Posts tagged #rest

Finding the Silver Lining

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” James 1:2-4

How easy is it for you to find joy or the “silver lining” in every situation?

What exactly is a silver lining? 

Looking up into the sky right before a storm, I can often see dark clouds passing overhead. As they get into position and do their job of creating rain, they also block the sun. When I look closely at the edges of those ominous clouds, I can see the sun shining around the edges, like a silver lining.

Difficult times come to each of us.  As someone once said, “It is not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ they will come”.  When the dismal clouds cover over your life, what do you do?

I continue to learn when trials come there is ALWAYS a silver lining.

Every time. 

I can find something to be grateful for.  During this difficult time of finding cancer again, I find it is easier to be less stressed than the first time.  We have done this before and we will do it again.  I find I am less hesitant to let people help me and I am more able to take the rest God is providing in the midst.

Here are a few things that keep me grounded and focusing on the “silver lining” during my times of trial:

  1. I journal gratefulness.  Each day, I make myself find 10 things to be grateful for.  They have to be “new every morning”, and I don’t allow myself to pull points from yesterday.  This God-inspired ritual helps me see the goodness in the midst of the pain.  I have had surgery and am recouping, but the silver lining is more time to spend with friends who visit and to rest with no agenda.  I have to eat a very simple fare - which is a challenge at times - but the silver lining is in eating the food God made for us, I am the weight I should be.  There is always something to be thankful for.
  2. I remember God’s miraculous power.  I was a miracle not once, but twice now.  As I study God’s word and live out the plan He has chosen for me, I find joy in seeing his miraculous power.  He is able to do anything.  I am grateful for the many answered prayers, but even in the unanswered prayers I am confident that He is God, no matter what.  The silver lining is being able remember who God is – His power, His goodness and His love.
  3. I get out in God’s beauty.  Nothing grounds me more than being in nature.  I feel connected to God’s majesty and to the ages past.  Nothing seems as big of a deal when I am sitting on the beach listening to the waves or hiking in the mountains near a waterfall.  Suddenly, my worries slip away, and I am able to focus on who God is and who I am not.  This is the silver lining found in trials.  A truth I often forget is: God never intended for me to take all my burdens on my shoulders.  He has it all under control.
  4. I seek out peace and tranquility.  For me, this is Sabbath rest.  To find a shalom in every day allows me to rest in who God is.  The silver lining of trials is that I seek this.  I crave it!  For me, it looks like a quiet house in the morning before I wake up, scrapbooking my family memories or a stolen coffee shop hour to study or write.  Peaceful times to hear what God is saying and hear my own heart’s worries in the light of His goodness.
  5. I embrace God’s community.  During difficult times, friends abound and rush to your side.  Nothing brings out the best in people like the “C” word.  In the past, I may have acted like I can do all things myself.  Now I allow myself to take the break when people give it.  To really love and embrace those who are wanting to pray for me.  I have a tendency to feel embarrassed that I always need to be prayed for.  It does get old.  But the silver lining in a trial is the blessing of Jesus’s hands and feet here on earth to help in these times.

These are my silver linings in the midst of cancer battle.  I just have to say this is a battle that the Lord is winning, too.  In my heart and mind, I am being transformed into more of who He wants me to be.  My body is healthy and fit.  I have no idea what the future holds, but, my friends, neither do you.  So take those times of difficulty today – a crying child, a health issue or a financial difficulty, and focus on the “silver lining”.  The evil one doesn’t like it when we do this.

What are ways you focus on the “good” in the midst of the “bad”?

Recharge Your Batteries

I have often thought moms do little for themselves.

We are busy taking care of children, being a wife and focused on keeping a home.  Yes, we are doing Kingdom work right in our homes.  And it is a 24/7 job!

But, honestly, are you tired?

Are you burned out?

Have you snapped at your children lately?  Or your husband?

A few weeks ago, in Yosemite, I stole the time to take one of the art classes in the National Park – four hours long!  My mom and friends watched the kids as I sat under the trees painting Half Dome.

I learned to see the world from a contemporary modern artist.  While this is not my favorite medium, I learned something new.  I was able to reflect on the glory of God amidst the towering granite rocks and small wildflowers at my feet.  God’s majesty is everywhere in creation and painting it brings me closer to Him.

I did not feel guilty.  Perhaps years ago I would have, but now after cancer, I see the value in time away.  Time to breathe.  Time to reflect.  Not only do I strive to do this daily in a quiet time, but now I seek out opportunities that fill my soul regularly. 

I take time to recharge so when I am present with my family and my husband, I am truly present.

This is no easy task.  At home and in my life, there are thousands of things to do and lists to accomplish.  I have to carve out the time and make it a priority.  No one else will do this, but me!

