Review by Rayna: Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy: Making room for your soul in an overcrowded life is a refreshingly honest look at how you can make choices to move to a place of calm for yourself. 

A life of crazy usually doesn’t just show up one day but rather it grows slowly and gradually. We don’t realize how crazy it has become until there is a big event that brings the shift into focus. 

Now that we see the crazy what do we do?

Nicole shares her recipe for crazy was 1.) Distraction- using it to distract others from their unmet needs to distracting ourselves from ours.  2.)  Overcommitment- using the word no became a memory.  3.) Multitasking- “the illusion that we can successfully handle multiple tasks simultaneously.”  4.) Comparison- taking our comparisons and using them as measuring sticks for our worth. 5.) Pressure- everyone experiences it and can even handle different amounts without a problem.  The issue is when you finally realize it is all too much it too late, everything explodes.Once in this place of crazy we often seek out new tips or tricks to managing our time better but honestly, that usually isn’t the fix we need when crazy has overtaken our world.  Nicole’s book shares her story and how she explored new practices to find a true refuge of calm both inside and out.

Some of those practices were creating a room of her own, setting and keeping boundaries with technology, as well as experiencing quiet and still to find true refreshment.

I found so many great ideas in this book I have started a Pinterest board with some of my favorite quotes.  You can visit them here:

I would love to have you add your favorites to my board!

 

It has been great in this season of life to focus back on finding my calm both inside and out.  I hope you find it helpful as well.

 

 

Saying Goodbye to My Daddy

Saying Goodbye to My Daddy

I had been praying for over a year now that when it was time for Dad to say Good-bye I would be able to stop fighting for him and let him go.

I’m a fighter you know, I have always been that way, I’m convinced God made me that way.  I wanted to be ready to let Dad go so I would not bring him undue pain and fight a fight that wasn’t mine.

I knew he would not live forever but I never expected that I would be saying goodbye now.  I knew he was sick, but I never dreamed June 25, 2018, would be the day I would say goodbye to my Daddy.

Dad had surgery for a blood clot on May 20th. He did surprisingly well with the surgery and started on the bumpy road to recovery.  We had to place him in a rehab facility to get his strength and mobility back but the day he was released to go home he seemed to be improving.

Since he couldn’t safely navigate the stairs in his raised ranch home we did a quick update of the basement and moved him in.  He seemed to know he was home and relax into the new routine.  It did my heart good to see him home.

He continued therapy and was in good spirits, but his recovery soon started to slow down.  The wound on his leg wasn’t healing and he didn’t seem to want to eat much.  I continued to pray for wisdom and strength to care for him at home with my sister and our caregiver team.  It was a much bigger job than I expected.

I was exhausted emotionally and physically from the long days.  I continued to spend time with the Lord, asking for wisdom and grace.  There was a lot of stress and I can’t say I handled every moment of every day well, but God is Good and provided all I needed.

Thursday morning, I awoke early and went to Dad’s bedside as I had the 5 mornings before, but this day Dad seemed different.  He was in less pain, he was more affectionate, and he seemed to radiate peace. He wasn’t interested in eating, he just wanted to hold my hand.

I sat with him and I prayed silently as I had each morning, praying for Dad’s healing, for my heart and for me to love all those around me well.

As I talked with the Lord about Dad’s healing that morning He reminded me of my prayer throughout the last year to know when the right time was to stop fighting and to gracefully let him go.

He went on to whisper to my heart it was time, it was time to make the shift.  I said really, Lord?  He said yes.  I said really?  He said yes.  Help me do that Lord, I’m not ready.  But as I looked at Dad I knew he was.

Later that day for the first time the home health nurse told us Dad was dying.  His body was tired, and he was not going to pull through.  It was difficult to hear but I already knew it in my heart, the Lord had prepared me.

I will not say that the next 3 days were easy nor was watching my Dad pass away an easy experience but what I can say is that our God is Good and faithful!  On one of the most difficult days of my life, I felt loved, cherished and strengthened by the Lord.

I’m so thankful for all the days I had to share with my dad.  I’m thankful for the relationship with my Lord that allowed the struggles of caring for Dad to be more than just struggles but also opportunities to grow in my relationship with Him, with Dad, my sister and the many caregivers who touched our lives.

This month has been a difficult one.  I am just starting the transition of life without my Daddy.  I am so thankful that I have experienced the truth of Isaiah 41:10 and I will continue to calm the truth of His promise in the days to come.

“So, do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41

Review by Rayna: Find Rest

Find Rest:  A women’s devotional for lasting peace in a busy life

 

Find Rest is a beautiful devotional written by one of my favorite authors, Shaunti Feldhahn.  This is a departure from her typical books.

Shaunti is a social researcher who has found the common struggle in woman trying to do it all only to find themselves feeling frazzled and frenzied due to the crazy business of life.

This  60-day devotional is packed with great insights and encouragement.

Some days we juggle all the balls of life well but many we wish we could just have a do-over.  Shaunti reminds us of the words of our savior, ”  Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your soul.”  Matthew 11:28-29
Through daily devotions, reflection questions and room to journal a little she walks with us to a place for finding rest.

