Review by Rayna: Doing Busy Better

 

Doing Busy Better has great content.

Though it would not make my top 10 list, I would recommend it because it does hit on some things which I think most of us need to hear.  The Lord definitely challenged me in areas as I read about this Better Busy.

Glyniss Whitwer is a self-proclaimed Type A Christian.  Even typing those words make me realize that most people don’t think that goes together very well.  Glyniss, like me, has felt bad for Martha, when she reprimanded for doing all the things that had to be done when Jesus visited. (my words)

In this book she discusses how busy is a part of who she is and most importantly who God made her to be.  But she doesn’t use it as an excuse for living in a way that causes neglect of the most important things in life. (as Martha did that day)

 

Glyniss states “God never meant for me to live non-stop.  God made work and rest in perfect symmetry.  We were created and commanded to work AND rest.”  Figuring out what that symmetry is the challenge and what she addresses in this book.

One area she addresses as a cause of harmful busyness is a wrong identity. 

When our identity is not found in Jesus we are often just one mistake away from going into overdrive to compensate.  Therefore that roller coaster of identity took her on a wild ride for years.

When pursuing your identity in the things you accomplish sets you up to HAVE to keep doing.  Even when you accomplish something great it is only a short a while before you have to get after the next project.

In contrast when you assign the source of your value and worth to God you will be freed from the fear of failure and opinions of others.  “The only thing that matters is what our heavenly father thinks about us and that is unchanging.”

Glyniss explores other reasons people stay busy for the wrong reasons and then moves on to what the right kind of busy is.  She explores physical rest and how some of our thoughts about being busy can affect our ability to rest.

From there she explores how physical rest leads us to Spiritual rest.

Glyniss states that Spiritual rest “happens when we stop striving.”  Stopping the striving allows us to find a deep sense of confidence.  Confidence that no matter what comes our way God is on the throne and He will not forget us.

Doing Busy Better goes on to: Explore ways to rest and the enemies of it. Presents how hurry is a heart conditions.  Lay out 5 questions to ask yourself to determine your core responsibilities, that helps us know what to stop to put an end to doing too much.  Also a challenge to implement a sabbath day and some of our mindsets that get in the way of this commanded practice.

Last I will leave you with one of my favorite quote,

“The abundant life Jesus offers is not abundant with work but with love.”


I would love to hear your thoughts on this book.  Be sure to leave your comments on my blog.

 

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Review by Rayna: Wait and See

I don’t know about you but I don’t love to wait.  In fact, I’m not sure I know anyone who loves to wait. So I guess this means this book must be just what everyone needs.  The subtitle sums it up, Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans.

Wendy Pope created a wonderful journey of exploring David’s pathway from anointed King to reigning King.  We often think of David without really thinking about how long the journey was that the Bible takes us through.

Like David we are often called to wait.  Why is it so difficult to do that? Wendy is vulnerable and shares times in her life when she had to wait.  The key is she didn’t always wait well so she walks us through how to Find Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans.

 

Wendy’s writings are full of lots of great reasons for why the wait is so hard but the best news is her suggestions on how to make the wait worth it.

I really like the way Wait and See is setup with Chapter 10 being designed like a journal with questions to help us evaluate our current call to wait and really begin to put the new mindset and practices into place in a current situation right now.

One of my favorite chapters is When Waiting Messes with Your Mind.  The battle of our mindset can make or break our attitude, no doubt.  This chapter is full of great stories and truth.

I love that Wendy reminds us to keep our minds in the word which will keep the lies in check.  Often when we are waiting we begin to be more susceptible to the lies of Satan.

Biblical truth always kills the lies.  Wendy goes on to remind us that Peace from prayer fills us and makes the desire to quit lose its power.  The more we pray the stronger we become and the more able we are to take down the quit.

Finally, in that chapter she goes on to remind us that Praises have great power in the wait as well.  “Praise has a marvelously, mysterious aspect to it that slays defeat.”  The study of the Psalms really brings this truth to life.

Waiting on God isn’t wasting time; it’s training time.  So thankful for the truth of this statement!

I know if you take the time to really look at times of waiting in your life through the information provided by Wendy you will do it better and gleam more blessings from it than you have before.

3 Roadblocks to a Meaningful Prayer Life

How content are you with your prayer life?  Do you have the relationship with God that your heart desires?

My guess would be that most of us feel that our prayer life could be better.  We all know we need to pray and it seems that there are many common reasons why we don’t pray as often as we would like.

Here are 3 Common Road Blocks to A Meaningful Prayer Life and ideas of how to overcome them.

1. Time~  Everyone will tell you they just don’t have the time to pray as much as they think they should. 

Time management is a challenge in all areas of our lives.  How do we make more time to pray?

I have found that I find more time to pray in one of the two ways: I schedule it or I attach it to things I am already doing.

In order to know that I will accomplish something I have found I have to schedule it.  When I know that I need to hear from the Lord I have to block out specific time to spend with Him.  Intentional time, talking and listening with the Lord just like in any other relationship time is a must!

Another way I make time to pray is to add it to things I already do daily.  I have found that adding prayer time to my morning routine has been helpful.

Putting my prayer list in the bathroom has helped me to remember to pray while I am putting on my make-up each morning.  I can do my hair and put on make-up by route memory so I have brain power available to talk to my Lord about those I love.

2. Distractions~  Along with the busy pace of live our minds are often on overdrive.  Focusing on the Lord and talking with Him can be challenging even when we find the time.

