Awards

Blog Awards & Nominations!

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I’m stunned to write this just a few months into my blogging journey… I’ve been chosen for two blogging awards! I’m humbled, shocked, excited, and a bit intimidated, but going with it. Christ must have plans for this science girl and I missed the memo! I’m giving all the glory to Him!

And I’m also super grateful to fellow Christian blogger, Iris Ocampo, for nominating me for both awards! Click here to visit her blog!

The best part is getting to pay it forward! To nominate other blogs that have inspired me on this tumultuous journey – those that have motivated my weary fingers to keep typing.  And I even get the chance to spread the love to some newbie bloggers like me!

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What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. ‘Liebster’ in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I have a chaotic life that prevents me from working outside the home right now. I longed for a creative outlet that would also connect me to other Christian women and I wanted to share my blossoming faith as a “thank you” to Christ.

What does the name of your blog mean?
My tag line, Mom-ventures with Hope & Humility, emerged from an exhaustive list of potential candidates. It was just the right combination of fun and serious, which captures my personality. Also, I sought to draw my ideal reader – a mom who tackles each crazy day as an adventure, remembering that there’s always hope, regardless of how harrowing her day may have been. “Humility” is a constant reminder (to me) that mothering is perpetually humbling, not to take myself too seriously and that humility brings us back to Christ.

What is your biggest struggle about blogging?
Finding time to write and edit in a very noisy life and home! Wish I didn’t need uninterrupted quiet to produce a descent blog post!  I’m hoping to tolerate more noise with time!

What is your go to snack?
Chocolate, chocolate, and um, MORE CHOCOLATE! I’m attempting to quell my addiction with snack-sized treats to ward off re-gaining the seventy-five pounds I fought to lose a few years ago! The struggle is REAL!

What or who makes you laugh the most?
Our tween daughter! She’s the most ebullient child! Dramatically bent, wonderfully whimsical, and just plain hilarious (and sometimes infuriating for all the same reasons)!

What is your favorite quote to live by?
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is your favorite book and why?
This one’s an impossible question for this bibliophile! I can only narrow it down to anything by Jennie Allen, Holley Gerth, or Lisa-Jo Baker!

What is saving your life lately?
My faith! Christ has dredged this girl from the depths of despair more times than I can count and no earthly person or thing can ever compare!

Name your favorite aspect of each season.

WINTER:  Fluffy snowflakes, crisp morning air, and a warm bowl of anything under my softest and fuzziest blanket!

SPRING: Baby birds sweetly chirping, the perfect temperature for a walk, and fresh green everything against a pale blue sky.

SUMMER: The freedom that flows from a more relaxed schedule and vacation!

FALL: My favorite season!  Tired leaves fluttering to the ground, the return to quiet time during the day, and the anticipation of the holidays!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Watching a thriller series in a QUIET house while snuggled up with a fun-sized pack (or two!) of peanut M&M’s!

My favorite blogs

Hands down, my three favorite blogs are Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart, Suzie Eller’s Living Free Together, and Jennifer Renee Watson’s Soul-Full, Grace-Filled Space Your Soul Needs. Their posts always speak directly to my heart on any given day, their personalities align with mine, and their words heal me every time! If you’re looking for a laugh through your tears, these three won’t disappoint!

To enjoy this adorable trio’s unique blend of steadfast faith, humility, vulnerability, and endearing girl humor, check out their Facebook Lives at #MoreThanSmallTalk! They’re the deepest group of gals who will leave you in stitches!

10 Random Facts about You…

1. Don’t give me anything sweet, because I’ll eat it!

2. My reaction to housework: “First, rip off my fingernails… slowly, please!”

3. I love to take on new challenges!

4. Give me a good book, and you might not see me for a few days!

5. TV is my retreat when I should be seeking Christ.

6. I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m generally friendly, but need to retreat to rest alone after a few hours of socializing. Otherwise, “mean mommy” emerges from her evil lair!

7. I’m a recovering (?) over-achiever and perfectionist.

8. Tragedy has visited me more often than I thought I could bear, but Christ has seen me to victory through it all!

9. I’ve struggled with my weight since gaining the freshman fifteen!

10. Lesson I’m still learning: Victory is in the TRYING, not the TRIUMPH!

My NominationsI love this part because I love encouraging and acknowledging others!It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy!Check out these blogs with smaller followings like mine! They’re gems and deserve your attention!Listed IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.Walking Together – Encouragement to Grow Your Faith (Jennifer Andes)Gospel-Centred Parenting – Good News for Family Life (Scott & Cathy Thomson)Helping  People Reach Their Potential (Michelle Lazurek)Cultivating Creativity (Cathy Baker)Simply Living Love (Melissa T.)Building Grateful Nests – Rooted in Him (Robin Evans)Field Notes on Digging for the Divine in the Everyday (Tia McNelly) 

The Rules

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you should do the following:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. You can download images for the award here.
3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
4. Answer your questions and provide 10 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 200 followers and ask them your own questions.
6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or from this site).
7. Don’t forget to inform the people/blogs you nominated about it!

