Oct 23, 2010

Day to Day

Like so many of you, my first inclination at the first signs of Fall is to cozy up the house, put some logs on the fire, and break out the comfort foods. Yet, when trials coincide with this season, stress can be a scene stealer.

Barry and I are not the only ones facing huge challenges right now. Almost daily, I am hearing reports and receiving prayer requests that can only be remedied by God's miraculous provision. Two days ago, I found out that 4 of my close friends lost their jobs! And, my own family is facing crucial financial deadlines that threaten to upturn our lives.

Years ago, after enduring a 7-year cycle of layoffs, my husband found himself deferring pleasure until things returned to normal. "Normal" never came and he was forced to acknowledge that precious opportunities were being wasted. As Margaret Bonnano put it, "It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis."

I refuse to dispense with living: even in the midst of trials! Thankfully, there are some weight lifting anecdotes for heavy burdens!

Psalm 55:22 (The Message) says, "Pile your troubles on God's shoulders — he'll carry your load, he'll help you out. He'll never let good people topple into ruin." God never intended us to be pack mules buckling with burdens. 1 Peter 5:7 (The Message) tells us to, "Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you."

But here's what really keeps us from sinking. In Matthew 14:22-36 (NKJ), the disciples were being battered with waves at sea. They were terrified when they saw what they thought to be a ghost walking across the water.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
29 "Come," he said."

Peter obeyed, but he didn't walk on water: he walked on the Word. And, even when Peter began to focus on the mind-blowing nature of his circumstances, Jesus immediately rescued him as he began to sink!

This speaks volumes to us! First, the Word keeps us buoyant! Secondly, God never abandons us. He is always offering a steadying hand when we lose our sea legs!

My husband and I are taking God's Word personally by declaring what Scripture says and inserting our names into it. We are making daily Faith withdrawals from the Bank of Heaven! As we lift Him up, He lifts us up! Our spirits become peaceful; and despite imperfection, we are able to take pleasure in each day!


Brilliant Fall IV by Georgie

Oct 18, 2010

Balancing Act

I just looked at the date of my last post. Yikes! Did I blink or something? Well, I have been working on a more ambitious blog project. After tinkering with it for days, I acknowledged that I need to run the bigger projects in the background while posting smaller pieces. Live and learn.

I was listening to the Focus on the Family radio podcast today and Richard A. Swenson M.D., author of In Search of Balance - Keys to a Stable Life, was using humor to diagnose our changing times. He mentioned that it was predicted in 1967 that by 1987 people would be working 22-hour work weeks. Now, that's funny!

Max Lucado said, "We're the only nation in the world with a mountain named Rushmore." Mary Pipher was quoted as saying, "If we let culture just happen to us, we'll all end up exhausted, addicted, broke, with a houseful of junk and no time."

Statistics can be sobering. For instance, there is no proof that a man has ever been shot while doing the dishes. Men, take note!

Other Statistics:
  • 36% of Americans describe themselves as being rushed all the time.
  • We're interrupted 202 times a day.
  • We spend 8 months of our lives opening junk mail.
  • We spend one year of our life searching through the clutter on our desk for misplaced objects. Most missing items are just 10 inches away.
  • We spend 2 years of our lives trying to call people who aren't in or their lines are busy (or their just standing by the phone listening to us leave a message.)
  • The average American gets 2.5 hours less sleep than 100 years ago. Some of this is due to the invention of electricity. In 1850 people got 9.5 hours of sleep a night.
  • 50 to 70 million Americans have sleep disorders: 27% of Americans fell asleep while driving last year.
  • Migraine headaches are up 60% since the last decade.
  • Jennifer Glass, University of Iowa, discovered that it takes 20-30 phone calls in the average church to get the same number of volunteers it used to take 2-3 phone calls to get.
  • 85% of Christians do their praying on the run.
There are some who feel that balance is unachievable in our hustle-and-bustle, often overachieving times. I strongly disagree. As a Christian, I strive for balance every day through the Word of God and by partnering with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit loves to interact with our days and ways. I wouldn't be surprised if he coined the phrase, "Work smarter, not harder."