Rest and Refresh with Ashley Hales

window looking into field

This season, I’m working through the habits from my new book 8 Habits for Growth. And the second habit is one that’s easily overlooked: rest and refresh.

We’re told that freedom and opportunity are our ticket to the good life. Get out there and follow your dreams! Be the hero of your own story! Find your happiness! Live your best life! It seems that limitless possibilities await anyone with vision and willingness to hustle their way through life.

The thing is, instead of resulting in a sense of accomplishment, this limitlessness merely has us doing more and trying harder — leaving us depleted and dissatisfied with life and faith.

There is a better way, a more spacious life. Contrary to what we’ve believed, the spacious life is not found in unfettered options or accomplished by our hustle and hurry. The life we crave is found within the confines of God’s loving limits. Ashley helps us recognize that when we live within these boundaries, we discover a life filled with purpose, joy, and rest.

This is the spacious life — finding true freedom within the good limits given to us by our good God.

That’s what Ashley Hales writes about in her new book A Spacious Life. It’s an invitation to a different way of living.

Key Ideas

  • A lot of our busyness comes from the lie that what we do is who we are.
  • Culture sends us the message that we must hustle and perform to make our lives count.
  • We lose out on God’s gifts when we try to earn what we’ve already been given.
  • Limits are good. Part of sin is trying to go past our God-given limits.
  • Our limited are like dashboard warning lights. They are warnings that something is going on underneath, and invitations to knowing God.
  • In God’s kingdom, we can recover our smallness and creatureliness as a gift.
  • Technology is a gift, but it can tempt us to elevate ourselves to a godlike position. Embodiment in real community is an even greater gift.
  • Rest orients us to our work.
  • Rest is a way of reminding us that we are cared for and seen, and that we don’t have to prove ourselves.


“A lot of our exhaustion isn’t simply about how full our calendars are, but this sort of sense that what we do is who we are.”

“We really lose out on the gifts that God has for us and for our communities when we choose instead to try to earn for ourselves the things that we’ve already been given by God.”

“Maybe my limit is like the light on my car that tells me that there’s something going on underneath … I think our limits ultimately are invitations to knowing God.”

“it’s only in the Kingdom of God that we know that our smallness is a gift.”

“Rest is a gift from a good God and Sabbath shows me that I am really incapable of providing all that I need.”

“We didn’t need more arguments, we really needed an invitation.”

Books mentioned:


Download a PDF transcript of this episode.

Rest and Refresh with Ashley Hales
Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada