Archives

You have the power to “pause” and slow down

Precious moments

In this day of cell phones, electronics, and instantaneous communication we are always plugged in.  Too often, we are running, racing from point A to B, and by the end of the day we will frazzled, overwhelmed, and weak.   No energy left for anything or anyone.   Have you ever been there? 

You hear another beep on your phone….. Do you answer?

Do you remember the story of Mary and Martha in the presence of Jesus?   Grace was in their presence, but Martha was too busy preparing.   Meanwhile, her sister Mary “paused”, she didn’t perform she took a breath and paused.

In this race we can be Martha, or pause and be Mary.   We have a choice, God has given us the power of choice.  

We can choose to slow, pause, and hold onto the moment.  

This can be difficult in a world that reveals to us that if we join the race we will be better off or meet their expectations.   But whose expectations do we really seek?

I seek to please Him.   You have to ask yourself today, where do my priorities lie?   Do they lie in the material things of this world, or do they lie in a bed full of roses where the smell is full of love?  And where love blossoms in every moment?

An essential step in ensuring we can be plugged into every moment is the ability to nurture our “self”.   In order to be functional beyond ourselves, this must come first.   Find a few moments a day even a half an hour where you can nurture and love yourself.  Treat yourself to a coffee, book, connect with God, take a walk or a relaxing bath so you can renew.  

The next step is establishing a core list of priorities that you can navigate your decisions for yourself and your family.  My priority list is:

1)      Nurture self  part of nurturing myself is ensuring that I connect in the morning, during the day and evening with my Father up above.

2)      Nurture my relationship with my number 1 supporter – my husband.

3)      Nurture my kiddo’s

4)      Nurture my relationships immediate family and close friends

Everything else in this life is just “stuff”.  The relationships and love are most important. 

When we make decisions and navigate on our core priorities, it is easier to establish boundaries and let go of the elements that are less important.

You have the power to choose to pause and smell the roses my friend.  You have the power to be Mary.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

Who do you choose to be my friend Martha or Mary? 

Take a breath and pause.

The power is in you!

 

Have you felt like Martha?  Or do you have strategies like Mary, in “pausing” and immersing yourself in the moment?

Advertisements

Guest Post ~ Run to Jesus by Naomi Fata

Running

I have been blessed to meet Naomi through her blog, and would like to welcome her as a guest post. 

>>>>>>>>

Always running. My mom tells me that since I was a girl I have woken up everyday ready to go 100 miles an hour. Focused. Driven. Feeling the need to accomplish. To move forward. To run through each day.

Success from the world’s point of view is based on how much we accomplish. Vast accomplishments bring praise and accolade. It makes us feel good. People look on us with admiration.

This focused inner drive carried over to my Christian life as well. After all we are told to run the race set before us. With my natural eyes I saw this race as that of works: how much I could accomplish in the church, how much witnessing I had done, how much I had read the Bible, or any other good work I had accomplished. But is this what Scripture meant in Hebrews 12:1?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,(NIV)

I want to run my race and run well.

It reminds me of my years of jogging and cross country races. I was never good; never the fastest. I just ran for the fun of it. I am not an award winning runner. But I run, not giving up.

Reflecting on my Christian race I don’t think God cares about the speed, or our accomplishments. He cares about our faithfulness and our fellowship with Him.

Run to Jesus not parallel to Him

Run to Him not for Him

To Him for strength

To Him for grace

To Him for direction

Desperate for Him. Running.

To Him for the peace my heart so desperately needs

To Him to hear His voice calm my anxious thoughts

To Him for all that I need

Run to Jesus.

 

Is not this the epitome of our Christian race? Running to Jesus. 

I would love to hear from you. Feel free to stop by my blog www.christianresourceministry.com and take advantage of any of our free resources which include pintable verse cards for children’s Sunday school, and bookmarks of our poems. Have a blessed day running to Jesus.

A Hurried Life

Living a Hurried Life

We all live hurried lives.

The question is: What triggers a hurried lifestyle?  May it be thoughts of “what if’s” that cause us to be anxious?  What if I can’t pay the bills?  What if I can’t get the kids to practice or games on time?   What if I don’t have enough money?  What if someone close to me gets sick or dies?  What if our schedules don’t work out? These questions or thoughts consume us and are never ending once we get on this thinking path.

