Settle me…

Every day, I journey to work via an hour commute. And of course, at the end of my long day, I journey back home that hour route.

That’s a whole lotta thinking time.

I have come to really, really appreciate this quiet time. It is me, my Christian music, and my thoughts. The drive is easy with little traffic and my mind has the opportunity to reflect.

I have needed this time. Over the past several months, it has become my prayer time. During these moments, I am not distracted by the busyness of the world. Yes, I pay attention to the semi trucks around me, but the noise of the world is quiet. 

This time settles my anxious soul before work. It settles my racing mind after work.

God is around us and alive in our everyday lives. He is working, speaking, breathing truth. These quiet moments in the morning and in my commute are welcomed moments to be still.

I am learning to still my mind. 

But may the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 1 Peter 5:10

Settle…to become or make calmer, quieter, adopt a more secure, steady life

Life is full of challenges and change. Life is full of people who are challenging. God is bigger than all of this.

Being a Christian does not mean life is easy, but it does mean never having to be alone.

Lord, settle me. Calm my racing, anxious mind. 

Sometimes, I allow my mind to travel to my favorite places of calm…


This calms me as I recite Scripture from memory.

Lord, settle me.

I encourage you to find some moments of quiet. Carve out some whitespace in your day.

And, Trust God to settle you.

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What to do with Defeat

I hate it when life feels fine and then all of a sudden, it’s like that sturdy sense of stability falls out from under you. What exactly am I referring to?

Friday afternoon at work at 4:40…just when you think you might be able to leave by 5…things unravel.

Sigh…what do you do with that feeling of defeat? 

I don’t believe in coincidence. Rather, I believe firmly that God uses things and orchestrates events in our lives. This morning, my devotional was about those difficult times…do we pray for a way out or do we pray for way through?

Out and through are very different prepositions.  

I believe we do some of our best growing as we walk through challenging circumstances. When our eyes are on God and our heart open to His promises, He can do some amazing work in our lives.

So, what did I decide to do with my feeling of defeat? I chose to listen to the voice of truth. I cranked up my Christian playlist on the drive home, and once I was home, I hit the pavement for a soul refreshing, mind clearing run. I flooded my mind with His truth, prayed, and ran. 

I received some great insight during my run. The defeat will not defeat me. I will cling to His promises. 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 

One more day, maybe I can

Just when you think you can’t do this anymore, God reminds you that well, maybe you can.

It’s been a week like that for me. Work has had me exhausted. The balance between work and home feels overwhelming at times. It is hard to find that separation between the two. 

Work is a source of back and forth anxiety for me, but work is such a huge part of my life. When you work full-time, you spend a lot of time at your job.

I love my job. I work with seniors. I love the residents and their families. We have some amazing staff. 

The day to day stress, though, can overtake all the reasons I went into this field in the first place. And then I start feeling….I can’t do this anymore!

Then, God reminds me in the midst of an exhausting week that yes, I can.

If you work in long term care, then you understand the intensity of state survey week.

I worked long hours this week. I left my house super early. My neighbor had to take my son to school. But….I witnessed staff coming together, working together, serving the elders. I spent lots of time interacting with residents and staff.

I was reminded what an amazing leader I am privileged to work under…One who is appreciative and cares deeply. I was reminded of the great group of people I work alongside with on the leadership team.

Our results? Deficiency free. Deficiency free. Those two words…The cumulative results of months of hard work and day to day, moment to moment dedication. 

I was reminded I am called to do this.

A few weeks ago, I read this passage from Psalm 127:2…It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.


That very week, I had been up early working and up late working. I was allowing work to become too much of me. What has felt like my passion and calling was beginning to feel like a source of total overwhelming endlessness.
I can’t figure out this balance thing, but I realized that I don’t have to. I am learning more about prayer through Draw the Circle 40 day prayer challenge by Mark Batterson. I can pray over the promises in that Psalm and trust God for His guidance in finding balance.

Sometines, life is about beautiful simple moments tied into profound realizations. The happy tears of my coworkers. The words of gratitude from a family. Sharing hugs of celebration with staff. Laughing with a resident.
Yes, God, maybe I can do this just another day.

God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

Tonight, I am grateful for His reminders that I am exactly where He wants me right now. 

Life as the Great Balancing Act

I miss the mountains. A lot.


Over the weekend, a close friend was asking how my vacation was. As I shared how much I love the mountains, she agreed she could see me living there. When she asked what I loved the most about vacation, I reflected on the slow paced mornings, coffee on the deck, and writing time. She laughed and said, “Sounds like you want the retired life.”
Sigh. Actually, though, I guess what I love about the mountains is the quiet beauty of them. Life is life and vacation doesn’t last forever, though.

What I long for is a piece of that mountain peace  I felt to seep into my daily life. My ongoing struggle is this whole work life balance thing. I know I am not alone. Many of us work a lot and struggle to find a balance. My daughter is an education major and just told me the average teacher works 53 hours a week. I work in healthcare and that is comparable. Every occupation has its times of long hours. 

