Give It a Rest

Happy Labor Day weekend! Monday is the day the government set aside in 1882 to honor the working person. As a working woman, I sure do appreciate the day off. How about you? What are your plans for the holiday? Shopping, cleaning, cooking, parties?

As I made plans for the weekend, I was sorely tempted to try to catch up on my to do list. You have one of those, right? As a single, there is always something that needs to be done: organize my office, clean the windows, wash my new car. The list is endless. But then I paused…

This is Labor Day – a holiday – for the hardworking American.

I deserve a rest!

The scripture verse that has been popping up on a regular basis around here this entire year came to mind. “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).

So I decided I was going to obey and rest at the pool. The shopping will always be there. The papers will be there. This was the last weekend of pool season and I was going to enjoy it. Sunglasses, reading material, and wide-brimmed hat in hand, I headed down to pick out my spot at the pool.

Ah, this is just what I needed as I reclined in the warmth of the sun. When I finally did rouse myself to get into the pool, I shocked everybody by not jumping right in with doing my laps.

“I’m floating today,” I responded to the raised eyebrow of a neighbor.

So why am I sharing this with you today, friends? Because I think I am not the only one who needs to give it a rest. We get so caught up in our busy schedules, our problems and issues, and all the other various and sundry thoughts that occupy our minds, it is important to give ourselves a rest, not just a physical rest but a mental one as well.

A good indicator of needing a rest is to ask myself two questions:
1) How much am I doing today?
2) How much am I talking today?

If I am running from one thing to another or talking non-stop about my problems, chances are I need to give it a rest. Our bodies and our minds need a time out from thinking and from doing. I believe that’s why Jesus commanded us to come to Him. Like Mary and Martha, Martha was constantly doing  but Mary chose the best part – sitting at Jesus’ feet and enjoying His presence.

How much time have you spent with Jesus this weekend, dear one? Has your weekend been filled with running, doing, and talking? I encourage you to start today and give it a rest. You’ll be amazed at how energized you will feel. Until next time, keep looking up!

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When Life Gets Out of Balance

As a single woman in this country, I am very grateful for the many freedoms I enjoy. But with great freedom comes great responsibility, true? The pressures to do a good job at work, maintain a home and a car, eat well, exercise, care for relatives and be there for friends can be exhausting at times. And when one area of life gets out of balance, it throws a kink in the whole works. I don’t know how your year has started off, but mine has been quite, shall I say, challenging. Can anyone relate?

In my quiet time recently, as I was reflecting on this whole singleness thing yet once again, the thought occurred to me: Jesus was single! Yes, he was. Didn’t he have a ton of things to do as well? My list pales in comparison to his: healing the sick, feeding the poor, fighting the religious rulers of the day, and teaching the disciples, not to mention preaching to thousands. Jesus didn’t have a car or even a home, as far as I know, but was he ever stressed or pressured? I doubt it. In fact, Jesus encourages us to learn from him. My life verse for this year is Matthew 11:28-30 and the words come back to me again.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Now I understand the first part about coming to him to rest. But I think the key could be in the very next verse. “For I am gentle and humble in heart.” Wow. Isn’t it when we try to press our own desires and ways that tension comes? Gentle and humble in heart. I believe that correlates to surrendering. You know the prayer, “Not my will, but thine be done.” What I am learning is that when I surrender, even if I know I am right, there is peace. I can trust that God will show the other party what the right thing is sooner or later. In the meantime, I can relax and let go. Then my burden is no longer heavy. Interesting how this all fits together, isn’t it?

So, as I meditate on this passage and how I can apply it to my life, I wanted to share with my friends. Perhaps you have already learned this lesson and if so, good for you. I know I need more practice. What kinds of situations throw you off balance and what tips can you share with us? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. In the meantime, I think it’s time for another post-it on my kitchen cabinet! Have a great rest of the week and as always, keep looking up!

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What’s Next?

Feel like you are at a crossroads in life? Not sure what you want to do next? Questioning your purpose? Fret not. We all have times in our lives when we feel this way. It usually means one season has ended, and another is about to begin. We have not been forsaken, missed the boat, or any other negative thing. It is merely time to start something new.

In fact, it is a pretty exciting time. The doors of adventure and opportunity are open before you and all you have to do is pick one and walk through it.

What is it that has been on your mind to do in life? Do you have a goal or a dream you always wanted to pursue? A hobby? A calling? A trip? There is no time like the present.

Don’t worry about it, though. Just step out in faith and take the first step. You will know soon enough if it is meant to be or not. Things will either work out or they won’t. You will know. And you will know when.

As the Nike ad encourages us all, “Just do it!” and let me know how it’s going too.

What’s Next?

Feel like you are at a crossroads in life? Not sure what you want to do next? Questioning your purpose? Fret not. We all have times in our lives when we feel this way. It usually means one season has ended, and another is about to begin. We have not been forsaken, missed the boat, or any other negative thing. It is merely time to start something new.

In fact, it is a pretty exciting time. The doors of adventure and opportunity are open before you and all you have to do is pick one and walk through it.

What is it that has been on your mind to do in life? Do you have a goal or a dream you always wanted to pursue? A hobby? A calling? A trip? There is no time like the present.