The questions consume our peace and our thinking path is triggered by something we all know too well – fear.  This is not what God wants for us.  God does not want us to invest our time in worldly possessions; He wants us to come to Him in our times of need.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”(Colossians 3:2)

We long to trust in God, to trust that He is always looking out for our best interests.  But it is very easy to give into the fear or anxiousness.  Perhaps the key lies in “knowing” when to slow down.  One of my favorite verses I go to when I start to feel this way is:

“The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-8)

“Be anxious in nothing at all” is a concept that can be difficult to embrace.  Sometimes I wish we could go back in time to the days where there were no cars, and life was much simpler.  However, society has “evolved” to a state where we rush from point A to B, where much of our day is filled with a slogan word many of us are familiar with – “multitasking”.  The more we can do the more efficient we are.   But are we more efficient?  One of the definitions for multitasking is: “requires for staff to take on a wider range of tasks, usually involving on-the-job training.” (webdefinition)  On the job training – what a concept!  This implies that we are training ourselves to multitask.  Perhaps we should be training ourselves in a different way?  Where should our priorities be?  Where should we slow down and concentrate our efforts?

We all have times in our lives when we get glimpses of what life is supposed to be like. Where we focus our time is really what matters.  In the big picture “who” we focus our efforts on is the most important.

Why is it that many of us get so lost? How do we lose focus? We slip into a state of being where “we believe we know what is best for ourselves”. We race, we “want” more, we attain wealth/title/prestige but at what cost? What do we really “need”?  The prioritization of want vs. need is what it comes down to.  Can you identify with this?  I think we all can.  It is easy to get caught up in the race.

I have lost focus many times in my life then something that almost takes my breath away brings me back to where I need to be.  But I sometimes wonder – why does it take these instances or wake up calls to bring us back to a place of balance?  I need to trust that God has my best interests at heart, and that he does not want me to be immersed in the “things” of this world.  He wants me to love, and to enjoy every day as it was my last.   He wants me to come to Him during the day, in times when I am happy, in the moments that take my breath away, in times when I am sad, in times where I feel like I cannot take it anymore.   He has given me grace so many times when I have come to him in fear.  He has constantly reassured me when I have come to Him in weakness.  He smiles when down on me when I am at the moments that bring me my greatest joys.

“And they refused to listen, And did not remember Thy wondrous deeds which Thou hadst performed among them; So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But Thou art a God of forgiveness, Gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness; And Thou didst not forsake them” (Nehemiah 9:17).

I have asked for His grace many times when I have lost focus.    Ask for grace…. We are all human, we have emotions but the key is not to let them take us over.  We are pulled in many directions, but the key is to prioritize and not lose focus amidst the chaos.  The key is to slow down the schedules, the accumulation, the attainment for more, and the chaos.  To prioritize one’s life in those areas that make sense and result in benefits for the family unit and community.  This honors God, and this is what he wants for us.

Paul told Timothy, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17)

How should we prioritize?  There are many resources that can help us in this area, but most areas are common sense.  Deep down we all know how to live smarter and how to slow down.  We  just making the right choices to allow us peace in our daily lives.

5 tips to help busy people prioritize their lives[1]

1. Ruthlessly Eliminate Stress No one can get their priorities straight if they’re constantly living “under the gun.” If there’s so much stress in your life that you’re finding it difficult to keep your priorities in order, lighten your load first – and now!

2. Make Daily Solitude a Priority Don’t feel guilty or like you’re “avoiding your family” for making time for yourself each day. It’s a must… even if it’s just 15 minutes in the morning for “quiet time” with the Lord. No one will miss you if you “take 5” for yourself every now and then… so do it.

3. Develop a “Blank Slate” Approach In other words, begin and end each day with no agenda. Come before the Lord with open arms, hands and an open mind and heart each morning. Let Him set your day in motion and then give everything back to Him at the end of each day – all your worries, cares, successes, failures. Exchange them for a good night’s sleep. (Psalm 91:1)

4. Give Your Family Your Best – Not Your “Emotional Leftovers” It’s very noble to “give your all” at work. But, what does that leave for your spouse and kids? Not much? Not good! Your family deserves the best you have to offer. They need you healthy, rested, happy, or perhaps more importantly content . No “table scraps” from your heart for them. Give them the main course. Then, watch how your priorities change by themselves!

5. Don’t Wait for Someone Else to Do this For You This is your life – these should be your priorities. If you’re waiting for someone else to come alongside you and tell you how to live your life, you’re in for a long wait. The time to make the changes is now – so get to it!

We all have one life to live; the key is living it in a way that honors God.  The blessings will follow.  Take the time to slow down and smell the flowers. Every day that we are here on earth is a “gift” that is why it is called the present.

Thank-you for popping by 🙂  Enjoy the summer and immerse yourself in the love!


