R & R, I don’t have time for it.

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bee-on-flower-Pakhnyushchy-Shutterstock

Jeanne Guyons a 17th century author wrote, “bees can only draw juice from the flowers by resting on them not by flying around them”. That resonates with me as I believe in this modern age we feel guilty if we aren’t buzzing around, flitering from one activity to another. Most people can’t even put down their phone long enough to look up for a face to face conversation. It is a joke in the media how people stare at their phones, constantly checking social media or texting without knowing what is going on around them. A bee can not draw juice from the flower unless he rests on the flower.

We must learn to rest. I believe we need to build rest into our lives. Why do I use the word “build”? I use that word because it must be on purpose and you must choose to make time to rest. You may ask what does rest look like, what does it really mean to rest?R & R or rest and relaxation is more than just sleep. I am talking about stepping away from the serious parts of life, step back and have some fun. Get out and take a hike, take a day trip, or dance in the living room with your 6 year old. We must rest our minds from the crazy days. We must teach our children to yes, work hard for your dreams and goals but don’t lose the play and certainly don’t forget to rest. Learn to be with your loved ones. Something I learned from Tommy Barnett, a pastor in Phoenix, Arizona was to be 100% where ever you are. Give whatever you are doing, your complete attention. He said if he was at his boys ball game then he was 100% there. Then when he walked away if he took a call in his car then he was 100% with that person. He had 1000’s in his congregation but when he saw you, he always made you feel like you were the most important person. That was because he learned to be present 100% at that moment. That is a huge lesson and a lesson in rest. We should learn to be 100% at work, then walk away and be 100% with our family at dinner. Have you ever had coffee with a friend and walked away thinking I just feel so good right now? That’s rest. Did you ever play a silly game with your kids or grandkids, and laughed and had a silly good time? That’s rest. Did you ever ride your bike and even though you were sweating you thought I feel great? Do you sit in church and think, yes this is what I needed? Or quietly sit before the Lord and even though you didn’t say a word you feel fulfilled and loved? Rest and relaxation can be different things for different people. So what qualify’s as rest and relaxation?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary says this:

Definition of rest
  1. repose, sleep; specifically : a: bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities freedom from activity or labor b : a state of motionlessness or inactivity c : the repose of death
  2. a place for resting or lodging
  3. peace of mind or spirit
  4. a rhythmic silence in music (2) : a character representing such a silence b : a brief pause in reading
  5. something used for support

at rest
  1. resting or reposing especially in sleep or death
  2. quiescent, motionless
  3. free of anxieties

At this time let’s concentrate on the definitions “Peace of mind or spirit” and “free of anxieties”. So in those definitions you see that what brings you to that state of being where you have peace and have released anxieties, that is rest. But let’s remember it is a choice. You must lay down the stress and enjoy the moment, then you will find peace. You know me, I believe in laying the stress, anxiety, troubles and cares on Jesus. In fact I love the verse in the Bible that says Cast all your cares on Him, 1 Peter 5:7, the Amplified Bible says it like this “Roll all your cares, your anxieties, your worries and all your concerns, once and once and for all on Him, for He cares about you with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully”. Ok did that just bring your spirit some rest? It does mine. And what I wanted to bring attention to is the “roll your cares…” When I think of rolling I think of a ball. And when you roll a ball you actually have to let go of the ball before it will roll. You must roll it, by letting it go and give all the junk that you are going through, away and let God catch it. And He does, He catches the stuff, the anxiety, cares, worries, concerns and the mess of life and He does it because He cares deeply for you. That is cool. That brings rest. But again you must choose to roll them, choose to let Him take them, you must choose to walk away from them. You might have to do it 50 times a day but you need rest. Dr. Caroline Leaf in her book Switch on Your Brain says that whatever you think about the most will grow and it creates a cycle because what you have thought about has gone into your subconscious and becomes an physical thought. Read her book if you want to know more, it is fascinating and shows how we must choose what we think about. You must let go of worry and stress and take conscious breaks and rest. The more you think about those problems the bigger they become and your body will suffer because of it. God created the universe in 6 days and on the 7th day He rested. Did He need the rest? I don’t think so, I think He gave us an example to follow. In fact Jordan S. Rubin N.M.D., Ph.D speaks of taking a rest in his book The Maker’s Diet. He says every 7th day we should take a rest from physical labor and mental labor. He says in his book that mental labor is proven to be more exerting and taxing on the adrenal system and the whole body then even physical labor. As you can tell it is important to take time to rest. Our bodies struggle with the amount of stress that we all live with in this modern age. Children are struggling with stress. As adults we need to make the choice to build rest into our lives and become good examples.