Answer these questions!

Why did you start blogging?
What does the name of your blog mean?
What is your biggest struggle about blogging?
What is your go to snack?
What or who makes you laugh the most?
What is your favorite quote to live by?
What is your favorite book and why?
What is saving your life lately?
Name your favorite aspect of each season.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?


Sunshine Blogger Award

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About the Award
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which he/she does the following:

Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them.
Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer.
Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Questions

What is the toughest part about blogging for you?
Finding time to write and edit in a very noisy life and home! Wish I didn’t need uninterrupted quiet to produce a descent blog post!  I’m hoping to tolerate more noise with time!

What is the most enjoyable part?
Being creative, connecting with others, and honoring Christ.

Is there something that always keeps you going during tough times?
Prayer, bible studies, devotionals, and supportive friends and family.

What’s your favorite quote?
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Goat cheese. I’ve got a squeamish palate!

Besides blogging, what else do you enjoy?
Reading, walking on a clear day, bible studies, warm chocolate chip cookies, the caress of sunshine on my face, and seeing our children in side-splitting giggles.

Would you rather fly or sail somewhere? Why?
Flying, for sure! Dramamine is my constant companion on choppy waters!

Who do you most admire, and why?
Jesus, because He is my role model! God’s manifestation on earth and perfection embodied!

Are you an Apple or an Android person?
Apple ADDICT!

What inspires you?

My faith, plus collective creativity and encouragement. Sharing ideas and creating with others.

Is this your first blogging award?
These two awards are my first!  I’m so humbled that the blogging community has seen something in my little musings here! I can’t wait to spread the love!

My Nominees

Each of these blogs has filled my soul to the brim with Christ’s goodness. Some are serious, some are lyrical, and some just deliver a belly laugh through your tears!

Thanks to each lady who has poured herself into each carefully-crafted blog! You’re all an inspiration to me! Consider this my thank you note to you from my grateful heart.

Listed IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!

Encountering God in My Ordinary Life (Stacey Pardoe)

Debbie Wilkins Baisden

Glenna Marshall

Finding Peace in God’s Word (Sarah Geringer)

Created to Sparkle – Matthew 5:16 (Erin Whitmer)

Walk With Me (Lisa Barrickman)

Loving the Wounded Child (Lindsey Z.)

Stuff of Heaven (Julie Holmquist)

Blossom in Faith (Kelly Basham)

Making Much of Him 365 – Psalm 36:5 (Sarah Farish)

An Invitation to Study God’s Word During the Ordinary Days (Sara E. Frazer)

 

And the Questions are…

What was your favorite subject in school?

What is your greatest temptation?

Who do you call when you can’t sleep?

What do you love most about your oldest friend?

What’s your favorite act of random kindness to give?

What have life’s struggles taught you?

What’s the best advice you’ve received about life?

Do you have a background in writing?

What’s the most daring challenge you’ve accepted?

Do you prefer school or work?

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Whew! That was fun and exhausting! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Again, I’m super grateful to have been nominated. Blessings to each of the new nominees, all my blogger friends who offered their blogs for nomination, and all you precious readers!

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Leave a comment by September 30th to be entered to win your very own copy of  Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World by Micah Maddox (*THIS IS A CHANGE*)! Winner will be emailed in early October.  Bonus for bloggers: If you’re the winner, I’ll feature your blog on mine and on social media during October!

Congrats to our August giveaway winner, Maureen B! Since she’s also a blogger, I’ll be featuring her blog this month! Click here to enjoy!

FOR READERS: September Inspiration!

Be inspired by other moms braving back to school and new beginnings! Click here to read their stories!

FOR BLOGGERS: Welcome to the Mom-ventures Monthly Link Up!

September Theme: Back to School & New Beginnings

  • Feel free to share a post recounting how Christ has seen you through this busy back to school season or simply any new beginning!
  • Insert the button & link up link: Include this image with link up URL in your participating blog posts. That way, your blog visitors can click their way straight to the party!
  • Leave 2 Comments: Please choose 2 link up posts. Leave an encouraging comment on each.
  • Share on Social Media! Share your favorite posts from the link up!
  • Tell your Followers! Share this link up with your email subscribers so they can join the party too!

hope, Love, Power in Christ, Self Control

Embracing Christ in Chaos

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Have you ever lost Christ somewhere between frantic phone calls and forms? That was me this past month!

