still

Not Ready

The week between Christmas & New Year’s feels like a “not ready” week, maybe because of all the festivities, bustle & frenzy leading up to Christmas, . . . . . And then we pause 🙂

And for such a pause, I’m abundantly grateful. I don’t have to get ready for anything – no dinner guests, no events, no sermons, no parties, no gift wrapping or last minute presents to buy. In this week, it’s ok to be “not ready.” So I appreciate the opportunity to lounge in pjs, take time for reflection, watch birds and squirrels eat berries off the tree outside my window, get my vacuum into the shop for a much needed tune-up, sleep in a little bit and be entirely comfortable with being “not ready.”

Maybe this idea goes back to the concept of Sabbath, when we pause from our work and take a day of rest. I sincerely believe that such a pause is an essential ingredient for growing in our intimacy with God 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in busy, Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Sometimes We Should Slow Down

I like to go fast. In our family, I’m the one who gets speeding tickets, I’m the one who snowboards fast & I tend to make going fast a high priority. While it’s fun to go fast, it also causes problems. For example, there are times when I try to speed through writing a blog & then make grammar & content mistakes :/
There are times when I find myself making speed a higher priority than quality or being present & engaging. That’s a recipe for train wrecks & dysfunctions. 

There are times when slowing down & being present have better benefits than going fast or accomplishing stuff. Like with Mary & Martha in Luke 10, Jesus let Martha know that it was better to listen & be still with Him rather than be busy around Him. 

So today, I’m telling myself to slow down & be still with Jesus 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in busy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, Martha, prayer, relationships, saving moses, values, watch, 0 comments

Turn Up the Volume

Three members of my family lean toward the loud side of volume & two of us not as much. Of course when I was a teenager, there were the normal moments of loud & intense but as I age, I find that often what I most relish is found not in noisy & frenzied. Instead, it’s entirely astounding what a person can experience walking alone at night in some rain or gentle snowfall. I also find that the moments of quiet that I give to God during any given day have great volume & application in my day to day living. 
In a season that has the potential to be full of high octane demands, full on loud & overflowing with busy, let’s pay attention to keeping some quiet & still in our daily living. Doing this can help us to hear the gentle, affirming & inviting words of Jesus, whispering into our hearts & throughout each day. Let’s turn up the volume on Jesus’ voice by turning down the volume on the demands of a potentially frenzied holiday season 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in busy, Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 1 comment

the other side

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year when we celebrate lots of things & in lots of ways.  We lavishly spend time, money, people interactions, parties, etc and revel in the celebrations of the season, opulence and abundance.  Then there’s the day after, today, when we might be groggy, overstuffed and possibly fatigued.  On this day, I find my heart longing to recover a sense of balance, desiring some still and quiet, centering into what’s really important, the One Thing that Jesus spoke about with Martha at her dinner party in Luke 10:42.  Sometimes it helps us regain our core when we sit at Jesus’ feet like Mary, waiting, listening, watching and paying attention to Who is the most Essential in our lives, Jesus 🙂

#selah

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Christmas, cooking, enemies to intimacy, family, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, Martha, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 1 comment

Walking Through the Woods on a Snowy Day

We had a very beautiful snow storm yesterday, even though it was treacherous with driving. Instead of going to the gym & working out, I decided to take a walk in the snow through some woods. It was a very soothing walk. In the woods, it was quiet & very still, but along the shoveled path, it was windy, icy & not as enjoyable. I was thinking about the trees and how they spend half of their time getting dressed, putting on leaves & half of their time getting undressed, shedding their leaves.
Sometimes I think we chose paths that seem smooth based on what we can see & feel but sometimes this choice prevents us from experiences with God that can be really rich for our hearts. These are just a few thoughts from my snowy walk in the woods 🙂

20130225-094002.jpg

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 1 comment

pandemonium, pressure and peace

It seems to me that in almost every Christmas season, there comes a time when all of the pressures, activities, demands and general busy-ness shifts into the frenzied and frantic zone and the chaos threatens to swallow me into a abyss of cluttered insanity (sorry for all of the adjectives).  In the midst of all of this, I find my heart getting really still and quiet, seeking to create some serenity, calm and peace.  Even now, I have a few unexpected moments of quiet and while I’m writing this, I find myself letting go of some of the season’s stress and receiving some much needed divine peace.

