coffee and inspirational books

Slow Down

coffee and inspirational books

Today’s post has been written for Five Minute Friday, and today’s prompt is “slow”.

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Why is it so hard to slow down?

I think that I love slow, but my reality suggests that I crave busyness and productivity. I am really good at busyness, but have lots of room for growth in using my time productively and efficiently.

I naturally feel compelled to run in circles, “getting things done”, all the while truly desiring the slow, quiet times.

This week I awoke one day with vertigo; a health concern I have dealt with over the past few years, and thankfully one that does not plague me as it did at first, mainly because I have been blessed with doctors and a physical therapist who taught me just what I needed to know to mostly stay healthy.

But it did make me slow down.

I vacillated about calling in sick to work last night, rationalizing that I could muddle through and then take a day off, but my body told me otherwise. My supervisor assured me that staying home and resting was the right thing to do.

Yesterday I read about all the rage of owning and using an Instant Pot. It seems everyone has one and who can live without one? One more appliance to learn, store and maintain could be helpful, but arguably could just be one more thing in my otherwise overflowing life. Sometimes these tools are blessings, allowing us to slow down, while other times it’s just adding to our busyness and clutter, when really we should be satisfied with what we have.

Today is another unseasonably warm day for February “winter” break in New England. It’s been hitting the 60’s, all but a few stubborn piles of snow have melted into what appears to be an early spring, and I have yet to get outdoors and enjoy this uncommon beauty.

I keep thinking of more things I should get done today on my day off, even though I worked a little too much while not feeling well yesterday, in order to be able to take today to totally rest.

So my main goal for the remainder of this day is to slow down,

enjoy life,

be thankful for my many blessings,

and trust that if I stop long enough to think, relax, and be grateful for what I have today,

everything will be waiting there for me tomorrow

and I will be able to work and play with renewed strength.

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

when i am weak

When I Am Weak…

when i am weak

 

This post is written for Five Minute Friday, where I join a nice bunch of bloggers to write for five unedited minutes on a weekly prompt. Today’s word is weak.

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Why do I feel so weak?

Have you ever asked this question?

It may be any combination of factors: physical tiredness, hormonal imbalance, emotional fatigue, or just plain feeling overwhelmed, just to name a few.

We’ve all been there.

The Bible tells us that when we are weak, then He is our strength. You can read about Paul’s struggle with the thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians.

 

My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.

 

 

Since it’s an inevitable part of the human experience, what can I do when I feel weak?

Here are some simple things to help when we are feeling weak:

 

  1. Go to bed! – You may simply need some rest! Take a nap or go to bed early, and give your body the rest it needs.
  2. Take a break – Sometimes we simply need to slow down or even stop, and just give our minds, bodies and emotions a breather.
  3. Do something that rejuvenates you – This can be different for all of us, depending on our personalities and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Take a walk or a hike outdoors, sit in the sun, enjoy a cup of coffee, listen to calming music, read a book, start a campfire, watch a favorite TV show, work on a fun project, or do something creative. Pick something that will give you the energy you need.
  4. Spend time with someone or people you love – We were designed to live in community. We were never made to go it alone. Spend time with someone who cares about you, who will build you up and offer godly encouragement and advice or simply provide a listening ear.
  5. Get appropriate help – It may be that you need to seek out the help and wisdom of a doctor, counselor or pastor/leader. It’s OK to ask for help, even though it is somewhat counter-cultural. True strength is not in doing it all alone, but in recognizing that sometimes we need a helping hand.
  6. Watch what you consume – Check your eating habits and take supplements if needed. The old saying, “You are what you eat” holds a lot of truth.
  7. Spend time with God – For Christ-followers, this is our life-line. Pray, read your Bible, spend some time in worship or simply in quiet “listening” mode. If you are not a believer, the simple act of quieting your mind and body will provide some needed refreshment and give you time to think.

These are just some simple tools that I’ve found to be helpful when I feel weak. I hope this list provides a springboard to your finding rest, strength and peace when you feel weak.

You may also wish to read a previous post I wrote about what to do when you are struggling emotionally.

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winter sky with clouds over evergreen trees

Playing it Safe

 

winter sky with clouds over evergreen trees

This post has been written for the link-up at Five Minute Friday, where you may join us as we write about the prompt, “safe“.

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Oh, how I love to play it safe!

It’s in my basic personality to keep to the safe road, not liking too many changes, not straying far from the norm, and certainly not taking too many risks. I feel most “safe” when I know what to expect and don’t have to process emotions and thoughts outside of my usual routine or known parameters.

There are many situations in life in which playing it safe is important, even life-saving.

Taking precautions when driving, when near deep or turbulent water, when dealing with fire, or when dealing with life-altering substances such as drugs, alcohol and the like. These scenarios require sticking fairly close to what we know is safe.

But in most areas of my life, I have let clinging to the safety of my known boundaries keep me from growth. I have stifled the possibly glorious or just plain simple things that God has wanted to do through me to affect others around me in a positive way. I have been lazy or let fear keep me from stepping out and moving forward in my work and personal life.

In these instances, I need to learn the beauty and the excitement of stepping out into the unknown, in even jumping wholeheartedly into the net that God will surely provide when I risk for him and his purposes.

Whether it’s in the mundane responsibilities I find myself in daily at home or at work and with others, or be it in my blog or in my personal interactions with my family, I want to become more adventurous.

I desire to earn that level of trust in God that allows me to take the next step or the next jump, and simply trust him, not allowing fear or pride to win.

I know in my mind that this is true, but I need to step out and find new territory with my Lord in every area of life.

Enough of simply playing it safe.

There is too much at stake to not take the risk of the next best step.

Why keep simply walking or trudging along in life, when I could fly?

see i am doing a new thing

 

*****

 

 

 

 

God will supply all my needs

Be Sure to Make Time to Breathe

God will supply all my needs

Today’s post is written for the link-up at Five Minute Friday. Join me there as we write for five (mostly-) unedited minutes of writing on the prompt, “breathe”.

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If only I could just find a minute to BREATHE…..

 

Do you ever feel this way?

Or perhaps a better question is how do we avoid feeling like this for much of our necessarily busy lives???

 

I’ve had a hectic month. While January is usually busy as we “undo” from the holidays and get back into the daily swing of things, this year I have felt especially over-scheduled and overwhelmed.

Due to some family transitions and responsibilities (nothing critical or life-altering; just “normal” family busyness), it has simply flown by. And I’ve felt so behind and not on top of things.

I’ve finally managed to put most of the holiday stuff behind me, but am still sorely feeling the need for more time and space to work on goals, resolutions (if you will), and just general overall life scheduling and planning.

Well, today I slept in, and despite the feeling that there aren’t quite enough hours left in this beautiful day, I have been blessed with a quiet day at home.

My dear (and wise) husband left me with his Jesus Calling devotional open on top of my computer, which was the perfect “hint” to put first things first today.

Here is the reading for this day:

Devotional about anxiety and focusing on Christ

I was aptly reminded that my anxiety is based on my focus being in the wrong place. When I simply look at what’s visible around me, I fail to recognize that I belong to a God who will never leave me, who promises to be always by my side, and who cares for all of my needs.

My “verse of the day” from the YouVersion Bible App is also appropriate for me today.

 

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

-Philippians 4:19

 

When we turn our eyes and our hearts from what we can simply see around us, and intentionally place our focus on the One who created, knows and loves us best, we can sit back and rest assured, and breathe.

It’s so important to not only carve out some time from our busy schedules to stop, think, plan, pray and rest, but also that we place our focus firmly in the right place.

God has provided all I need.

I need simply to stop to breathe and take it all in.

*****