Last week I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the avenues we are pursuing, yet we really enjoy each one. Social media is jumping way ahead of us, so we're both learning bits and pieces each day to try to catch up!
I do not process things very quickly, so there is no smoke rising from my head as I try to figure all of it out. However, I AM learning daily and I consider these new challenges to be the ultimate brain gym! I never want to stop learning, but there are days when online tasks needing to be done stand before me like a big giant with wires coming out everywhere!! You get sucked in by so many interesting things that it's easy to become oblivious to the world and people around you. You likely know I'm talking about the Internet!!!
Our devotion yesterday morning reminded me how crucial it is to sit still in God's Presence. To set aside time daily to commune with Him. I don't get things done quickly, and I get so focused on what I'm doing that time clicks by and I get antsy because I want to finish what I am doing. As my online learning advances, I take on more challenges and think of more possibilities. By dinner-time, I'm overwhelmingly mentally exhausted.
I'm totally missing the point, as well as precious time with the Lord when this happens. One of my specialists, a head trauma psychiatrist, told me to do less (take time for rests, a cup of tea, etc.) in order to achieve more. It took a long time for me to figure that one out, but gradually I was "getting it."
God gently spoke to my heart through yesterday's devo, reminding me that HE is the one who has given me certain gifts and talents. My part is to seek time with Him so He can continue his creative work through me.....as I focus on Him. He doesn't want me to give it all up, try to get more done faster, or close the door on new ideas. He wants me to let Him set the pace and the direction. The only way He can do that is through a heart which is still, quiet and seeking guidance from Him instead of hammering keys looking for answers on the Internet (which can often create more confusion than solutions).
Our computers are amazing tools which provide answers to most questions. But sometimes I consult this screen in front of me (because I have a super curious mind and I am a writer), instead of setting aside some quiet time with my Lord daily. I could even go so far as to say that it could become a dangerous "master" of my life if I don't consciously keep it in check. The same can be said for texting. It can, and does become addictive, in a way that can often draw folks into a solitary world where spending time with others is no longer a priority. We crave the abundance of information which is literally available at our fingertips. And heaven forbid we miss a text because we're taking time to eat without the cell phone nearby!
I'm not knocking computers or the Internet. I'm fully aware of, and appreciate the important and crucial role they play in today's society. I also appreciate the instant access we have to family, friends and businesses from all over the globe. But if we don't set aside time for our Lord, we will be spinning circles at a frantic pace. We will be edgy, or distracted when spending time with others. We will look for answers, pay bills, do some shopping, watch videos and "surf" via technology. Precious time with the Lord may not even make it onto our "to do" lists.
We need to guard our time with God. We need to seek genuine wisdom and answers from the very Maker of this world, through His Holy Word. We need to feel His love and Presence. We need Him. Yes, the Internet and computer are incredibly amazing and valuable tools, but that's all they should be.......tools. When they lure us away from time with God, they become adversaries.
The only way to have true wisdom, victory and immeasurable inner peace is to surrender some time each day so God can do His best work in, and through us. Guard that precious and transforming time with the very One who cares most about you.
"I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life...Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Prov. 4: 11-13, 23 NIV)
"The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words." 1 Cor. 2: 10b-13 NIV)
KEYWORD: STILLNESS (Hint: Ways to set aside some quiet time with God)
Mmmmm......ever feel like this somedays?? ;-)
Just couldn't resist this priceless photo a dear friend passed along to me!!
This took much longer than I anticipated---everything I wrote initially got "lost" when my program quit on me and I forgot to save it periodically. Mmmmm, I guess that means the Lord is telling me that it's time to quit for the day....and I need to listen! (Just pressed "save"! ;-) )
I wanted to "quickly" write about a victory I had today, hoping to encourage others who may have similar challenges. This morning (at 9 a.m.), I tackled baking a chocolate cake....from scratch. It's something I have to be fully prepared to do, setting aside an entire day (soooo, I don't do it very often!). (pressed "save" again ;-) )
Well, I just finished and I am tuckered! Our home smells yummy, and the cake is really good, but I am surely reminded of the blessings packaged in convenient boxes enabling me to still make delicious things, yet helping me retain some energy for the rest of the day. ("Save"!!)
It took a few years for me to come to that point of acceptance, but today is one of those days when I am really glad I have accepted (and embraced) that change! I am delighted I achieved success from start to finish with my homemade cake (my sweetie is glad too--as is his tummy!) but it's definitely something I will wait a good long time to tackle again.
Just wanted to encourage those who may experience similar processing/speed and fatigue challenges. Don't worry about reaching for the conveniences of store-bought food if it means you can still accomplish some of the things you love to do, without pressuring yourself to make everything "homemade" if that's a huge challenge for you, or if it drains every ounce out of you. Accept your limitations, use what helps on a daily basis, and when you do attempt to make something that is challenging for you now, smile at the end and say, "Thanks Lord that I was able to do this today. It feels really good. But thanks also, for all the hands that work preparing and packaging convenience food so I can enjoy life more fully on a regular basis."
