It’s Giveaway time!!!
Are you looking for real solutions in balancing stress and finding rest in your life? In her book Rhythms of Rest, Shelly extends an invitation to readers for ”those who long for rest but don’t know how to make it a reality. Sabbath is a gift from God to be embraced, not a spiritual hoop to jump through” (from the publisher).
If there were only a few books I could recommend in helping you find real rest, no real restoration and realfocus on Christ, I’d recommend Shelly’s book. I have re-read her book three times now and come back to it often for bits and pieces.
Not only has her book reshaped my thinking on rest and Sabbath, her book shed a light in my marriage when I felt darkness. To read more about how her book affected my life, read here.
I’m also excited to have my Etsy friends, Wild Cedar Co. include another one of their beautiful hand-lettered signs with our giveaway! The sign (as seen below) showcases one of the many powerful quotes from Shelly.
And I felt this giveaway wouldn’t be complete without another book Shelly is part of titled Utmost Ongoing: Reflections on the Legacy of Oswald Chambers. Shelly is one of the contributing authors for this book and it’s one you don’t want to miss.
If you’re still a little unsure about entering the giveaway or if you think this book isn’t for you, read Shelly’s Q&A about her book and how it can change your life, like it did mine! I was so thrilled when Shelly agreed to do an author Q&A!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Perhaps something not many people know!
Hmm. I’m an only child. I’ve been married for 27 years. I have two kids, one of each, 21 and 18. My husband is a Vicar in London and we’ve been in ministry as vocation for as long as we’ve been married. We’ve moved 9 times but London is our first international move. Phoenix is home, stateside. Our decisions to move were never due to requests but because we felt prompted by the Lord toward transition. Luckily, that has worked out well for us each time.
Your book is about finding real rest in God in the midst of our busy, demanding world. As you wrote this book, what was something you realized about yourself that kept you from experiencing Sabbath rest?
I realized my worth was measured by what I produce. If I wasn’t doing something with tangible results, I didn’t feel good about myself.
What surprised you the most about Sabbath that you didn’t know until you started researching for this book?
Rest is a gift, a sign of God’s love, not a spiritual hoop as justification for mature faith.
What chapter did you enjoy writing the most? Why?
Good question, I haven’t been asked that one before. I would have to say that Chapter 3 is the most memorable chapter for me in terms of the writing process. I was at my desk one morning before anyone was awake, and suddenly, those first few pages in that chapter came pouring out. I knew it wasn’t me. It was as if my fingers were moving faster than my brain was able to comprehend. I was physically exhausted afterward and knew I had experienced a rare and wonderful encounter with the Holy Spirit. I was hesitant to edit much of those paragraphs because they felt holy, dare I say sacred.
Your book revolves around your grandparents and the influence they had on your journey later in life while discovering Sabbath rest. When did you realize your time with them had this kind of influence?
My grandparents had a huge impact on my life, in terms of understanding what love looks like in the real world. As a child growing up with a single mother struggling with alcoholism, I spent every weekend of my childhood in their home. The peace and calm I experienced fed my soul. I watched everything they did like my life depended upon it. I wanted to know what made love endure; what sustained peace in the home. They made time different and set apart by thinking of me first. I didn’t realize at the time, but they were creating Sabbath rhythms. Sabbath is simply time set apart to be with God in a different way than we are with him the other busy days of the week. Time with my grandparents was built around going to church. I could choose Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. And the time circling corporate worship was intentional, thoughtful, slow, unhurried, playful, special, and intimate. We took walks in the park, toured the library, welcomed friends for dinner and ate special meals. Those weekends were foundational to who I am today. Their illustrations of weekly rest periods inform how I Sabbath now as an adult.
We get bombarded with lots of tips and advice on finding balance and rest in our busy world. What sets your book apart from the rest of the noise the world has to offer?
What sets Rhythms of Rest apart from other books is the lack of legalism and the stories I share from the Sabbath Society community. With weekly practice and encouragement many who once struggled to find a rhythm of rest are now discovering Sabbath as life altering. When Jesus died on the cross, the hard and fast rules about Sabbath-keeping went away. There are no wrong or right ways to rest. We are created uniquely and the way we rest is unique to who we are too. More than how we rest, God wants our undivided attention. He gave us the Sabbath because he loves us; he knows how easy it will be for us to forget we aren’t in control of the universe. Rhythms of Rest approaches Sabbath as a gift from God’s loving heart rather than another spiritual to-do on a list.
Who are a few other authors you would recommend to readers to help them move forward in finding Sabbath rest?
My favorite book on Sabbath is The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. It was definitely a bucket list item fulfilled when he agreed to write the foreword for my book. I also enjoy Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner. And if you like poetry, I recommend This Day by Wendell Berry filled with poems he wrote on Sabbath over the years. Gorgeous!
What would you say to readers who might feel hesitant about the Sabbath because they think it seems too theological or legalistic?
If you approach Sabbath as something to do instead of a way to become, rest becomes another item on a check list judged as right or wrong, success or failure. Approach Sabbath as time set apart for celebrating who God is and what he has done and rest becomes free, unfettered, full of gratitude and abundance. Sabbath is a great gift of God’s presence that allows me to remember who I am. I anticipate those encounters weekly with expectancy and I want you to experience that too!
Are you working on another book? What can you tell us about that!
I have written a 52-week devotional for preparing for rest once a week that includes my photography, prayers, scriptures and meditations. I look forward to holding that book in my hands. And I’m currently writing another book that I look forward to sharing more about with my readers in the future. Watch this space over at www.shellymillerwriter.com!
That’s a wrap folks! you can enter the giveaway below!