Refreshment · Rest · worship

Your Need For Rest

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I am really good at staying busy.  Are you?  It’s to the point that if my family sees me just sitting on the couch they ask if I’m feeling sick.  I’m not proud of that; it’s just true.  But I’m learning to rest.  God knew I needed it and He provided Sunday for our day to lay aside the normal activities and focus on worship and rest.

While Sunday is probably one of our busiest days because of being in the ministry, I have learned a few things that really help the day to be more worshipful and restful.

  1. Go to bed early on Saturday night.  I try not to schedule anything for late in the day Saturday so I can get a good night’s rest.
  2. I take a “Media Fast” on Sunday.  I don’t check Facebook, Instagram, or even my email accounts on Sunday.  It’s a wonderful break from all the “stuff” of social media,” and it helps my worship to be more focused.
  3. Take a nap on Sunday afternoon.  Even if it’s only fifteen minutes, I need this rest!
  4. I do no housework on Sunday, except cooking and cleaning up the kitchen.  Laundry can wait – and so can all the dust and crummy floors.
  5. I don’t like to even do any shopping on Sunday.  It’s a distraction to me.
  6. I attend the morning and evening worship services at church.  This is God’s Day, and I desire to give Him the whole day.  What blessings I would miss if I stayed home from any of the services !!
  7. Enjoy fellowship with others.  Even if we just go grab a sandwich after the service, or have friends over, the  fellowship with others is an added blessing.

I’m writing this at the beginning of the week so you can consider your Day of Rest that’s coming this weekend.  How will you plan to use it wisely to make it all God wants it to be?  I realize that work schedules make it difficult, but your day should prepare your heart for worship, and then have you ready for the busy week ahead.  Perhaps one reason we’re running ragged is because we’re not utilizing this day as God intended.

Six days may work be done;

but on the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD:

Rest.  Worship. We all need it.  Why not make plans for them both this Lord’s Day?

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Family life · home · refreshment at home · Winter · Work

Making Leisure Days Productive & Restful

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Tennessee finally got a snow day!  I’ve been waiting for this since Christmas time!  In honor of all restful Snow Days, I’m going to wait to post a video today, but will get one out next week.

Let’s just do a fun post today about ways to make leisure days restful, but still productive. We all know how to rest, but how can we take a rare day at home both productive and restful? Is it possible?  Yes!  Here are a few ideas:

Let’s start with what we need to get rid of in order to rest:

  • Television
  • Facebook
  • Computer “stuff”
  • Texting

Let’s lift our face out of a screen and up around us at the people and place where we are!

Leisure activities:

  • Pick up a magazine and get inspiration for decorating your home.
  • Go through cookbooks and mark new recipes you want to try.
  • Read through an old journal and be blessed at the memories you recorded.
  • Read a book – one you’ve started and not finished or one you’ve wanted to get into.
  • Take a nap – Of course!

Things to do with others:

  • Play board games
  • Read aloud
  • Go outside
    • On snowy days – walk in the snow, build a snowman, shovel someone else’s sidewalk.
    • On warmer days, clean up the yard.  Take a walk.  Sit on the porch swing or rocking chairs.  Read out there!
  • Bake together

Around the House:

  • Work on a project you’ve neglected – hemming jeans, sewing buttons on, crafts like stamping, calligraphy or memory books.
  • Rearrange the furniture – a favorite of mine!!
  • Redo the decor on a mantle or bookshelf.
  • Straighten out drawers.
  • Oraganize something that is messy – a closet, a pile on the counter or floor.
  • Freshen up the kitchen by decluttering the countertops.

Don’t let snow days or leisure days be wasted by just hanging on the couch all day.  A little rest is good, but leisure days can be productive rest!

Have you had snow this week?  What fun things did you do while you were home?

Happy snow days to you, my friends!

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Christian Life

My Schedule for Today is to be Unscheduled

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Last month when I had the blessing of speaking to a group of pastor’s wives, my subject was on REST.  I encouraged them from the life of Jesus who told His disciples in Mark 6:31, where He said,

Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while; for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

We can all push ourselves so hard for so long that we find that we, like the disciples, scarcely have time to sit down for supper!  We eat on the run.  We try to play catch up with the laundry on Saturday as the mountain of clothes in the hamper resembles that of Mt Everest.  We feel deprived of time with our spouse.  We haven’t had a whole paragraph of conversation with our kids – only phrases like, “Where’s your homework?  “Did you brush your teeth?” and “What time is your game tonight?”  Our spiritual life is shallow and leaves only guilt instead of joy and peace.

Something has to give.

The suggestion I’m going to share is one I learned this summer during our sabbatical.  It’s one that is harder to do than say, but it’s needed, and may I also add, it’s necessary if we’re to live out fruitful lives for God’s glory.

Schedule unscheduled time.

Sit down with your calendar, a red pen (and your spouse, if you’re married) and find regular times you can be “unscheduled.” I would recommend that you spend these times as a family or just as a couple.  It doesn’t have to be a whole week or weekend – it could be just one whole day.  But take that red pen and put a big red “X” over at least one day every couple of weeks where you are

unreachable,

uncommitted,

and

unscheduled.

  • Try to stay unconnected while you’re away, meaning don’t plug into the Internet. Don’t text with friends.  Don’t send emails.  Instead, try to:
  • Rest – Sleep in. Take a nap.  Go to bed early
  • Play – Have fun! Play games.  Go to a concert.  Enjoy a snack.  Take a drive.
  • Read God’s Word
  • Write in your journal
  • Spend time in prayer
  • Make meals easy if you’re at home or staying somewhere where you still need to prepare meals.
  • Work on a project that is different from your normal tasks; work on a hobby you enjoy, for example.

Even just a day away from your normally hectic routine will energize you and help you to be ready to return to the demands that await you.  After Jesus and His disciples returned from their rest, Jesus was immediately moved with compassion on the crowd that met Him because they were as sheep having no shepherd.  We, too, will have a renewed love to minister to those in our lives after we’ve taken time to schedule being unscheduled.

Do you need to mark out a day in red ink?  Ask the Lord how, where and when, then do it!

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Praise · Uncategorized

Blessings

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We have had a week full of blessings.  My cup is literally running over.  The Lord is so good to me, and I am praising Him for His wonderful work in my life.

Blessing of snow ~ Last week my husband and I were talking about three wishes we would make.  One that I mentioned was, “I’d love to be snowed in for three days.”  Wishes are not prayers, but my God knows the desires of my heart, and in His love and kindness, He allowed me to have that desire last week!  It began snowing on Thursday night and it dumped enough snow to keep us inside for three + days! It was wonderful!  I’m not sure how anyone could really get bored at home.  I could keep myself happily occupied for weeks!  Let me show you some of the fun we had while snowed in…

Blessing of another birthday ~ Friday was my  husband’s birthday, so I made him a cake.  His favorite is Carrot Cake.  I opted for a lighter version, and he loved it almost as much as my fattening recipe!

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Blessing of a warm, cozy home ~ We sat by the fire and enjoyed our steaks, onion rings, salad and cake.  Then we played games while we listened to some old songs on Pandora.  Fun times!

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Blessings of family traditions ~ It’s our family tradition to have breakfast in bed on your birthday.  Since my husband needed to be out early on Friday, I delivered his birthday breakfast to him on Saturday.  Eggs Benedict is what he’s requested for the last couple years.

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Blessings of leisure time ~ Sunday services were cancelled, so I took the time to enjoy my coffee and my Bible reading from the warmth of my bed – something I usually only do on my birthday!  It was so nice to be unrushed and able to really focus, unlike most Sunday mornings when we’re scrambling to head out the door.

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Blessing of time in worship together ~ I don’t have a picture of this, but my husband had sent out a Bible study for families to do while home from church.  Our time in the word and in prayer was precious to me for many reasons.  What a blessing to worship together and to pray, knelt beside the family room sofa!

Blessing of beauty ~ What’s prettier than a snowfall?  The picture below was early in the morning.  Any direction we look shows God’s handiwork in so many ways – the moon, the sun, the snow, the mountains…What a Creator!

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What blessings are you thanking God for this week?

With love from the snowy countryside,