sleep is not rest. In fact, our sleep may be quite restless. Sleep is just a physical aspect of our lives and does not touch the other kinds of rest we need. There were some surprises when Dalton-Smith described the kinds of rest too. For example, “Isolation and loneliness are the two most common forms of social restlessness.” (78) Social rest is rather making space for those relationships that revive us. (79)

I love her section on creative rest. She writes about hikes in the mountains or urban trails, seeing God's work in creation. “Studies have shown our brains are most at rest in natural environments like the beach.” (101)

Rest can be uncomfortable. It opens us up and reveals things about ourselves. (111) Maybe that's why some people surround themselves with noise, activity, or social media, even if those are things that never truly satisfy.

Dalton-Smith writes about the benefits or gifts of rest in the second part of the book. One is allowing the soul room to expand and grow. (177) There are spiritual benefits. “Rest is knowing that you are preapproved for all of God's blessings.” (140)

I highly recommend this book. Dalton-Smith shows that rest is a biblical mandate supported by medical research. She has great teaching on rest and how it affects all of life. She includes a rest deficit assessment so you can evaluate yourself too.

You can sign up for her newsletter, take the rest quiz, and visit her blog at http://ichoosemybestlife.com/.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan and is a media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection. She has appeared on many media outlets. She lives in Alabama with her husband and their two boys.

FaithWords, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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