(Not to mention the book is beautiful.  The illustrations are joyful and peacefilled too.)

There are 8 elements Shaunti shares that will help you Find Rest

  1. Build Only on Rock
  2. Love According to Your Design
  3. Set Aside Supermom
  4. Connect with God
  5. Shift Your Perspective
  6. Create Life=Giving Relationships
  7. Walk in Obedience
  8. Have No Fear

Each of the elements is the theme of the daily devotions and definitely help you discover lasting peace in a busy life.

I enjoyed this devotional so much my friend Nancy Booth and I will be using it as a support resource for our new group coaching opportunity, BE Peacefilled.  You receive the beautiful hardcover edition of this devotional when you sign up to be a part of the class. (Want to know more, don’t miss out on the chance to join us  LEARN MORE.)

Does rest make it on your to-do list?

To do List Rest

Does rest make it on your to-do list?

Today

There are so many things to do just to keep our worlds spinning these days it can be difficult to remember what rest is much less to be intentional about pursuing it.

In the Past

Benjamin Franklin said, “He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.”  I would venture to say rest is not valued the same today as it once was.

The Importance of Rest is well known.

Research is showing us over and over again how important rest is to our lives.  Healthier bodies, less stress, deeper relationships, the opportunity for reflection, balance, increased production and reserve for life’s emergencies are just some of the benefits Joshua Becker shared in an article, The Lost Practice of Resting One Day Each Week. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/resting/

If you were to put rest on your to-do list what would that look like to you?

When I asked my Facebook friends I got a variety of different answers, here are just a few…

Rest can look like many different ways no doubt.

Ways to embrace rest.

There are many resources to learn how to embrace rest in your life.  Try breaking it down into manageable steps. You can think in seasons, Spring is here and Summer is on its way, how can you plan to embrace rest at the change of your routine.   Find rest for your brain take up a new hobby, maybe even take a class to learn something new, find rest for your soul by going on a retreat, or find rest for your body by getting outside and enjoy the sun. Need a smaller step?  Take a daybreak.  Plan a day of rest.  Focus on the areas of your life that need it most. Can’t fit in a full day?  Set aside minutes here and there throughout the day.  Find a way to keep the kids busy so you can enjoy a good book.  Call a friend, enjoy a wonderful conversation or even a coffee date.  Go to bed early, it might be just what your body needs.

Seek Rest in the Lord.

Finally, jump into the scriptures and see what God has to say about rest can give you great insight. 

One of my favorite verses about rest isBefore I love the thought of Jesus displacing worry in my life with peace.

This scripture has been true in my life over and over again.  Whether it be walking through a divorce, buying a business and moving to a town where I knew no one, or marrying again even after a failed marriage the peace of Christ always drives out fear.

 

In what ways have you experienced rest through the Peace of Christ?  I would love for you to comment below!

Review by Rayna: How’s Your Soul?

Review by Rayna: How’s Your Soul?

 

How’s your soul? Is a question most of us avoid not Judah Smith.  In fact, he asks his friends this often and this book is a book about how he explored the answer to this question for himself.

The book challenges you to look deep.  Even though vulnerability is scary and it feels much saver to be superficial and not allow others to see if you are really OK on the inside.  Outward indicators are usually how we judge how things are going in our life but success is not how we know if we are OK on the inside.

To examine if you are satisfied, stable and healthy to determine how your soul is doing.

Our health and wellness moves from the inside out.  Most of the time when we struggle with inner peace we double down on the work on the outside, sadly that doesn’t bring peace.  You can’t make all the outside things go the way you want and you can’t escape what is not going well.

Our souls must learn to lean on and into God, the giver of our souls.

Relating to God from a place of forgiveness and acceptance from Jesus helps us find deeper fulfillment in God on a soul level will change everything.

Jonah challenges us to find a nurturing environment as God created it for us in the beginning.  A place of rest, responsibility, restraint and relationships rooted in God only.  He takes a closer look at each of this things in the light of God’s design for us.

One of the most powerful parts of this book for me was when Jonah examined how we often deal with emotions today.  Most of us allow our emotions to rule our world.  We have even gotten to a place that if we feel something is true then decide it must be.  Facts are evaluated in the light of our feelings.

Fulfillment, peace, joy, health on the inside, are often found by doing the exact opposite of what we feel like doing in the moment.  Our feelings can’t rule our lives.  How much different would your life be today if you were to step out of the place where you trust your feelings so much?

Another section that spoke to me was about control.  “We all struggle with viewing ourselves as god of our own lives.”  My first reaction was probably like yours, no way.  But Jonah goes on to say we have responsibilities but we are not in charge of our own fates.  You can’t live like it is all up to you.  If you do you are being a god of your life.  If you want a calm quiet soul you have to recognize, I am not in control.  The Lord has your best interest in mind.  “External control does not give us inner peace.”  God has both external control and the ability to give us internal peace.  We must let God be god of all.

I am sure you will find this book one that causes sore toes and a more contented heart.  So How’s Your Soul? If you’re not sure or if you want to ponder it a little deeper this is a good read for you.

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