Keep It Simple

Our world can get complicated super fast – technically continues to evolve at warp speed, our schedules get increasingly dense & we are encouraged to be strategic in our thinking & planning. These things aren’t bad but they can add layers of complexity to our daily living. So for me, it’s a breath of fresh air to stop the proverbial roller coaster & refocus on my essential priorities. 
It helps to take a deep breath, close one’s eyes, sit in the car for a few minutes & be still. Our brains can of course make this challenging but let’s keep our essentials as the bull’s eye for our living:

  • Love God
  • Love people
  • Love ourselves 

Lessons in Resting

Springtime always seems to ramp up the activity level.  There’s fresh air outside that’s not too cold, the trees bloom with fragrant life, the hibernation of winter dissipates and of course there are all of the activities that go with school, Easter, graduations, weddings, showers, etc.

More often than not, Springtime wears me out with the hustle and bustle of demanding activities.  So this Sping, I’m endeavoring to strike a better balance, integrating some rest into the mix.  Here are some ideas that might help you with finding rest in a busy Spring:

  • be careful not to fall in the “value in achievement” trap – you’re valuable because God loves you, full stop
  • consider Spring cleaning your calendar / schedule and not just your house
  • be sure the way you use your time accurately reflects your priorities
  • don’t ditch church 🙂

Of course I’m always keen to recommend reading a good book as a form of relaxing & a great book to read in preparation for Pentecost in a few weeks is Heavenly Help

I Yelled

One of my offspring, who will remain nameless, became distracted during their kitchen cleaning chores & flooded the kitchen sink, floor & down into our basement. I yelled & I’m still in the unhappy camper zone – it will take me some time to come off the ceiling & not be snarky (nicknames like Noah, Ahab from Moby Dick & swimming snipes are fully flourishing in my brain). 
All of this started when someone didn’t pay attention to an important responsibility. And this is a problem any one of us can experience. I don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve had to compensate or fix something that’s been messed up for the simple reason that I was distracted. 

Let’s keep our focus on the important stuff: do justice, love kindness & walk humbly with God, Micah 6:8 🙂

hot topic: Starbucks & Christmas

large_Starbucks-Red-Cups-2015-2  As I was making my way home from Singapore yesterday, I checked the news & saw there was some kind of uproar about Starbucks & Christmas.  Since I’m a coffee fan, I decided to briefly look into the uproar only to be disappointed.  I’m disappointed because there are many issues in our world today that are super important that need our prayers & attention.  And today, Donald Trump jumped into the conversation, leaving me to speculate about not only cup decorations and caffeine, but now I get to add politics into this busy buzzy world.

All of which brings me back to thinking about what’s important & specifically what’s important about Christmas:  God loves humanity & Jesus’ birth into human existence.

In the grand scheme of things, let’s keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing 🙂

What Bugs You?

There are things that get under my skin & there are things that BUG me. I get agitated when people tailgate me, I don’t like it when my family leaves a dirty knife on the counter & I don’t like that my car’s alarm goes off randomly. These things are annoying. But in the grand scheme of things, it BUGS me that we withhold our love because someone doesn’t believe like we do. It BUGS me that we use religious jargon to manipulate & even shame people. It BUGS me that I can sometimes be the same hypocrite that I judge someone else to be. 
It doesn’t bother me that my nails haven’t been manicured in countless years. It doesn’t stress me out that I wear wool socks to keep warm in the Winter & I’m not jittery that my clothes don’t always match well 🙂

Let’s keep the Main Thing the main thing 🙂

hot topic: end times

This month, there’s a convergence of interesting phenomena in conjunction with many Jewish holidays and feasts.  I have friends who think that this month is a very strategic month, maybe even the return of Jesus.  I also have friends who think that the end of the world things in Sept is nothing more than history being repeated yet again.

Regardless of your opinion, if you think Jesus is returning this month or not, let’s keep some essential priorities in mind, based on Jesus’ teachings when He lived among us:

  • love God
  • love people

As a follower of Jesus, these two commandments need to shape my priorities and how I live everyday, so that whenever Jesus does return, He finds me doing His work 🙂

more Jesus please

I like alot of things:  snowboarding, swimming, coffee, travel, family, chiliquiles, pho, rain, friends, reading, sleep, etc.  But I can also overdose on all of these things – too much family, too much travel, too much reading, too much pho, etc.  But I have yet to find the limit of my appetite for genuine Jesus and in actual truth, I can’t seem to get enough of Jesus.

A strategy that helps me with getting more of Jesus in my life is being more integrated with Jesus.  Here are some ideas for integrating Jesus into our daily living more:

  • family – there are lots of times when I learn lessons about Jesus and have ample space to ask for Jesus to help me in relating constructively with my kids and husband
  • serving – I’m always blown away by how closely I feel connected to Jesus when I serve others (not to be noticed, validated or repaid), like some of our work with Saving Moses
  • praying – in my thinking, prayer is a two-way conversation with God and this can be happening all the time throughout any day;  I need this
  • watch – looking for Jesus and paying attention to Him helps me be more aware and attentive to Jesus’ involvement in my daily living