It’s the Week Before Christmas and All is at Rest 

rest self-care Dec 19, 2019

It’s the week before Christmas and all is at rest. 

 Wouldn’t that be lovely? To rest in this beautiful time of year? 

I really enjoy sitting on the couch with only the Christmas tree lights on, preferably white. I finally won my children over from colored. The white lights are so peaceful to me.

How often do I take the time to rest and enjoy my tree?

Not often enough, the list of things to do is too long. Who still needs gifts? What will the gifts be? What about the annual Christmas letter? Gifts to send to family far away should be gone already and they’re not done either.

It is a struggle to rest in the midst of all these extra demands.

I’m getting better. Rest has to be important enough to make time and room for.  That means other things have to be adjusted, reduced, or even eliminated.  

I also realized this morning I have not been taking time to meditate on the richness of God’s gifts to me. We often say...

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Are Your Holiday's Holy Days?

overcpmong rest self-care Dec 12, 2019

Our culture is so busy. Expectations are so high.

Holidays seem to magnify everything. Holidays in themselves are not the problem. God set up days for Israel to remember. They were holy days. (See where we got holidays and perhaps went wrong). Holy is set apart, different, special. The days were to remember Him, His goodness, His deliverance, and His promises.

It is so easy today to get wrapped up in the preparations, the presentations, and appearances. If you go to the store, look at magazines, get on Pinterest, everyone seems to have better ideas and everything more together.  But really do you post your everyday reality online or do you post your best? Most everyone is posting their best for you to compare to.

I have a challenge for myself every holiday season. You are welcome to share it.

See I wrote this book called Christmas is About Jesus. I wrote it because I believe it’s true. Yet every year after the black and orange and skeletons finally leave the stores,...

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Plan a Peaceful Holiday

mothering overcoming rest Dec 05, 2019

 Are your holiday plans well underway or running away?

To have rest at any time of the year we have to plan and prioritize. Even more so at Christmas. 

Download my #1 Tip for a peaceful holiday!

Here's a method for a more peaceful holiday season.

  • Make a full inventory of all you intend to do.
  • Now list the preparation involved for each item on your list. List EVERYTHING involved, every step in its entirety. 
  • Look at how many resources – not only money – time & emotions, too, each item will take.  

  • Now the reality check. Can you actually do everything on your list? Do you have enough of every kind of resource to pull it off? Another question, do you want to use all those resources? Do you have any reserves? 
  • Make sure to plan for some rest, too.

In the past, I have failed in many steps of this planning.

Every year I continue to simplify and learn to be more realistic in my planning, in understanding what it will really take to pull...

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Thanksgiving is Vital to Rest

fearless rest Nov 28, 2019

Giving thanks brings rest.

Fear is unsettling. Fear keeps me from rest.

Fear keeps me from being thankful because I am focused on what has or may go wrong.

Thanksgiving, actually giving thanks, speaking it out, displaces fear.

Giving thanks brings rest.

Expressing gratitude refocuses my heart where it should always be, my God.

There are no circumstances, however catastrophic or dark, that can keep me from Him. Even death itself only brings me to His presence.

Looking around there are things that common sense would say to fear, worry, fret. God says, “Fear not”.

The economy is unstable, people are afraid. God says, “Put me first and I will supply all your needs.”

People are sick and suffering, afraid. God says, “Come to me and I will give you rest. I will wipe every tear from your eye.”

People are inconsiderate, forgetful, even mean. God says, “I will never leave you”. 

I will practice thanksgiving for all the good He is,...

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Learn to Listen to the Father's Voice

hearing god rest Nov 21, 2019

I long to know what God has in store for my future. I want to get started. I want to be obedient to His call.

So I wonder: What kind of ministry plans? What about business?

I also see I'm not always obedient today. I don’t always listen when He tells me to pray or act.

He is gracious and prompts me in helpful, gentle ways. He is teaching me His voice.

