Permission to Rest

Man Sitting On Bench During A Beautiful Sunset

Blog by Kristen Hicks

A blank page.

I love that feeling of creating something. Whether it be writing a blog, painting, coloring, decorating, writing music or lyrics, a good ole’ DIY… just creating. There is just something about looking at a blank page and allowing your imagination to run wild. It gives your heart permission to be passionate, brave, and vulnerable. There really is nothing like it.

Then there is that feeling of completion. When you’ve tweaked and perfected something and all of a sudden you step back, take a look at it, have that feeling in your gut, take a breathe and whisper… “It’s done.” It’s sad and satisfying all at the same time.

I love that the Lord put that side of Himself within us. To have ideas, and create new things. To be passionate about things. However, my favorite part about the creation story is not that He created anything. It’s that, when it was all said and done, He rested.

A couple weeks ago I was at camp and the dean, who is a good friend of mine, was telling the campers that we were going to have a nap/rest time. He started to explain to them that rest is the first thing that the Lord ever called holy. That has stuck out in my head ever since.

I think that it’s interesting how counter-culture that is. I know personally, that I fill my life up with so many things that pull for my attention. Even in doing ministry type things, my heart and my intentions are that I want to be there for everyone, and help everyone in any way I possibly can. But eventually, I reach a point that I can’t anymore. I find myself in what seems to be a never ending circle. I pour out, pour out and then pour out some more until finally I crash and I’m completely sucked dry. At this point I allow myself just enough time to fill up just a little only so I can pour it back out again. Because if the truth be told it just seems like there isn’t enough time to be fill completely back up. I don’t think that this is how the Lord intended it to be. This isn’t how He created us.

“Remember, the Sabbath and keep it Holy!”(Exodus 20:8) Holy… to be set apart, sacred, morally and spiritually excellent. I’m gonna do my best to not get too heady on this, because this is something the Lord is teaching me as we speak. If we keep the Sabbath holy, we will find ourselves walking IN holiness and with Holiness Himself. I hope that statement is resinating with you the way that it is me. Jesus calls Himself the Lord of the Sabbath. Holiness speaks of HIS LORDSHIP in our lives. When every single person came to Him with whatever kind of sickness, problem, or whatever, what He gave them was rest along with that thing that they came to Him with. He healed not only their physical problems, He healed their spiritual one. He gave them rest within their souls and He washed them and made them holy.

Sometimes I think the problem is that we don’t give ourselves permission to rest. I remember a while back I had several people telling me that I was supposed to sing prophetically. Well I had never done that, and honestly it scared the crap out of me to even think about doing so. But there was this one time I was at this really small worship night and these two girls were singing and they were just singing whatever the Lord led them to. All of a sudden I started to hear this song it was… “Can you see it? Can you hear it? Can you feel it? It’s heaven touching earth.” I began to sing it in the crowd. Well the girls heard me and they told me to come up on stage and they handed me a microphone. One girl looked at me, smiled, and said, “just sing.” I realized in that moment that no one had ever given me permission to “just sing.” It was from then on that I gave myself permission. To sing a NEW SONG unto the Lord. To sing out my heart, whatever I was hearing, whatever I was seeing, whatever I was feeling, in whatever season I was in, I would just sing stuff out.

I think it’s the same thing with the Sabbath. Sometimes we need permission to take a day. What would life look like if I took a day every single week to just be with Jesus, and do whatever, He wanted? Not a day to hang out with friends or family and do what they wanted or even what I wanted, not just a normal Sunday because that’s what day everyone goes to church,  and not a day to sleep all day and watch movies. Unless, of course, any of these things are what Jesus wants to do. (See what I did there?)

I think that THAT is what His point was to the Pharisees that were questioning Him on the Sabbath. No rules, no restrictions on what you can and cannot do, just let it be a day when Jesus is truly Lord over it! Yes, I know He is Lord over every day, but I know for me, I definitely have my plans, my creations, my schedules and appointments to keep, all of which He could have totally orchestrated. The point is, I think the Sabbath is a day to just have some fun with Jesus. To cut loose with Him and actually enjoy Him. A day to get to know Him in a different light. Learn to trust Him. Learn to lean on Him. Create WITH Him! DREAM WITH HIM!!!! We are the ones who try to make it something that it was never intended to be. I think most of us think of the Sabbath and think its gotta be this day that we sit and read our bible in a dark room all day, pray for every single person on the prayer list, and be completely bored out of freakin’ mind all day.