Learn to turn off the TV, the computer, your phone. Learn to build in fun time, play time, time that your mind can rest. Learn to get good restorative sleep. You must take time to rest. When you rest you will be more productive in every area of your life. If you spend some time resting you just might get more juice out of life and out of your creative abilities then when you are flying all around. Try it and see if you will be like the bee, more productive after some R & R time.

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Push through to the hem of His garment

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You remember the story in the Bible, Luke 8, about the lady with the long term illness? She pushed through the crowd and it says she thought “if I can just touch the hem of his cloak I will be healed”.  I do not have an illness, except for what is called LIFE.  And there are times I think if I can just push through the mess of life, the noise of issues and touch the hem of His garment things will be alright. Do you ever feel that way that you need to push through your mess, your crowds of people and their ideas or opinions, get past the road of confusion and just touch the hem of His garment?  I have to have time to settle my mind down, stop thinking about everything to really get in the presence of God.  For me I need to have a quiet room, which is really hard with 2 elderly parents, a 6 year old, 2 dogs and 3 cats, not even counting the other people in the house or the phone or etc.  So I have to pick times when everyone is calm, tummies full, they are taking naps, reading books or watching TV.  I have to choose my time.   Then I have to turn on calm, worshipful, meditative music like Grace Williams or Jason Upton.  I need to have the light off and the fan on.  I sound picky.  I can spend time with the Lord anywhere and anytime but for me to push past everything I need preparation. And this preparation calms me down and shuts the clutter and clamor of my mind down a little quicker.  Do you prepare for your time in His presence? Have you thought about what helps you to settle into a cup of tea, spend time, shut out distractions type atmosphere with Jesus?

In verse 46 (NLT) Jesus says “someone deliberately touched me”.  Is that what it takes to push through?  Just be deliberate?  Does your heart cry out like mine “I want to know you more”?  Tommy Tenny says “push back the hands of Jesus and look at His face”. Sometimes we want all the benefits but not the labor.  We want the last part of “if you do this, you will get this…”  We forget the first part.   If we love the Lord your God with all you heart, emotions, mind, strength, all of you, then He gives and He gives and He gives.

I heard a term by one of my coaches, “what you carry, you create”.  There are times we have to push through things of our own making.  If we carry around anger then anger will surround us.  And things will seem to be attracted to us that will make us angry.  If we carry around depression & refuse to get help, a counselor, or someone to pray with us then the depression is like a blanket and it surrounds us and makes everything we touch depressing. The more you think things are horrible then like a snowball effect horrible things will come to you like a magnet. But the opposite holds true as well. The more you become grateful then you will walk around with a blanket or a cloak of gratefulness. Even if something is bad, you have clothed yourself with gratefulness and you won’t stumble down the rabbit trail of “whoa is me”.  We won’t begin singing the song from the 70’s show Hee Haw “gloom despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery.  If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.  Gloom, despair and agony on me”.  It’s kind of sad that I know that song.  It really is a catchy tune with rhyme.  I need to find a catchy tune and rhyme full of gratefulness.  There are times that I really have to  work on being grateful.  A lot of times actually.  I am a positive person but sometimes LIFE presses in on me.  And I have to make a choice to be grateful.  What I have found is if I become deliberate, and choose to be grateful then my mood will change.  It is a choice.  Everything is a choice.  I can choose to carry grumpiness or I can choose to carry gratefulness.  I can choose to carry anger or I can choose to be grateful.  The more I make the choice to be grateful then the easier it gets and the quicker I make it.  We must make a choice to be deliberate, we must make the choice to push, we must make the choice to be grateful.  None of it comes easy.  At some point you must make the choice and then it will become more common.  But until the choice is made and you practice daily being deliberately grateful and push yourself to be grateful when you want to act like a spoiled child who doesn’t get their way, then change will never happen.  Let’s make the choice.  Let’s be deliberate.  Let’s push ourselves to be uncomfortable to become better.  The best way to start this process is by being deliberate and spending time with Jesus.  The best way to continue this process is by being deliberate and spending time with Jesus.  The best way to push past everyone and everything and to touch His garment or to spend time with Him is to be deliberate.

