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

Posts tagged ‘joy’

Wonders

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Starfish on ShoreMy two-year old grandson delights in discovery.  Everything fascinates him, sparks his curiosity and attracts his attention.  With each new encounter he lets us know how he feels with a gasp, an ohhh or a giggle.  He puts his little face as close as he can get it to check out a flower or a hinge.  He claps when the music stops no matter where he is – home, car or in a store.  He squeals with delight when he sees his sister, mom, dad or Nana and Papa.  Giving his dog hugs and kisses is a favorite pasttime. Seeing a camera brings a squinched up “cheese” and reviewing pictures keeps him entertained. 

Watching him so present to all that is going on around him is a privilege and he reminds me that the world is full of wonders  that I take for granted or feel I am too sophisticated to ohhh and ahh, gasp or giggle over.  flexible kidsMaybe that is why Jesus said that unless we become like little children we will never see the Kingdom of Heaven.  Heavenly images are all around us.  Delights, wonders and miracles fill our days.  But without the eyes of a child I only see what my jaded, cynical and wounded eyes want to see.  Sabbath was meant to be a day of wonder, gasps and giggles.  Wonder at the story of God and God’s people.  Gasps at the faithfulness of God to save and guide God’s people.  And giggles of joy that we are blessed by knowing this. 

Peacock with Outstretched FeathersWhat would happen if you looked at the world this week through the eyes of a two-year old?  What would you see that you have missed?  How would your attitude change?  Where would you find the wonders in your life?  When would you gasp in delight?  How often would you break out in giggles? 

Join me this week in doing just that.  I am pretty sure that God will delight with us and that our impact on those around us will increase a thousand fold.

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them, that those who love our name may rejoice in you.”  Psalm 5.11

Blessings,

Nancy 

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Easter: The Ultimate Sabbath

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

holy bible

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  Easter is the ultimate Sabbath.  It is a day we observe as a high Holy Day.  It is a day we remember what God has done for us.  It is a day we rejoice and greet with cheers and Alleluia’s.  It is a day we dress up in new clothes especially purchased for this time. Easter bonnet It is a day we worship.  It is a day we spend with friends and family.  It is a day of special food and intentional table fellowship.  It is a day when we acknowledge that the past is over and the new has begun not just for a week but for a life time.  All the things that a traditional weekly Shabbat does.

Yes, it is the ultimate Sabbath.

May Easter bring you peace, rest and joy and may it remind you that you truly are part of something bigger, more powerful and life-giving than we, as humans, could ever imagine.

Fake Butterflies

“Death swallowed up by triumphant Life!  Who got the last word, oh, Death?  Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”  1 Cor. 15.35 The Message

Blessings to you, Easter People, and Blessed Sabbath,

Nancy

SURPRISED

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Yesterday afternoon I looked like thisBeautiful positive and casual woman expressing surprise.!  I was totally and completely surprised out of my skin and jumped high enough to prove it. 

Why?

Because as I was walking along a street in downtown Roswell, GA and approaching an art gallery that was having an exhibit of Dr. Seuss paintings,  one of  – what I thought were life-size stuffed props of  – The Sneetches handed me a flyer.  It scared the beejeebies out of me and everyone, including me, broke into uproarious laughter.   I did NOT see that coming!

It put me in a playful and silly mood and I was much better able to enjoy the exhibit knowing that Dr. Seuss  had once again brought out the child in me and made me laugh out loud. 

I sometimes wonder if that is how God meant for Sabbath to be…We go through our week, walking down the sidewalks of life, watching where we are going, all business, agendas and to do lists in hand, moving with intention and skill like all good adults do when all of a sudden after six days or six blocks of this journey, God hands us a flyer in a total unexpected way and we jump.  We are stopped in our tracks because we did not see it coming.  The flyer says “Come on in from your busy life and sit a while enjoying the beauty and fun of life”.

Suddenly, we are released from our concentration and tasks and laugh.  We are allowed to be playful and experience the joy and beauty around us from a new perspective. 

Now that is the kind of Sabbath that I could really enjoy.

BTW As we were leaving the gallery and walking down the street to our car, a gentleman came around the corner  and as he saw me, with a twinkle in his eye that looked oh so familiar, greeted me with a hearty laugh and asked “Having a great day?”  How did he know?

Let God surprise you this week with something out of the ordinary that makes you stop and smile or laugh and changes you from a human doing to a human being totally enjoying the God-given moment.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  Proverbs 17.22

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moment Reboot

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays were joyful and that you were able to experience friends, family and faith in meaningful ways.

For many of us this holiday season was muted by the tragedies in Newtown, CT and Webster, NY.  I found it hard to feel lighthearted and merry this year as my heart ached for those families who were living through their worst nightmares.   However, there was a deep inner joy that was present because of the reason for the season – God’s sending of his light into a world of darkness so many centuries ago.   And that joy cannot be changed regardless of external circumstances.  I have learned that I can be sad and still have joy in my heart because of my faith.  My inner joy of faith is not the same as feeling happy.

And, perhaps, because this year’s circumstances left me so unhappy about the culture we live in, the increasing lack of respect for human life and the horrific nature of the loss around me, I found my joy a rock upon which to stand, actually, to cling. 

This joy is not a pollyanna-ish joy that just skips along on the surface with a la-de-da and fair-thee-well attitude.  This joy has taken years to develop and grow.  This joy is the result of walking with God and knowing that no matter how awful the world treats me or each other that God is the constant beacon of light calling me forth to be more than I think I can be.  This light shines on the darkness and shows me the shadows in areas that need  improvement.  Improvement that can only come from the outpouring and sharing of love.

The tragedies have shown us how incredibly good, gracious and generous people can be.  We have truly witnessed far more than  just the evil side of human nature.  There has been an outpouring of love, support, and offers of help from total strangers to total strangers who are now friends because of the love modeled and given to us by God. 

How does all of this connect to Sabbath Moments?  Without taking time out of our busy days and weeks to sit with God, to talk to God, to walk with God, we cannot know this joy and peace that comes in the midst of sadness and chaos.  Like any relationship we need to stay connected to God in order for our understanding and appreciation of the other to develop into trust. 

What is your commitment to growing your relationship with God this year?  Have you been a little lax in taking Sabbath Moments lately?  Now is the time to reboot your spiritual core and make time for God.  The tragedies are not over I am sure.  Grief, pain, death and evil are not going away anytime soon.  However, we do have the opportunity to build up our defenses against them and to be in relationship with the one whose love never ends and whose arms fiercely and tenderly hold us in our sorrow. 

How will you jumpstart your spiritual batteries this week?  May I suggest sitting and meditating on this passage:

“You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.  I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid.  You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.”  Psalm 23.3b-4 (CEV)

Blessings on your journey,

Nancy

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