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

Posts tagged ‘relax’

Care of Your Soul

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

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Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, wrote about the need to nurture our soul in big and little ways.  He defines the soul as an experience rather than a thing.  It is what allows us to experience life on a deep and profound level, to connect with God and to navigate the ups and downs of life.

In his writings is an underlying question that begs an answer…how do you care for your soul?  Will Donnelly in a recent blog on this topic asked “how would you use your imagination to truly care for your soul”?  For him the answer was to listen in silence because he had avoided silence for years.  He knew that slowing down and listening in the quiet would bring up things he didn’t want to face.  And it was in the facing of those things that brought his soul nurture and peace.

What is it that your imagination is nudging you to do in order to care for your soul?

I think that we often avoid taking Sabbath time because we have things in our lives we don’t want to deal with.  In keeping busy we can avoid the discomfort.  Or, we think that Sabbath time is unproductive time rather than time to recharge our energy centers and build our stamina back up to face the ups and downs of life.

For several weeks now I have been flat out crazy busy and my soul is suffering from lack of attention. One of the things that my imagination keeps conjuring up for me is a long, cozy day in my favorite chair with a cup of tea and lots of good reading material.  The chair is there.  The tea is in the cupboard and the reading material has been piling up for a while now.  All that is missing is me.65147-stock-photo-blue-relaxation-dark-style-moody-art

This question has moved me to face the need my soul is nudging me toward.

I have just scheduled reading time on my calendar, in ink, for this afternoon.  How about you?

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10.41-42

Blessings,

Nancy

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Sabbath Moments and Renewal

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Ok, life is busy.  Statement of the obvious right?  And the last few weeks have been busier than usual for me with the move, my husband’s surgery, running a business and just the day-to-day routine of living.

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My schedule is really overloaded the next few days (big mistake on my part but it is what it is).  So in the midst of feeling like I wouldn’t make any of my deadlines what did I do?

I stopped.  I took a mental health day and pampered myself.  No work, no unpacking, no chores.  There were several moments when my stomach clenched and my mind asked me “what are you thinking?”  In response, I said, “I know what I’m doing.”

And you know what?  I did!  At the end of the day I felt relaxed, refreshed and renewed.  Today I am ready to hit the ground running and will get more done than I would have had I pushed through my weariness.

Isn’t that what God had in mind when he commanded us to take a 24 hour break from our normal routine?  And I continue to wonder why I/we think I/we know better than God when it comes to using our time.

Take a Sabbath this week.  A full one.  Or at least a half a day.  See what difference it makes in your overall productivity, your attitude toward others and your gratitude to God.

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:2-4 
Be blessed in your Sabbath time,
Nancy

Sabbath Moments Moment

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Driving home the other day I found myself feeling lousy – that’s a medical term, you know!  My head was little achy, my back was a lot achy, my pulse seemed to be a bit faster than usual, my mood was borderline ornery and there were tears just behind my eyes.  And I had no idea why.  Ever feel like this?

It’s not my favorite feeling and usually I try to ignore it by keeping busy.  How about you?  However, as I walked through the door I realized that I had no excuse not to take a moment to settle my unsettling condition.  I had no other responsibilities vying for my time.  Supper was mine to make or not.    No one was there to ask questions about my day.  I was alone. 

And yet, old habits are hard to break because I jumped right in to making my supper so I could move to some other things I wanted to get done that night.  Keep moving seems to my default mode and it takes a lot for me to override that code etched in my brain.

Surprisingly, I took a step to break that habit.  I pushed the override button, stopped what I was doing, grabbed a cold glass of water (yes, it really was water) and went and sat on the porch.   The birds were singing, there was a gentle breeze blowing and I just sat there and soaked it up.  After some deep breaths, a few sips of water and a silent prayer of thanks for the beauty around me, began to feel my pulse rate slow down, my back relaxed and the headache began to ease.  I felt better.

As this sense of well-being began to wash over me I realized I had just taken a Sabbath Moment where the peace, calm and grace of God could restore my soul.  It was a moment when I realized how a spontaneous decision to relax can be as full of God as a planned Sabbath moment complete with Bible, journal, devotional and prayer beads! 

God is good in every moment and taking time to breathe in the breath of God is a most excellent way to take that goodness into your busy life.

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Don’t be afraid to take advantage of spontaneous Sabbath Moments and let God surprise you with a soul refreshment.

“Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up on wings as eagles.  They will run and not be weary.  They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40.31

Blessings,

Nancy

Enjoy The Ride of Sabbath Moments

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

On our way to school the other day, my four-year old granddaughter gave me some great advice.  As we were entering the highway which has a slight dip she said, “Here we go! Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!”  I laughed out loud and she asked me in all seriousness, “Are you enjoying the ride, Nana?” 

Out of the mouths of babes….

She certainly enjoys the ride every day, the ride that is her life.  Each new morning brings new opportunities, new discoveries and new pleasures.   She laughs, she sings, she dances, she tries new tastes (including paste and boogers) she plays and she rests.   And sometimes she does all that in ten minutes.

Her admonition and query to me were as if the voice of God had spoken.   In essence that is what the command to take a Sabbath is all about…sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the ride.   Imagine God having to ask us if we were enjoying the ride, the gift of Sabbath?   How sad would that be? 

Enjoying the Sabbath is implied in the commandment.  No one is to work.  NO ONE…not even the servants and animals.   Everyone is to relax and treat the day as holy/wholly unto God.  Everyone is commanded to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor, of God’s creation and of each other. 

How have we gotten so far away from this blessed gift? 

I am taking my cue from my four-year old’s joy and from the wisdom of God and on my Sabbath I am going sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.  How about you?

“and a little child will lead them”  Isaiah 11.6b

Blessings,

Nancy

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