For the busy person who wants to stay connected to God throughout the week!

Archive for September, 2013

Sabbath Moments and The Mountains

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I am about to take an extended Sabbath moment to the mountains of New Mexico.  Well, to be exact it will be a week-long Sabbath!  And I can’t wait.

The last few months have been pretty much non stop as we sell our house and get ready to move.    Taking Sabbath moments when I could and when I was intentional certainly helped me to slow down and not get too caught up in the urgent details of the day-to-day and helped me appreciate the blessings of the busyness I was living and breathing.  However, I admit that too often that to do list brought  me back to work before I was ready.

The thought of a week to contemplate the beauty of creation in New Mexico is making me all tingly inside.  My Spirit is yearning for some contemplative down time.  

Do you ever reach that point where you crave time to just sit and be, to relax fully into the arms of nature and breathe in the beauty of God’s creation?  I feel sometimes as if I am estranged from the earth itself walking upon it but not realizing it is what we are made of too.

To be able to give my attention to the creator and the creation feels like a privilege I have to earn rather than a benefit of being alive.  How often do we put off taking time to just be in order to finish one more thing on our to do list?  Or the entire to do list???

I know my time in New Mexico will be a special blessing because the landscape is so breathtaking. It will be hard not to connect the creator and the creation.  As I write that sentence it occurs to me that I will be connecting one more thing – myself.  I will be taking time to connect myself to the creator and the creation in this time of immersion in Sabbath. We are in so many ways one. – whole-y one.   

And I also realize that I do not have to travel to New Mexico to experience the connection between God, God’s creation and myself as part of that creation.  Right here in my own backyard, I have beauty, creation and the blessings of the creator.  Time to stop seeing all of this as separate and viewing my surroundings as a context rather than content. 

This week I pray you will stop, breathe in the Spirit of God and be nurtured by the beauty all around you and be whole-y one.  And, yes, do this before you even attempt to finish that to do list. 

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“I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord the Maker of heaven and earth. ” Psalm 121.1-2

Talk with you in two weeks!

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments and Hiding

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I’m exhausted mentally, physically and bordering on emotionally too.  I am praying that spiritually I am still on my feet.  Being pushed to my limit has reminded me just how quickly life can become overwhelming.  And I feel guilty because the things that are exhausting me are not tragic, unresolvable, or long-term.  There are far too many people dealing with war, poverty, illness and grief to even compare my little blips on an overwhelm scale.  And no matter how often I tell myself this, I’m still fighting an internal battle to keep my body, mind and spirit on an even keel. 

So, I’ve decided not to pretend everything is ok and face the stressors head on –  deal with those that can be dealt with, get help with those I can’t handle alone and let myself feel what I am feeling knowing it will pass.   I have come to realize that by pretending all is well and that I am just dandy has often caused me more exhaustion than just acknowledging that this is a difficult time and letting it all out. 

The same is true with how open, vulnerable and honest I am with God.  If I keep trying to hide my true feelings from God or pretend I am 100% together spiritually, then I am only kidding myself and depleting my spiritual energy.  God knows how I am feeling even before I do so why hide it or pretend.

My Old Testament professor in seminary was fond of reminding us that God does some of God’s best work when we cry out. 

So I’m not hiding out in my Sabbath Moments this week.  I will let it all hang out trusting that God knows and understands what I most need.  How about you?  Do you find yourself hiding from God or pretending that all is well when your insides are crumbling under the weight of life’s ups and downs?  Join me in real, open Sabbath moment sharing and see what happens to your energy and how God will bless your integrity.

“In my distress I called to the Lord, I cried to my God for help.  From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears…He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.”  Psalm 18.6, 16

Blessings,

Nancy

 

Sabbath Moments and Trust

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

The issue of trust has come up a couple of times in this past week.  When there is no trust or the trust is shaky or eroding, it is hard to be in a committed relationship with anyone. 

A conversation with a pastor highlighted this as he talked about the lack of trust that many parishioners have for their pastors and vice versa the lack of trust pastors have of their parishioners.  This situation certainly impedes the mission of any church.  How can positive change, impactful mission or deepening relationship develop in such an atmosphere?

The same is true in a marriage.  Far too many couples these days have dwindling trust in their relationships.  When one member of the couple is carrying all the responsibility or can’t depend on the other to step up when needed, it is a recipe for a major marriage crisis.

In my life, I have found that trust builds when people are consistent in following through or proactive in addressing problems without nagging or prodding.  And this trust comes over time.  A one time effort – trust it does not make!

Without trust a viable relationship is not possible.

Without consistent interaction with God, without ongoing participation in our own spiritual lives, and without a life history to draw from where God has been present, trust in God would be non-existent. 

Don’t get me wrong…There are times when things start to go haywire where I have questioned and even railed against God feeling that my trust may have been broken. And, yet, because of the history I have with God in my life, I come to realize that whatever has happened doesn’t destroy the trust.  The trust allows me to vent and be angry.  God will hang in there with me.  I can trust that because God always has hung in there with me even at my least lovable.  

What is your trust level at the moment?  How consistently do you trust that God will hang in there with you and that you can trust God for the outcome? 

For our Sabbath Moments this week, consider this verse for meditation, journaling and prayer:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3.5

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments in the Neighborhood

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Well, I’m back in Western New York to pack up our house and get ready to move.  We still have no idea where we are going but our house is sold so we have to be out – soon!  My Atlanta granddaughter, for whom I have been providing care and transportation for the last year, is not happy that I have come North.   Her tears just about ripped my heart out the other day as I pulled out of her driveway to head back.

Today, we were Skyping and she asked me what I was doing?  I told her that I was packing.  She looked at me and said, “Nana, if you find a house, even if it is pretty, you cannot buy it if it is far away from me.”   I replied by asking, “Where do you want me to live?”  “Next door to me”, she said matter of factly. 

Her response made me wonder how God feels when we begin to move away from him.  When we begin to be attracted and enticed by things that turn our heads and hearts  from God, does God want to say to us…”Nancy, I don’t care how pretty or intriguing or wonderful that new ‘god’ is, you cannot buy into it.  I want you next door to me.” 

Once again Arianna brings me back to the importance of staying close to God and to the ones that God puts in our lives. 

How about you?  Where are you located in relation to your God?  Do you live close by God at all times or do you only visit every once in a while?   Have you moved away lately?  Are you thinking of relocating?  Where is your heart? 

Sabbath Moments are meant to move us closer to God and keep God in our neighborhood at all times.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6.20-22

Blessings,

Nancy

 

 

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