Growth, Peace, rest

Run Your Race

How often do you find yourself snared in the comparison trap? Am I thin enough? Productive enough? Smart enough? Kind enough? Faithful enough?

I’ve found myself there more than a few times, friend. And I’m guessing that you have too based on the “Be Better than the Joneses” soundtrack that plays on many of our screens 24-7.

Comparison leaks into almost every part of our daily lives. Commercials tout quick fixes for our faults. Our neighbors’ newest addition makes us question our worth. Our children are measured at school and on the athletic field.

I’m not saying that all comparison is a bad thing. Sometimes it can motivate us to do great things in Christ’s name. If we see someone in need and we’re more fortunate, that comparison can lead to acts of love if we allow it to catapult us into helpful action.

That said, we do need to make an honest effort to prevent comparison from ruling our lives, choices, and felt worth. When we covet things like our neighbor’s possessions, looks, and accomplishments to the point of diminished self worth, it’s likely time to seek release from the comparison trap. At that point, we’re diminishing the value of Christ’s creation: us.

Plus, finding our feet caught in an unhealthy comparison trap can bring bigger problems if we allow the wounds it inflicts to infect us with things like exhaustion, poor health, and a bad attitude. These are all consequences that might just dim Christ’s light in us and slow our sanctification.

Perhaps to follow His lead, we might breathe as He did? His quick rest away from adoring crowds demonstrated that our earthly minds and bodies require rest to give their best to others. Time to connect with the Father and regain perspective. Time to replace comparison-gone-rouge and replace it with Christ-who-is-always-right.

Time to run your own race (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Not her race or his, but yours.

Your race, authored by the Master of the Universe, Chief Star-Scatterer, and Lord of Your Life.

So friend, before you count yourself out in the comparison game, see yourself through His lens and love your life’s custom lane.

Your crooked smile? Christ-crafted with care.

Your stutter? Made in Heaven.

Your smaller-than-the-next home? Provided by the One above. 

Friend, let’s make space to breathe, reconnect, and let Christ release us from harmful comparison. Ask Him to infuse His perfect love in and let go of lesser things! I’ll be right there beside you inviting Him to set us all free!

Boundaries, Growth, hope, Overcoming, Peace, rest, Self Control

Boundaries Make Us Better

Are you struggling with overwhelm? I’m definitely in it with you, friend! 

I’ve noticed a growing number of us struggle to keep up with the blistering pace of modern life. Technology has blessed us with convenience, but cursed us with hurried hearts. And combined with pandemic overload, we’re all swimming in a sea of sharks ready to attack our peace on a moment’s notice! 

One way we can prevent overwhelm is by creating boundaries. We can set boundaries with our time or with family and friends. Are you missing sticky notes from your paper planner or snapping at family and friends frequently? That might mean it’s time to set some boundaries in your life. 

“But how?” you ask.

Admittedly, it isn’t easy. When we set boundaries to protect ourselves, sometimes they encroach on or offend those around us. But that’s when we have to rely on God’s leading to help us navigate that inevitable tension.

He taught us that boundaries keep us safe and protect us from harm. He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5). As branches, to thrive and produce fruit, we must be pruned to prevent overgrowth, disease, and death. We are also dependent on Him for our sustenance, as water and nutrients can only reach the branches via the vine.

So, for us to thrive and survive, we are meant to be cut back. Likewise, as Christ’s image-bearers, we are meant to mirror His example and prune our own lives. Clipping our calendar commitments might actually be an act of worship. Saying “no” to another invitation might be God’s whisper to spend more time with Him. Not responding right away to that text could give you time to pray about your response and better mirror His love. 

When the pushback to our limits comes from the loud world around us and even some well-intentioned people we love, if we put Christ first, we’ll find that standing firm is worth any temporary pain. If we cling to His life-giving love, perhaps we’ll see that the boundaries others might deride actually bring us closer to our Source, our Creator, and our Guide. And friend, that’s a cure for overwhelm we can trust every time, everyday. 

Peace, rest

Heading Off Hurry Sickness *Give-Away*

Hi friends and faithful readers! Yes, I’ve been gone for quite a while, but the pandemic has inspired me to get back to writing again! I’d love the chance to encourage you during these tumultuous times if you’ll join me.

And what better way to kick-start my blogging return than to share some exciting news JUST FOR YOU?!

Drumroll… I’m doing a GIVE-AWAY!

But first, here’s a little about it…

Do you suffer from “hurry sickness?” Treat your soul to the brand new book, Growing Slow: Lessons on Un-Hurrying Your Heart from an Accidental Farm Girl by Jennifer Dukes Lee! With her unique grace, humor, and warmth, she shares her personal struggle with a life hustled to exhaustion, but rescued by living fresh perspectives rooted in faith. Through Scripture, her “growing slow” life on an Iowa farm, and poignant personal stories, she takes you by the hand and guides you toward peace. This book will give you the tools you need to BREATHE in a harried world where hurry reigns. I pray it heals your heart as much as it has mine!

Want to enter to win a copy?

Simply subscribe to my blog now, and you’ll be entered to win! Just complete my super simple “Subscribe” form on the top left or also on the bottom right of every page of my blog. Then, you’ll receive an email. In that email, be sure to click on the confirmation link and you’re done!

Bonus… as a subscriber, you’ll be the first to learn about future give-aways and receive encouragement for your heart.

The winner will be notified via email by May 14th. Enter by Sunday, May 9th so you don’t miss your chance to win!

Want to pre-order the book now to get nearly $50-worth of bonuses too?

Simply go to growingslowbook.com now and order before release day!

Looking forward to reconnecting with each of you. Blessings, hugs and love to you all!

Allison

rest

Too Busy!

 

Most of the things we need in order to be most fully alive never come from busyness. They grow out of rest. – MARK BUCHANAN

I can’t keep up!

The laundry, dishes, errands, extracurriculars, doctors appointments, homework, lunches, backpacks, school activities… it all comes at me like a freight train on a treadmilling loop.

It has all become so overwhelming that I’ve instituted something I call “rest checking.” Each week, I scroll through my calendar until I find an “opening” for rest. Until I find it, I feel my throat closing up a little with each passing busy, congested, over-productive day. Once I’ve found it, I find release… physically, mentally, spiritually.

But isn’t it sad that we have to search for rest? Shouldn’t it be a given?

Apparently, not in Western culture. We’re expected to Continue reading “Too Busy!”