The Importance of Rest

I have a theory. It’s not that unique or originally, but I think it’s important. And I think it’s applicable to a variety of people at all different stages of life.

I think we all just need to take a nap.

But even typing out those words I feel guilty. As someone who has lived in the Midwest my entire life I feel a deep need to be productive. And by productive I mean busy. Because idle hands are the devils playground and we wouldn’t want that. There is an assumption that I work hard to combat. That taking a rest or not constantly working on something means I am being lazy. But I’m crying foul.

I have noticed that the more I focus on all that needs to be done, the more overwhelmed it becomes to me. I run around trying to take care of all the stuff and I become more and more like a hamster stuck on a wheel. Just going around and around. Always working on things but never getting them done. I try to pay attention to everything and yet focus on nothing.

But then if I take a step back and just decompress, it helps bring life back into perspective. Sometimes taking a day off from the frenetic pace of life is a necessity. It gives me some time to calm down and focus on what needs to be done. This could mean taking an afternoon and watching my favorite shows or reading a book. Sometimes it means taking a literal day and going to a coffee house and relaxing. It takes a little bit of forethought and planning, but I promise it is worth it.

How do you step back from life and get perspective?

Blessings
-K

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No Perfect Moment

I committed to blogging again. I committed to you. I committed to share my story. And I got two whole posts up. And then life has kicked in and I keep waiting for that perfect combination of kids in bed or occupied, husband doing his thing, all the house work is done and there is nothing else to deal with. But you know what? That moment never comes.

This idea that if I just had the right set up. Or maybe if I just wait until the best opportunity comes along for me. If I could just get this one last thing handled. If all those things come together then I will have time to do whatever I feel most passionate about.

It’s all lies.

There will never be a perfect moment without a hundred other little squeezed in moments to develop your craft. There is never going to be the one perfect opportunity with out a hundred other half attempts or even failures. I’m never going to have that one last thing handled cause there are always about a thousand more things jumping to take the place of the one last thing.

I have stuff and you have stuff. It’s about setting aside time and maybe sacrificing so the time is there. For me that means cutting back on how much television I watch. Or how much time I take to play games on my iPad. It might mean saying no to some things and yes to others. Maybe it means I get up a half an hour later so I have time to set up for the day instead of hitting the ground at warp speed leaving me to exhausted to work on my craft at the end of the day. It’s about being at the place that I can’t put off this need to write any longer. It means that the fire lit in me is going to consume me if I don’t speak out. I’ve found my passion, my calling. Now it’s time to get to work on it.

Is it time to start yours?

Blessings
K

Staying instead of Going

I wasn’t sure what to write today. It’s been so long since I knew what to write, I thought maybe I should just scrap this all and give up. Because I tend to do that when things get hard. Just walk away. Hobbies, jobs, relationships, life. When things tend to get hard or messy I have been known to walk away. It’s not usually a choice, so much as a compulsion. I don’t want others to not like me. So I will often get out before things get to real or honest.

I’ve missed out on a lot of life because of that. Some things really can’t be left. Like my husband. And my kids. Life isn’t meant to be lived looking back. It’s not meant to be run away from. There are things that happen in the mess that can only be seen when I am present there. I am learning that. I am being changed. It’s a hard road. It’s hard for me, my husband, my family. I have to stay here and believe it’s worth it. Because I have seen the cost of thinking something wasn’t worth doing and that price is to high to pay this time.

When I opened up my WordPress account today, I found this article. There’s a lot of fluff and stuff to sort through, but there were also some really great things that spoke to me this morning. Here are a few quotes:

“Change always requires something from us. Time. Learning new habits.  Abandoning “ease” to take on a season of planning and structuring for the new. Giving up or giving in or doing away with or adding onto, it all takes work to arrive at a new normal. Sacrifice.” -Heather Spring

These are the questions that Ms. Spring is asking of herself for the new year. The questions that she hopes will lead her to a new normal. These are the questions she prays to God for guidance. They are good starting place for this new year. Sometimes I can’t see where things are going, and I’m learning to be ok with that. To sit and be steady instead of running as fast as I can away from things. So this is what I will be pondering:

“Will you go without knowing?

What are You going to do with this?”
“If I do this, how’s it going to end up?”
“What are You going to do with that dream?”