Don’t worry about it, though. Just step out in faith and take the first step. You will know soon enough if it is meant to be or not. Things will either work out or they won’t. You will know. And you will know when.

As the Nike ad encourages us all, “Just do it!” and let me know how it’s going too.

Get Motivated

Yesterday, I went to a motivational seminar to hear some famous folks like Colin Powell, Steve Forbes, Rudy Guiliani, and Sarah Palin. Each one spoke of how they have dealt with the trials and difficult crisis in their lives. They were all excellent. Fireworks and confetti announced each new speaker and they even gave away two trips to Disneyland and $10,000! Talk about abundance!

Every speaker talked about God and His principles. Get past your past. Help others get what they need and God will help you get what you need. Watch what you say because you are prophesying your own future. Zig Ziglar said “Encouragement is the fuel on which hope runs” and I couldn’t agree with him more.

That is why I write this blog – to encourage you in your daily journey to faith. Life is full of trials and tribulations, but with faith and the power of Jesus Christ, you can not only survive but thrive; that is the life that Jesus died for us to have. “I have come so that you may have life in abundance.” (John 10:10)

What kind of life do you want, dear one? The choice is yours.

Get motivated – get in the game – and remember to make time to connect with God and others. Go team!!!

Get Motivated

Yesterday, I went to a motivational seminar to hear some famous folks like Colin Powell, Steve Forbes, Rudy Guiliani, and Sarah Palin. Each one spoke of how they have dealt with the trials and difficult crisis in their lives. They were all excellent. Fireworks and confetti announced each new speaker and they even gave away two trips to Disneyland and $10,000! Talk about abundance!

Every speaker talked about God and His principles. Get past your past. Help others get what they need and God will help you get what you need. Watch what you say because you are prophesying your own future. Zig Ziglar said “Encouragement is the fuel on which hope runs” and I couldn’t agree with him more.

That is why I write this blog – to encourage you in your daily journey to faith. Life is full of trials and tribulations, but with faith and the power of Jesus Christ, you can not only survive but thrive; that is the life that Jesus died for us to have. “I have come so that you may have life in abundance.” (John 10:10)

What kind of life do you want, dear one? The choice is yours.

Get motivated – get in the game – and remember to make time to connect with God and others. Go team!!!

He Raised Me Up

As I nailed my list of burdens to the cross at church on Good Friday, the impact of what Jesus did for me on the cross pierced my heart and tears of grief and sadness welled up in my eyes.

Yet, though the cross was a dark and hopeless place, joy comes in knowing that Jesus did not stay there. As the women approached the tomb, they saw the stone was rolled away and Jesus’ body was gone. “He has risen” they were told by the angels. Indeed, what Jesus had told them had come true. The women’s grief was replaced by unspeakable joy.

Once again I am reminded that the promises of God are true. Jesus is alive and He has conquered the grave as well as the darkness that often pervades our souls. His Resurrection power is available to each of us who believe in Him. This season Jesus healed me of an unexplainable sickness and brought me into a greater revelation of who He is.

Whatever dark and hopeless place you may be going through, remember that Jesus has a purpose for it and He will raise you up as well. Rejoice and be glad, for Christ is Risen!

He Raised Me Up

As I nailed my list of burdens to the cross at church on Good Friday, the impact of what Jesus did for me on the cross pierced my heart and tears of grief and sadness welled up in my eyes.

Yet, though the cross was a dark and hopeless place, joy comes in knowing that Jesus did not stay there. As the women approached the tomb, they saw the stone was rolled away and Jesus’ body was gone. “He has risen” they were told by the angels. Indeed, what Jesus had told them had come true. The women’s grief was replaced by unspeakable joy.

Once again I am reminded that the promises of God are true. Jesus is alive and He has conquered the grave as well as the darkness that often pervades our souls. His Resurrection power is available to each of us who believe in Him. This season Jesus healed me of an unexplainable sickness and brought me into a greater revelation of who He is.

Whatever dark and hopeless place you may be going through, remember that Jesus has a purpose for it and He will raise you up as well. Rejoice and be glad, for Christ is Risen!

Is it Sunny?

What’s the weather going to be like today? Are you ready for the next snow? These are some of the questions I have been asked quite frequently lately. Very understandable as we have had history and record breaking snow fall so far this year in Baltimore, last I heard over 80 inches.

Today the sun is out and the snow is white and beautiful. The roads are pretty much clear and everyone is going about their business as usual.

So, my question today is how does the weather affect your mood, disposition, and outlook? Do you get up, take one look at the snow, rain, clouds, whatever and get depressed? Does the weather set your tone for your entire day or week?

I agree, it is nice to see the sun. Something about the sunshine energizes me. I like to believe it’s God’s power shining down on His children.

However, I don’t use the fact that the sun is not out as an excuse to waste my day. Each day is a gift, that’s why they call it “the present”. Life is too short to waste one minute of it as far as I’m concerned. We are called to be good stewards of our time. In fact, hanging in my office is a framed photo of a sunrise over the beach shoreline with the verse from Psalm 118:24 that says “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” as a reminder to choose to rejoice each and every day that the Lord gives me.

There is always something positive we can rejoice about, so next time the weather starts to get you down and out, let the joy of the Lord be your strength and go out and have a great day!