Choosing Rest

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I’m learning to choose rest.

I’ve always thought if I move fast enough, I could outrun that fear of the voice that called me lazy.

Because if you are not moving, you must be lazy, right?

But the older I get, I’m able to look back with perspective on the live I’ve lived so far. It’s been a good life and a full life, but somehow…once again…I’d forgotten how to rest.

It becomes natural if we do lay down for rest to reach for a TV remote or check out Instagram one more time. And do we really need to check Facebook to see what someone had for dinner or where they are driving or what they are dismayed about? Over restoration?

It takes effort to lay here and rest, and as I do I’m aware of the sun shining through the window on my face.  I hear God in the church bells, in the children’s laughter of the schoolyard and even the cars going by. I hear Him in the life surrounding me.

And I sense His presence as the breeze blows my curtains and tickles my face.

Today I choose to lay here with my arms outstretched and just be aware and enjoy the moment and it felt good and right. Not a stitch of “lazy” in it.

Because I am desperate for rest.

Not the kind where I lay down and put my feet up, but where my soul rests with God. Where I can hear his voice and I’m not drowning it out with my to-do list, or my overactive brain images.

I want to rest with the purpose of spending time in his presence doing absolutely nothing but being aware that He is here with me.

Today, try to lay down long enough that you can doze for a few minutes in the sunlight. When you wake up? Stretch. I mean like a full and total fingertips to toes stretch. When was the last time you did that? It feels amazing.

There is no time for amazing in the rushed, in the frenzied.

It is found in moments of rest.

Decorate Your Mantel For Cheap Without Sacrificing Style

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Do you have a mantel or feature shelf that you enjoy decorating to coordinate with the seasons?

It can be done with very little cash and still look warm and stylish.

The key is to mix what you already own (with minor changes), a few cheap additions, and something personal to your family story. [Read more...]

God…Put Me Back Together Again {Psalm 41:4}

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You know those days when your smiles are hollow? When emotional rain feels heavy; it does not refresh.

Days when my actions are often inconsistent with my verbal declarations.

I demand respect, but don’t give it. I angle for the best for myself, while teaching generosity to my kids.  My moods are edgy and easy to inflame.

The good news is that God is gracious. Tonight I will carve a private place alone with God. No distractions.

Because, for me? Those distractions lead to sin.

Want to know what is funny about this? I used to be one of those who claimed I didn’t need a “savior”, I was a good person. Not a sinner. Once your eyes are opened, they stay that way. And for this, I am thankful.

For on this training ground, my spirit has groaned, laughed, learned.

God hears me. He hears you. He is in the business of putting people back  together, molding them into something more pure…beautiful.

I gladly embrace the cracks, that He will alter me into a  light that shines beautiful mosaic patterns into the darkness.

With that light I trust He will bring those whose cracks are similar. That His light in me may shine brighter to them.

That is my hope. My trust. My assurance.

Photography {Vintage Dishware}

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There is a comfort that is found when I handle the dishes passed down through my family. Knowing that my great grandfather might have spooned his sugar from this dish into his coffee. Maybe he was reading the paper…

Or when I gently finger the teacups of my great aunt, and I wonder if she preferred a solitary cup or to join with friends.
[Read more...]

How To Find More Time

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Remember when the word fall used to be synonymous with happy things? Pumpkins, cool weather, the changing of leaves…

Now it seems to be connected more with an impending sense of busyness. The dreaded overbooked calendar. [Read more...]

A Few Of My Favorite Things {Books}

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I have a girlhood memory. It was dusk and my mom was in the kitchen cooking dinner. The living room was unlit, and Johnny Mathis was crooning My favorite things on the record player. It is funny how often that scene comes to mind. I loved singing about favorite things…the one’s that made  me not feel so bad.

Today kick’s off a new series. I’ll be easing into short videos each month highlighting random things that top my list of loves. Expect fun. Quirky. Well, random…

Let’s start with books. It was impossible to narrow down to a top ten, and aren’t those overdone anyway?  For more book ideas, check out my post about reading 52 books in a year here. Make sure to add YOUR favorites in the comments! [Read more...]

Get Control Of Your Life

This day could have been called hot sauce and other fiery darts of  Hell.

Instead it was just called Thursday.

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This is my most anticipated day of each week. But I wasn’t prepared.

Stayed up too late, gleefully redecorating at 1:30am. Forgetting with one car I needed to take my husband to work in a few hours.

No time for God first.

Tried to do my new exercise videos.  There was no cueing until you were midmove. Frustrated I gave up and went off to appointments.

Without stopping to fuel up with God.

Appointments went well, but took longer than expected so other things piled up. You know how that domino effect of moments lost work. They start tipping pretty quickly. A little more frustrated.

Not time for devotions yet, had to do a math lesson to help my teen.

Now I have a confession to make. [Read more...]

How To Change The World With The Power Of Your Words

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We all hold a powerful weapon within us.

It influences every part of the world we inhabit. Touches every person we meet.

Our weapon is our words.

Capable of being used to destroy or protect. To ruin or stand guard. [Read more...]

The Damaging Effects Of Labels, And How You Can Turn Them Into Something Beautiful

I have a serious love affair with labels. Me and my label making machine? Let’s just say if labeling was an Olympic sport, I’d be showing off at least one Gold medal on my wall.

In a nicely labeled frame, of course.

There are some labels, different kinds, that I hate.

Stupid, loser, worthless… you can fill in the blanks. Some words are just cruel.

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50 Ways To Love Your Lover

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Do you remember that song 50 ways to leave your lover?  Well, there are probably closer to a million ways to leave– but I challenge you to find ways to stay.

Create ways to love your lover that are unique to your relationship.

Some stuff is obvious. So obvious, we neglect doing it in its simplicity. Start now. The harder stuff? Can I challenge you to make it relevant to your own life?

I am passionate about making marriage work.

And it is work. And joy. And just about every other descriptive word there is.

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No matter how strong you are, in time, a scenario will come that will shake you. Test you.

Like bed bugs you don’t see, invisible but leaving blood and wounds. We scratch and make it worse, while not dealing with the root problems.

Our tendency can be to take it out on each other.

Our inclinations to deal with stuff might be very different. Dealing with life consumes the time formerly devoted to our marriage.

If God gifted you with a loving spouse, celebrate that! Invest in it.

Here are 50 ways to love your lover, please add your own in the comments: [Read more...]