Will I go without knowing how things will turn out?

Can I? Will I?”

Blessings

-K

My favorite hour of the day.

What is my favorite hour of the day?

My favorite hour of the day is 8:45-9:45 PM. As much as 4Pm-6Pm are the witching hours, so 8:45-9:45Pm is my holy hour.

It’s dark, it’s quiet. The slushing of the dishwasher makes for a subtle bit of background music.

The children are in bed. The husband is wrapping up his own thing. It’s a reflective time. A chance to sit back and relish the victory that is getting thru the day with three kids.

If I have a ladies night out planned, this is when it is getting ready to begin. A night to cut loose and commiserate with my friends about life.

Eight forty-five pm is my time. Woe to any who come upon me without invitation.

Blessings
-K

Distraction, Distraction Everywhere

Random Tidbit: Wendy’s fries and I are no longer friends. We had a falling out. It’s to hard to talk about.

Ahhh, It’s Wednesday! When did that happen? I feel like I just woke up and it was Monday. Needless to say, this week has been full of stuff for our family. I also skipped my work out the last three days and that could be why the week feels out of whack.

When you throw a wrench into my routine I don’t always get over it. In fact, you could say it stalls me completely and I am left scrambling to find the pieces of my former plans. Am I the only one in this? I feel like I’m not. At least per my friends on Facebook. It takes me a while to get back into my swing. To find the motivation to bring the big picture back into my day to day. I have to reset my anchors and kind of build my day around those things. These anchors hold down a large tarp. They are spaced out and allow the tarp to billow up like a giant balloon. I am underneath the tarp and can see this big picture if I look up to the tarp. But when I don’t make sure to keep working on these goals, it’s like one of the ropes holding the tarp down has come undone from it’s anchor. And it’s easy to lose sight of that part of the picture. Sometimes there are a lot of distractions that keep me from tying down that part of the tarp and the sun and rain of life can wash away that part of the dream. Sometimes that happens for different reasons. Like it’s just not the right time for that particular dream or goal. Or maybe God wants me to go in a different direction than what I originally thought. But until I hear otherwise, I am going to keep tying my tarp ropes down so I can keep the big picture where I can see it.

What are you talking about, K? You may ask. I mean finding the two or three things that need to happen in a day so that I can have time to do what needs to be done for the home, family, marriage and still have time to work on the big goals I have to write and blog and become a better person.

Everyone has different goals, and therefore everyone has different anchors. For me, my anchors are working out, blogging and participating in a community Bible Study each semester. These help me keep a hold of my three big goals of being able to run a half marathon, building a web presence and maybe write a book and finally growing closer in my relationship with God. If I lose hold of these three things, than I often am left running from one fire to another just trying to keep things above water. Dave Ramsey and Jon Acuff both have great books that help you learn more about this. I would recommend them. The books are Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey and Quitter by Jon Acuff. When I am running around scrambling, that affects the day to day of life as well. Then everything is chaos and the crazy train comes into town.

So this week kind of got away from me. I skipped out on one of the anchors for my week and have been running around trying to tie the ropes back down so I don’t lose sight of the big picture. And here I am. Tying down the ropes and moving closer to the dream. Thanks for reading and the encouragement.

Blessings

-K

Working Plan

Random tip- short indoor tracks are not the best way to run for three and a half miles.

This week I wrapped up the Bible study that I was a part of on the book of Nehemiah. I referenced it a few times, here and here. It opened my eyes so much to the need for me to reach out to others. To be looking for ways to share God’s love with others. In a tangible and real way, not just in a check writing way.

The last few days in particular were a firm reminder to press on to the work that God has laid out for me. Even when I don’t understand or know what will come after this first step, to just keep moving forward until there is a definite “NO” from God. The quote I liked best from Kelly Minter‘s video was “I may not know what’s in front of me, but there is nothing I am clutching now that is worth forgoing the work God has laid in my heart.” That was at the very end of our last video session. And it’s so very true for me.

Nothing I hold dear is as important as God’s work that he has given me. OR for you. But it’s so easy to get distracted. There’s home, family, work. Church, ministry, activities. What is the balance in all of this? I feel like God has been pretty clear to me on what the work is that He has for me. Just typing this post is evidence of that. Life sometimes gets in the way, I think with discipline, daily being persistent in carving out time to do the work God has for you and me is what builds momentum in us to keep going forward with God’s work for us.