 

Opposite Day

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What do you do when you are so irritated or frustrated that you could “spit nails”? How about when you want to crumble in a heap, weep and not get up for years, or so you feel.  When any emotion or situation comes up that feels like it has taken over you, that it will consume you, what do you do? 

Lately I have been saying “it’s opposite day”. My dad, who has Alzheimer will do things opposite of whatever you ask him to do. Example if you say sit down he will walk away. Or he will pull his clothes on when you are trying to get him to take them off. Now we could talk about the amazing brain and what is happening. Or we could talk about if I should even share about my dad and the disease called alzheimers but the point is, it has caused me to think how we can do opposite of what is wanted.  The Bible says in Philipians 4:8 “whatsoever is good, lovely, pure…think on these things”. If our brains are healthy we have a choice of what to think about. Apparently God wants us to think about good.  And apparently we can make a choice of what we will think about. So I have decided that I am going to choose to have opposite days. So when I want to “spit nails” I must choose to think opposite. Does it sound hard? Of course it does. Anything worth doing takes effort. To choose to think opposite of where the mind is going, takes effort. First you have to acknowledge that where your mind is taking you is not where you want to go. You have to decide I don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole. I don’t want to go where it is leading me.  You have to make the choice to stop that train wreck. You have to stop…take a breathe…change your thoughts…opposite day.  I say stop and take a breath because that helps me. I am sharing this because I am not immune to those rabbit holes. I can jump in them feet first and say I have a right to be mad, sad or whatever emotion is carrying me away at that moment. I have a right! Hmmm really.  Jesus had a right to say No you will not treat me this way, but He didn’t.  I guess it comes down to what do you want for your future. Do you see the bigger picture? You can go down that rabbit hole and become “that” person, an angry, sad, depressed, always complaining person or you can choose opposite day. Take a breath, it recenters your mind. It gives you a chance to actually make the decision if that is where you want to go. It gives you a chance for your right thinking to kick in. Then you make the choice to have an opposite day or go down that hole. How do you have opposite day? I am glad you asked. When you want to tear someone up, choose to be grateful. I don’t care what it is just find something and be grateful, it can be “i am thankful the sky is blue” or “i am thankful I have breath”. Just find something. It puts a break in the thought pattern. It gives you just enough break that you can think of one more thing to be grateful for. I love this shirt I have on I am grateful I have this shirt on, I like the color… Now you have started being grateful, find something else. I am grateful Jesus died for me. Now you’ve done it. It is really starting to get hard to be mad, sad, depressed etc. Keep going and find 5 more things to be thankful for and your mood will change. Now for the big one, choose, because it is opposite day, to find something about that person or that situation and be grateful. I know this is hard….but you can do it. Colossians 3:17 says “whatever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord and give thanks for Him”. God wouldn’t say it if He didn’t think you could do it.  Choose to have an opposite day and then choose again tomorrow and the next day to do the same. A few months from now you will look back and say “why did I let that bother me” but you have to make the choice today.  So today choose to have a great opposite day.

Fill me with hope

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Today is one of those days. Stop reading now if you don’t want the transparent part of this blog.  Turn back now Will Robertson!  The humanness is oozing out here. I have my days all figured out how I want them to go. I get up in the morning in peace. Send my daughter off to school feeling loved and encouraged.  Text my husband all through the morning reminding him of my love. I spend quiet time with the Lord, getting filled up and ready to conquer my day. I read a little, write some notes and then make a few business calls. Everyone I talk to jumps on board and wants to be involved in my business or becomes a great customer in love with my products as much as I love them. Then I fix my parents breakfast and help them get dressed all with a sweet attitude, doing everything they need with a huge amount of patience. While they eat I clean their room and then settle them back down as they enjoy watching their TV programs. Then I clean house and get more business done filling the house with joy and peace. My husband and daughter come home I am dressed looking gorgeous, my husband takes me in his arms and tells me how much he loves and appreciates me. The day continues this way until I get everyone to bed feeling loved and cared for. But in reality I woke up annoyed. I didn’t have 2 minutes to spend in quiet time with the Lord.  I am not sure if my daughter left the house feeling loved because I fussed at her.  Everyone wanted or needed something. Not fun stuff either. I won’t talk about all the different things I had to clean up. My husband text me saying he wanted to quit his job. I wanted to quit mine.  I felt like a failure at everything. A failure at being a wife, a mom, a caregiver, a sister, a friend, a daughter, a business woman, nothing was right. I didn’t want to serve anymore I was tired of it. Then I felt guilty for feeling that way. I have friends and family who have lost someone recently and they would love to have one more day of serving.  What is wrong with me?   I finally got a moment to myself and I just sat down and cried.  Why don’t I have it all together? Why can’t I be perfect?  Why can’t my life be like so and so?

