Category Archives: rest

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.

L.E.A.P. – quietly (October 29)

Shhhhh…

Listen.

Do you hear it?

Me either.

Quiet.

Ya’ gotta’ get up awfully early to hear that around here.

quiet-04

I got a good chuckle the other day when I looked up my word for the next month.

This next month will be anything by quiet.

My home will be filled with guests, beginning with the usual bustle of regular visitors, pop-in neighbors, kids playing, and sleep overs.  Then, in a couple weeks,my college roommate comes  with her family to visit.  (Between the two of us, we’ll have about a dozen kiddos ranging from preschool to high-school running around.   I can hardly wait!!!)  The month will end with my family from out of town arriving for Thanksgiving and hunting season.

I’m anticipating a month of entertaining with a house full of family and friends, with sleeping bags in the living room and late nights of board games, laughter, and the sound of memories being made.

Sounds more like a party month than a “quiet” month.

I love how the LORD times everything perfectly!

“Quietly.”  I know this is just the word I need.

quiet-05

 

The title that came to mind that I ordered to read this month was Elizabeth Elliot’s Keep a Quiet Heart, along with the phrase from 1 Peter 3:4, speaking of true beauty, “…a gentle quiet spirit…”.

Quietness on the inside is not conditional on the decibel level outside.

quiet-02

Living, Enjoying, Adding, Praying  … attentively, simply, quietly…  What a wonderful way to spend a L.E.A.P. year!  (I wonder if anyone has ever delighted in this quadrennial occasion as much as I have this year?!)

And this month, I do intend to L.E.A.P. quietly!

LIVE quietly – 1Thessalonians 4:11 “…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…” (Sounds like an excellent goal for more than just a month or a year.)

ENJOY quietly -1Chronicles 4:40 “They went … to seek pasture… They found rich and good pasture, and the land was broad and quiet and peaceful…”  (Aaaah, another example of seeking and finding!  Ah, LORD, help me not just to seek quiet, but to enjoy quiet this month.)

ADD quietly –  Ecclesiastes 9:17  “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.”  (If I have something to add, LORD, help me to do it quietly!)

PRAY quietly – 1 Timothy 2:2-3  “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”  (Especially timely for us in America this coming election month.  LORD, have mercy and allow us to lead quiet lives.) 

As I look back on the monthly themes of the year, I wish I could tell you the post-story of each; how ironically, yet perfectly, each fit with the Divine appointments on my calendar.  But, this is what all of life is meant to look like as we, child of God, live seeking and doing His will.  He knows all thing!  He controls all things!  He even allows those disturbances and disruptions that ultimately establish and strengthen our character, our faith, and our hope in His sovereignty and perfect love.

I don’t know what you’re facing as you anticipate this next month, and I’m only guessing at what lies before me. But, our Gracious Heavenly Father knows.  He planned the hope-filled future, that is still a mystery to us:  “all the days ordained for (you and me) were written in (His) book before one of them came to be”.  (Psalm 139:16, and see Jeremiah 29:11-13)

And, I’m confident, we’ll LIVE better, ENJOY more, ADD significantly, and PRAY more insightfully if we’re quiet, where we can hear that still small voice that whispers, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21).

quiet-03

Let’s remember that the LORD did not speak to Elijah in wind, earthquake, and fire (1 Kings 19), but rather in a “gentle whisper” (v.12).   —  So, let’s not be in a hurry or assume my Father has nothing to say when we find ourselves surrounded by clamor.  Let’s be calm and keep seeking, quietly waiting for the LORD to speak… and He will.

I intend to start my days quietly, to seek the LORD and to listen; to go through each day with a quiet heart, resting in the peace that passes understanding as I present my requests to God; and to end my days quietly, pausing and quieting my heart in His presence before closing my eyes to sleep in His watchful care.

I’m sure, at the end of the month, when all the guests have gone home, like in the tale of the old man whose house seemed small and loud who followed the strange advice to fill his house will all sorts of noisy animals only to remove them to find his house as it was before only quiet and spacious, my house will seem remarkably quiet.

But, I think the adverb “quietly” is meant for me in the midst of living this month… finding, making, treasuring, seeking the quiet heart, the quiet moments of stepping back to observe, or taking a brief walk alone outdoors with the LORD, or savoring a pillow-conversation with Handsome or a whispered private joke in the midst of a mob.

Especially with the Holiday season approaching, filled with busy, city sidewalks, shopping centers and grocery stores  with “…children laughing, people passing, …” and “shoppers rushing home with their treasures”,  I want to be quiet enough to take in the wonder with a receptive heart. “Above all the bustle” I want to hear and see, as if things were in slow-motion and I had super-senses to really take in the moment and hear the Great Narrator’s commentary on the scene.  I want to be undisturbed, all here, …quiet.

So wherever you find yourself this month:

  • squeezing through grocery-cart-traffic on isle 9
  • in a minivan loaded with preschoolers or talkative teens
  • on the floor in a sleeping bag at your in-laws
  • in a bedroom mediating between bickering siblings
  • on a subway overhearing a political conversation
  • or standing in line at the polls
  • out on your porch on a silent night when the first snow falls
  • or lying in bed wide-awake at 2 am for whatever reason

L.E.A.P quietly.

My Personal Challenge –

This month, my goal is to

  1. speak softer and with less words, thinking before I speak and pray
  2. breathe slower and deeper, not allowing any circumstance or fear to disturb the peace I know when I’m consciously trusting God and abiding in His presence
  3. create and guard my “quiet place”, uniquely indulging in the discipline of a “QUIET-time” each morning

Also, I’m collecting 29 new verses (and keeping my eye out for related quotes) about quietness/peace/rest/calm to adding to the small notebook I started a while back on this topic.   One verse to write out and mediate on for each day.