[1] 5 tips to help busy people prioritize their lives jim burns, http://www.simplyyouthministry.com/jims-thoughts-27.html

Busy Lives

soul-overwhelmed1920x1080

Do you live a hurried and busy life? 

Life can be so busy if we allow it to.  Running, racing, and somehow trying to keep your head above water to maintain some level of “balance”.

Why is it that many of us get so lost?

How do we lose focus?

We slip into a state of being where “we believe we know what is best for ourselves”.

What do we really “need” to do or accomplish?

The prioritization of want vs. need is what it comes down to.  Can you identify with this?  I think we all can.  It is easy to get caught up in the race.

Society has “evolved” to a state where we rush from point A to B, where much of our day is filled with a slogan word many of us are familiar with – “multitasking”.  The more we can do the more efficient we are.

But are we more efficient?

One of the definitions for multitasking is: “requires for staff to take on a wider range of tasks, usually involving on-the-job training.” (webdefinition)  On the job training – what a concept!  This implies that we are training ourselves to multitask.

Perhaps we should be training ourselves in a different way?  Where should our priorities be?  Where should we slow down and concentrate our efforts?

We all have times in our lives when we get glimpses of what life is supposed to be like. Our focus shifts, and we realize we should be investing our time where it really matters.

In the big picture “who” we focus our efforts on is the most important.

I have lost focus many times in my life then something that almost takes my breath away brings me back to where I need to be.  But I sometimes wonder – why does it take these instances or wake up calls to bring us back to a place of balance?  I need to trust that God has my best interests at heart, and that he does not want me to be immersed in the “things” of this world.  He wants me to love, and to enjoy every day as it was my last.   He wants me to come to Him during the day, in times when I am happy, in the moments that take my breath away, in times when I am sad, in times where I feel like I cannot take it anymore.   He has given me grace so many times when I have come to him in fear.  He has constantly reassured me when I have come to Him in weakness.  He smiles when down on me when I am at the moments that bring me my greatest joys.

“And they refused to listen, And did not remember Thy wondrous deeds which Thou hadst performed among them; So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But Thou art a God of forgiveness, Gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness; And Thou didst not forsake them” (Nehemiah 9:17).

I have asked for His grace many times when I have lost focus.

Ask for grace….

We are all human, we have emotions but the key is not to let them take us over.

We are pulled in many directions, but the key is to prioritize and not lose focus amidst the chaos.  The key is to slow down the schedules, the accumulation, the attainment for more, and the chaos.

To prioritize one’s life in those areas that make sense and result in benefits for the family unit and community.  This honors God, and this is what He wants for us.

Where do you priorities start?

  1. Take time to reflect, pause and renew – take time for prayer, time for God, and time to rest.  Renew your spirit.  It is times where we feel zapped because we have overextended ourselves that cause us the most discontent.   Make this a number one priority in your day, take the time.

  2. Eliminate unneeded stress in your life – have boundaries, don’t take on what you can not handle. If you feel overloaded, make a list of all the tasks you are taking on, and number them in order of priority.  Ask yourself what you could get rid of.

  3. Don’t overschedule yourself –  each day, come into the day with a blank slate approach.  For me, I ask the Lord to lead the day for me.  Sometimes I try to control the day, and that is when I start feeling overwhelmed.

  4. Make your family your first priority –  Make them #1, don’t leave them til last after you have given of yourself to everyone else in your life (I am sure we all have issues with this one)

  5. Don’t wait to start, do this now – no one can do this for you, so take the first step in prioritizing and you will feel so much better.

We all have one life to live; the key is living it in a way that honors God.   The blessings will follow.  Take the time to slow down and smell the flowers. Slow down.

Every day that we are here on earth is a “gift” that is why it is called the present.

What do you treasure?

00pz052hbTG

Matthew 6:21, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (NLT)

She sat there thinking, I can’t believe how things can change so quickly.  She treasured the moments with her grandma and grandpa so much.   Suddenly in less than 6 months both were gone before her eyes.   Then she thought about the moments that became her treasures.

The playful moments, the smiles and the adoration for her grandpa.   The moment when she ran him off the road while they were biking, a moment that would be treasured forever.  The times where her grandma would french braid her hair, she wore her locks with pride.

There were moments when she felt so busy, but always tried to make sure that they felt special.   They were her treasures.

Life can take us by surprise, in a moment things can change or shift.  Change is good, and at times can be challenging.   Time flies by in a blink of an eye.  I remember my mom saying to me, “life speeds up the older you get”.  As a young teenager, I laughed at the comment as it seemed to me that time was not moving fast enough.