Yesterday my niece, who takes my daughter to school, text me a scripture that her car load was learning. I wrote it down and I thought about it all day. I made a pretty picture with the scripture on it and posted it to instagram.   It meant so much. But today I barely could remember it. So I pulled my note out and I read it again.

Romans 15:13 (NIV)  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

It doesn’t say when you do everything perfect and have a great day you will be full of hope. It doesn’t say sit down with Jesus for a hour then and only then  you will be full of joy, peace and hope.  We need quiet time with the Lord because the Word says “they that wait upon the Lord.will renew their strength. But there are days when we don’t get to wait physically on the Lord. We are running from the time our feet hit the ground.  So can we wait on Him without physically sitting or kneeling down?  Thankfully yes. I read that scripture again and again and my spirit got quiet.  I thought about it as I went about the day and my understanding of it became fuller.    As I trust in Him, not in myself to become peaceful, because I don’t got it.  It says He will fill me with peace and joy as I trust Him. It doesn’t say He will change the situation or my life but it does say He will give me hope and, here is the light bulb moment, it is by His power. So when I am at my end and frustrated I am to trust Him. Sometimes you feel like you can’t even trust so you tell Him that and by His power He helps you trust.  Then He fills you with peace, joy and hope. It’s amazing to me how everything centers around Him. It’s not if I do it good enough or trust enough, it just all goes back to being about Him.

So here I sit writing this. Nothing has changed except my heart is full of hope, peace and joy. My circumstance is still the same. I have a load of dishes to do, I haven’t been able to take a shower, I need to check on my parents, I haven’t been able to do my business like I want to, but I am at peace. My trust is in God not that I will do good enough, be good enough or handle everything right. My trust is in Him and He fills me and because He said so, the hope will overflow. So instead of my humanness and frustration oozing hopefully His hope will ooze.

We will miss them

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My heart is heavy

Death is all around me

Those that I love 

have suffered a great loss

I don’t pretend to know

I can’t even do anything to show

What I want to express.

I want to hold them all tight

Say it will be alright

But it seems so trivial

I have nothing to give

So in my heart and prayers

I say Lord “be with them

Show them you care

In heaven they’re there.

Dancing without any care”.

We know thats right

It should bring peace alright

But here on earth we have tears

We will miss them , the dears.

Live on Purpose

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Live life on purpose.  Doesn’t everyone do that?  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?  But to live life on purpose will mean that everything we do is on purpose.  Nothing can be thought of as an accident. I didn’t mean to blow up and have a horrible argument with the one I love, it was an “accident”. I didn’t mean to steal the office supplies it was an “accident”.  I didn’t mean to cheat, lie, steal, enter whatever thing that pops into your mind, it was an “accident”.   We must come to the conclusion that we actually do live life on purpose therefore we choose what we do in our lives. We choose to be kind, on purpose. We choose to be hateful or jealous on purpose.  We choose to give in and say every thought that comes buzzing through our minds or we choose to control our tongue, on purpose.  We must do things on purpose not just haphazardly live our life doing whatever we think and want to do regardless of the consequences.  We must live on purpose, we must bite our tongue when our husband wants to know what we have done all day, when he has no idea how many people we juggle. We must choose to forgive everyone, on purpose.  It is not an accident to forgive, forgiveness takes effort.  I know there are some horrible things that have been done to people and it will take huge effort to forgive but forgiveness is something that is done on purpose.  We live on purpose. We choose to be one way or the other, it is on purpose.  We must realize that everyday.  It is showing the love of Jesus when we don’t want to. It is dying to ourselves and asking for forgiveness. It is being kind and closing our mouth even when we have one more thing to say.  Or when we want to be the smart one or the clever one instead, we must live on purpose and die to self. Dying to self is showing the love of Jesus on purpose.