I think this is what the Lord is saying, “Hey ____insert your name____, I know and see that you have worked really hard these last few days. I want you to come and spend a day with ME, I’ve got something really awesome planned, you are going to love it! Just you and I on an adventure that’s designed just for you! And what’s is even more amazing about it, is that I am going to reveal more of Myself to you, more of who I really am, and it will make you realize even more who I created you to be! I can’t wait! I love you!” 

-Jesus

So find a day, even if it starts out a little time here and a little time there, to be “irresponsible”, if you will,  in the world’s eyes, and just say “YES” to whatever Jesus tells you to do. If you don’t know how to hear from Him then go and just sit and talk with Him and then a take some time to just be still and not say anything, even in your head. Haha. Just listen.  That is how I heard His voice the first time. I just decided to listen to see if He said anything. You will be surprised what comes out of it. I’m pretty sure it will quickly become your favorite day of the week.

I am giving you permission! Permission to be COMPLETELY filled back up! Permission to lay things down! Permission to be “irresponsible”! Permission to just BE! Permission to create and dream and go on adventures WITH Jesus! I am giving you PERMISSION TO REST!!!!!! 

I Am Yours

Blog by Kristen Hicks

Let me just be completely, 100%, totally real with you guys… THIS is one of the most vulnerable things I have ever had to do. I know that may seem ridiculous to a lot of you, because most of you know how much I LOVE to sing. However, to make a video of it, for starters, and then add singing songs that the Lord gave me? Yep, this is a whole new realm for me. Put me in a living room with you though, and I’ll sing over you all day. It seems backwards I agree.

So onward with the #InvincibleSummer, one of the things that was on my list of things to do was #ShareASong. At first when that one popped into my head, I immediately just thought.. “Oh, I’ll just share a song or two that I’ve been listening to lately.” And that will, more than likely, happen, however, this past week the Lord started pressing on my heart to share some of the songs He has given me as well. (Cue crawl into a corner and hide under a blanket.)

Don’t get me wrong, I love the songs He has given me and I love it when He asks me to share them with different individuals or groups. I think I am just not super confident in front of a camera, nor do I like the thought of putting myself out there on social media to possibly be torn to shreds by people who hate me. (Not that I am describing is any of you, of course, I mean I hope not.)

But one of the reasons I am doing this is to answer a question Dad and I put out all over his social media sites the other day…I’m sure a lot of your saw it. It’s important. The question was: “What is your WHY in doing what you do?” Your “why” can make or break you. One thing that I am learning with the #InvincibleSummer is that purpose is the WHY! Your WHY has the power to completely change your life because it has the power to change your perspective on life. You don’t have to necessarily change what you are doing, it just changes the purpose to WHY you are doing it.

For example, I saw this comedian one time at a youth conference. His name is Michael Jr. He talked about how when he first got into comedy his goal (or his “why”) was to “get a laugh.” As he started to seek the Lord in his job, the Lord started shaping his perspective and changing his “why” to “giving a laugh” instead of “getting one.” Now he goes into prisons and homeless shelters and different places where people need to laugh.

The difference is the motive. The Lord is always looking at the motive of the heart. He has spent a very long time working on my motive of why I sing. Is it to praise His name or is it to earn the praise from others for my own? In moments that I have wanted to pursue music or make connections or network, if you will, He has often either shut the door or told me to take a step back and not touch it. Which adds even more of a reluctancy now to sharing songs with you guys. My mind is going into a million different places, hoping that I am hearing correctly and trying to not panic about not.

Because here is the truth guys, and please hear my heart, I REALLY love Jesus, and I REALLY, REALLY want you to experience love from Him. I want you to feel Him, see Him, and hear HIM say “I LOVE YOU!” I want you to hear Him singing over you!

Zephaniah 3:17 “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” 

He IS singing over you! New songs! Songs of hope, songs of peace, songs of joy! I picture it like this…when we worship and we are telling Him that He is good, He is singing right along with us, singing “Yes I AM GOOD!!! Yes, you can trust ME!!!” When we worship our spirits are joining in with His and the song He is singing in order to supersede our wounded souls that tell us otherwise.

So, my “why” is this: because He gave me a voice and He gave me ears to hear His. And I all I keep hearing Him say is, “Tell them that I love them. Tell them who I AM, whom I have shown you that I AM. And don’t just tell them, sing it to them, sing it over them and sing it into them.” 

So pretend with me, please, that we are hanging out in your living room together, drinking coffee and having some throw-down Jesus conversation. This is a song called “I Am Yours” that is from Jesus and He is singing it to you!!!

