Resting

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I have been inundated with the message of resting lately. And I agree that we have become a society of constant movement, constant “connection”, achievement, accumulation of knowledge and things. It is very true that our calendars are way too full and we don’t see the value of taking a day off. We have lost the sabbath rest that god instructs us to take. We have thrown that out the window for the pursuit of excellence, perfection, knowledge, dare I say power. God knew that we needed a consistent day of rest where we could re center our focus on him. A time to remember what our purpose here really is and clear our minds of the worlds messages.

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But everywhere I turn someone else is giving me the 10 step process to a more restful life. I’m reading, talking, land learning about rest but that’s not resting. We all know how to rest.

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Sit down, put your feet up, enjoy the ones around you and the creation God has given you. It’s really easy to do, we are just are out of the habit. It may be difficult and awkward at first, but it’s simple.

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So this week I’m resting. Just resting, not convincing myself that I need rest, or feeling guilty that I don’t take more rest, or figuring out how to rest or why we as a society don’t rest more consistently. I’m just going to rest. It’s really easy.

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This week I am doing rest.

Thank you, Thank you!

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I am truly honored and excited to be nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and the Sunshine Award! I decided to start this blog as a tool for me to process my life and thoughts and maybe build a community of other moms trying to do the same. It is a bonus that people read it and actually get something from it on occasion.

I was awarded both awards by a wonderful blogger afternoonofsundries! Thank you so much for your nominations and for thinking of me. It is a true honor.

As you may know, these awards have rules and these rules are the following:

  • Answer Ten Questions
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Nominate at least 10 deserving bloggers
  • Place the award somewhere in your blog.

The Questions:

  1. Favorite Food: chocolate chip cookies!!!!!
  2. Favorite Actor: I can’t think of a one
  3. Favorite TV Show: The Biggest Loser – so inspiring
  4. Favorite Tear-Jerker: Sabrina or Never Been Kissed or Notting Hill or While You Were Sleeping  (You may not consider these movies tear-jerkers, but I cried somewhere in all of them)
  5. Favorite Sport: I tolerate football OK, or maybe golf because it’s long and it gives me plenty of time to read a book while others are watching the game.
  6. Lucky Number: 5
  7. Tea or Coffee: A wonder mug of freshly steeped hot tea, for sure!
  8. Favorite Holiday: 4th of July (it just sits there in the middle of summer all relaxed and fun)
  9. Twitter or Facebook: Facebook when I look at it, I really love Instagram though
  10. Favorite Christmas Movie: Christmas Vacation, hands down.

My Nominations (in no particular order) are:

i love 2 sweat  (remodel in process here, fun to watch and great ideas)

family to the 5 power  (great encouragement for moms on here)

along came ollie  (I love her honesty and creativity!)

mommy cook for me (good realistic recipes for us moms)

Home for Now  (creative and real!)

Wifommy (honest and real)

did i say that out loud? (funny mom, wife and family stuff)

Cast Light (encouraging)

Defeat Dispair (refreshing)

A Really full Life (inspiring)

Thank you once again for the opportunity to be recognized and honored!

People Who Give Rest

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Do you have a friend who gives you rest? Someone you feel good just being around. Not hurried, not rushed. The kind of person who makes you feel better about yourself even when you’re not a “better” person. Just being with them boosts your self confidence and makes you want to just sit down and “be” for a while. And when you leave you feel like you have more life to give than you did when you entered.

I know someone like this.

And I would like to be this kind of person.

The other week in church our pastor asked if anyone knew someone like this. Immediately a name popped into my head. I thought about how refreshing is was to be around this person.

That night my husband asked me if I thought of anyone when our pastor asked that question and I said yes. Then I asked him if he did, and he said yes.

He asked me who. I asked him who.

Then we both answered at the exact same time, “Donna”.

We laughed.

People like our friend Donna are special. They have the gift of bringing peace and rest to others. And anyone would be lucky to be on the receiving end of their gift.

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I love this verse. I could use some rest from this exhausting life. But God’s rest seems so elusive, intangible. How do you get your hands on some of that holy peace? Reading God’s Word and prayer are essential to that quest, for sure. But I think God uses people like Donna to bring His peace to others. What a blessing.