What do I do with the times that are out of my control? Death of a loved one, loss of job, loss of a house, a tornado or flood and etc. Those are not choices, I have nothing to do with the outcome. Right?  I control my emotions and my attitudes on purpose.  If I crumble under adversity then I have, on purpose chosen to be defeated.  I am not saying we aren’t allowed to be sad or upset but we are not to be controlled by our emotions. There are some days that I feel I can not accomplish one thing, like I am going around in circle’s from one person or emergency to another.  Not doing one thing on my list, and I am just dealing with one person and situation.  So how can I make sure that I live on purpose during these times of feeling like I am pulled in one situation and then another?  I asked the Lord this and He reminded me one of the things I live by.  I periodically draw a box.  In that box I put the things that I believe I am held responsible.  Some people call these things values.  You can use a pie form or a list.  But write down what you are responsible for or who.  I have a small list right now.  Taking care of my parents and my little girl takes a lot of time.  I have about 4 things in my box and family is one of them.  If there are things that I need to do, I look at my box, does it fit in there?  Then the yes or no reminds me what I am supposed to do.  I live on purpose by choosing to accomplish only the things that on in my box.  House cleaning is not one of them.  That was just a bit of levity, I know that to keep a house clean  is to take care of my family but it is on the bottom of that list.  If I need to have a tea party with girlie then I will do the dishes later.  I run a business and it is in my box but it fits around my family.  Growth is in my box, but it fits around my family and my business.  I choose to live life on purpose by choosing what is in my box and the level of importance those things take.  I always tell my adult boys, you choose what your money does by telling it what to do not it telling you what to do.  I still feel guilty for not accomplishing everything that is “needed” but I have to remember I live life on purpose I choose my priorities they don’t choose for me.  In every area of life we must live on purpose.  We must, I must choose to live on purpose. Are you living your life on purpose?  What are your values?  What is on your list?  Are you valuing the things on your list on purpose  or are you living life as if it is all an accident?  Chose to live life on purpose.

Accept the differences

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We are all different, and I am not even talking about color or culture. Our personalities, thought processing and even how we move through life, is all different.  Even in the same family, every one is different.  My daughter moves through life loudly. When she started walking she walked like she had flip flops on.  I had never heard someone flop their feet so loudly. Some people walk quietly through a room and you would not know they were there if you didn’t see them. There are people who talk like they must get every thought out of their mind or it will disintegrate.  Then there are those who won’t tell you what they had for breakfast.  Some jump out of airplanes and take wild chances. Some sit quietly by a fire with a book. Some live their lives by goals, plans and to-do lists and others like to wing it. Some have a need to lead and some just want to follow. We are not the same, we are different. Many couple’s have fallen in love because of differences then later tried to change the very thing that made them fall in love. Don’t try to change a person instead celebrate how different they are. Sometimes we get caught up in wanting everyone to see it our way or do it the way “I” do it.   Embrace the difference.  We were made by the Creator to be different. Can you imagine how boring it would be if we all thought, acted and moved through life the same way?  I have to remind myself of this all the time. I like to start my day slow, less talk, less movement.  My idea of what to fix my daughter for breakfast is the same thing every day, eggs. She wants something different everyday,  I don’t want to have to think or talk in the mornings. But I have to remind myself if someone wants to talk to me in the morning it is not because they hate me, they are different.  My nickname as a child was snail not becauce I was slow but it rhymed with my name. My grandpa told me my nickname was spelled s-n-e-l-l, he didn’t want me to feel bad.  I embraced the nickname.  I would draw fancy little snail’s by my name and people would give me snail gifts.  As i became older I kept the nickname, even put it on my personalized license plate.  I liked to be a bit contrary so I drove the opposite of a snail.  We are created unique, one of a kind.  Not one of us are the same.  The best friends that I have are the ones that are different from me and we celebrate our differences.  Let’s celebrate.  Find beauty and joy in someone different.  When you celebrate another person and how different they are, you lend beauty to them and you gain beauty in yourself.  And that type of beauty becomes strength. If you give permission for someone to be who they are, you help them step up, be strong, accept and appreciate their selves.  They become better in every area of their life because they are not fighting against who God made them to be.  Then they are free to accept another person with all of their differences.  We are created equal with lots of differences. The beauty is in the differences and accepting them. Teach others to accept the differences by example.  Your mission, if you accept it, is to celebrate the differences in those around you, your loved ones, friends, co-workers, neighbors and the cashier or waiter. Who do you need to take a second glance at, remind yourself to celebrate their differences and do not try to change them.