Overcoming distraction can be very difficult.  I have found that playing quiet instrumental music helps me.

I love praise music and there can be times that just praising Him with music is refreshing and nourishing to my soul but it doesn’t usually bring about focused prayer time. I stick with just instrumental during my intentional prayer time to ward off this temptation.

I have also found that writing down my prayers and even God’s responses to me brings me the most focused time of prayer with Him.  I often write a prayer almost like a letter to God.  I have recently begun incorporating the things which I hear God say back to me in my journal as well.

These prayers are a treasure which have offered much encouragement even years later.

3. Struggling With the Answers You Have Received~  All of us have had prayers that were not answered the way we wanted them to be.  The more we experience this the more we tend to shy away from praying.

I don’t know how many times I have had to step back from a situation, settle down and really look at it from a different perspective.  When I do this I can usually always find God’s hand all over the situation.

I wrote the blog post Silver Linings about difficult times in my life and how I have been able to allow the Lord to show me His hand in each of those times.  You can read that post here if you would like to hear about some of these times.

Some people become consumed with the why in many of life’s challenges but we don’t always get to the see the whys in how things turn out. this side of heaven.
Prayer cannot only be about requesting what we want to happen or even be about the why of what is happening.

I have learned to focus my prayers on the attitude to my heart, focusing on the truth of who I know Christ to be and praising Him for all He has already done. I still come to Him expecting Him to act/answer but not so much with a specific answer in mind.

Disappointment is sure to follow when you already have it all figured out and you are just praying to let God know how to take care of things.

Priscilla Shirer sums it up well in her book Fervent. “ And if I were your enemy, that’s exactly what I’d want.  I’d want to make you devalue the most potent weapons in your arsenal.  I’d strategies against you, using carefully calculated methods to disorient and defeat you.

Prayer in an invaluable tool in our toolbox of spiritual growth.  I hope that when you experience one of these 3 roadblocks you will feel more equipped to be able to overcome it.

I would love to hear what kind of roadblocks you have experienced and how you have overcome them.  Please share below.

Fervent

You can purchase Fervent on Amazon. *

No Way, I Can’t Do That

Isa 40 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (1)As a freshman in high school one of the things I looked forward to most was playing volleyball. I had watched my sister play in Jr. High and fell in love with the game. I played basketball and softball and loved sports but playing at the high school level was a whole different ballgame.

Volleyball is a fall sport where I grew up so that means before school started for 2 weeks we had practice twice a day, two and a half hours each time. I loved morning practices, we actually got to touch the volleyball, we learned basics, we drilled skills, plays and learned to play as a team.

The second two and a half hours of the day was in the heat of the afternoon and it was nothing but conditioning. We didn’t see a ball the entire afternoon. We ran stairs, we did sit ups and push-ups, we jumped rope and we even did Jane Fonda’s workout. The true torture was the sprints!

Coach Schuler became one of the people whose influence significantly impacted my life. She was the person in charge of our afternoon conditioning. She knew how to push and motivate me beyond anything I could imagine I was capable of.

She ran us so hard there were people that were throwing up. Even that was not a reason to quit, they had to be back to the line by the next set of sprints ready to start or we all had to run more. She timed us every day and challenged us to run faster than we did the day before.

There were many times that I thought there is no way I can keep going. Coach would say hit the line, ready set go and I would do it.

By spending time under Schuler, I learned that I really didn’t know the limits of my physical body. She knew I could do more than I ever dreamed I could.

Learning to understand that I am capable of so much more than I think I am has made a big impact in my life!

I didn’t think I could handle the heartache of having my mom diagnosed with terminal illness(Alzheimer’s Disease) when I was 16. I didn’t think I could handle my marriage coming to an end. I often think I can’t handle watching my dad struggling with Alzheimer’s today.

But I have found that God knows what I can handle even when I think I can’t!

Trusting Schuler to push me physically beyond what my brain thought I could do helped to build a foundation of understanding that I do not know my limits.  Not to mention I can trust God to push me beyond where I think I can go. Because He knows me even more than Coach did. He created me.

When I am trusting Him I know I can do all things! I trust Him and I praise Him, even in the middle of times where I don’t think there’s any way I can do what he’s asking me to do.

Have you experienced a time where you were able to do more than you ever thought you could? How has that helped to grow your Faith in the Lord?

Without God life is chaos.

I know you have heard a sermon on Proverbs 29:18, we all have.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”

Did you know that there is a second part to this verse?

“but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” 

My pastor, Cody Busby, did a great job of preaching on the full verse this morning.  The vision has to come from the Word of God in order for there to be salvation.  The blessing of hearing and living by the word is the part we often overlook.  We all want the happy part but are we willing to be faithful to do what the word instructs us to?

Cody ended his sermon with a challenge that really struck a cord in my heart.   Read the following two statements and fill in the blanks honestly.  The obvious answers come from this verse…….. what are the answers that come to your heart and mind?

Proverbs 29:18

Without ________ life is chaos.

With God life is ____________.

Cody Busby

Pastor, First Baptist Church Mulvane

Here are a few of my honest answers.

Without God life is chaos.  Without purpose life is chaos.  Without my farmer life is chaos.  Without family life is chaos.  Without money life is chaos.  Without a home life is chaos.

With God life is blessed.  With God life is doable.  With God life is worth living.  With God life is still hard.  With God life is joyful.  With God life is fulfilling.

Now do your own check up……

How would you fill in the blanks of these statements?