I would like to bring some of God’s rest to those around me.

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I asked my husband what he thought made her so easy to be around; what about her made us feel comfortable and relaxed.

We came up with two answers. I’m sure there are many, many more, and many intangibles too, but these seemed to be the main two for both of us.

1. Non-judgemental – No matter what you are telling her you never feel judged. Maybe she hides it well, or maybe she doesn’t feel judge-y. Either way it is a main reason the two of us feel peaceful around her. You always feel you can be honest and still be accepted. It’s so refreshing.

2. Listens well – Sure she has plenty to say too, but she listens really well – with interest. She seems genuinely interested in me and what I am talking about. Maybe we share a lot of common interests, but it goes way beyond that. She appears truly interested in my life – every time.

Then there’s me. I think my judgmental looks give off all sorts of clues that I couldn’t care less about what you are talking about. I have a lot of work to do if I want people to feel comfortable being with me, let alone feeling peaceful and rested.

But, I’m going to try anyway because It’s worth it if I can give someone a little rest in this crazy, busy life where the ability to rest is slipping quickly from us.

What if heaven really is for real?

Would it change the way you live? Would it change the way you think?

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I read the book Heaven is For Real a few years ago. The book is about a 4-year-old boy who had a near death experience and went to Heaven for a short time. The book recounts the stories he told after the fact leading his parents to believe he had really been there. He knew things about them he wouldn’t have know and he told them about things he saw while he was there. His family wrote the book to share their story.

Last weekend some people on our street got together to watch the movie “Heaven is For Real”. Something in the movie struck me differently than when I read the book. The father of the boy is a preacher and is really wrestling with his faith in God but his disbelieve that his boy could have really been in Heaven for a time. In the movie he asks his congregation, “What if heaven is for real? Would you live differently?”

I believe in God and Jesus and heaven, but this question made me think. If I believed that Heaven was really for real. Every day. I think I would live differently than I do. Pondering this question myself made me realize how thin my faith really is.

If I believed heaven was really for real I would:

Feel safer
Revelation 21:27 “But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Matthew 18:10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

Have more joy on a day to day basis knowing where I was headed
Be more excited to get there
I Corinthians 2:9 “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him””

Realize I have no idea what real beauty looks like
Revelations 21:21 “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.”
Revelations 21:19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,

Be more thankful
Revelations 21:1-5 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.””

Be less stressed

Be more humble and reverent toward God

Worry less about the stuff in my life.

Be more proactive in telling others about Jesus

So if I profess to believe in God and Heaven, why don’t I live like I do? No matter what you think about stories like this – if you do believe in God this is a good question to ponder for yourself. Do you really believe Heaven is real? And if so, do you live like it?

Trust Without Borders

I love the song Oceans by Hillsong right now. Below is a link to a video from a conference in Sydney where they performed it last year. The venue is amazing and the number of people worshipping together is moving.

Please click on the link below and take a few minutes to listen to the song while you read this today. The link will open in a new window so you can come back while it is playing and read. Please note there is an ad at the beginning of the video that you can skip after five seconds and then the song will begin playing.

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Hillsong UNITED

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my savior

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Oh to have trust in God that has no borders. To fully put my life in His hands and trust that He will make good of all things that happen. To trust that even the painful parts of life are meant for my good. The things that happen to us that hurt beyond imagination are meant for good.  The Bible says “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. Lord help me to trust deeply in that promise and live life trusting you without borders. Help me to not run when things don’t go as I want them to go but to trust that you are in control even when it looks like no one is.

Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.
Lord, take my life and use it for your good. Speak to me and tell me where you want me, where you need me. May I be willing to go wherever that is. Lord use me in great ways to glorify you and spread your love so that the pain of my life will have purpose and not be in vain. Lord, may I be willing to let my story be used to tell of your amazing faithfulness and love. May I not run and hide because the pain to too much to relive but may I follow where you lead and may you give me the strength to do what you ask of me.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.
Pursue me and draw me deeper in a relationship with you where I will experience you in great ways. Where I will see your work and your faithfulness. Where I will feel your love and your grace. And Lord help me to seek you as much as I am humanly able. My feet wander, my mind wanders and I am easily distracted by earthly things. Take me deeper with you into the life you have for me. Lord may my feet follow as you guide me. Lord give me the strength to follow when it is hard.