We should consider how we spend our time.   Do we spend our time flying by the seat of our pants, or do we pause to take in the fresh scent of this wonderful life of ours?

My treasure is family and love for all.

The treasure comes in all different kinds of gems and gold.   Each item is unique on its own, offering something new.  Each time I take the time to slowly polish each gem it begins to sparkles in the light.

I choose to open that treasure chest every day, curious and with wonder.

I choose to be open to what God wants for me.  Relationships are the most important investments in this life.

Sometimes the lines get blurred between what is important and what is less than important.

In the moments where I can’t see my direction completely I pause and let go so God can lead me.

I choose to invest in the treasure that is right at my fingertips and not get caught up in the “stuff” of this life.

I ask you friend, what do you treasure?

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (NIV, 1 Timothy 6:9-11)

 

Dear Lord God, I thank-you for the ones I love.  I pray that you will continue to lead me in the priorities in this life.  Your priorities are mine.  I pray that I can show my children how to prioritize through you.   I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen

Advent Week 2 & 3 – Reflection

reflectionThe first week of advent I spoke of rest, now for the next two weeks, I believe reflection should be the focus. In order to reflect, one must have their mind rested to have a true perspective. The mind must be calmed and not full of the lists or things to do during this Christmas season. As we read the words coming from John the Baptist we see such a great perspective:

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering their hearts if John might be possibly the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” Luke 3:7-16 NIV

The first concept in this verse refers to not taking more than you need and giving to others. Needs vs. wants is an interesting concept in North American culture, and especially interesting this time of year. I have found myself overwhelmed with what we actually have compared to individuals that may come from nothing.

Have you noticed how many bags people are carrying in the malls during this season? I often watch and wonder if it is necessary.

Are we getting caught up in the “right” things?

This season, as a family we went through our house and started to get rid of the things that were unnecessary. Toys that are hardly ever played, clothing that is not being worn, and items such as old baby car seats that my children have outgrown. I sat back and thought, we have way too much, how did it get to this? My heart sank, as I know right out of my back door are people that would give anything to have these things.  I then thought, what can I do? Where can I give these things?

It is amazing when you ask these questions, someone will appear in need. I believe this is not a coincidence, these situations are meant to happen.

The need came from a wonderful man, who I only met for about 15 minutes who had children that were just the right age for all of these things. He was so very gracious, accepting, and felt like he should give me something for what I was giving to him. But I wanted nothing in return, in fact – I told him he was helping me out! His humble heart had relief in the action I know, and I could see from the look on his face, he couldn’t wait to get home to give these small things to his family…. I wondered that night what the reaction would be of his small children to the new bouncy horse in the house.

I sat back and reflected on what else can I do?

When you reflect on your needs vs. wants do you see abundance?

If you do, then why not take action and give?

The action of giving does not need to be in monetary terms, it could be helping out at a soup kitchen, it could be buying a coffee for the individual that is behind you in line, or saying a prayer for those you see in pain, or even smiling at someone that seems down. To you, this action may be small but to the other it could have made their day, and made the difference.
I believe the state of contentment comes when one realizes that their needs are fully met and in turn realize we are not in control what may happen to us tomorrow. The only thing we can control is our actions. Once we reach this state, we have so much capacity to give. It is overflowing. It is through our giving that a ripple effect occurs. We may not see this effect instantly but it is there.

Sit back and reflect, what can you do? Do you have more than you need?
mangerThe second part of this verse in the bible refers to the coming of Jesus Christ; our Savior. As we reflect on this season much of our reflection should be centered on Jesus. This is what Christmas is about. He came to bring us salvation, what an amazing gift in Him.

Over the course of the past couple of years, many times I have felt overwhelmed with what has happened in our lives. Any one event could have sent someone into a tailspin. However, in every one of these situations, I came to Jesus and my Lord God. I presented my requests, fears and anxiousness to Him. I did this because I knew I could not control what was happening, all I could control is the response. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments where I stuffed feelings, or where I would sit and just let the tears flow. But I knew that God would reign, and He had my best interests at heart. God does not want to see His children hurting.

The enemy wants us to get caught up in the “things” of this life. He wants us to live in the “fears”. When we give into the fears our minds cannot rest, be content, or really present in the moment. We also are not trusting in God, that He will meet our needs because our minds are filled with lies and fear.
During this Christmas season, rest, reflect, and take in what Christmas is really about. Our Saviour came to set an example for us, and to save us from the hurts or the pain. Be content in this season, and fill your mind with joy, thanksgiving, love and happiness. Be “present”, because that action in itself makes all the difference.