A simple thing that first brought this to my attention years ago was getting woke up at 3 am because the computer in the living room, that we use for listening to radio online, came on – loud.

As I was crawling back into bed after surviving a dark stumbling trip across the dog and the house I remembered that I had thought about turning it off before I went to bed, but didn’t. That’s not God you may say. I disagree.

I had not shut off that computer for months. Why but God’s grace would I think to turn it off that night, the night it would wake me up and confuse me?

I started to berate myself for...

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Run into the Storm

fearless overcoming rest Sep 05, 2019
We're called to soar. We're called to live above our circumstances.
 
I was listening to Broken Walls at the Alaska State Fair. Jonathan Maracle, a Mohawk Indian, shared how they teach to be like the eagle. In a storm every other animal goes and hunkers down to wait out the storm. An eagle flies into the storm. By flying into the storm, it can catch the updrafts and be carried up above the storm.
 

How do we run into the storm? How do we catch the updraft?

 
If you have a strong, negative emotional response to the idea of doing something, do it.
 
It may be a hard conversation, starting a new relationship, trying a new skill or investing in yourself.
 
My most recent experience is investing in myself. There is a coaching training in Florida in November. I didn’t even allow myself to consider going at first. Even though I told myself no I kept wondering, “What if?”
 
As I did thoughts like, “I...
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8 Tips for Calming the Chaos in Your Life from Facebook

rest self-care Aug 15, 2019

Here are 8 simple tips to help calm the chaos that can be Facebook. They are simple but they may not be easy to implement.

  1. Decide why you're getting on Facebook before you login or click to open.

  2. Set a timer that you have to physically move to turn off. I often use the timer on my oven. It won't shut off until I push the button and I have to move to go do that.

  3. Connect with a true friend or a truly supportive group where you can be vulnerable and show up in your chaos when you need to.

  4. If there is a group you want to follow but there are too many posts or too many conversations you can search within the group. On your computer, the search is usually in the left sidebar. On your phone, it usually shows up at the top of the screen. Make sure you are in the group when you search. If you are in a parenting group, rather than reading all of the posts, simply search what you're looking for help with. (ie. enter: potty training or chores or encouragement). Read the posts that come up in...
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Alaska Earthquake 2018

Things aren’t coming together the way I imagined so I’m sharing a video this week.

I’ll outline the highlights:

0:00:38 The earthquake affected everybody differently.

0:01:18 Get back to normal. NOT!

0:01:50 Emotions that come with an earthquake

 An emotion comes like blinking your eye when something comes at your face. Then you choose what to believe and how to behave.

0:02:38 God gave us our emotions. They’re there for a reason. Ask what it is.

0:03:04 Adjusting

Things are different now whether we wanted them to be or not

0:03:43. Evaluating

What’s important? What’s not?

We didn’t lose any people

0:04:44. Eleven years ago

God’s protection

My family woke up with carbon monoxide poisoning

0:05:26. Perspective

0:05:53. December and 2019

0:06:12. Ask God His perspective:

What went well this year?

What are His highlights of 2018?

What is it He wants to heal, restore, or build in 2019?

Where is it that I need help in 2019?

...
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In and Above the Storms

 

One of Jesus’s names is Immanuel, God with us. That can be a great comfort when we are in a stormy season of life.
I was imagining myself in the eye of the storm and God is with me there. He has promised to never leave me.  Experiencing Love

I can join Him above the storm

He also showed me that I can join Him where He is – over the storm. Where He sits He sees so much more. He is smiling, truly excited, because He knows the end from the beginning. He’s inviting me, inviting you to join Him where he is seated above the storm. We can see His perspective. We can be excited too because He has made the way for us to be above the storm.

Stormy Seasons

In this season He has told me He is not sending the storms. He told me that the storms are the enemy being like a toddler and throwing a tantrum. Have you ever been in a good place as a parent? You know that place where you can watch your toddler’s tantrum and be like, “Oh, wow! I’m sorry this is so...

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