Have a super evening......and thanks for letting me share! :-)
The Canadian Tenors perform the song An Instrument of Peace in a way that stirs my heart every single time I hear it. For me, it's a constant and passionate prayer as I ask the Lord to help me BE an Instrument of Peace to others.
I am placing the lyrics for this powerful song below (to view Canadian Tenors performance type Instrument of Peace Canadian Tenors You Tube into your URL--it's really worth watching and listening to--stage performance includes string ensemble and children's choir-Sept. 3, 2012 version). I cannot write anything more encouraging than what these words communicate except that having the Lord as our Music Director enables each one of us to touch lives in a way that goes beyond what we can humanly do on our own.
May the depth of these lyrics encourage you so that you may be an Instrument of Peace to others. The inspiration to do so does not require any special ability or skill....just a caring heart which craves to make a positive difference in this world.....and, for eternity.
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12: 18 NIV)
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." (James 1:19 NIV)
"Therefore.....clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive.....forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Colossians 3: 12-14 NIV)
Please share ways in which you can (or already may be) an Instrument of Peace.
KEYWORDS: INSTRUMENT OF PEACE (Hint: Where there is pain--give comfort; Seeking not to be heard, but rather to hear; Where there is despair--offer hope..... )
Where there is hatred, Let me bring Love; Where there is doubt, Let me bring Faith; Where there is falsehood, Let me bring Truth; Where there is pain, I'll comfort you.
Where there is silence, Let me sing Praise; Where there's despair, Let me bring Hope; Where there is blindness, Let me bring Sight; Where there is Darkness, Let me bring Light.
And with these words I speak, Grant that I may not seek to be heard but to Hear, to be consoled but to Console, not to be seen but to See, to be loved but to Love.
For when we give Love, we will Receive; When we forgive Love, We'll find Reprieve. It is in dying, we'll be Released (means when reaching out to others our own troubles don't weigh so heavily).....Make me an Instrument of Peace.
SONGWRITERS: Jordan, Marc/Sky, Amy/Moccio, Stephan
PUBLISHED BY: LYRICS©SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC, UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING GROUP.
Cleaning up after lunch today, I began to tell Kip about some of the projects I want to do. So many were spinning around in my head that I stopped and said, "Oh, there's so many ideas I don't know where to begin!" He chuckled then quickly responded, "Soooo, there's nothing new about that!" We both laughed.......because it's true! :-)
I am grateful for my hubby's encouragement and support because he stokes the fire of my creative inspirations. He never squelches my myriad of ideas nor does he ever imply I can't do something. We both know I have limitations which restrict how much I can get done each day, but we focus on our passion to live life to the fullest, moment by moment, hour by hour.
The whiteboard(s) get cluttered as my brainwaves turn into visual reminders of what I want to create. To be honest, I even have little notebooks with divided sections so I don't forget the things I want to make! Once each item is completed on the whiteboard, I take enormous pleasure in crossing it off. Then, I leave it on for a few days just to remind myself that I do keep moving forward.
Sometimes it can feel as though we haven't accomplished very much--in a single day, or within an entire week. Whiteboards are silent but positive encouragers. It doesn't take a lot of planning or organization to jot some (realistic) goals/projects down. Crossing them off, even if it takes a week, a month, or even longer is one of the best feelings of progress and success I have ever experienced!
God has given each one of us special gifts and talents. Some of mine changed after acquiring my disability, but I have slowly been discovering a new love for doing different things. Certain gifts were evident before the accident, but new gifts have peeked out from behind that nasty old "detour sign," beckoning me to explore different avenues and fresh ways to encourage others. To live life without change would be methodical, uninteresting, unchallenging and without much purpose. There would be no passion, no craving to explore new ideas, no growth and no delight in sharing newly discovered gifts with others.
Pull out a whiteboard this week (or buy one from a Thrift Store or Dollar Store). Start writing down some things you'd really, really like to accomplish. Even if it's simply one thing. Ask the Lord to guide you, to show you what HE would love for you to accomplish. Then let it beckon....when your energy wanes, be o.k. with that and take a break. Don't put off the project/goal on your whiteboard, just take time to strengthen. Tomorrow is a new day and slowly but surely, you WILL cross that baby off......maybe you'll even do it with a little dance of joy!! I sure do!! :-)
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12: 11-12 NIV)
KEYWORD: PROJECT, IDEA OR GOAL (Sorry, that's 3 but they are all relative in nature)
Keyword hints: Tea With a Friend, Writing Someone Special, A Knitting/Sewing Project, Washing the Car......
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