And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my savior.
Let it be so, that as I deepen my relationship with you my faith with be stronger. Lord I confess that my faith is so weak. When life hurts, I take my life in my own hands fully trusting only myself. Myself that only sees things in the present not as you see them with the perspective of eternity. May I learn to trust deeply. May I encounter the joy you have for me when I learn to trust fully. And Lord forgive me, for I will fail. But thank you for knowing that and offering me your peace, love, joy, security, forgiveness anyway…for I deserve none of it.

Lord help me, for I want to trust you without borders. I want to go where you call me, I want to go deeper with you so my faith can be made stronger. Lord I want my life to have purpose, I want the pain of my life to not be in vain. Lord give me courage, strength and purpose. I am willing.

A Favorite Project of Mine

I am so excited to show you this. This is the one project that I do on a quarterly basis that I just love doing. I make serious sacrifices to do it and I unplug from my life while I work on it. But it is so much fun for those two weeks out of every quarter.

Many of you know already, but I am a graphic designer by trade. It comes with the genes, I love to make things pretty. Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to work with many fun clients, but this one…well it’s special to me.

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I am honored to be the graphic designer for vérité an online magazine catering to women in their 40’s and beyond.

“So, the spirit behind vérité and our tagline, AUTHENTIC AT ANY AGE, is…the idea of recognizing and owning that we are older, yes, but we are also just as relevant, passionate, engaged, inspired and motivated as we ever were. And the belief that the desire to remain authentic in the midst of it all is a worthwhile pursuit.”

In a world where very little is truly authentic, this read is a breath of fresh air. It is written by real women, features real women and will inspire you in many ways.

This e-magazine was started by a colleague of mine, Kelly Holden Allen, who I have been working with for several years on many of her philanthropy projects. She had this dream three years ago and is making it happen in a very big and real way today. I am excited to have been a part of it from it’s inception and look forward to where it will go in the next few years.

It began to get serious traction at the beginning of this year and it has been a pleasure to watch it grow exponentially. Our 6th issue just launched Wednesday and it is a powerful issue. From fashion, beauty, fitness to home, entertaining and travel, it has something for everyone. Please take a look.

Kids Devotional Books We Like

I’m always looking for a good devotional book to read with the kids. I’ve bought a ton of them and left most on the shelf after a few lame reads. But I have found a few that we really like. I thought I would share the ones we have read over and over with you in case it’s helpful.

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The Big Picture Story Bible is fantastic. It isn’t just big pictures; it tells the big picture story of the Bible. Through it’s pictures and stories it shows how Jesus is woven throughout the new and old testament. It’s an overview of the Bible: telling the story of Jesus, why he had to come, how he came and what it did for us. It is really well done. The book comes with a CD where the author reads the book and children can follow along including bells to tell you when to turn the page.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is another book that comes (in one version) with a CD so you can follow along. This book tells lots of bible stories and is very well written. It doesn’t just cover the well known stories it also develops some of the disciples lives through stories. This is one we have read over and over and over.

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Jesus Calling Bible Storybook is new to our collection. It tells a short Bible story and then gives a Jesus Calling type devotional based on the story. As with all of the Jesus Calling books it brings a beautiful personal application piece at the end pertinent to children’s life issues. We are reading through this in the evenings right now and the amount of time it takes to read one is just right for the smalls’ short attention span before bed.

This may also be a good opportunity to mention that there is a Jesus Calling for Kids available. It follows the same format as the adult version but the life applications are much more in line with things kids deal with. I also have the Jesus Calling for Kids app on my iPhone. Sometimes I read this to the kids in the morning during breakfast before sending them out for the wolves to devour.

Every Day a Blessing: A Year of God’s Love. This is a really interesting book. There is a devotional for every day of the year and each one presents a different blessing from God. They each start with a key verse then a short story from the passage and a quick question or statement of the blessing we can derive from the passage. My kids and I can always use a reminder of the ways God blesses us. This is another one I like to read at breakfast. It sends you off with something to think about and look for that day. It is also a quick read making it easy to squeeze it into even the busiest of mornings.