Category Archives: long days

Enjoy the Moment

Dear One,

Right here, right now.   If I could give you one bit of advice, based on everything I know about you, this would be it:

“ENJOY THE MOMENT”.

If I could, dear Seeker, I would take you for a  long, slow walk just before sunset and have a conversation with you much like the one I had with someone yesterday and remind you of the simple things.

I know you want to trust God.  I know you’re tired of being stressed and fearful and feeling responsible for a future that you really have no real control over.   You believe that the LORD is Sovereign; so…

“The path of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.” Isaiah 26:7

Relax

Take a deep breath.  You’re alive.

Don’t let disappointments and frustrations control your day.  Days may feel long, but life is short.

  • Internet connections will run slow.
  • Computers will crash.
  • Health will come and go and come again.
  • Appointments and deadlines will be missed.
  • Events will be cancelled.
  • Kids will break things.
  • Appliances and vehicles will break down.
  • Traffic will back up and you will miss a turn.
  • Things will be misplaced.

It’s going to be alright.  You already know it: God is on His throne, and you are not.  Do you really think any of those unexpected-to-you, no-surprise-to-Him, things can thwart the plans of the Almighty?

Even “big deals” are not “big deals” unless we make them into “big deals” by forgetting about our bigger than we know God who made all things.  And, if what’s on your mind seems like a big deal to you, it’s time you put things back in perspective and relax. 

God can handle it.  He has offered to take all our cares if we cast them on Him:  off your mind, off your back, and on to his.

Don’t be shocked by these not so strange and unusual happenings.  It is what it is, and it’s not the end of the world.  He’s got it covered.

  • Things are just things. 
    • Things can be replaced, if they even really need to be.  Most things we can live without, and often living with them makes our lives simpler.  No “thing” will last forever, anyway.  And, remember, “nothing (no-thing) can separate you from the love of God”.
    • Appointments can be rescheduled.  Plans can be altered.  And, you’ll never know what you really missed/avoided by an inconvenient divine intervention.  Commit your day to the LORD, interruptions and all.
  •  People are just people. 
    • Kids will be moody and grumpy and disrespectful every now and again, just like you were when you were in the “still becoming” season of life.   (By the way, you’re in a “still becoming” season of your own.) 
    • Spouses will say things that can be taken the wrong way.  (Whether they meant it that way or not, they need to be graced and forgiven, just like you do for your own “speak before you think/pray” comments.) 
    • Friends will irritate and offend.  (Need I mention how this proverbial shoe fits you, too?)
    • You are just a person.  And, if you’re replaying something from yesterday, ask forgiveness or forgive yourself, or let it go if that is what needs to be done.

So, whatever has a tendency to upset your day, look up and say, “Thank you.”  Maybe it is an opportunity to build your character or your faith, but maybe it really shouldn’t be a big deal at all.  Maybe it’s just something you should let go and over look.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”  Proverb 19:11 (ESV)  … and I would add that faith makes us slow to fear, and it is also glorious to overlook an inconvenience or interruption or a disappointment, choosing to trust the LORD instead.

“Above all (NLT “Most important of all”), keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8 (ESV)

“Bear with each other” (NIV)  “Make allowances for each other’s faults” (LNT)  Colossians 3:13

 

“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter until the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18

Rejoice

Your blessings far out number the things that you are calling “not a blessing” at the moment.  And, in the brilliant light of tomorrow, you’re “not a blessing” may wear a new label.

And, in the meantime, thank Him for the obvious.

“In everything give thanks…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Like one of my favorite old Evie song my parents played when I was a wee thing said, “Just be thankful for the good things that you’ve got…  The good things that you’ve got are for many just a dream; so be thankful for the good things that you’ve got.”

“give thanks for everything”  (NLT)  “always giving thanks for all things…”  Ephesians 5:20 (NAS)

Start thanking Him, now, in this moment.  Out loud, on paper, or in your head,… always, all through the day, for everything.   This is the secret of contentment and really living in and enjoying the moment.

  • for stained carpet, wobbly tables, leaky faucets, squeaky doors, pealing paint, …  find the beauty and the blessing in it, remember the memories made and the people you made them with…
  • the old neighbor with the long-long stories, for the town gossip, the kid with the runny nose and holes in his shoes, … for all the interesting people in your world.  Every book, every movie, and every life is better with unique and well-developed characters. (I’m thinking of Anne of Green Gables’s  Marrilla and Matthew Cuthbert, and Rachel Lynn, and Anne Shirley, of course.)

A bit blurry picture, but a favorite moment of my evening.  We stood silently for quite a while watching the doe on the middle of our wooded path.

