Jami Amerine was, like most of us, exhausted. Wrung out, wheels spinning, stuck in a perpetual existence of feeling like she never was good enough. She knew better. She was a soul-saved believer and Jesus Christ follower, yet His promise of rest still eluded her grasp. All that changed as she began to discover what it meant to change her mind and heart to be in tune with God. Jami is a sassy, funny, authentic, encouraging friend and master word weaver as well as a speaker, artist, wife, and mom. Her journey to rest started years ago, and now she’s sharing her experience and insight with you and with me. . .inviting us to experience real, God-filled rest. It’s a grace to welcome Jami to the farm’s front porch today…

guest post by Jami Amerine

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

The store clerk ran screaming, “Stop! Shoplifter! Shoplifter!”

My eyes darted about the parking lot in search of a thief. A huge man, decked out in cowboy garb, grabbed my arm. He was enormous, at least six foot five. His belly bulged over a hideous, dictionary-sized belt buckle I am certain he did not earn in a rodeo.

In dazed confusion, I yelped, “Take your hands off me!”

At that point in my life, every mistake and misfortune reminded me of how badly I stank at my Christian walk.

He spat stale tobacco chaw and barked, “You’re going back inside to pay for that apple juice, missy!”

It took me entirely too long to recognize I was the shoplifter.

As the brute dragged me across the parking lot, the pimple-faced clerk in a polyester smock dialed his phone. “I’m callin’ the police, hold her!”

Drenched in humiliation, I would now have to explain to the police I wasn’t really shoplifting. I was just exhausted.

I knew I would now have to go to confession and explain my apple juice heist.

With my teaching job at the university, a kindergartener, a hearing-disabled three-year-old, a nonsleeping two-year-old, a side hustle managing our house-building business, and nausea chasing me from a surprise pregnancy, I had neither slept nor kept any food down in a month of Sundays. Paying for apple juice had slipped my mind.

Things that did not slip my mind were the heavy burden of “have-tos.” Those I had memorized.

I knew I would now have to go to confession and explain my apple juice heist. Granted, I didn’t really shoplift apple juice. But at that point in my life, every mistake and misfortune reminded me of how badly I stank at my Christian walk.

Furthermore, I was stuck in the belief that God was trying to teach me something. And my lanta, He seemed like a mean and nasty teacher. As I drove home with paid-for apple juice in the seat next to me, I sobbed and begged the ruthless God of my head, a tyrant born of my own beliefs, for mercy. That was immediately followed by the rote, out-loud formation of prayer-like words that chastised my existence.

“I should be more aware. I am such a ditz! I know I’m just awful! I know you are embarrassed by me. I don’t know how I will ever pull it together!” I hiccup-sobbed my orthodox finale: “I am so sorry. Please, please. . . don’t punish me. Amen.” Then I performed the sign of the cross over myself seven times just to be safe.

Like sands through the hourglass, so were the days of my life.

To say I was tired, well, that would be an understatement.

Are you bone tired? Does your mind feel foggy and your soul fatigued? I get it.

But might I suggest that more than sleepless nights and busy schedules, the source of exhaustion has more to do with our deep-seated beliefs and our mindset based on those well-intended beliefs?

And fear.

Fear is the ultimate thief of real rest.

But there is more freedom to be found.

More rest.

More to taste and see.

More tenderness, mercy, and guidance.

More abundance, peace, and joy.

More everything.  

There is a connection between our body, mind, and soul. God created each of us in a beautiful, intricate design (Psalm 139:13–18). So, when we experience rest in one of these areas, it impacts the others, and the opposite is true as well.

When our minds feel defeated and we live a restless existence, that is what we see and experience.

But God’s Word tells us that we can choose to put on love, and this choice makes all the difference in our body, mind, and soul.

It’s a journey of God-discovery and self-discovery. I promise you, true rest makes all the difference.

When we are clothed in love, fear won’t dictate how we experience the world.

Colossians 3:14–16 (NLT) says, “Above all, clothe yourselves with love. . . . And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.”

Here is my prayer for you today, sweet sister in Christ:

Father, help me to put on love, allow peace to flood my heart, and fill my spirit with praise and gratefulness because I am in touch with the One who writes redemption, restoration, and new life into my story.

Please align my thoughts to the Truth of Your Word, Father. For then I know I can experience true rest in You. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) Amen.

Are you ready to exchange exhaustion and stress for God’s great blessing of rest, friend?

It’s a journey. . .one that takes time and patience.

I’m on this road every day. . .walking down the pathway, hand in hand with Jesus.

It’s a journey of God-discovery and self-discovery. I promise you, true rest makes all the difference.

Jami Amerine and her husband, Justin, live in Houston, Texas, and have six children. She holds a Master’s of Education in Counseling & Human Development. Jami and Justin are advocates for foster care and adoption.

If you’re overwhelmed and exhausted. . .
If you’ve ever thought that all you need to do is try harder. . .
If you’ve ever felt unappreciated or overlooked. . .
If you’ve found Jesus or you’re still searching. . . 
Your Heavenly Father Invites You to Rest, Girl.

In her new book Rest, Girl, Jami Amerine shares God’s overwhelming grace and peace in an inside-out journey to true, life-sustaining rest. While the world is steeped in stress and worries, her teaching offers a priceless opportunity to walk in faith to experience the overwhelming blessing of a mind, spirit, and body at rest. Jami will lead you on a humorous, engaging and life-altering journey from restrictions and unrealistic expectations to the unconditional love of the Father. 

[ Our humble thanks to Barbour Book for their partnership in today’s devotion ]