Slow Down, For a Moment of Rest

One day on the way to work, I made a conscious effort to slow down. I normally spend my commute scanning the highway looking for the best and fastest way to get to work. It’s not because I’m late, because I head in an hour early. It’s because I am always focused on the next task. And in the morning the task is to get to work and a jump start on my day.

This particular day, I made a mental note to not to rush. I realized that by slowing down I was given a moment to rest.

A moment of rest that…

…gave rest to my thoughts
…let me feel my heart beat slower
…felt my face relax
…gave me a chance to smile
…reminded me that life is not a race

Now the impulse to slow down didn’t last. And I had to remind myself to slow down many times during that commute. And it was more than a slowing down of speed. It was a slowing down of the pace I was setting for the day.

I still got to work. Maybe a minute or two later. Those 2 minutes didn’t cost me productivity for the day.

Instead…

…it relaxed me
…put my day in perspective
…allowed me to see the vast landscape in front of me
…let me feel the warm breeze as I stepped out my car
…and gave me a chance to embrace a new and pretty day

Later in the week while sitting in my sunroom I watched this cardinal as it flew to a bench that perched just long enough for me to capture a picture.

Cardinal on Bench 2

Then a few seconds later it flitted to a new spot.

Cardinal on Bench

After a few times of resting, and moving, it flew off. It reminded that sometimes just a moment, a conscious decision to take a breath, is a moment of rest.

Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. 

Seeking the presence of God, in the moments, to find rest, on the Journey, Jackie

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Happy Birthday Christian

I love this picture.

Christian May 2017

I was quite the distance away from you and I don’t think you knew I was taking it.

It says a lot about the young boy that you are. One full of fun and mischief, but underneath hiding a deep thinker.

The fun and mischievous side that says things like…

“We had it delivered, that’s never happened before! …Guys! We’re having
delivered PIZZA!!!”

Or…

“I can communicate with chickens!” Gawk! Bgawk! See.”

And then the thought filled side that says things like…

“Mommy, on February 4th, can we celebrate Rosa Parks birth? Cuz that’s the
day she was born.” To which Mommy responded, “Sure. What made you want to
celebrate her birthday?” With full conviction he responded, “Because she’s
really important and helped change unfair laws, and I think we should.”

Or…

“Mommy, my heart is beating.” Mommy, “yes, your heart is beating.” Him, “is it always beating?”

And…

“I’m gonna tape these papers to doors to remind people of something.” To
“Remind them of God, Jesus, the world, and the Holy Spirit”

So to one who has wisdom beyond your years, my verse for you this year is…

Proverbs 3:13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.

Happy Birthday Christian. It’s hard to believe you will be 7.

Love you

Grandma

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More on Rest

I didn’t intend on this past week being a week of rest. Sure, I took the week off, but that is because I had a whole host of things to do.

It was a very full week of work
…And I worked hard
…Harder than I expected to
…And long days
…Longer than I expected to

And while I’m not ready to go back to my “day job” tomorrow, and while I worked like a crazy woman last week.

I am rested
…Tired but rested
…Deep in my soul

My list of things
…Is still long
…And actually longer
…Never ending and
…Daunting when I think about it

But I am rested

Last week I learned that rest is not about stopping but finding places or times of rest in the busyness.

This week rest was found in the busyness of the different.

A different
…Location
…Type of work
…Mindset
…Atmosphere (I was by myself)

And how can you not find rest when this is the view outside your working window.

Deer in backyard

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 

I will miss this view each morning as I am working, but it time to switch my occupational hat back to my main job and find different ways to replenish my soul and find rest in the daily craziness.

Rested, tired and willing to seek out new ways of rest. On the Journey. Jackie

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A New Look at Rest

“Rest” is God’s word to me this year. And even with surgery to “slow” me down I’ve not done well with learning what that means. And after 4 months of limited mobility I’m ready to get back to my “normal” self. I don’t think it part of God’s plan however.

One day this past week at work, I needed a break from the mental work I had been focused on all day and decided to take a walk outside the building for a bit. As I’m walking along, I was working deliberately to walk correctly so I don’t develop a habitual or permanent limp.

…but that slows me down
…and frustrates me
…and I’m more than ready
…to be back to “normal”

So while I slowed my pace I realized that there is rest in a quiet deliberate slow pace. I think of rest as…

stopping
doing nothing
free from activity

So while I was “busy” resting, I was able to notice a mother bird feed her babies, wishing I had my camera. I noticed the bark on the trees along the walkway, or I should say lack of bark. It was almost as if the trees were shedding their skin.

Shedding tree

There was a quiet rest in my soul. If I had been walking at my pre-surgery pace I would have missed all of it. My focus would have been on the destination (getting back to my desk). And isn’t it about the journey?