P.S.

I thought you might like to know that I was on the receiving end of this conversation, and though Handsome’s words have been expanded upon by the Holy Spirit in the past 24 hours or so, the core wisdom and truth of his message to “enjoy the moment” are probably applicable to all of us women.

“ENJOY THE MOMENT.”

Tuck that away in your heart.

Slow down.  Look around.

This is where the LORD wants you to live… right here, right now, in this moment.  Trust Him.  God’s will for you is more than just enduring life.

He has yesterday and tomorrow all under His Sovereign reign, and He really does have “the whole world in His hands”… that includes you and me, sister…and your itty bitty baby, and my not so little 6’4″ baby

…and the doctors, and the politicians, and the teachers, and the bankers, the soldiers, the college professors, the tech support, and the UPS man,  everybody here, and everybody everywhere.

Knowing God is in control means we really can enjoy life, every moment, every day, and in every season.

It’s the enemy, not your heavenly Father, that would want you to shroud your spirit with gloom, worry, anxiety, fear, bitterness, doubt, insecurity, anger, frustration, hatred, resentment, tension, strife, or any other unsettling emotion that would smother your faith or douse your joy.

Remember who God  is, enjoy Him and enjoy this moment with Him.

He is “I AM”, living and ever-present.


Dear Seeking Friend,

If you’re reading this, I am praying for you.  May you remember that you are safe and secure “in Christ” and nothing can take you out of His hand; so may you rest peacefully in Jesus tonight, wake up refreshed  in Jesus tomorrow, and walk in abundance in Jesus all through the day.   May you see the handiwork of God all around you and hear the heavens declaring the glory of God when you look up.  May the Holy Spirit quiet your heart, calm your spirit, help you to slow down, and enable you to view your circumstances with an unhurried gaze.  May you have a twinkle in your eye and a happy expression as a result of your Heavenly Father’s love and the hope of eternity in your heart.  May you be a source of contagious blessing to others as you choose to enjoy your moments, one by one.  And, may you find yourself enjoying a divinely appointed walk with the LORD and hear Him say to you the words you are most needing to hear.

Keep Seeking Him… and enjoy the adventure, moment by moment.

When Tension Builds

end of the day

  • tightness in my neck and shoulders,
  • a heavy weight clamping on my chest,
  • the slightest headache creeping across my temples…

Where did this come from?

I didn’t even realize I was starting to stress.

butterfly 01

Step away… and into Your presence.

It’s a Sabbath-moment.

butterfly 02

Mt.6… “consider”.

The Spirit keeps Christ promise that the Comforter sent by the Father would bring all His words to my remembrance, and LORD, You speak Your Word fresh to me, “Look around you and ‘consider’.”

butterfly 03

I’ve known You too long, LORD, walked too far with You to live a life of unbelief and fear.

I know YOU, that changes everything!

butterfly 06

You open my eyes and help me to see… details… grass blades, bees, texture, shadows…

beauty…

and my world, myself, my life, from Your perspective.

butterfly 05

Obviously I am stressing.

You tell me to be anxious for nothing (Phil. 4), and You’ve given me so many reasons to trust you.  So, where is the disconnect?  Show me, LORD, how to not let tension build throughout the day.  You have searched me, and You know me. (Ps. 139)  You know my anxious heart, even when I don’t understand why my eyes are aching and taking a deep breath requires a conscious decision.  Help me to understand why I feel this mounting pressure.

Today was a good day… not perfect, not easy, but good.

butterfly 07

Yet, there’s a backdrop of nervous anticipation:

Will I be able to keep this up?

I am spent, and all I completed today was school… no laundry, no cleaning, no extras.

There is no real crisis, just that vague feeling that there is not enough time in the day.

And, as a teacher and a student, I pray as I lay my head on my pillow.  LORD, if there is one thing I want to learn this year above all else, it is to REST in You

  • not only on carefree summer days
  • not just when I’m at the beach or on a mountain top
  • not merely when I’m alone having my quiet-time
  • not only when everything is in an ideal state of order and resolution
  • but, also “in the midst” of it all… in the ebb and flow of battles and blessings, in every season of planting and harvest, in the waiting… all day, continually.

“Thou wilt keep in perfect peace…

(I’ve known this verse long before I was old enough to understand its meaning.)

… whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusts in Thee.”

Isaiah 16:3

(The words effortlessly form themselves on my tongue.  Now to live it.)

