Vacation, Sabbath, Pause & Rest

I’m currently with my family on a vacation, enjoying some downtime. I find that I can chose how restful this vacation is or I can be stressed out about how much work I’m missing, checking my emails all the time, writing blogs, etc. Vacate means to leave the premise or to check out.
I think it’s good for all of us to occasionally leave the premise & check out for our own mental health, for the purpose of enjoying family & to give God the opportunity to engage with us with less competition for our attention. Celebrate the opportunities that God gives us for vacations, rest & pause 🙂

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What is your purpose?

This question gets asked, I think, by every human on the planet at various times & for various reasons. Or the quick version, “why am I here?”
Clearly, this is an important question, but not at the expense of our daily living. Everyday we should be kind, generous, encouraging, gentle, use our time wisely, look for ways to bless & add value . . . . .
All of these things are important ingredients for our purpose everyday & knowing God’s call / purpose for our lives in a broader context is sometimes simply answered by keeping our feet on the ground today with these constructive decisions. You are important. You are wise & you are kind 🙂

hot topic: being practical

As I write, my kids are doing an amazing job of cleaning the house.  We divided up the responsibilities onto various checklists (laundry checklist, kitchen checklist, living / family room checklist, etc) & consequently, no one is thoroughly overwhelmed by the tasks that need to be done.  Furthermore, each of my kids brings their unique personalities to their jobs so it’s fun to watch them jump in & invest some “sweat equity” to our quality of living 🙂

It’s my responsibility to oversee & quality check against the checklists they’re using to ensure that everything is done well & thoroughly.  In some ways, this all reminds me of how God puts us together to bring the Kingdom of God into our daily reality.  Some essentail ingredients include:

  • teamwork: the lone ranger paradigm doesn’t generally fit into kingdom thinking
  • focus:  when my kids are distracted, they’re less effective & everthing takes longer; staying focused on God helps us to be more productive
  • oversight & integration:  God never leaves us to our own devices & efforts to see God’s kingdom realized
  • mutually beneficial:  a clean kitchen, clothes, bathroom and living areas are in everyone’s best interest & God’s kingdom is no different 🙂

Have an awesome weekend!

enjoying now

Do you ever get frustrated with yourself?

I recently returned from leading our first team trip for Saving Moses and it’s been a little tricky  getting back in the groove.  A few things that I’m presently working through include the regular jet lag sleep challenges, the normal digestion excitement and catching up on missed sleep.  Additionally, I’m trying to process some of my experiences and this has proven to be rather difficult.

When I get in these kinds of mindsets, I often get impatient with myself and frustrated that I can’t seem to get back to my regular groove, which only makes things more frustrating & difficult.  Thankfully, God had a nice chat with me this morning and reminded me of a few helpful things:

  • temporary – life can change is big & dramatic ways, but more often, our current situations are temporary & are changing incrementally, even when we don’t know it
  • be gentle – I can often be harsh & impatient with myself, which often makes things worse;  when I’m gentle, gracious and forgiving with myself, I seem to adapt and grow more easily
  • now –  being present today, in Denver, Colorado with my kids, husband & church family is very good

decisions that empower

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All of us make decisions every day and as adults we get to manage the consequences of these decisions.  If you want to get the best mileage or results from your decisions, consider making these “power choices”:

  • hope rather than despair
  • focus more than distracted
  • grace over scorn
  • forgiveness rather than revenge
  • love more than apathy
  • gratitude over complaining
  • honor more than insolence
  • compliments more than sarcasm
  • respect more than ridicule
  • compassion more than callous

Wise decisions create wise results 🙂

what looks like failure

I hate the word “fail” – it almost makes me have a visceral gagging reaction, borderline puking.  Thankfully, if I take a minute to pause, evaluate and collect myself, I don’t puke.  But if I’m not careful, I can easily throw things into the “failure” column and in a nanosecond find myself back to mental wrestling mat, almost down for the count.  As God & I were talking about this whole failure thing this morning, I was reminded about how Jesus looked hanging on the cross, beat to a bloody pulp and possibly personifying the ultimate failure.  He was betrayed by his friends, completely helpless, physcially obliterated and even yelling at God, “Why have You forsaken Me?!??”

Hanging on the cross, Jesus looked more like a failure than anything I’ve ever experienced & yet from God’s perspective, perhaps Jesus had never been more successful in His earthly existence, up to that point.  Let’s be careful that we don’t frame failure in the context of defeat, permanent or hopeless.  Jesus rose from the dead and living in our hearts, we have resurrection potential every day.

Be sure to pass this along to anyone you know who is struggling with seeming defeat or failure 🙂

Hot Topic:  Israel, Palestine & Hamas

If you’ve been following the news of late, there’s been a very significant increase in the military activity between Israel & Palestine within the last several days.  Israel has mobilized troops and is currently carrying out ground operations into Palestine & Gaza.  There have been very noteworthy increases on both sides of fatalities and loss.  And there are many individuals who support Israel and many individuals who support Palestine.  No matter what “side” is your position, let’s pray for peace in Israel and Palestine.  The loss of lives, injuries and property destruction from this conflict is all extremely high, so let’s be sure to keep this area in our daily prayers!