Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today Is Calling You

“Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow. Do you know what you’re doing when you spend a moment wondering how things are going to turn out...? You’re cheating yourself out of today. Today is calling to you, trying to get your attention, but you’re stuck on tomorrow, and today trickles away like water down a drain. You wake up the next morning and that today you wasted is gone forever. It’s now yesterday...” ― Jerry Spinelli, Love, Stargirl 

- unique lighting at a recent event - just had to stop and appreciate it -

Are you up for trying some new things?! :)
  1. Chew with your eyes shut. The other day at lunch I placed a bite of food in my mouth and shut my eyes. Suddenly, I found that the rest of my senses kicked into gear. I felt the texture of the food in my mouth, focused on the taste and smell, and found myself chewing slower. It's amazing to realize how much our eyes can distract us from the other senses. Totally worth trying!
  2. Drive a different way home. Since I have a new job, I've had many opportunities to try different routes. Over the next few days, take a new way home...even if it's just one street different. Engage your vision and look for something new and interesting!
  3. Describe. So often we go through the day on cruise control. Take a moment, even right now, and describe something you see around you. Is there something unique around you in nature? What about your home/ would you describe it someone in a different country? Look out the nearest window and jot down some interesting words about what you see.
  4. Work with your hands. Work a different part of the brain by either doing a craft, gardening, or working on some other physical project. (check out this unique article to learn more: The Health Benefits of Working With Your Hands. For example, I've been looking for a cute Christmas tree skirt for several years. I finally found one that I liked on Etsy but it was $85! I decided to at least try to make my own before I'd ever spend that kind of money. So I spent about 2 hours creating one. I was amazed how great I felt afterward! (will post photos soon)
  5. Walk casually. You don't really have to race from one point to the other. This morning, I saw a dad walking across campus with a little boy in tow. The young one was so out of breath trying to tell his dad a story and keep up that his feet almost didn't get a chance to hit the ground. Really?! So for a bit try meandering a bit, or stroll, mosey, wander, dawdle, ramble along sometimes. (actually, I think it's good to do most of the time)
 Here are some quotes to further inspire!

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ― Henry David Thoreau
 “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Being Still - by guest blogger, Lori

Earlier in the year, myself and a few girl friends went away for a weekend. We called it our "Strength Weekend" and it was designed so we could relax,  strengthen our relationship with God, and get closer to each other. We talked, prayed, watched an inspiring movie, played croquet and had a communion pancake breakfast. Also, each of us shared a lesson of something on our heart. Below is one lesson that was shared. I hope you'll find encouragement in her thoughts. :)

Being Still 
by Lori

The main scripture I want us to focus on: “Be STILL and know that I am God” –Psalm 46:10a

Since last year I realized my body has been telling me things are not going well.

-Depression (no joy, a week long, sad and wanted to be alone)
-Sick (Jan-Feb) 

I started thinking maybe I don’t know how to relax, how to take in the moments, or even how to listen to my own body when it needs rest.

As women do we know how to be still? Can I sit in one spot and take in God's Glory without thinking about my to-do list, my job, my pet, my worries, and my replay of previous events. Can I just sit here and take in the sound of the wind blowing the leaves, the wind chimes playing music, or do I hear the world and all its to-do’s?

#1 Live in the now, don't wait for tomorrow

-Don’t overload your schedule

“Look, I am Coming Soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done." ~Revelations 22:12

-Your schedule may not be packed to the max like some others and you may feel you are not doing your best because you’re not running around like a headless chicken. It's important to focus on what I do today and if it would make Jesus proud? (The little things)

-Think about the moment, about today, what you are doing

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  ~Matthew 6:34

-Don’t get caught up in worrying about things that could happen in the future. Example: Cleaning, planning my future, my projects/crafts, etc.

*Be still and LIVE in the moment

#2 Take the time to Love and Encourage yourself 

-Take care of yourself by treating yourself as one of God's treasures

“For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” ~Romans 14:7-8

-The world makes us believe that we own ourselves; God says we belong to him.

-Honor God with your body

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20

-The World believes that your body is an image and that we can do whatever we want to our bodies. We should ask ourselves, would Jesus do this to his body?

- Feel good about ourselves and where we are at physically and mentally. Sleepy, then get rest. Weak, then work out.

*Be still and Love, Encourage, and Honor your body.

 #3 A day of rest is crucial

-Do you know what happens to a battery when it keeps running? It dies quicker. We are no different.

“Six days of work shall be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest.”  ~Exodus 31:15a

-What is solemn rest? True Rest?

-Definition of solemn is characterized by deep sincerity; serious (syn.-somber, grave, honest, genuine, wholehearted, firm)

-God is the only one to give us the solemn rest we need

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  ~Matthew 11:28

-A true reset is to give it all to God so you may receive rest.

-You and the body/temple God gave will let you know how much rest is enough. That could be once a week to once every four months.

-It can be tough to keep this day sacred but if you do not get what you need you could end up sick and miss more than 1 day.

*Be still and REST.

Now, take a moment & practice being still (deep breathing and focus on breath)

craft with one of the lessons

communion breakfast

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Time for Everything

Have you ever tried to control the weather?
Or tell that rain cloud, "Don't pour yet!" 

What about the Winter or Summer? Have you ever tried to hold them back from arriving? 

This sounds silly and honestly, it is silly. We all know that we cannot do one thing to change the weather in an instant or stop how the seasons change.

Yet today I realized I try to do just that. I try to stop the seasons from changing. I even get disappointed when they do change. It may not be the weather's seasons I'm trying to control but I totally try to hold back the seasons of life. I'm not writing about the huge, hard things such as death or illness. I'm talking about regular 'ole changes like changes in relationships, career, my body as I age, or even the group of people God wants me to serve. I know the year will flow from one season to another yet for some reason I've gotten it in my mind that a season of life should always stay where it is...or at least be there as long as I think it should. When it doesn't, I get overly frustrated or sad. Silly me. Can you relate? 

Right now, I'm pondering how to better embrace those things that are just plain GOING to happen. As I try to change my mind set and get more comfortable with change, here are a few things I've found so far that I really like:

You may often see me wearing this pendant I bought at James Avery. I wear this as a reminder that whatever is going on in my life right's just one season.

Ecclesiastes 3:109
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace