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!

Talk Less, Listen More

People like to talk. I think that’s why social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and cellphones have become so popular. People want to talk about what’s on their minds and what’s going on in their lives and there’s nothing wrong with that – to a point.

Gender doesn’t seem to matter. It has been said women talk more than men but I know several men who can out-talk a woman any day of the week. It seems the more free time someone has on their hands, the more they like to “shoot the breeze”.

But sometimes I long for good old peace and quiet. Seems like it’s a rare commodity these days. Yes?

Did you know that the Bible has a lot to say about talking. See what you think about these nuggets of wisdom.

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (Prov. 18:18)

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19)

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint and a man of understanding is even tempered.” (Prov. 17:27)

Basically, speak only when necessary, avoid unwholesome talk and use words that are uplifting and edifying to the hearer (Eph. 4:29). Sometimes that’s quite a tall order, wouldn’t you say?

The truth of the matter is that we could all, yes, that includes me, use more practice in listening. As I used to tell my kids, “That’s why God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

So, what do you have to say 🙂 Are you a talker? Do you like to chit chat for hours on end? Or are you one of the silent types who barely utters a word? The goal of this post is to encourage us all to strive for balance in our speech because silence truly is golden.

Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!