So can I encourage you, moms of princesses and knights?

Can you take time for yourself this week?  And when you do, put into action 1 Cor. 10:31.  Find your place and “bring glory to God” wherever you are.

A couple of ideas:

  1. Do something active.  Take an exercise class, ride your bike, or take a walk.
  2. Do something soothing. Take a bubble bath. Go to the spa, or get a massage.  Go to coffee with a friend.
  3. Do something outdoors.  Go to nature.  Wherever you live, God is there in His creation.  The mountains, the beach, the desert.  Find a quiet spot and journal, hike or paint.
  4. Do something quiet.  Read a book alone with a candle lit and your favorite drink.  Watch the sunrise.
  5. Do something creative.  Take the hobby out of the closet.  Start it up again: quilting, scrapbooking, pottery class, whatever makes you happy.

Our kids and our husbands love it when mom is happy and joyful. 

How will you find time for yourself this week?

Jackie's Journey: Are You a Wise Mom?

"Wisdom calls aloud in the street..." Proverbs 1:20

"Wisdom calls aloud in the street..." Proverbs 1:20

Do you consider yourself to be a wise person? 

We each hold value systems that form our basic philosophies.  These we purpose to pass on to our children through goals we set for them.  Our desire is that they wisely hold our most highly valued principles.  As caring moms, our goal should be nothing less than to produce wise children who are self-motivated to do good and hate evil. 

Where do we begin?...

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and to fear the Lord is to hate evil.

 I, Wisdom, hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior (rebellion) and perverse speech.”

Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 8:13

What is a wise child?  How would you recognize one?

Foolish children are easy to spot!

When Wisdom calls…LISTEN!

“Wisdom is seeing life’s situation from God’s point of view and acting in harmony with Him”. (ATIA)  We will recognize wisdom in our child through his or her attitudes, words, and actions!       

Knowing God and knowing our responsibility in life does not guarantee we will be successful in parenting!  If we do not know how or what to do…we are lost.  Most moms have teachable hearts that want to understand God’s instruction. Some even demonstrate a desire to honor God with a wise decision-making process regarding the manner of child development by adhering to God’s Word and voice when He calls!

 Proverbs 29:17 says our “Children are to bring us REST

And to DELIGHT our souls!

 Discipline your son or daughter and he will give you PEACE;

he will bring DELIGHT to your soul”.

 Do your children bring delight to your soul?

Do they bring you peace and give you rest? 

Wisdom is knowing the right path to take.  Integrity is taking it!

We want wise children with integrity!

When our girls were not bringing us “rest” and “delighting our soul” we knew we were failing in our training.  My life was not that much different than yours…lots of activity and responsibility and never enough time!  We were convinced, as you are, that our success as parents would come from making our children successful.

When we take responsibility for our child’s behavior, we are in a position to change it!  This is called Discipleship…the key to training.  The goal of raising a wise child should be to develop godly Character. 

“Godly character is developing right attitudes that produce right actions, habitually”. (RJ)

This involves the need for consistent “attitude training” which educates the spirit of a child, as well as the will. (Ask:  Was it kind? Was it considerate?).  It brings integrity back into focus by replacing the “action-response” teaching  (“Mom said, don’t do that! Don’t touch! Stop it, I said don’t touch…no…no”)!

 “Action-response” teaching has this sequence:

  • Warning
  • Warning
  • Elevated tone of voice
  • Threat added for emphasis
  • No consequence with total resolve

This sequence cultivates REBELLION!  God hates rebellion…

“For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft…”!  I Samuel 15: 23 

Developing character in our little “Prince and Princesses” presupposes that WE are wise women of godly character!  “We are known and read by our children all the time…” I Cor. 3:2.  There is no hiding our true character…they read our spirit!

Do you know the test for measuring your own character?? 

 Character is revealed by what we do in secret and

 Maturity is revealed by what we do with our free time (T.V.; computer ;iPhone; iPad; books, magazines, music, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, shopping, etc., etc..)

What do I do in secret?   What do I do with my free time?

Abraham Lincoln said, “There is just one way to train a child in the way he should go and that is to travel that way yourself!”

We are an example, or an excuse!!

Children learn what we are first, through our attitudes; then, what we teach them.  Training is first discipleship and then learning! Our job is to cause that learning in our child by lovingly training them to submit to our authority so they can be taught. 

A child that is not under control of his/her authority is preoccupied with resisting that authority and he/she cannot receive teaching!

The child that resists authority IS the teacher!!

When the course of action you are using has the goal of developing godly character through attitude training, the child will mature with wisdom and balance and will understand purpose in his or her life. 

What course of action are you on?