Smell the Roses

It’s a brand new year and it feels like it’s off to the races already. It wasn’t even January 1st and folks were posting their New Year’s resolutions on Facebook.  My publisher was ringing my phone trying to get me to focus on marketing for Lent when I was focused on Christmas. Social media, smart phones, and the relentless advance of time and technology presses us to keep up, move faster, and get more done.

I, for one, protest.

As a single parent, for years, I moved at the speed of light, you might say. Every minute was packed with things to do and places to go. I ran myself ragged trying to do it all.  I prided myself on being able to multi-task. Until, one day, I ran myself into the ground. 

My kids saw it coming.
“Smell the roses, Ma,” my youngest would warn.

When we reviewed my to do list, a wise young one asked “I don’t see play time on here anywhere.”

Out of the mouth of babes, right?

I knew it was time for a major shift in perspective and behavior. You know how they say “Father knows best”? Well, our heavenly Father does know best and he knows how to slow us down. Physical ailments, migraines, and over-strained muscles are our body’s way of telling us something needs to change. But do we listen?

When was the last time you really savored a meal, took a relaxing, hot bubble bath or sat down in your favorite chair to read a good book? If you’re raising kids, when did you last make them a home-cooked meal? Read them a good book? Or take time to play a game? If you’re single, how many nights a week are you out of the house? Do you wake up every morning tired? Do you have time to exercise and keep in shape?

I may be in the minority and that’s okay. But I have learned: God’s pace is S L O W and His voice is quiet. When I slow down enough to hear that still small voice, I gain clarity on my priorities. When I am more motivated to do the will of God than the fear of getting so much done, I accomplish what really matters to the heart of my Lord.

It is a trade off.  I may not be up with the latest news, Hollywood gossip, electronics or sports teams. To be honest, I am more interested in hearing what God wants to whisper to me than what the world is trying to shout. My mother likes to kid me by saying “Oh yeah, I remember. You don’t watch television.” It’s kind of a joke around our family now.

So, what do you think about the pace of life? Are you moving at the speed of light these days? If so, are you really enjoying life?  I know I still struggle with going against the rushing tide. What do you do to slow down and smell the roses? Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!

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The Sign of Snow

This morning as I look out my window, the sky is puffy and white and the snowflakes are softly floating through the air. Some might look at the snow and see it as a nuisance, an interference in their plans and schedules. I see it as a sign.

A sign, you ask? Of what?

A sign to slow down. To sit back by my fireplace, with a cup of hot tea, and maybe a book, a pet, or a loved one close by. The gym will always be there, so will the stores, the shopping, the errands. After a hectic week on all fronts, I enjoy a snowfall on a saturday morning. The peace I feel watching the snowflakes fall to the ground is a welcome respite from the busyness of the week. To me, it’s a reminder from heaven to slow down and relax, to focus and perhaps meditate on what is really important in life.

As we rush through life, and worry and fret about the daily issues and annoyances, I remember Ps. 46:1 “Be still and know that I am God”. That’s all we really need to do, take some time to be still and listen. Enjoy the snow!

The Sign of Snow

This morning as I look out my window, the sky is puffy and white and the snowflakes are softly floating through the air. Some might look at the snow and see it as a nuisance, an interference in their plans and schedules. I see it as a sign.

A sign, you ask? Of what?

A sign to slow down. To sit back by my fireplace, with a cup of hot tea, and maybe a book, a pet, or a loved one close by. The gym will always be there, so will the stores, the shopping, the errands. After a hectic week on all fronts, I enjoy a snowfall on a saturday morning. The peace I feel watching the snowflakes fall to the ground is a welcome respite from the busyness of the week. To me, it’s a reminder from heaven to slow down and relax, to focus and perhaps meditate on what is really important in life.

As we rush through life, and worry and fret about the daily issues and annoyances, I remember Ps. 46:1 “Be still and know that I am God”. That’s all we really need to do, take some time to be still and listen. Enjoy the snow!

August Already

Wow, I can’t believe August is here already: the final month of summer. How’s your summer been? Have you made time to have some fun and maybe relax in the sun? Summer is a time to recharge our batteries and take things a little easier. Clothes and meals are lighter. Time for snowballs and outdoor concerts, for reading and being a bit lazy.