Lesson #1 of School Year 2014-15:  I WILL KEEP MY MIND ON YOU, LORD.

time 001

Elizabeth George wrote in her book Woman After God’s Own Heart, speaking of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, “This excellent woman reminds me of a watch. From the outside, we see her hands moving.  We witness all the activity… her busyness as she lives out her assignments from God as a wife, mother,and homemaker.  But there’s something inside, something deep within her heart, that makes her tick, moving her along, energizing her efforts, and motivating her activity.” (p. 171)

There’s no need for frantic activity today when I am doing what I have been created and empowered by God to do.  He is a God of order and perfect timing, not the author of confusion.

There’s also no need to be up-tight about tomorrow; the God of today is the God who has per-ordained (pre-ordered) my future.

time 002

Lord, I am like a watch constantly winding down, needing You, the Source of my life, my energy, and strength to sustain me, empower me, move me.  Unlike a battery, there is no limit to You; yet, I can’t last the day “keeping good time” without coming to You.

time 003aI bought this pocket watch after the LORD gave me a personal a devotion inspired by the following commercial:

OMEGA Co-Axial Chronometer   (Oh, I love this commercial!!!)

Whenever I hold it, I am reminded, “He’s got me and the whole world in His hands.”

The universe is not spinning out of control.  All of Creation and His-Story is moving along by His design, for His glory and His good purpose.

Even as I write this and process what the LORD has been saying to me, I am learning and choosing to rest in Him as I work.

Tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and the next, I will pace myself by His perfect timing.  There is enough time in each 24 hour the cycle of the sun, moon, and stars, of wake and sleep, to accomplish all that He asks of me.  Moment by moment, living in His presence, praying continually, taking every task and concern to Him:  this is my peace.

Hope for Those Who Aren’t in Denial

“People that aren’t melancholy are in denial,” I muttered to my husband at the end of a very long day.

“Sounds like the title of your next book,” he replied with a tender smiled.
– Boy, do I have an optimistic and encouraging husband.

I’ve often thought it was a little twisted of the developers of the four temperaments to give the “thinkers” a name like Melancholic. I picture them sitting around a table getting a good laugh at the expense of the quadrant of people prone to over think a label. Maybe business was slow, and they thought this might put some borderline-depressed people over the edge. (Why else would the ancients have called them “the four humors” and find their inspiration in body fluids like blood, bile, and phlem? Were they themselves insane or maybe this is what a counselors comes up with when they’re giddy on lack of sleep?)

I am no psychologist, but after living with myself for 35 years, I’ve learned a few things about “me”:

I make a tired extrovert and a lonely introvert.
So, I frequently need a lot of intimate friends to leave me alone.

I can be too Sanguine: craving a stage, dominating the conversation, or planning another creative project that I won’t finish.
I can be too Choleric with my excessive research, planning, and type-A passion for doing things the “right way”.
And, be it the nature or nurture of my extremely shy childhood tendencies or the transient lifestyle I experienced as an Army-brat, I can be plagued by Phlegmatic cravings for predictability and stability.

(Should a psychiatrist count all these personal pronouns, I’m certain to be labeled narcissistic as well.)

One thing is certain, I’m Melancholic. I am a ponderer, a reader, a thinker, a writer, a poet, a wanna’ be artist, and on any given day, I can be a downright pessimistic.

I used to hate this about myself, but now I appreciate that my life is so rich and deep! As I dabble into the lives of “less-melancholy” friends on my Sanguine days, I realize there’s no one that I’d rather be than “me”.

Finding hope is like finding beauty. It is found by the one who looks for it, contemplates it, appreciates it, beholds it.

To all you mental cases out there, we’re in great company!

It was the thinkers and ponderers of scripture that actually had a clue about what was really going on. Life may be easier to deal with when you live in ignorance, but all the great-meditators of the Bible like Abraham, Elijah, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Paul, knew God and heard from God. When the rest of the world was misguided, they had a clue. Then, when the reality of what they understood overwhelmed and depressed them, they also had God to comfort them, feed them, hide them, rescue them, protect them, and give them perspective and hope.

More than all of them, Jesus was never in denial. Somehow, He knew everything without becoming cynical or calloused. He was the most sane and well-adjusted man who ever lived in this crazy world. Never defensive or self-seeking, He faced the abuse of others and all the hard realities of life. How did He do it? He was secure in His identity. He knew who He was, and He knew His Father. Jesus trusted the Father’s will completely which clarified His in purpose and kept Him focused on His mission.

A Life-saving-thought for Deep-thinkers:

Thinking too much without taking your thoughts captive is like holding your breath and trying to dive to the depths of the ocean. You won’t get very far and you’ll probably drown.

All of living doesn’t have to be done in the deep.
Playing in the shallows can be fun once in a while; so enjoy the simple things!

And as my husband says, and I often quote, “Just Live!”