But I know it’s not always clear for every one. That God reveals Himself in His own timing to each of us when we are able to hear Him. While you are waiting for the full plan to be revealed to you it can be difficult. There is a page in the Dr. Seuss book “Oh the places you will go” that talks about the waiting place. It’s a bunch of people just sitting around waiting. You can get stuck there. Just sitting around waiting for God’s plan to be revealed. And that’s good for a time. The tricky thing is knowing when God is saying to move forward and when He means for us to be still and wait. Pray, pray pray in this season.

Sometimes saying yes to God’s work means saying no to the plans you have. I know that I had my life planned out a certain way, and it hasn’t turned up that way. At all. And it would have been easier to wallow in remorse and anger over different situations. However, God used the people in my life to help me see that God wasn’t punishing me for anything by taking my life in a different direction, He was moving me toward Him. Looking back, I am so grateful for those encouragers. I want to be that for others now.

So that’s where I am, just trying to be obedient and faithful to the work God has laid out for me. What has he laid out for you? Have you ever thought about it?

Blessings

-K

But it’s my right….

Random Fact: I like scarves. I am glad it’s getting cold enough to wear one on a regular basis and not seem like I am robbing a bank.

Ok, on to the real stuff.

Currently, I am doing the Kelly Minter study on the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is an Old Testament book. It’s a wonderful book. I think it would actually make a really great movie. There is a lot of drama and some intrigue. You should check it out. It’s usually thought of as a leadership book. As in, see a project and follow the example of Nehemiah as you do it. He was a great leader. Nehemiah rebuilt a whole wall in 52 days, through the strength of the Lord. He mobilized a people group to leave their cushy life and return to the promise God had laid out for them. And he did it all by staying faithful to God and by surrendering every aspect of his life to the work of God.

Nehemiah was set up in a position of authority over the Jewish people. He was their mayor. In the past, the Jewish people living in Jerusalem and around it’s outskirts were ruled by a Persian mayor or governor. And they were taxed excessively so that the person in authority could live a lavish lifestyle. It was expected that a person in authority had the right to use the taxes for his own personal gain. There was a very large land and food allotment that the authority figure also received. In addition to the taxes. All this to say that when the Jewish people were in Jerusalem, they were very heavily burdened by all this taxing.

When Nehemiah came in to his position of authority, he took a different approach than his predecessors. He said in Nehemiah 5:19 “Out of reverence for God, I did not act like that.” And then in 5:19 “…I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.”

So in this Bible study, there are five days of homework a week. And we were asked on the day we looked at this passage (Neh. 5:14-19), “Is God asking you to lay down an entitlement in a situation you are justified to hold onto it? If so, what do you see as the greater purpose of relinquishing this right?” (K. Minter Nehemiah) That hit me so hard. Because I’m American. Yes, I have been a Jesus follower from a young age. I know all about being a servant and surrendering my will to God’s will (not that this is something I have a grasp on, but I know about it). But to lay down an entitlement, a right that I am justified in keeping? That is hard. If I am really honest, it might be to hard.

I am a stay at home mom, and I have three kids. And when I prayed about what right I am holding to tightly to, that I am justified to, time came to my mind. Specifically “my time”. I am so covetous of the time I get for myself and with my husband. Time to renew yourself and time with you spouse is absolutely GOOD. Please don’t take this as a reason to pour out everything you are to your children until there is nothing left of yourself. That is not where this is going. What I am saying, is that I need a more balanced look. When I get time to myself or with my husband I can become gluttonous about it. As in, I have had a little bit and now I want more. And then more. And more. I get mean and cranky with those that would interrupt that time with my spouse or the time I have for myself. That is not right. When I start being selfish and demanding about my time, it’s become an idol.

That is what the Lord showed me. That I need to relinquish the iron-clad grip I have on ‘my’ time. Yes, I will set aside time for myself and my spouse. But I also need to be pouring more into my kids. And taking some of that ‘me’ time and making it ‘us’ time for me and my kids. That is the greater good that will be served by relinquishing the control I have over what I do with my time.

What about you? Do you have a ‘justified right’? Is there a greater good that could be served by letting go of the right?