Why My Word for 2017 is Rest 

Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:


I fight sadness with busyness. There, I admitted it to you and myself. Somehow hurt seems to evaporate for me, even if only momentarily, under a mountain of to-do lists and phone alerts, that is until the pain catches up to me. And it always does…

No one talks about rest. Everyone I know is hustling, striving, pushing to arrive at the next level. I am not saying ambition is bad, but when it slowly robs you of peace, surrending to moments of stillness heals – even a few minutes alone each day, practicing deep breathing, slows the pace of frantic days.

For the past few years I chose a word to guide me annually. As my relationship with God grows, I now pray for direction in this regard; last year I heard breakthrough. In 2017, I hear REST.

Sounds rather dull, huh? Not quite as epic as breakthrough, and yet it is subtle in its depth. Rest not from a standpoint of passiveness, but standing within my faith, accepting the radical love of Christ, and the flow of grace I experience while reading the Bible, couched in verses like Psalm 46:5: “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

If you know me, you understand I am a doer, often juggling multiple projects. Rest? What’s that? I want to do it all and solve problems.

I carry the weight of my own struggles,  along with a deep commitment to social justice. I cannot afford to become still. And yet God is saying draw closer, rest in me, take your eyes off the problems and confess my promises. Each day, I am learning to listen intentionally, as I meditate on this powerful verse:

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

Do you have a word for this year? How did you come to it – through prayer, mediation, journaling, etc.? I want to hear all about it in the comments below!

Inspired Reading – Simplicity: Essays by The Minimalists

Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Between home schooling our 3-year-old daughter, plus the gazillion other things I do all day, reading books, at times, seems like a distant fantasy. You know, one of those glorious activities in my pre-kid life.

Well I am stubborn. I couldn’t abandon my life-long love of words for Elmo and Abby, so I became more realistic. Instead of lengthy novels, I absorb blogs, articles and essays.

During an online reading binge last year I discovered The Minimalists blog. It’s written by  two young guys who walked away from six figure jobs, because they knew life consisted of more than climbing a corporate ladder.

Their blog posts are beautifully  layered essays, odes to a simple life built on the appreciation of people and experiences, not vapid status symbols.

Minimalism has many definitions and looks different for various people, but I think of it as not only ridding yourself of excess stuff, but those stifling emotional weights. It’s understanding what matters and why.

I’ve just started diving into their book, Simplicity: Essays. Many of these pieces were published on the blog; some appear in this collection with revisions.

It’s not a lengthy read; you can skip around, choosing what resonates most with you. There are varied lessons here, overall though, minimalism helps us understand the fullness of living in the moment, and honoring our voices over the chaotic noise.

Choose to do less and be more, the minimalists seem to say in their own way. And we all have that choice, the question is how do we manage this power?

Here are a few of my favorite passages:

“The white picket fence. The large suburban home. The big screen TVs glowing in multiple rooms…. The corner office.

In exchange for…

The daily grind. The nose to the grindstone…. The cubical farms… The arbitrary goals… The unyielding tiredness.

You can keep your American Dream. Give us back our time, our freedom, our lives.”

– UnAmerican Dream

“Questioning the meaning we give to our stuff is the basis of minimalism. By paring down and getting rid of life’s excesses, we can focus on what’s important.”

  • Questioning Stuff

“This life is short, but it contains everything. There is inherent beauty in simplicity. Choose your path wisely; often the simple route is the most beautiful path to follow.”

  • Simplicity, An Unpublished Essay

“Without growth, and without a deliberate effort to help others, we are simply slaves to cultural expectations, ensnared by the trappings of money and power and status and perceived success.

Minimalism is a tool that allowed us to simplify our lives so we could focus on what’s important. We were able to strip away the excess stuff and focus on living meaningful lives… You deserve to live a meaningful life, too.”

  • Grow Yourself, Not Your Stuff