25 Ways to Refresh Yourself

posted Jul 2, 2021, 9:18 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,

Blessings of Pentecost joy be with you!

On Thursday, Beverly Scarano sent our Children and Youth teachers a wonderful article about ways for those who minister to children to take care of themselves during the summer. Even though the author Sue Lennartson is speaking to people in ministry, I thought it was great advice for anyone who is called to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world. And as people who follow Jesus, that means us at MRC. Certainly, we can all agree it’s been a long and challenging 16 months. So, I’m passing along the article in order that you will be encouraged to listen to what your body and soul are telling you, and you will also seek ways to restore yourself this summer. Be gentle with yourself, beloved, because “you are a treasure.”  

25 Ways to Refresh Yourself
God needs us to be refreshed, restored, refueled, and ready to minister (to children) for God. So I ask you: How are you today? Are you taking good care of yourself? 

If you aren’t, it’s time to start. Don’t be a martyr. You can’t serve yourself, your family, the church, or children/people by working yourself into the ground. Make a point this summer to slow down, refresh, and renew. Here are 25 ways to refill your cup today. 

1. Is there a park nearby?
During your day, take a walk in the park or even just around your church building. Enjoy your surroundings. Find a bench or a warm rock, and soak up the sunshine. 

2. Seek people who make you laugh.
Connect with them. Laughter is great for the soul. It’s rejuvenating. 

3. Go on an adventure.
Take a risk. I went dog sledding this year. Wow—exhilarating and refreshing! Maybe for you, it’s kayaking, hiking, sailing, or climbing. 

4. Spend time with a spiritual mentor.
Receive, rather than always giving. This alone can be hard work, but in the end, you’ll be renewed. 

5. Go on a picnic.
Pack a basket, slip into nature, and enjoy yourself. Take in everything—or just eat lunch. 

6. Play.
You might not have time for 18 holes of golf, but you might be able to play miniature golf or a game of croquet. 

7. Schedule a creative, fun lunch or coffee break.
Invite rejuvenating conversation. Relax. Don’t rush; take extra time. 

8. Get a sketchpad and pencil.
Sit outside and choose something to sketch. Draw. Don’t worry about the outcome; just enjoy the experience. 

9. Go for a swim.
Be buoyant. Let the water support you. Enjoy the shallow and the deep. 

10. Go for a brisk walk.
It doesn’t matter how long or short, or whether it’s raining or shining. Just go, and go briskly! 

11. Is there a basketball hoop nearby?
Go shoot some baskets and do a few layups. Can you still make a free throw? How about a three-pointer? 

12. Launch balloons or beach balls in your work area.
Get a friendly game of Keep It Up going. 

13. Get comfortable and close your eyes.
Clear your mind and think about: A fun experience you’ve had in life; Those you love; A beautiful island in the ocean; Something you’re looking forward to; Taking a walk with Jesus. 

14. Plant something.
Get your hands dirty—really dirty! 

15. Get a massage.
It’s good for you. 

16. Show gratitude.
Write a thank you note to someone who has been a positive influence in your life. 

17. Write a psalm.
Praise God. Listen for direction or a soothing balm of refreshment from God. 

18. Listen to your favorite music.
Allow it to soothe you—or stir you. 

19. Try your hand at an art project.
Be an artist. Then—no matter how it turns out—give it to someone. 

20. Stretch for 10 minutes.
Jump. Jog. Get your heart rate up. Then cool down with a drink of ice water and more stretches. 

21. Go to a farmer’s market, an art fair, or a music festival.
Soak in their wonderful offerings. 

22. Put yourself in a new situation.
Do something you’ve never done before. At lunchtime, volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity site. Pound nails. Help build a home. Mentor a child. Go fishing. Bait your own hook. Try your hand at a potter’s wheel. Eat sushi. 

23. Look at your schedule.
Where can you downsize, delegate, or redirect? Eliminate something. 

24. Ask someone to be your “coach,” someone who’ll invest in you.
Ask your coach to help you focus on your mission and vision. 

25. Plant yourself in a small group.
Choose one that’s real and relevant; a place where you can find confidentiality, accountability, transparency, and encouragement. 

Jesus Moved
There’s a perfect model of what it means to stay refreshed, renewed, and moving in ministry and it’s Jesus. 

Jesus spent time with the 5,000, before the masses, who were looking to him, listening to his every word, and tugging at him. It was a long day. When the disciples alerted Jesus that it was time to eat, Jesus delegated the task to his disciples and also used the resources of a boy with a basket of fish and bread. Through a miracle, Jesus fed the 5,000. 

But Jesus didn’t spend all his time with the masses. Jesus moved.
He moved to spend time with his disciples, always fully aware of the value of his team. He’d spend time with them, equipping them, asking higher-order questions, and serving with them. But Jesus didn’t spend all his time with his team. Jesus moved. 

Jesus moved to be with close friends—brunch with Mary and Martha. Time to be, to talk, time to enjoy a meal, and time to discuss life. Jesus was in relationship with people. He knew that friends are those we do life with. He understood that healthy friendships are sources for refreshment. But Jesus didn’t spend all his time with friends. Jesus moved. 

Jesus moved to be alone.
He went to be with God—in prayer, to listen. Jesus experienced solitude, serenity, and simplicity. After they’d been preaching, teaching, and healing, Jesus told his disciples to go to a silent place. Go and be, rest, restore, refresh. And Jesus calls out to you, his precious disciple. Rest now, be silent, listen, clear your mind. And I will whisper to you. I love you. 

Jesus, in his years of ministry, demonstrated balance. He didn’t heal everyone who was ill, nor feed all who were hungry, nor perform millions of miracles. He moved as he was called to do. 

Why do you exist? Why are you here on this earth?
You exist for no other reason than to be in a relationship with God and to be in a relationship with God’s people. Take good care of yourself, humble Christlike servant. You are a treasure. 

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights”—Habakkuk 3:17-19. 

Sue Lennartson is a pastor at Eagle Brook Church in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. 

I’m looking forward to continuing our celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit with you at 10:30 AM this Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. Our featured musician is Judith Daugherty, and she will be playing “Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers” for our Prelude and “This is My Song” for our Anthem. The Scripture lesson is from 2 Corinthians 12.1-10 and I have the joy of co-preaching with Jamie Zeller this Sunday. The sermon title is When Grace is Enough. We will also gather around God’s table of extravagant welcome and celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper together. Unfortunately, due to our video technicians being out of town this weekend for the holiday, we are unable to livestream worship this Sunday. A recorded version will be available later on our YouTube channel — MRC: A Fabulous Church of Love. For those worshiping, masks and social distancing are optional. 

Take good care of you, beloved one of God. May you have joy, peace, and rejuvenation in the Lord this summer and beyond. See you Sunday!

In gratitude for the privilege of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish