You are walking through Central Park in New York City and see this container, what is the first thing you think? How does this make you feel? Do you write in the sand? Call the police? Pretend you don't see it?
Retreat, Reflect, Refocus, and Reconnect
"So submit yourselves to the one true God and fight against the devil and his schemes. If you do, he will run away in failure. Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other."
James 4:7-8 Voice
Happy Friday everyone! Is anyone saying the catch phrase, TGIF today? If so, maybe you need to retreat, withdrawing from the stuff overwhelming and burdening you. I encourage you to retreat in a non-traditional sense, don't run in the other direction and never look back. Instead, retreat so you can reflect, refocus, and reconnect. This is necessary in our lives.
I may be the only one (if I'm not, I hope you'll leave a comment below), but I tend to wait to retreat until I'm so overwhelmed I'm not sure how to keep moving forward. I keep pushing and the "busy" of life takes over BUT when the busyness and things-to-do over power our quiet time, eventually we hit burn out, frustration, and become ugly. Sometimes we can hide this ugly from those not living with us yet doesn't our family and God deserve more than ugliness spewing from our heart? Of course they do.
I encourage you to take time this weekend to stop, reflect, refocus, and reconnect. YOU and those you interact with deserve it and God longs to spend time with you.
How do you Retreat, Reflect, Refocus, and Reconnect...
Leave a comment below to answer the following questions:
Guess what I'm doing this weekend? The title gave you a clue, I'm on the road. It's been awhile since I spoke or did a book signing. God's nudges are becoming more prevalent and I need to be obedient and can't live in fear. Some of you might be shocked that it's fear that kept me distant the past year or so but it's true. A blessing I count this week is our pastor's message on fear and being obedient to God's calling on our life.
This weekend isn't a huge lunge forward BUT it is a forward motion and one I look forward to. I'm thankful a friend encouraged me to not only attend the retreat but to also bring my books again. I have two new ones since the last time I was there, this is exciting stuff. Many things are floating through my brain and I look forward to sharing them with you, so keep reading.
Last Wednesday was Heidi's birthday and the one year anniversary of my Mom's passing. I did something I haven't done before, I put on my big girl panties and went to work! Go figure. 2016 is about moving forward, trusting God, releasing the fear, and being obedient. I sound like I have it all together but if you think about it, it took me until the second half of September to figure this out. This just means 2017 will have nothing but goals to strive for and more things to focus on.
Moving forward and focusing on my W.I.G.s (Wildly Important Goals)...
This past weekend I kept busy. I transformed our "pantry" area and weeded the Heidi Allen Remembrance Garden. I was encouraged to sit and relax but my mind and heart opted for a focused and productive time. At first it was subconscious, but as I drove to school this morning it made sense.
Last year, I left school after the first three days and didn't know when I'd return. Mom was home with Hospice and her days were few, little did we know that the following Monday she would pass away. I think Friday's ambition to beautify the pantry and the hours spent at Heidi's garden prevented me from thinking about how sad and difficult this weekend was last year. Go figure, instead of taking time to reflect and grieve, I filled the schedule.
I'm thankful God pointed this out to me on my drive to work this morning. To choose busy over the quiet and necessary time is a bad habit from
Jesus invites us,
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28 NLT
With my Mom's smile and memory as a reminder, I plan to put first things first - I need to take care of me so I can take care of others. My drive to work is only about five minutes, imagine how God would have spoken to me if I had a longer commute. Have a great week, catch ya tomorrow.
What helps you to relax, reflect, and recharge?
Is there a Bible verse that comes to mind?
You just moved to a new town, a small and remote place nestled in the hills. It's a place no one had heard of, especially your spouse when you shared the news of your transition. You take a break one afternoon from unpacking and take a walk, you see this beautiful, empty, and vacant building and you have an idea...
Why did you move?
What was your spouses reaction?
Do you find a trinket/photo while unpacking, causing you to walk? If so, what was it?
How far do you walk?
What does it smell like?
What is your idea for this building? Does it have anything to do with the trinket/photo you found while unpacking?
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Since I started school, a long, long, time ago...my Gram and Aunt Nancy would call our house and sing a ditty to wake us up and encourage us to have a great day. My Mom and Auntie M carried on the tradition after Gram and Aunt Nancy passed away. Last year, Mom was sick but still found the strength to call and wish me a good first day, with the help of Dad. I laughed because I was stopping at her house before I went to school but she said "I always call you on the first day." This year she isn't able to but thankfully Auntie M carries on the tradition with multiple calls until I answered. For the record, I was awake and in the shower. Traditions are a blessing I count.
Tomorrow will be an interesting day though, no Mags to wake up. When my parents and aunts told me the day she started Kindergarten, "Enjoy every moment, she'll be graduating before you know it.", they weren't kidding. I'm thankful I took their advice and have a treasure trove of memories to look back on, with new ones beginning as she transitions into college. I wonder, do the college years go as quickly as the previous thirteen years of education?
I decided to be silly rather than weepy this morning. I hope you enjoy this video. I enjoy the song, "Baby Got Back". If you are familiar with this song, you'll enjoy this parody of "Baby Got Class" song.
Please share one of your back=to-school memories with us...
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