Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life


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Feel tired? Take a Break!

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Even Jesus took a break once in a while. Or at least He encouraged His disciples to. In Mark 6, so many people were coming and going that the disciples didn’t even have a chance to eat. Does that sound familiar?

We women can get so busy with multi-tasking that we hardly take time to eat. We answer e-mails, go to meetings, and rush to get things done while we talk on the phone at work. Work-at-home moms answer email and finish projects while home schooling or cooking lunch. Then we run out to carpool our kids and do errands. Some days if feels like we hardly have time to take a potty break, let alone eat!

We all need to stop and take a break once in a while.

When I worked as a secretary years ago, coffee break was an institution. Everyone sat down at 10:30 a.m. and at 3:30 p.m. for 15 minutes to chat over coffee or a soft drink. Now that I’ve been a stay at home mom for years, I have no idea how many working people take regular coffee breaks.

 I do know this: I wish I had the discipline of taking regular breaks in my day!

Taking regular breaks adds balance to life. Taking a break gives us a chance to breathe, to clear our minds, and get a few minutes of physical and mental rest. We can take a break because we trust God will help us accomplish what we need to when it’s time to get back to work.

The next time you feel tired, how about taking a break?

  • Take a power nap.
  • Listen to music.
  • Drink a cup of tea.
  • Sit down to read your Bible or pray.
  • Put your feet up.
  • Grab 15 minutes with a good book.
  • Call a friend for a quick update.
  • Go outside and walk around the block.

You’ll feel better when it’s time to return to work. If Jesus took a break once in a while, I think we can too!

Now it’s your turn: Do you take regular breaks from work? What do you like to do?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. Writers all around the world join in a flash mob of free writing. Five minutes. No editing. This week’s prompt is “Break.” Join us over at Kate’s place for fun and encouragement.

Also joining with Grace & Truth, and The Weekend Brew.

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More Spring in our Step and in our Hearts

springtime

Spring ushers in welcome changes after dark, icy winter. When I behold sunny blue skies and budding trees, it brings a new bounce to my step.  But where I live, spring is slow in coming. Yesterday we had a gorgeous sunny day; today however, overcast skies drizzle down gray. I’m reminded that my heart could use a bit of spring too.

If you’re like me, months of cloudy skies and fewer daylight hours can bring on a case of the doldrums. I’m ready to sweep out the cobwebs of winter and celebrate new life and renewal this spring. How about joining me?

 6 Ways to Get More Spring in our Hearts:

 Get Outside

Going outdoors for a walk in the sunshine lifts my spirits. Now is the perfect time to take a family hike or go on a weekend picnic. Make it easy. Even if it’s just picking up Egg McMuffins at the drive through and eating breakfast in the park on a Saturday, it’s still a picnic!

Get Physical

It’s time to rev up our sluggish metabolisms and maybe shed a few extra pounds that piled on while we were homebound. (That’s for me.) Join a gym, or better yet, take your exercise routine outside.

Bring Nature Inside

Cut a few blooming branches or sprigs of new growth off of a tree and bring them into the house. Buy a grocery store pot of bulbs or a bouquet of spring flowers. Make a DYI terrarium or a mini succulent garden for your living room.

Tackle Spring Projects

A small spring cleaning project, like taking down the kitchen curtains to wash them, can add a lift to your spirit. Set aside 15 minutes a day to clean out the garage or declutter your bookshelves. A new sense of order brings peace to your soul.

Make time for Self-Care

Take time for hobbies and interests that you enjoy. Get a new haircut or a pedicure. Splurge on some new makeup. Banish the winter grouchies by making sure you get enough rest at night to be a happy camper by day.

Revive Your Spirit

The best renovation of all is the spring God brings to our hearts. Budding trees, singing birds, and newly green grass remind us of how God renews our spirits when we seek Him. Hosea 6:3 prompts us to pursue God with more passion:

Oh that we might know the Lord

What brings freshness to your spiritual life? How about enrolling in a new Bible study or reading a Christian book on a subject you want to grow in? I like to change things up in my quiet time to bring new freshness to my relationship with God.

Here are some suggestions to revive tired quiet times:

  • Move it out to the back porch, and see if nature doesn’t inspire a deeper connection with God.
  • Start by singing a quiet—or loud!–  song to worship Him.
  • Read scripture out loud.
  • Use colored pencils to mark up your Bible.
  • Check out this post: 10 Tips for Getting out of a Bible Reading Rut.

