ep. 45 on rest

Abigail Dodds

ep. 45 | Rest with Abigail Dodds

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast I had the true joy of chatting with Abigail Dodds, someone I’ve admired from afar as I’ve read her articles for Desiring God and followed along with her life via Instagram.  Abigail is married to Tom and mom of five kiddos ranging from age 14 to 4. She’s a part-time writer, part-time Bible study teacher, part-time homeschool teacher, part-time baker, gardener, and knitter. But she would tell you she’s a full-time Christian, a full-time wife and mom, full-time member her church, and a full-time friend and sister in Christ. She’s also soon to be a student again, as she’s starting this fall at Bethlehem College and Seminary getting her Masters in exegesis and theology. Today we chatted about REST! Something that we, as believers, have already been given, but often fail to actually rest IN. Here’s one of my favorite quotes, “Knowing Jesus means we get to know the Father. In knowing Jesus, we know rest.” Hearing Abigail, a busy mom of FIVE kiddos, communicate the true rest we have in the Gospel encouraged me deeply, especially in this busy season with little people. 

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. What is rest? What is it really about?

  3. Is resting something we are called to as believers?

  4. What are we to rest in? What enables us to rest? What is our reason for resting?

  5. How do we actually rest in the Gospel?

  6. What obstacles might we have to overcome in order to really rest?

  7. What are some distinctions between actually resting and just wasting time?

  8. What are some things we might be looking to (for rest) that won’t offer us the rest we need?

  9. Can you think of any practical ways we can embrace rest when our work never seems to end?

  10. What does resting in the Gospel enable us to do?

  11. Ultimately and spiritually, rest comes from God and a lot of worldly things that promise us rest don’t actually give us that deep kind of soulful rest we experience in the Gospel. But, is there a place for Netflix and movies and books? What is the balance?

  12. What does it look like to experience the rest of Christ in the here and now? Can you describe how God has provided the “already” knowing that we’re looking forward to our ultimate rest in the “not yet” aspect of restoration? Sometimes I have a hard time grasping what rest looks like when my circumstances aren’t exactly restful.



  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who wants to grow in the practice of rest?

  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?

  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?



"The Lord takes the things in our life that feel impossible and that are really hard and he uses that as something he wants our lives to point to him in."

"We often think rest means feeling relaxed and that’s not a bad way to define it, it’s just not a biblical way to define it."

"Knowing Jesus means we get to know the Father. In knowing Jesus, we know rest." 

"Being yoked with Jesus for our labor, means that our work is changed to rest."

"Rest is when we stop doing the work." 

"God’s rest is the culmination of the seventh day. It’s the pinnacle. It is the end. It’s what he was aiming for in one sense. We know that because he called that day of rest as holy. He associates holiness with that day of rest."

"In understanding rest, we are understanding holiness and how it’s different than work." 

"Rest is something God takes so very seriously."

 "God takes resting so seriously that he wrote it into his Law."

"One reason we have a hard time with [rest] is that we have a big problem with authority. We don’t trust authority. We just want to trust ourselves. And we don’t trust that God knows what he’s doing and that he’s good." 

"How do we really rest in Jesus and why would that be for our good? If resting means not working then we have to understand how Jesus connects to that. Is Jesus going to do my work for me? The answer is actually ‘yes.’ Not ‘yes he is going to come, but yes he did come and do our work for us."

"In the Old Testament the rhythm was 6 days of work and then a day of rest. We worked so that we could rest... When Jesus rose again to life - our rest - our salvation was secured. Before Jesus, we worked FOR rest. But now that he died and rose again, we work FROM rest."

"We start our week with rest [a Sunday], and everything we do flows out of our rest." 

"Resting in the Gospel is a miracle. It’s actually something we cannot do on our own."

"We rest in the Gospel when we’re born again."

"Once we’re born again, we rest in the Gospel by trusting Jesus and living like his words are really true." 

"If we can live like these things are true, then we can begin to rest in the Gospel by really knowing him. Once we know him, we learn that resting in the gospel means we stop trying to earn our rest."

"We don’t get to earn our birth into God’s family."

"When we find ourselves working for our rest, I think there’s only one solution, and it’s to repent." 

"If we’re working to try and earn our rest, that’s sin. We don’t contribute to what God has done. Rest and sin cannot coexist. We’ve got to turn from our sin in order to rest. Turning to sin for rest is like trying to take a nap on a treadmill." 

"We need to find God satisfying and we need to look around the world that God has put us in and be pleased with it."

"We’ve got to get to a place where we can smile, where we can enjoy what he’s given us that’s enjoyable."

"Sleep is essential, it’s necessary. It’s a very humble thing to sleep. We are counting on God to keep our bodies alive... We are laying ourselves down in his care."

"All of humanity is dependent."

"Resting in the Gospel enables us to actually rest. Rest is actually the point." 

"Rest is an end in itself. It’s isn’t just a means to an end." 

"Jesus is sitting down. He is sitting right now at God’s right hand. He sat down because his work is finished." 

Practical ways for rest: different rhythms than your everyday, vacations

"See rest as a time of set-apartness. The differentness is what makes it valuable."



God Rested” by Andrew Peterson

Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

The Bible





Changing of Seasons




Staci is a travel agent with Fairy Godmother Travel. She specializes in Disney, Universal, and Family Vacations, as well as Boutique Cruises. She takes the stress out of traveling, while creating immersive experiences that help you make memories that will last a lifetime. We are hard-wired to want to enjoy God's creation, experience new places, seek adventure, and foster lifelong relationships and memories. That is why Staci loves to help others plan incredible vacations. God's world is an incredible place, and the people in our lives are truly gifts. It brings Staci such joy to help you bring those things together through vacations. Visit Staci's website at FairyGodmotherStaci.com. Best of all, her planning services are FREE! That's right - she is paid by the various suppliers so you don't pay her anything! So head on over to set up a free vacation planning session, grab one of her free travel guides, or send her a message on her contact page. Again, you can find Staci at fairygodmotherstaci.com.


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