Practice the Pause

In my wisdom years, I am learning more the value of the pause, and one day at a time, making every day count, which is really all we have, right? We live daily until our last breath, then there’s the afterlife.

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Only God knows what tomorrow will bring, much more each single day beyond that.

Here’s what I know: you are alive today. Your people need your love and full presence. When your time (or your beloved’s time) comes to leave this earth, let it be with love, knowing you did your best.

A final note: When a loved one departs, don’t make any big decisions for awhile, you will not be able to make wise choices so soon. Allow the memories to wash over you, along with some mixed thoughts and feelings.

You may feel alone in this necessary time of processing the great loss, and you will come through it. You are not alone, and will never be. God has you, and you have God.

Stress and Overthinking and God Interventions

When it feels like the world is spinning out of control, do your spiraling thoughts overwhelm you? I can tell you what helps when I feel this way. I have learned this doesn’t just magically go away.

For me, I have to make an intentional decision to stop what I’m doing, become aware that I am spiraling, take a deep cleansing breath, find a quiet place, and talk to God.

I find it helpful to begin by acknowledging who God is, and offer gratitude for everything I can think of, as well as things I don’t even know. In those moments, I breathe deeply again, and allow God to re-introduce the peace I need, and that He desires for my spirit to feel.

Beloved, if you are too much “in your head” lately, ruminating, pondering excessively, with spinning thoughts to no end, I pray you find praying through the book of Ecclesiastes strangely comforting, like I did this morning.

In the end, this is what matters most: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

P.S. And isn’t it just like God’s Holy Spirit, that in the middle of processing all this, as my troubled spirit was healing, an unexpected encounter happened – a woman stopped to talk with me in the coffee shop, and poured out her heart to me and God, and we listened, and I cried with her. Thank you God.

Peace Within

In scripture, as with my own story, I have learned peace is a gift from God. Receive God’s gift of peace for yourself today. Take a moment and use your calming breaths, release body tension, and recognize God’s Spirit dwelling in you.

“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

(written with inspiration from “The Upper Room”)

The Skill of Listening Well

A truly worthy goal for us all. I am trained as a Chaplain to listen well with all individuals. This article is refreshing and life-giving. We all can learn to improve in this area, and consequently all our interactions and relationships will blossom.

https://hbr.org/2016/07/what-great-listeners-actually-do

Mental Health and Faith

Inspired and adapted through an article in “Rethink Church”

Depression… anxiety… inability to concentrate… mood changes… trouble relating to people… low energy… feeling hostile towards others… excessive worry… feeling unable to cope with stress… excessive drug or alcohol consumption…

An inability to deal with mental health symptoms is not always an indication of sin in your life. In some cases it might be an indication of illness–and may need to be treated as any other illness gets treated (with a doctor’s help).

“in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; until the destroying storms pass by.” [Psalm 57:1]

In many ways, we are bound to one another. So when one person suffers, we all encounter suffering. This passage is just one of many that remind of our connectedness: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” [1 Corinthians 12:26]

If you or a friend need help, please take that step and reach out to someone you trust.

Psychology Today offers a referral site. If you have suicidal thoughts call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat on suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.