Last Saturday afternoon, while reading my devotional and Bible, I stumbled upon this verse although I don’t think it was a random stumbling upon…

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones. Psalm 127:2 NLT

There is a message in those words. Balance is important in life. Work should not consume our lives. When work feels like it is becoming too much, what can we do to regain our sense of self?
For me, this area is an ongoing work in progress. I have implemented a few things to help me. I am in the process of reevaluating the things that I am involved in outside of work and setting boundaries. I have just started an inspirational Writing group which totally uplifted me over the weekend. I take time nightly for TV time with my son to laugh along to our favorite show The Middle. I am making snippets of time to write and exercise. I am trying to find moments to reconnect with my husband because he is in a season of working a lot of hours, too. 

The most important thing? I am keeping prayer and time in God’s Word as a priority. I am learning to give myself grace. I am trying to learn an important lesson my friend reminds me…No is a complete sentence.

Finding balance amist the chaos of life can feel a bit like driving through a thick fog. It can be easier to simply accept the busyness as okay. It is much more uncomfortable and disorienting to sort your way through the fog of finding balance.
Finding balance is a process. Don’t settle for crazy. What small changes can you make that may pave the way for big strides towards balance in your life?

31 Days of Gratitude….Team

They were pieces on the table. Colorful Legos, something I saw often on my son’s floor but not something I saw at my workplace in a senior living community.

The instructions from the leader were detailed yet open ended. I was sitting at a table with others in a leadership training being asked to make something from the pieces. 

Together, we worked. We constructed from our interpretation of the instructions. A little house. Colorful with a roof, a door, a window. Oddly enough, we were proud of our unique little creation. We laughed as we created.

The little Lego house constructed at our leadership training represents in a tangible way the value of teamwork.

Great teams are led by amazing leaders.

Yesterday, I sat in my supervisor’s office for our weekly meeting. I have multiple informal meetings all week with her, but Tuesday afternoon is our set aside time devoted to an agenda. I had my list, my materials prepared for our meeting. 

She caught me off guard. Before I could speak, she asked me what do you need from me, how can I support you??

This isn’t the first time God has reminded me of the blessings from a prayer where His answer is wait.

I did wait… months.. in a challenging job situation, but God blessed me with the amazing opportunity to work in a Christian environment. He has blessed me with great Christian leadership…Leadership where I am given permission to try something and learn from mistakes because I know the team will support me.

I am tired but inspired daily. I am so grateful for an amazing team and Christian leadership that I can grow and learn from. 

Without wise leadership, a nation (insert company, organization, school, household, etc) falls; there is safety in having many advisors. Proverbs 11:14 NLT

I am so thankful for great leaders in my organization and to be part of such an amazing team.

Sometimes, the best answer to prayer truly is wait. God has greater plans than we can see. He knows exactly what we need and who we need.

Monday Musings

Mondays, are well, Mondays. I hate them because they mean the weekend is over. I love them because they mean another opportunity for great things to unfold. As I learn to find balance in my life between work and family life and be more intentional in how I spend my time, I am thankful for the mercy and grace of God. And, as I experienced all four seasons in one day Saturday in the crazy Ohio weather….seriously, it was raining, snowing, and sun shining during the 40 minutes  I was in Kohl’s as well as a temperature drop from the 50s to the 30s in less than an hour…I need reminded of the beach!

So, I combined one of my favorite pictures I snapped at a beach sunrise with one of my favorite verses. My  Monday musings on mercy.

mercies

Monday Musings

Mondays….they come once every seven days. Do you dread them, mourn the end of another weekend, or look forward in anticipation to another week?

I have a love hate relationship with Mondays. A lot of my feelings towards Mondays depends on how busy my weekend was versus how restful it was. When I hear people wishing on Mondays that they wish is was the weekend already, it makes me sad thinking they are wishing their lives away. Living every day to the fullest includes even Mondays.

I like routine. I like fresh starts. I like Mondays….even when I’m tired, even after a busy weekend with little time for rest, even when I know the week ahead promises to be busy.

Pictures Fall 2013-Fall 2014 2131This particular Monday, it begins the last week of what I know as normal. Life will become more messy, more tangled, more complicated, but it will be okay. I recently read in a devotional about our lives being pieced together by our Heavenly Father like a patchwork quilt. Instead of being tangled and tossed and strewn randomly around by the wind like the loose branches in the woods, I choose to believe that my life is pieced together with purpose by the One who sees the greater picture.

So, this Monday, as we go through our normal weekly routine, knowing that on Friday, my husband will close the door on a chapter in his life when he steps out of his workplace for the last time, we trust that our Father is already working out the details for the million Mondays and every day in-between to come.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrw will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

So, whatever you may be facing this Monday or any day, trust that the One who created you has it all figured out…sufficient for the day is its own troubles. Here’s to hoping for a magnificent Monday!