And how quickly I forget what I just discovered.

I returned to my desk to get my phone so I could take photos of the trees and before I knew it…

I was rushing my steps
on a mission
falling back into old patterns

This exercise in rest, is hard work.

Mark 6:31 Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. 

The quiet place of rest on that day was a simple, deliberate walk around a building. The time was brief, the setting not what  you would expect for a “time away” but it was just what this soul needed.

How or where do you find rest?

A lesson learned, that I’m sure I’ll need reminders on this Journey. Jackie

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A Teenager in the House

Camden Waiting to hitCamden. I am so glad you waited to celebrate your birthday with us. I hate that we live so far away and miss all the special moments in your life.

You are now 13. Officially a teenager? Do you feel any different? Was it a big day for you? Has it been one of those, “I can’t wait” times? Did it come and go and you wonder what all the fuss was? Were you left disappointed and hoping for more? I know you enjoyed this right of passage by playing golf with your Dad and Grandpa for the first time. Even if it did mean you lost the “ice cream hole.” I have a hunch that while you weren’t thrilled with losing that hole, you were very proud to treat Dad and Grandpa to ice cream. 🙂

Your life will be full of the “I can’t wait” moments. You’ll be wishing for all the fun things that getting older offers but you won’t like some of the growing up responsibilities that come along with it.

Jesus was 12 when his parents had to go looking for him in the temple after they had assumed he was with them. Jesus knew his calling even before he was a teenager but the Bible says he was obedient to his earthly parents and he grew in wisdom.

Luke 2:51-52

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Life will continue to open up more opportunities for you. Not everything you will have before you to choose to do will be good for you. You are responsible to seek God for His wisdom and direction. Sometimes that will come in the form of a parent saying yes and sometimes no. There will be times you will know in your heart what is right and good, when to say no to or to walk away.

I’ll be praying that you’ll have the courage and strength to do what is right and to be obedient to not only those in authority over you but to God.

I love you Camden. Praying for a good year for you and that you find favor with God and man (mom and dad). Remember even Jesus was obedient. Grandma

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Happy Birthday Kynzi

This smile says it all of who you are. Full of life and joy. Strong, confident and ready to take on the world. And ready you will need to be.

KynziGenesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

This next year will be filled with unknowns as you will move from the known to the unknown, much like Abraham. And like Abraham you don’t know where that will be. Or where you will live.  With maybe a hint of what you’ll be doing. That is a lot to undertake for a young woman. I admire your courage to step out in faith trusting God to go before you in this next step in your journey with Him.

I’m sure this will be a year of finding yourself. Discovering your strengths and determining the path you want to take for your future. Enjoying new places, people and situations. At the same time I would guess you are hoping there is an open door for a permanent position. And most importantly discovering God in a new way. Leaning on Him in ways you haven’t had to in the past.

Happy Birthday Kynzi. I’ll be praying for you this next year as you embark on new adventures with God.  Jackie

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Happy Birthday Noah

Noah HappyWe celebrated your birthday yesterday. While I forgot my camera to get a picture, I love this picture of you. It is the best of who you are. Fun and filled with joy and mischief.

You will soon be 9 going on 30, or maybe 40. Not only are you growing up fast, you are smart as a whip. “Just like my dad” you would say. I love talking with you and listening as you give me your words of wisdom, fun facts and wild stories.

Proverbs 4:5
Get wisdom, get understanding; 
do not forget my words or turn away from them.

It seems a fitting verse for you for this year and I’ve already seen evidences of God working in you. You know a lot of facts. And that’s a good thing. But what is better is God’s wisdom.

God’s wisdom can…

defy logic
make you think
grows you

God’s wisdom is not always what we want or want to hear but it is..

always good
always best
always worth heeding

You are growing in God’s wisdom. You greeted us at the door yesterday as any good host would. And then ran off to be with friends as any 9 year old boy would. But then a couple of times you stopped playing and came to just say a few words and run off. Wisdom in knowing others are there to celebrate with you, even if they are not on the play gym.

I’ve watched and listened to you as you would take care of Grace with your wise words. Or warning her of consequences if she continued down the path she was going.

Did you know your Dad would do the same thing with his sister, your Aunt Kristen, when she was doing something she shouldn’t? And just so you know she didn’t listen to your Dad any more than Grace listens to you. And between you and me, it has nothing to do with you, nor did it have anything to do with your Dad. I suspect that your Aunt Kristen and your sister Grace both knew the wisdom of your words. But as with most of us, they need to discover it for themselves.

I’ve heard stories of your wisdom as you befriend those on the sidelines or help someone even if it isn’t “cool.”

So Noah, keep learning, growing, and discovering God’s wisdom as He is working in your life.

Love you Noah and Happy Birthday, Grandma

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