Here’s verse #1

ex14

Like the months before, I can see the that the LORD has been preparing me for this theme.  The day before I looked up my word, the LORD put this verse on my heart to pray for a friend…

Exodus 14:14  (a pretty easy reference to remember – Why not memorize this one?)  “…you need only to be still, stay calm, keep silent, hold your peace, be quiet.”

Turns out this verse was really for me.  (or maybe even, for YOU?)


If you’re reading this, I am praying for YOU!  For those of you who subscribe, I often am even praying for you by name.  — Be encouraged friend.  Keep living, learning, seeking, and finding.  I pray that you will obey whatever the LORD impresses upon your heart today and that you thrill in the adventure of life with Him!  — Blessings to you today and all this month as you L.E.A.P. quietly.

As always, I am your praying friend and fellow Seeking One,

Deborah

PRAY 7 Days – Saturday (Day 7)

sat 05

REST

What a beautiful word!

It’s what we all need.

  • not necessarily more sleep

More time in bed is only frustrating to the patient.

  • not necessarily a vacation

Travel will not refresh the hotel weary business man.

  • but, something different
  • a break from the regular work

sat 06

REST

The beauty of the word is found in its context.

  • Like rain after a drought (as opposed to after a flood)
  • Or sunshine and warmth after a long winter (as opposed to during an oppressively long summer heat wave)
  • Like a rest in music, a pause from sound, a contrast from all the notes, that gives a moment to anticipate what will come next .
The beauty of REST is found in the context that surrounds it, the contrast of the need with God's provision.
  • Time to sit down and read does not have the same appeal to an editor as it does to mother who sees a novel as an indulgence
  • just as yard work or gardening won’t hold the same lure to the manual laborer as it might to the person with a desk job.

sat 02

That’s why I love the phrase found repeated again and again in the Old Testament law:

“You must do no ordinary work.”  (ESV, Living)

“… no regular work” (NIV)

“… no laborious work” (NAS)

“…no daily work”  (GWT)

“…no servile work”  (KJV, ISV, ERV, YLT)

(servile – characteristic of a slave, menial, obedient of another’s orders, showing excessive willingness to serve or please others)

Without regular work, "rest" is laziness, but regular work without rest is disobedience.

Basically, once a week (on the Sabbath) and on special days (Holy-days, holidays, days of feasts and days of remembrance), God told His people He wanted them to take a breakDo something different from their regular work. This day is special.

More than that, the Sabbath day is holy to the LORD…

the context of REST is in the Presence of LORD

and the Presence of the LORD is PEACE

…this is why we pray.

sat 03

The world offers expensive mattresses, spas and bubble baths, vacations, and invitations to run-away and escape.  But everyone who woke-up with a hang-over, or tossed and turned all night with worry, or felt empty and lonely surrounded by people and wealth can testify that the world can’t give us what we really need…

REST.
  • a heart at rest
  • rest for the mind
  • rest for soul
  • rest for the body

REST is the LORD giving us Himself, and providing what He knows we need when we need it.  Rest is hearing the LORD’s command and following His example…

 “…observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant… in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”  Exodus 31:16-17

“YOU MUST TAKE A DAY OFF!” 

 – His commands, oh, what a burden! –

Why do we ever resist His will?

So whether you…

  • get away or stay home
  • have time alone or invite friends over
  • sleep in or watch the sunrise
  • go to bed early or have a late movie night

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Col. 3:17

sat 07

On Saturdays I ask, “LORD, how will I rest with You today?”

It’s not really about what we do and don’t do.   Jesus taught us that,  “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)   The Sabbath is about the LORD, the Lord of the Sabbath! (v. 28)

Rest, like prayer, is a blessing, never a burden.

sat 16

Make REST a matter of PRAYER

My Saturday morning prayer time isn’t long, but it’s the day that’s easiest to become distracted, to postpone and forget talking to the LORD altogether.

Especially on Saturday, I want to begin seeking the LORD; so that day can be truly restful regardless of where I am or what I do with the rest of the day.  I want to remember the Sabbath day; I want to remember the LORD!  He is “holy”.  He has called this day “holy”, and he has called me to be “holy”.

  sat 14

These are some verses I have chosen for REST.  Consider writing out a few verses of your own to incorporate into your prayer time on Saturdays mornings.

Psalm 116:7  “Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.”

1 Corinthians 14:33 “…for God is not a God of confusion but of peace”

2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace grant you peace in every circumstance.  The Lord be with you all!”

Isaiah 9:6  “… and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 26:3,12 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.  Trust in the LORD forever, for in God the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.”

Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My loving-kindness will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken.”

Isaiah 55:12  “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of field will clap their hands.”

Romans 15:13  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Philippians 4:6-7  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.

John 14:27   “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

John 16:33  “These things I have spoken to you, so that in My you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but that courage; I have overcome the world.”

Romans 14:16-19  “Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.  So then pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest from your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Isaiah 28:12  “…who said to them, ‘Here is rest, give rest to the weary,’ And, ‘Here is repose,’ but they would not listen.”

Matthew 23:37  “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”

Psalm 34:15  “Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

Psalm 85:8   “I will hear what God the LORD will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly.”

sat 17

As with the other days of the week in this PRAY 7 Days season, I’m focusing on praying scriptures and claiming promises related to key words I have chosen.  Then praying briefly through the most important requests as I do each morning.

(For more ideas see:  PRAYER DAYS and EVERY DAYS and scroll down to #2 about “priority prayer lists”  and also, the TOOLS FOR THIS SEASON post which includes tools I’m using with those prayer lists.)

To find links to all the posted related to my PRAY 7 Days notebook or join in on the “LEAP year” challenge, see:   “1-1-1-1” (pray)