Rest is sacred

We are currently taking a vacation w our kids for spring break & we are doing lots of nothing: reading, looking at the mtns, working on a puzzle & sleeping. I know that this sounds really lazy & it’s a bit challenging for me because I’m a rather active person.
Nevertheless, after God made the earth, the Bible says that He rested & even blessed the day of rest, declaring it holy. Rest is an essential ingredient for productive work. Indeed, rest can make your work more productive. To put the icing on the cake, God commands us to rest so let’s be obedient 🙂

weight lifting

 A few years ago, I started to lift weights w a friend & began to really enjoy this form of exercise.  I like all of the benefits that go with lifting weights – clothes are more lose, better muscle tone, bone strengthening, etc.  But today, I’m reminded that Jesus tells us to cast our burdens onto Him because He cares for us.

So please let me encourage you to give your burdens to Jesus, the burdens of family concerns, financial uncertainty, job / school challenges, health issues, etc.  There are so many things that can become heavy burdens in our lives, but Jesus is standing close to you waiting for you to lean into Him and hand over these burdens, challenges, weights, struggles and difficulties.

purposeful planting

My husband informed me that the rhubarb I planted last year is starting to grow & I’m SUPER excited about this!  I’m very excited because of a few reasons – my grandma had this amazing rhubarb torte recipe that I LOVE to make every summer.  I could pretty much eat the whole thing with no help, but that would be selfish 😦 Another reason I’m excited is because the planting instructions said that I couldn’t harvest or eat any of it, until it had been in the ground for a year.  That could be considered to be a long time to wait for a rhubarb harvest ,)

So here’s my point, I think we need to be really mindful of what “seeds” that we are planting today because they will be the harvest for your future.  Furthermore, I would suggest that you might take an inventory of the results you currently have in your life, to see what you like & what you don’t like.  From this inventory, you could probably pick out a few seeds that you want to continue to plant (behaviors that you want to continue) & a few seeds that could use some planting adjustments ,)

do a little bit

At the beginning of Feb, I slipped on the snow as I was walking home from my neighbor’s house & I banged up my ankle really bad.  I don’t consider myself to be very wimpy but I knew that I had hurt myself pretty bad – like having to crawl instead of walking bad.  After xrays, the Dr said it was just a bad sprain & that it would take time to heal.  When she said “time”, my mind translated this to mean a few days or maybe 2 weeks, because that’s a LONG time!  Now that we’re almost 2 MONTHS later, I’m still having some challenges.

But here’s the good news & this is where I want to encourage you:  even though I didn’t go very far nor fast, I ran outside yesterday & my ankle did pretty well.  Afterwards, I was talking w a friend & we encouraged each other that a little bit is better than nothing.  This idea about “a little bit” has huge value in LOTS of areas of our lives:

  • a little bit of forgiveness is moving in the right direction
  • a little bit of patience can be more constructive than impatience
  • a little bit of exercise can help to set us up to do a little more
  • a little bit of genuine love has immeasurable power to transform

When we start with nothing, a little bit can help us to get moving in the right direction 🙂

On being authentic

I had an interesting experience with someone that has really made me think about my behavior. I was recently trying to be very nice to someone & it wasn’t working. This person was responding with very rude behaviors & comments. Because they were acting so poorly, I wanted to be mean back & express that I was really displeased with their words & actions. I started to think about my behavior & suddenly I was confronted w the truth that I was being manipulative. I was trying to control the other person’s behavior by being nice rather than just being a genuinely nice because that’s who I am.
So here’s the quick conclusion: let’s be nice because we are nice people & not for the purpose of controlling another person’s behavior. Dear friends, let’s be nice because we are nice & not because we’re manipulative 🙂

Some antidotes for worry

Worry seems to be a common ailment. Lots of people worry about lots of things- the economy, health issues, family challenges, school frustrations & lots more! Some worries seem to be justified & some are almost nonsense. Worry is common, but there are a few things you can do to overcome worry:
*pray the answer (God’s Word) more than the problem
*worship – exalting Jesus always makes my problems look smaller & smaller
*be careful about your conversations – complaining can be fuel for worry
*read a Psalm at breakfast, lunch, dinner & bedtime

Don’t let worry be bigger than Jesus in your life!!

would you like an upgrade?

 When I was growing up, my parents did a great job of helping me to try out new things & to look for possible talents and interests that I might have.  One area that we explored quite a bit was piano playing.  I started taking piano lessons when I was 5 years old and over the course of several years, I had the privilege of taking lessons from a local family who was reknowned for their piano skills & abilities.  In this family, the father, mother & a few of the kids gave piano lessons.  They were all concert pianists and did their level best to improve my skills, with a minimal effort of cooperation on my part.  And that was the key problem.  I was settling for mediocre when they were striving for excellence.  As a result, everyone was frustrated:  my parents, this concert pianist family & myself.  

With this contrast between excellence & mediocrity, I think that there can be many areas in our lives where we settle for average when we could have extraordinary.  Let’s not allow our faith to be one of these areas.  I don’t want my relationship with God to be average – I want to be like Moses in Ex 33, a friend with whom God speaks face to face.  To me, this is an extraordinary relationship w God & Moses’ example stirs me up such that I won’t settle for an average walk w God.  How about you???