I’ve learned it’s okay to be a bit lazy sometimes. In fact, it’s actually healthy. Our lives are so go go go, always in a rush to go somewhere or do something. The body and the mind can only take so much activity. I think that’s why we have the seasons. As it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun (Eccl. 3:1). We were not made to be on the go constantly.

Slowing down has immeasurable benefits both physically and mentally. I know I can think clearer when I don’t have so much on my mind. I actually am more productive because I have time to think things through. Besides that, feeding off the adrenalin high of constant activity puts too much stress on both the mind and the body over the long haul.

I plan to take full advantage of the last month of summer. Maybe take in a few day trips and spend some more time at the pool. How about you, dear one? How will you enjoy the last lazy hazy days of summer? Write me and let me know!

August Already

Wow, I can’t believe August is here already: the final month of summer. How’s your summer been? Have you made time to have some fun and maybe relax in the sun? Summer is a time to recharge our batteries and take things a little easier. Clothes and meals are lighter. Time for snowballs and outdoor concerts, for reading and being a bit lazy.

I’ve learned it’s okay to be a bit lazy sometimes. In fact, it’s actually healthy. Our lives are so go go go, always in a rush to go somewhere or do something. The body and the mind can only take so much activity. I think that’s why we have the seasons. As it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun (Eccl. 3:1). We were not made to be on the go constantly.

Slowing down has immeasurable benefits both physically and mentally. I know I can think clearer when I don’t have so much on my mind. I actually am more productive because I have time to think things through. Besides that, feeding off the adrenalin high of constant activity puts too much stress on both the mind and the body over the long haul.

I plan to take full advantage of the last month of summer. Maybe take in a few day trips and spend some more time at the pool. How about you, dear one? How will you enjoy the last lazy hazy days of summer? Write me and let me know!

Cleansing Rain

The skies opened up this morning and a strong summer shower descended like a million drops from heaven. As I watched the downpour, I was tempted to run out in it like a child enjoys running through a sprinkler. If you’ve ever done this, you know the joy I’m talking about.

Just as the earth needs to be cleansed and refreshed so flowers and fruit can grow, so our spirits need to be cleansed and refreshed, too. God’s holy spirit is the rain that cleanses my soul and allows his fruit to grow.

But we, like the clouds, have to allow Him to break through.

How do we do this? How do we improve our connection with God so that His Spirit can fill us so we will be fruitful?

What am I learning is simple yet hard to do – slow down. A lot. Being a single parent so many years, my daily pace was constantly on fast forward. Many of us find ourselves running at this pace. I even know 80 year olds who have not slowed down enough to spend time with God. The news is: a fast pace is not conducive to connecting with God.

The choice is ours. Which will it be? Our fast-paced hectic lifestyles full of stress, tension, and anxiety or a life of joy and rest connected to our Lord. It’s up to us each day. “Lo I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life….” (Deut. 30:19) Next time it rains, take a few minutes to go out and run in it. Feel the joy and be cleansed!

Cleansing Rain

The skies opened up this morning and a strong summer shower descended like a million drops from heaven. As I watched the downpour, I was tempted to run out in it like a child enjoys running through a sprinkler. If you’ve ever done this, you know the joy I’m talking about.

Just as the earth needs to be cleansed and refreshed so flowers and fruit can grow, so our spirits need to be cleansed and refreshed, too. God’s holy spirit is the rain that cleanses my soul and allows his fruit to grow.

But we, like the clouds, have to allow Him to break through.

How do we do this? How do we improve our connection with God so that His Spirit can fill us so we will be fruitful?

What am I learning is simple yet hard to do – slow down. A lot. Being a single parent so many years, my daily pace was constantly on fast forward. Many of us find ourselves running at this pace. I even know 80 year olds who have not slowed down enough to spend time with God. The news is: a fast pace is not conducive to connecting with God.

The choice is ours. Which will it be? Our fast-paced hectic lifestyles full of stress, tension, and anxiety or a life of joy and rest connected to our Lord. It’s up to us each day. “Lo I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life….” (Deut. 30:19) Next time it rains, take a few minutes to go out and run in it. Feel the joy and be cleansed!