As we take steps to press on to know Him more, God responds to us. He wants to bring more spring both to our step and to our hearts.

Now it’s your turn: What do you like to do during the spring to bring an extra lift to your spirit?

 

I link up with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth’s CoffeeFor your Heart, and Meredith Bernard’s #Woman2Woman.

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Real Rest for Tired Superwomen

Real Rest

Do you ever wake up on Monday morning to start a new week even more tired than you were the Friday before? It happens to me all the time. My son must feel the same way because every Tuesday morning at breakfast he prays, “Oh God, thank you that it’s not Monday anymore!”

God planned for the Sabbath to be a day of rest, but I often fill my Sundays with housework, chores, and errands, so that I sabotage the Sabbath God intends for me. God ordained a healthy rhythm of work and rest, so that we could be refueled, but we refuse that rest in so many ways: we fill our days with back-to-back activities, we work at night from home, and we stay up late, all in an effort to get more done.

My word for 2015 is REST. I want to learn from Jesus how to take a real rest.

Continue reading


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Renewed Strength for Uphill Marathon Days

renewed strength

I always say I would have had 10 kids if only children didn’t get sick. I can handle diapers, meal time, story time, bath time, and getting them to bed. I can handle home schooling and sky rocketing hormones, but sickness? Sick kids leave me worried and weary.

I’ll never forget checking my 18 month old boy into the hospital at 5:00 a.m.  After 6 months of intestinal infections, he got a virus that left him severely dehydrated and unresponsive. As day broke we sat waiting for the doctor, and my heart broke to see my big, strong husband cry.

The same kid later developed an asthmatic cough. He’d cough five times a minute. That cough kept us up nights and sent us to the emergency room and countless doctors. Total strangers approached me all the time to ask what was wrong with my son.

Then there was the week he spent flat on his back hallucinating from fever, unable to lift his head, open his eyes, or eat. Those seven days turned me into one distraught, dog-tired mom!

And that’s only one kid.

Motherhood: It’s worth it, but it’s a marathon.

Today I’m guest posting for my friend Abby McDonald’s “Renewal Through Christ” series. Come on over to Abby’s blog to read about how I find renewed strength for those uphill marathon days.(And while you’re there, check out some of Abby’s posts. She’s a gifted writer who who has a knack for knowing just how moms feel.)

Abby's series

Linking up today with Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday and Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup, Meredith Bernard’s #Woman2Woman, and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory.  Check their communities for more encouragement.


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When God’s Plan is Different than Yours

We can make our plans

Sometimes life doesn’t turn out like you planned it.

I’m an organizer by nature. I love to make plans and jot down to-do lists for my days. But nine times out of ten, my plans don’t quite turn out as I expect. I might be barreling along making great progress on my projects when God changes things on me:

  • The car breaks down.
  • A child gets sick.
  • I get an emergency phone call.
  • A friend needs to talk.
  • My husband needs help.

I’m sure these things happen to you too. I confess that sometimes it grates on me when things don’t go according to my plan. But I want to learn. I want to let go of my plans when it becomes obvious that God’s plan is different. Continue reading


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How to Handle Haywire Emotions

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My eyes brimmed with tears that threatened to overflow and spoil our family breakfast at a special waterfront restaurant. As ridiculous as it sounds, a family spat over what to order made me cry. Seated across from me, my husband and two kids looked worried.

As I took deep breaths and willed away the tears, I thought back over my week. Several conflicts had gone unresolved, and PMS had set me on a roller-coaster ride headed for disaster. Now my pent-up frustration spilled out as a flood of tears over a silly disagreement about whether to order an omelet or Turkish breakfast! Continue reading


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Gathering Together for Brighter Light

Gather Collage

Tomorrow morning women from different churches in my Middle Eastern city are going to gather together. Instead of sleeping in on Saturday, they’re going to get up and go downtown to celebrate our fellowship in Christ.

When you serve breakfast to sixty sisters, there’s going to be some chaos and spilt tea, but it will be glorious. Each of these women is a light in a city where few people have received the light of Christ. And when we come together, when we start hugging and kissing and sharing, our lights shine brighter. Continue reading

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