 

“I Am Yours” Lyrics

Verse 1

Dear one, I’m longing for you to come and rest here in my arms

So I can breathe new life into your lungs

My love can never be won, so let go of all the things you’ve done

And let Me show you how to be one.

Pre-Chorus

Lay down all your insecurities, because the possibilities are endless

And let me love you out of where you’re at, no I really won’t hold back if you’ll yield to Me.

Chorus

You are Mine and I am yours, forevermore forevermore

You are Mine and I am yours, forevermore forevermore

Verse 2

Sometimes it’s hard to see, outside the lines of your humanity

So sometimes you’ll just have to trust me

And when it seems like nothing makes sense and the enemy is lurking in your midst

Let Me be your greatest defense

Bridge

I won’t stop singing, I won’t stop singing over you!

I won’t stop chasing, I won’t stop chasing after you! (I’m in deep pursuit of you!)

I won’t stop calling, I won’t stop calling out to you!

I won’t stop singing, I singing over you!

#InvincibleSummer

IMG_2777.JPG-3

Invincible– “too powerful to be defeated or overcome.” A couple weeks ago I was at the beach with some friends and my friend Kourtney and I ended up coming across the same quote in two different pieces of reading material. It was:

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger- something better, pushing right back.”

-Albert Camus

I wasn’t exactly sure what to think about this, to be totally honest. I didn’t get it to its full extent when I first read it. I sure didn’t understand why in the world the Lord was highlighting it the way He was.

Summer, though…I LOVE summer!!! Most people hate it because of the heat and I respect that. However, there is a certain vibe that comes with this season, a certain essence. It’s sings songs of freedom, fun, mystery and spontaneity. It seems like people are more likely to take risks, go on adventures and explore as though they were kids again. There is more wonder in their eyes, more fire in their bellies, and more passion in their hearts. For me at least, it just has a way of bringing out my true self. It has a way of making me want to dream, write, sing, dance, laugh, go everywhere and do everything all at the same time! I want to chase sunsets, go on drives, play in the mud, travel to places I’ve never been, and do things I’ve never done all in the name of “JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT.” It feels like there’s no boundaries and endless possibilities.

THIS IS SUMMER!!!

Monday was my 29th birthday! I have mentioned before in one of my blogs about how much I love dates, because they make things special and extraordinary. So my birthday is, well of course, one of my favorites. On Monday morning I got up, got ready, went to one of my favorite coffee shops and went for a short walk. I was just talking with Jesus and reflecting on why I love birthdays so much. (I’m one of those people that constantly examines myself, so I was really making sure that my motives weren’t selfish.) The tears began to fill my eyes as I thought about it. THIS was the day, that the Lord chose to breath HIS breath into me. THIS is the day that HE put HIS GRACE upon my life. THIS is the day that HE began to write my story into HIS. THIS is the day that HE chose for me to be born out of 365 days. And every single bit about THIS day 29 years ago mattered to Him. The date, the time, the year, the family I was born into. THIS is something way more beautiful, than getting a bunch of gifts, or cards, social media posts, cakes, parties….etc. THIS is a foundation of worship, a platform to praise, and the beginning of HIS GOODNESS and PEACE surpassing my own understanding.

Every year on my birthday I chose to do something I’ve never done. Or it might be something I have done and I just add a new twist to it. The difference between this day and every other day of the year is that I add purpose to it. Purpose that wakes me up. Purpose that not only encourages my spirit but it overflows from within me to everyone around me.

So what exactly is the Lord wanting me to understand about the INVINCIBLE SUMMER? I think He wants me to start looking at every day as if it’s my birthday. This world belongs to the enemy, therefore, its goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. In other words, it wants to steal your joy, your wonder, your spontaneity. It wants to kill your child-likeness, your faith, your dreams. It wants to destroy your relationships, your identity, your community, your courage, your hope, your peace. It wants to suck you in to a winter of despair, routines, circles of bondage, fear, numbness, and snuff out even the smallest flame still flickering inside you. It wants to take the abundance out of life. BUT….(I love THAT word)…. There is something within that is stronger, that is better!!! With every breath your take, HE is breathing HIS GRACE upon your life for you to realize that within you there is a purpose, a fire, a song, a story, there is destiny.

So I’m saying yes to allowing the invincible summer to begin within me. I’m saying yes to doing one thing every day differently than I’ve done before. And I am saying yes to allowing the Lord to bring forth purpose and ignite an invincible fire within me of HIS Spirit to pour out love, joy, laughter, spontaneous adventures, risks, and freedom to all those around me.