My pursuits to be unconsumed by the daily grind require more transition than I expected.  Master of the calendar takes more than a book and a week.  Deciding on calendar design requires fighting a few longstanding opponents.  My opponents are the invisible kind, i.e. pressure, coming up short, being tired, pushing too hard, forgetting what I am made of.  What does your invisible opponent look like?

Even though I scheduled hard with a lot of heart.  Last week was somewhat of a bomb.   I simultaneously got hit with 1) the middle school snake schedule, 2) working till 9pm at least twice, 3) sleep escaping me and 4) missing two important meetings due to the failure of my calendars to sync.  My mom even asked me about the disconnect between my writing about time and my life last week. So, again, I consider time and the arrangement of it.

What I am learning as a person: I am learning that the silly little phrase Forgive Yourself can actually have meaning.

Verse:  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Deep Thought:  My shortage of strength, time, wisdom and peace is filled in by His love, creativity, vision and sacrifice.  I don’t know how He fills in my angst, worry, exhaustion and missed marks.  But He keeps doing the refill straight into my heart.  I am reminded to let God be God and let me be me led by Him.  Maybe it takes a book, a week and Him giving me a few more shots at mastering time.

Quote: …as Christ followers living under the ever-flowing fountain of God’s love, our hearts should be so filled with His daily kindness, and love, that we should have the resilience not to be angered or provoked when the most minor irritations of life come our way . . . Simplify by Bill Hybels (Chapter 5)

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: If you need to understand forgiveness, there is no better practical, but also deep application of it than in Chapter 5 of Bill Hybels book Simplify.

I also am learning a thing or two about brevity that is sweet and lingering in Shauna Niequist’s Savor, Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are.

My Prayer to You: I pray that we would resist being consumed by our daily grind.  Instead that we would seek the presence of God to lead us to the hours of our day.  I pray for us to be prepared to fight battles to remove the invisible opponents hacking our efforts and hindering our journey.  I pray for us to be prepared to forgive ourselves for coming up short.  I pray for us to believe that we can try and try again until we have mastered the skill of designing hours.  Beside God.  Who promises to never leave or forsake us.  Amen.

Written by Sasha Katz

Still Good

Sometimes thoughts just come to me.  My thought this evening is that some of you need to hear that He is still good.  It’s the troubles, the stress, the worries of this world that weigh you down.  That burden your soul.  That dim the light you normally see rather brightly.

It’s the wondering of what is next.  Who is going to unexpectedly fail.  Or fall.  If someone you love is going to die.  If you are going to have the money you need.  If life is ever going to make sense.

It is just the opposite of seeing a sunset and being warmed by the pink light.  It is the opposite of seeing a young couple in love and smiling.  You feel the opposite of what you know is good.  The reality of the opposite of good slices through your spirit.

But.  The pink light still peeks through the silhouette of the dark forest.  Love makes it’s way through the years a couple shares with one another.  Despite the filter you are seeing the world through right now, good still is good.

And, if some or all of your world feels like NO right now.  And if some or all of your world is uncertain right now.  And if you feel like you are standing in some sort of dark forest right now.  Even now, He is still good.

FF Oct 17

Do Not Worry

There are so many reasons to stop and worry. It is that rush feeling that might wake you up in the night or very early in the morning. Or, right smack dab in the middle of the day when you may thing everything is going alright. Usually following that first rush of worry is a bucket list of other worries that seem to matter very much in those few minutes.

In those moments, almost immediately, my mind starts to travel to resolution of each and every worrisome thought that has come to mind. I put out quickly the small flames. I move onto the medium sized blazes and work those out on paper. But there are bigger fires.

These are the fires that strike fear in me. The fear flashes while I simultaneously search for ground. I search for the ground beneath my feet and the hand that holds my world together. In those first moments of potential raging fire, I think to the Lord. God, I am afraid. Where do you want me to be right now? I want to move from this space to your space, God. You have my full attention. Talk to me. Tell me how to get from fear and uncertainty to where you want me to be. He speaks and I breathe.

I really only say this to you today because there was a pull in my heart this morning. The pull was to put a short note up for you. To simply remind you that we have a Lord that sits on the throne over all. He holds our world together. He is the Everlasting King. All rests below Him. Find His voice and breathe as he sets all in order and delivers you from each and every worry in your heart and in your mind. Do not be afraid for the Lord you God is with you. Joshua 1:9

One Day at a Time

By Bindu Adai-Mathew

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring
its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34

Being in the moment, the “right now” can be one of our
biggest challenges, especially in today’s world. So many distractions. So much
to do. So much to worry about. Dinner to cook, bills to pay, kids to feed,
bathe, and put to sleep. But being in the right here, right now is all that God
wants us to focus on.

So how do we not worry when it goes against our very nature?
Learning not to worry takes practice. It requires us constantly reminding
ourselves that worry is truly useless…that it accomplishes nothing except
exacerbating our anxiety level. Often worrying works against us. It clouds our
thinking. It can drain our energy and most of all, it takes our focus off of
God who can truly help us and make a difference and puts the burden back on us.

Today’s challenge is for you to reflect on one thing that you are worried about. What is robbing you of your joy? Each time you think of it, say a prayer of thanks to God, acknowledging that He is in control and practice letting it go. Notice I said “each time you think of it.” Once won’t be enough, especially if it’s important to you.