Walking Through the Woods on a Snowy Day

We had a very beautiful snow storm yesterday, even though it was treacherous with driving. Instead of going to the gym & working out, I decided to take a walk in the snow through some woods. It was a very soothing walk. In the woods, it was quiet & very still, but along the shoveled path, it was windy, icy & not as enjoyable. I was thinking about the trees and how they spend half of their time getting dressed, putting on leaves & half of their time getting undressed, shedding their leaves.
Sometimes I think we chose paths that seem smooth based on what we can see & feel but sometimes this choice prevents us from experiences with God that can be really rich for our hearts. These are just a few thoughts from my snowy walk in the woods 🙂

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pandemonium, pressure and peace

It seems to me that in almost every Christmas season, there comes a time when all of the pressures, activities, demands and general busy-ness shifts into the frenzied and frantic zone and the chaos threatens to swallow me into a abyss of cluttered insanity (sorry for all of the adjectives).  In the midst of all of this, I find my heart getting really still and quiet, seeking to create some serenity, calm and peace.  Even now, I have a few unexpected moments of quiet and while I’m writing this, I find myself letting go of some of the season’s stress and receiving some much needed divine peace.

So my friend, please be sure that with all of this season’s demands and expectations, don’t neglect to take those essential moments to be still and celebrate our Prince of Peace 🙂

Wait a second!!

I was in a security line at the airport early this morning & it was moving rather slowly. Thankfully, most of us in the line were still pretty groggy so there wasn’t much complaining, except for the guy right behind me. He was really gripey & for me, gripey & groggy aren’t a good combination. Thankfully, God helped me to keep my mouth shut because when it was all said & done, we weren’t waiting for more than 10minutes – which points out a bit of a challenge for our modern living.
I think that if we aren’t careful, we can easily fall into the impatience trap & neglect to learn & practice waiting on God. There are LOADS of verses that speak to the importance of waiting on God & I would encourage you to explore what God says about waiting. But from my personal experience, waiting on God is a great way to be in God’s presence & God’s presence is my priority 🙂
So wait a second & grab some God time ,)

shhhhh!

I find that my world has lots of noise and not just from the radio, TV or my kids having fun.  There just seems to be lots of noise, even in my thinking.  The noise in my brain might be similar to yours:  tasks I haven’t finished, people that I’m concerned about, issues I need to discuss with my husband, work things to get through, planning my dinners for the next week, topics I need to talk about with each of my kids, the brake light & head light on my car that need to be replaced, . . . . . Just lots of things flying around in my brain, probably just like yours.  But these things can become annoying if I don’t take some time to get quiet and be still.  Initially, when I try to settle down my thoughts, they only seem to get louder & demand more attention.  But if I stay with it, pressing in to being still and quiet, I can often find some quietness and I love these moments because it seems like these are the times when my fellowship with Jesus is very rich.  So, maybe we could agree to take some time this weekend to get quiet and be still – listening to Jesus and giving Him our presence and attention.  The effort can pay indescribable dividends!  🙂

Be still, oh anxious thoughts

Today is my kids’ 1st day back to school so we all have those 1st school day jitters – nervous about new teachers, classmates, new subjects, what’s the school year going to be like, being accepted, friends etc. As their mom, I find myself also a bit nervous & jittery. So we all get to explore what it means to trust God with our unique jitters with their stuff as well as mine – decisions, future direction, www.savingmoses.org . For myself, I find that receiving Jesus’ peace is wrapped in the same decision as rejecting anxiety. When I try to fight anxiety, for me it only seems to get bigger when I don’t simultaneously receive Jesus’ peace to guard my heart & mind. So I’m accepting Jesus’ peace & keeping the anxious thoughts outside to wither in the glorious light & truth of the Holy Spirit 🙂

rest

This morning, I read Psalms 23 and it was super encouraging to my heart! What really stood out to me was the very beginning part when David says that God causes him to lie down in green pastures. This was really soothing because when you look at the verb in the Hebrew, the idea is that God is very much making David to lay down – almost like an enforced pause.
Here’s my thinking on this idea of a pause – I think that many of us run a pretty fast-paced & high-demanding life for lots of different reasons (some good & some lame). Nevertheless, we all need rest, a break, on a consistent basis (more than just the idea of our daily sleep requirement). If we do not integrate a break or rest into our routines (i.e. a weekly Sabbath), then we will find ourselves in a place of “forced rest,” where God causes us to take a pause.
It is super important to have consistent breaks & pauses in our lives for many different reasons:
*a pause helps to clarify our thinking & emotional inputs
*a pause allows us to re-focus our priorities
*a pause provides the space & context for our relationship with God to deepen & grow
*a pause lets us have an opportunity to slow down & listen to God

Three cheers to a busy life with integrated & intentional rest 🙂

feeling safe in silence

I just had the honor of attending a Veterans Day Ceremony at my kid’s school & it was really good.  While I was there & on several other occasions, I noticed that people get really squirmy with “silence”.  Sometimes when I’m giving a lecture or sermon, I do the silent thing for a few moments to make everyone just slightly jittery – its a little bit of twisted humor on my part.  Nevertheless, the point remains that for many of us, we feel very uncomfortable with silence.  In order to mitigate this discomfort we play music, talk on the phone, text our friends, hum or talk to ourselves, turn on the tv for background noise, . . . . just about anything to fill in the awkwardness we feel in silence.  But there is massive solace, joy & even safety in silence.  Mother Teresa said, “God is the friend of silence .”

So here are some thoughts that might help you to feel more comfortable with silence & feel free to add your own ideas as well:

  • quiet can be more soothing than filler noise
  • quiet can allow you to work through your thoughts to understand some deeper issues
  • try getting in 3-5min of quiet in each day (turning off everything & putting your phone on silent)
  • recognize that silence is an essential ingredient for listening
  • silence prepares us to receive