What Will Limit Us?

April 3rd, 2018
In times past, we were limited by few opportunities. In times past, we were limited by financial means. Today we’re overwhelmed with opportunities and we have the financial means to pursue them. There is hair coloring, teeth whitening, pedi and mani’s, microdermabrasion, orange theory, and also the pursuit the latest fashions; clothes, shoes and handbags are a must, and top it off with Kendra Scott earrings. We can put our kids in any sport we imagine, they can play club sports and travel regionally.  We can travel the U.S. and even the world affordably.  There are birthday parties, family events and school fundraisers.  (Not to mention true necessities; doctor appointments, dentist, oil changes and an endless list of “to do” items.)
Friends, we are bombarded with opportunities.  Many of these opportunities have now become norms and new standards in society. There’s a barrage of activities and pressure for pursuing external appeal and perfection. What then will limit us? We’re not limited by time, we are not limited by finances.
Perhaps all that’s left is our own self-imposed limitations. Perhaps we can aspire to values which have more power and more appeal than the glittering lure of fixing of the external body and saying “yes” to every presented opportunity.
Let me ask you, are there other things that are important?  Other other things we should value?  These values compete with the energy and time we spend on external things.  What other things could we be spending our time on?  Do we value rest?  Do we value play?  Do we value quiet?
Let me ask you, what do you look like on the inside?  How much work and attention have you been giving to the condition of your soul?  Is there peace? Are you living with joy? What about contentment? How are your relationships?  Are they safe, honest and authentic?
Let’s take a moment to examine our inner world.  Let’s take some time to evaluate our schedule and how we’re spending our time. Are there some important things that we have become to busy for? Perhaps it’s time to impose some self limitations on all the opportunities around us so we have time and energy to pursue things of greater value.

 

REST

March 20th, 2018

Most of us do not know what rest is.  We know exhaustion, but not rest.  Exhaustion is not rest.  We are busy, busy, busy with days filled from dawn to past dark, then we collapse and tune everything out with Netflix.  It’s not rest to lie down spent and drained of all our energy.  Rest lives in the space between activity and exhaustion.  It’s rest that prevents depletion.

 

God created the earth and everything in it and then He rested.  He didn’t rest because He had nothing left to give after a full week of work.  No, He rested because rest is a response to work well done.  Rest gives us space to reflect and enjoy the work we did all week.  Rest allows us to remember and feel joy over the highlights and good things that happened during our week.  Rest allows us to reset our feelings of disappointment and frustration and creates hope for a new week.  It’s time for us to look back over our shoulder and enjoy the accomplishments from the past week.  We also recharge and focus for the week ahead of us.

 

Rest is a biological reset button.  We need to push it every day.  Every evening and also every week- we push the big reset by setting aside a day for refreshing.  We can reflect on all that was good, erase all that was bad and fill our souls with fresh hope, joy and expectation for the days ahead.

 

Rest to reset- every day, every week, every month, every year.  It’s essential.

Simplicity is a Worthy Pursuit

March 1st, 2018

Simplicity is a slow journey toward less. Each year, I examine my life. I evaluate, ask questions and then scale back.  I have been pursuing contentment and it has settled down in my soul like a sunken treasure…nestling in deeper with each passing year.

Restlessness has been bridled and subdued. Quiet- my one word for 2018, lives.

Still, I have a long way to go on my journey. The road stretches out before me. But today, in this moment, I stop to reflect on how far I’ve come.

I’m home more. I’m at peace here. In the past, I would race around town to multiple stories on multiple days. But for years now, I only go to one store, just once a week.  Many people are amazed by this. Once or twice a month I go to Target or shopping anywhere else.  I can wait for the things I want or I can go without.

It’s restlessness, more than need, that instigates the shopping and driving around. I battled restlessness straight on.  I trimmed back a little at a time and leaned into Jesus.  At first,  those slow, empty moments made my soul panic. Sometimes I gave into the fear and became busy but more and more I leaned into peace and sat in the quiet space. There, I became accustomed to what I was longing for: rest, stillness and tranquility.

I’m thankful for the progress and onward I strive….for less.