I grew up in a small cabin built by none other than my parents themselves. They had help here and there, but Dad drew up the blueprint, we moved hundreds of miles away, and they got to work. The home has yet to match the blueprint, but that's no surprise considering that a work of art is never fully finished—just as our lives will never fully finish.


I can remember using kerosene lamps for light, washing and drying clothes outside, hand-pumping water, carrying loads of firewood in from the snow, and chinking between each hand-raised log.


Change was slow and beautiful and paced. And then, one day, it wasn't.


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About Shelby Hughes

2017 Shelby L. Hughes | Greensburg, PA | shelbyhugheswriter@gmail.com

For When You Feel Weary

After rest comes restoration, a wholeness that penetrates our weakened souls and brings us life. Life. John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is the life. Jesus restores, makes us whole, and gives us life.


We need restored.


Life is difficult. The daily hour to hour is hard without considering the whole of life. I wake, attempt stillness, but all too soon the routine begins. Children need tending, breakfast needs made, counters need cleaned, laundry needs washed, and words need written. Let the children nap only to begin phase two of the day.


The other day, my mom spoke an analogy into my weary and worn soul. I share it now with you, because I can't think of a woman who'd disagree. Sometimes you feel like you're in an automatic car-wash without a car. The brushes scrape against you, soap stains your clothes, and the water sprays forcefully. We have little time to catch our breath before the next event hits. 

How true. The car-wash is our life and it never ends, but at times stillness permeates, allowing us to breathe. The brushes stop while the water prepares to rinse. This is the time for restoration. Our souls and our bodies need prepared before we navigate through the next big event, and this is when we cry out to God.





Restore me, God.


Restore us, God.


Restore us from:


  • the mundane

  • the heartache 

  • the exhaustion 

  • the changes

Restore our souls. 


Build us like the child who methodically places one block above the other with concentration and fervor. 


Heal us like the doctor who performs surgery to remove the tumor that keeps us from performing simple, daily tasks. 


Mend us like the seamstress who binds a tear by hand, one stitch at a time.


Refresh us like the sweet tea grandmother used to make, the tea that required boiling, steeping, and cooling. 


Renew us like a slow soak in hot water, the fragrance of rose petals and the melody of music calming us. 


Repair us like the mechanic who spends hours to reach and replace one piece on a vehicle so that it will perform perfectly again. 


Restore us, for we need you.






When the world brings change upon change,

when our hard and chaotic lives keep us from breathing,

when our lives skirt and shadow death itself,

we need you.


When our lives foreshadow death over life,

when fear settles deep into our soul,

when we are lost and afraid and alone,

we need you.


Make us rest, and then lead us. Restore out souls, and then lead us.


Let the words from Psalmist David penetrate our hearts.


"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Psalm 23: 2-3




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