Judith D Collins
A Recovery Plan for Weary Souls
By: Vicki Courtney
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 11/17/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28
Women are overcommitted, overconnected, overburdened, and overwhelmed. Their lives are full, but oddly, their souls are empty. They are aching for a bold challenge—one that will bring rest to their longing souls. Rest Assured is for the daring women who truly want to disrupt their current patterns and see lasting change.
If the soul is weary, it’s time for an intervention. Rest Assured is not a quick fix, but rather a bold challenge that aids women in identifying the negative patterns that prevent them from experiencing rest in their souls. Most importantly, it will give them the tools needed to break the cycle.
A “Rest Stop” challenge is included at the end of each chapter for use in Bible studies and book clubs. Bonus material includes a 30-Day Restoration Plan and 100 Ways to Give It a Rest.
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Love the front cover. Soothing! Vicki Courtney, the talented Christian author, wife, mother, and grandmother, combines inspiration, scriptures, prayers, and spiritual words, infused with her own honest and raw insights --A powerful delivery REST ASSURED: A Recovery Plan for Weary Souls. Perfect timing, for today social media world of overindulging in technology and our constant overextended status. What a much needed book! (hits home) She is my favorite must read “go-to author” for stepping back—for a “time-out”, when you need a reality check, to get real. When you get off the path. When you need changing. When you want to get away from today’s fast-paced, and pressured hectic world. Burnout. Having met Vicki, when reading her Move on: When Mercy Meets Your Mess (highly recommend). I love her honest approach; an inside look at realistic women and their pressures. From social media mania, our followers, likes, over commitments, the constant feeling of being overwhelmed, to the ongoing need for perfectionism. The exhausting pursuit of happiness. Over Expectations. Keeping up with the Joneses. Written honestly, for today’s woman; any age–young or old. Whether single, married, a mother, or a grandmother. This is not just a one-time read, to run out and fix yourself in one day. I found myself bookmarking so many pages, for continued daily devotion to empower. To be your best—and time for your weary soul. A book you will want to refer to daily- as a journal. One to use as a prayer guide on your road to being Rest Assured. If we want to break a bad habit, we must substitute the old habit with a new behavior. Peace can be ours the moment we relinquish control (which we really do not have) and remember that God holds the future in His hands. So many women, even Christian women, are weary—Busyness: Our calendars, demands, tasks: Over-trying, to be “enough” in every area of their lives. Seeking. Enough for relationships, marriages, mothers, jobs, church, children, friends, neighbors, social media, the needy, less fortunate, even relationships with God. Time. No wonder we are worn out ---our souls lack rest. God alone is the never ending source of enough, so why do we wear ourselves out trying to find it elsewhere? Vicki writes from a place of heartfelt desperation, rather than of victorious accomplishment. She writes as much for herself, she explains: "As a prescription to the unrest in her own harried soul, and for all of us in the same place." We can relate. As she reiterates, REST ASSURED is not meant to be a quick fix or a cure. It is meant to produce awareness—when we get to the place of being over-connected, overcommitted, overwhelmed----resulting in the robbing our souls of much needed rest. A soul that dwells at ease. A road map to guide us to that place. Lead us back to our Savior. All of us (myself at the top of the list) are guilty of busyness. Unhealthy. Toxic. Feeling of being rushed. Searching. Seeking. Our souls lack peace. It destroys our lives and our health. We have to take a deeper look at the root of our problems. We all think busyness = reward; Not the case. If we want to experience true rest in our souls, we have to examine our attitudes, money, materialism, eating, texting, social media, appearance, careers, fitness, volunteer activities, children’s activities, online shopping, to home decorating - all areas of our life. “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 The question is, can we slow down enough to ponder the choice before us? We need to change directions. God tries to point us in the right direction, but we stubbornly refuse to change our course. Our actions do not demonstrate this. We chase one false god after another, in desperate attempt to satisfy our hungry souls. Ultimately, if we are too busy to spend time with God, we are too busy. He needs to be "top" on our list. He can deliver the satisfaction our soul’s desire. God wired our hearts for connection, however, spending time with God requires silence and solitude. That can be achieved only be disconnecting from the noise of the world, and the people we are seeking to please. A wakeup call. “What do we crave more: to connect with God or connect online?” Where does God rank? If media consumption supersedes our relationship with God, we are wading in dangerous waters. God is not the only one that suffer when we overindulge in technology. Well written, and organized, the book is divided into two parts: (I loved the Rest Stops). How many people are too busy looking at their phones, and missing our children’s lives? Time we will not get back. Moderation is key.
Part One: An intervention. Highlights four common enemies of rest. Part Two: A recovery plan. Includes a “One Week Dare” at the end of each chapter, to help put the principles into practice, in our everyday lives. Also includes questions to dig deeper for personal reading, or group discussions. Bonus: Optional 30-Day Restoration for further solidify the principals and biblical truths. I loved the Bonus of 100 ways to give it a rest. “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees, takes off his shoes. The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Well-done! Highly recommend for all women and men of any age. Ideal for book clubs, small groups, and further discussions.
About the Author
Vicki Courtney is a speaker and the best-selling author of numerous books and Bible studies including, Move On, Ever After, "5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter,"(winner of a Mom's Choice award); "Your Girl;" "Your Boy;" and the best-selling "TeenVirtue" magabook series for teen girls and the "Between" magabook series for tween girls. "TeenVirtue" and "TeenVirtue Confidential" are ECPA Christian Book Award recipients in the Children and Youth category. More info can be found at"