So my friend, please be sure that with all of this season’s demands and expectations, don’t neglect to take those essential moments to be still and celebrate our Prince of Peace 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in Christmas, cooking, enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, 1 comment

Wait a second!!

I was in a security line at the airport early this morning & it was moving rather slowly. Thankfully, most of us in the line were still pretty groggy so there wasn’t much complaining, except for the guy right behind me. He was really gripey & for me, gripey & groggy aren’t a good combination. Thankfully, God helped me to keep my mouth shut because when it was all said & done, we weren’t waiting for more than 10minutes – which points out a bit of a challenge for our modern living.
I think that if we aren’t careful, we can easily fall into the impatience trap & neglect to learn & practice waiting on God. There are LOADS of verses that speak to the importance of waiting on God & I would encourage you to explore what God says about waiting. But from my personal experience, waiting on God is a great way to be in God’s presence & God’s presence is my priority 🙂
So wait a second & grab some God time ,)

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, travel, 1 comment

shhhhh!

I find that my world has lots of noise and not just from the radio, TV or my kids having fun.  There just seems to be lots of noise, even in my thinking.  The noise in my brain might be similar to yours:  tasks I haven’t finished, people that I’m concerned about, issues I need to discuss with my husband, work things to get through, planning my dinners for the next week, topics I need to talk about with each of my kids, the brake light & head light on my car that need to be replaced, . . . . . Just lots of things flying around in my brain, probably just like yours.  But these things can become annoying if I don’t take some time to get quiet and be still.  Initially, when I try to settle down my thoughts, they only seem to get louder & demand more attention.  But if I stay with it, pressing in to being still and quiet, I can often find some quietness and I love these moments because it seems like these are the times when my fellowship with Jesus is very rich.  So, maybe we could agree to take some time this weekend to get quiet and be still – listening to Jesus and giving Him our presence and attention.  The effort can pay indescribable dividends!  🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, prayer, spiritual, 2 comments

Be still, oh anxious thoughts

Today is my kids’ 1st day back to school so we all have those 1st school day jitters – nervous about new teachers, classmates, new subjects, what’s the school year going to be like, being accepted, friends etc. As their mom, I find myself also a bit nervous & jittery. So we all get to explore what it means to trust God with our unique jitters with their stuff as well as mine – decisions, future direction, www.savingmoses.org . For myself, I find that receiving Jesus’ peace is wrapped in the same decision as rejecting anxiety. When I try to fight anxiety, for me it only seems to get bigger when I don’t simultaneously receive Jesus’ peace to guard my heart & mind. So I’m accepting Jesus’ peace & keeping the anxious thoughts outside to wither in the glorious light & truth of the Holy Spirit 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, spiritual, 3 comments

rest

This morning, I read Psalms 23 and it was super encouraging to my heart! What really stood out to me was the very beginning part when David says that God causes him to lie down in green pastures. This was really soothing because when you look at the verb in the Hebrew, the idea is that God is very much making David to lay down – almost like an enforced pause.
Here’s my thinking on this idea of a pause – I think that many of us run a pretty fast-paced & high-demanding life for lots of different reasons (some good & some lame). Nevertheless, we all need rest, a break, on a consistent basis (more than just the idea of our daily sleep requirement). If we do not integrate a break or rest into our routines (i.e. a weekly Sabbath), then we will find ourselves in a place of “forced rest,” where God causes us to take a pause.
It is super important to have consistent breaks & pauses in our lives for many different reasons:
*a pause helps to clarify our thinking & emotional inputs
*a pause allows us to re-focus our priorities
*a pause provides the space & context for our relationship with God to deepen & grow
*a pause lets us have an opportunity to slow down & listen to God

Three cheers to a busy life with integrated & intentional rest 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments