Sunday, November 27, 2016

Just BREATHE - it's almost Christmas

It's almost December,  how did that happen? Is the Earth rotating quicker? Are their less than 24 hours in a day?

The Fall season is quickly coming to an end and the winter months are ahead. 

Almost time to say bye to changing leaves!

I look to the world around me for inspiration and lately I've been mezmorized by the book, BREATHE by Priscilla Shirer.  What I crave most about this book is learning how to rest. Our calendars, closet, and work spaces can become overcrowded.  This leads to depletion emotionally and physically.

Think about the many things you are holding onto when you should release them.  I participated in my first garage sale and I spent weeks searching through "stuff" in my home I felt could be sold. How do we arrive at having so much "stuff"? I challenge you to sit in your car, open your garage and just look.  What would you see?

How about opening your closet (some of us have more than one). What do you see?
Some of us just finished Black Friday shopping and what did we buy?


We can become overwhelmed by the very hobby or items that used to bring us joy.  In the book Priscilla warns that we can become enslaved to things that we were meant to enjoy as a blessing, not as bondage.

I love pictures. I love to take them and also enjoy creating memorable photo albums. But the scrapbooking supplies and pictures that used to bring me so much joy are brimming full tucked away in storage. I don't have space for them anymore.

We all live on the edge of what once brought us joy, now just takes over and controls our space.

Learning to take time daily, weekly, monthly to breathe and rest takes intentional focus. But this time was created by God for us to turn from our hurried pace into His restful arms.  It is not about just setting time on a calendar but also the orientation of our heart. We must carve out those moments in our day to reset, refocus and BREATHE.

What's scarier, if we don't rest, then we teach our children to follow our hurried pace.

Don't be comfortable with being exhausted - Learn to pause, cease and say NO to something. (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

It's Holiday Time & I'm Not Thankful!

Thanksgiving is a few short days away and most of us are gearing up to eat more that we should while spending time with family. Everyday on my Facebook news feed, individuals are sharing why they are thankful. There's a consistent theme of family being the number one reason to be thankful.

But, what about those that aren't thankful at all this year?

As much as I'm thankful for the holidays, I realize that there are so many that aren't. They find themselves in a season of grief and pain. For some, it's their 1st major holiday without their loved one.

How can they feel happiness and joy when their heart aches for the embrace of their loved one?  

How do you make the move from pain to gladness when every single part of the holiday reminds you of them?

After my father died, I remember how sharply the grief felt when you have to "move" through all of the "firsts".

  • 1st Thanksgiving
  • 1st Christmas
  • 1st Birthday
  • 1st Mother's or Father's Day

This year Roslyn and I will experience our 1st Thanksgiving without our dearest Aunt Thelma. Her brownies, pound cake and 10 layer chocolate cake were legendary. She loved to cook and bake and the holidays just won't be the same without her. Whether its been one month, one year, or one decade since you've lost your aunt, mother, father, or sibling, the pain or loss that you feel is real, BUT, you are able to be healed by our heavenly father.

Maybe it's not a loved one that's causing you discomfort during the holiday.  Maybe you're recently divorced or possibly you've just received a devastating medical diagnosis.  Maybe you yearn for your son or daughter to re-establish their relationship with you.

WHATEVER your reason, I'm here to declare that God loves you and His peace can and will overtake you, even through the darkest of days. Be encouraged by the truth of God's word. You may not feel that encouragement right away, but keep reading His word.  Let the vowels and consonants that form the words, penetrate deeply into the depth of your pain and suffering. Here are a few passages of scripture to encourage you:

  • Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4-6)
  • He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4)
  • "Come to Me, all you who labor & are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
(Posted by Renee Scott)