August hit our family like Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. Blustery, unforgiving, and abundant in chaos, one crisis after the next landed on our doorstep. Wave after wave, I gasped for air, longing for sunlight with little reprieve.

A Break in the Clouds

Although I’m still gasping a bit, God’s steadfast beams are beginning to peek through the angry clouds still hanging over our home. And I’ll bet you might be feeling tossed about as well! Whether you’re rebuilding your life from scratch or knee-deep in back to school craziness, new beginnings can be overwhelming.

Dwell in Him

For me, the sunlight began to edge its way in a few weeks ago upon the wise words of author Micah Maddox. She shared her own chaotic month. Although preparing her children to return to school, launching her new book Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World and having just moved, she still found peace. And that peace resided in Psalm 27. In the simple reminder to dwell in Christ.

Hearing these words, something in me broke. It had arrested my stress. It broke the chain on my heart and released my soul. A door unlocked and freed me from my self-imposed prison.

My soul rejoiced in praise for a reunion with the One who is there with us everyday, every moment. The One who I’d forgotten over the last few weeks. The One who always stands ready with boundless love and a warm embrace. What solace in falling into His arms. I’d missed my Jesus hugs! Why had I forgotten to ask? Why had I ignored His still, small voice?

Contentment Anytime

I’d forgotten Paul’s teaching that Christ provides contentment in any circumstance, not just in the moments when life is good (Phillipians 4:11). I’d forgotten to fling myself at Christ’s feet when chaos first strikes. Not wait until I’ve hit rock bottom. To seek Christ with unrelenting steadfastness at the start. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

A Spirit of Power, Love and Self Control

Author Holley Gerth has also reminded me of truth during this dark time. Just the title of her soon to be released book, Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely, has led me to back to the same verse that God has been speaking over me for the last few months. God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and self control (2 Timothy 1:7). That even in the darkness, God has given me the spirit of a fierce-hearted warrior princess. That in my times of distress, I’m to fight to seek Him. That I already have the power within me to fight the darkness. The power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within me and every believer who has accepted Christ as her Savior. What power could be more effective or magnificent? We just have to press our soul’s call button and it’s there! Say a prayer and it is there!

And not only are we constantly blessed with His incomparable power, but His limitless, unconditional love. A love like nothing we’ll ever experience from humans in this world. A love more consistent, dutiful, pure, and complete than any human can ever give. And again, it is there as His offering to us, anytime, anywhere. Isn’t that just soul-restoring?!

As if God’s supernatural power and love weren’t enough, the Holy Spirit also grants us a spirit of self control. Not just self control to prevent us from eating that tasty potato chip to quell the anxiety our darkness brings, but self control to reach out to Him in our time of need. Not to reach for the remote, our credit cards, or something else to distract us from our pain. But to reach for the Word, to pray, to connect with Him in an intimate way that soothes our present suffering. To hand over our fears, anxieties, darkness, and pain to the One who can handle it all so much better than we ever could alone.

So as much as I’ve hated being away from you wonderful women the last few weeks, I’m thankful for the chaos I’m starting to embrace. I’m thankful for the Jesus embrace that produced this post. I’m grateful that I waited patiently in His time to hear it. Because He knew the message that I was to send. He knew the words I’d stopped and started several times before weren’t His, but mine. That my words couldn’t make His difference. That only His could. That regardless of our circumstances, we must remember to dwell in Him always and fight with the spirit of power, love, and self control that He has given us.

I’m praying for you in the midst of your own chaos! Be brave and fight to seek Him through the darkness!

REFLECT:
1. How can you fight to find Christ in your present chaos?
2. If you’re not in chaos now, how can you prepare to fight to find Christ when darkness strikes?

RESOURCES:
1. Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World by Micah Maddox (Releases TODAY! Order here!)
2. Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely by Holley Gerth (Releases Oct 3rd. Preorder now for awesome giveaways!)

GIVEAWAY!
Leave a comment by September 30th to be entered to win your very own copy of  Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World by Micah Maddox (*THIS IS A CHANGE*)! Winner will be emailed in early October.  Bonus for bloggers: If you’re the winner, I’ll feature your blog on mine and on social media during October!

Congrats to our August giveaway winner, Maureen B! Since she’s also a blogger, I’ll be featuring her blog this month! Click here to enjoy!

FOR READERS: September Inspiration!

Be inspired by other moms braving back to school and new beginnings! Click here to read their stories!

FOR BLOGGERS: Welcome to the Mom-ventures Monthly Link Up!

September Theme: Back to School & New Beginnings

  • Feel free to share a post recounting how Christ has seen you through this busy back to school season or simply any new beginning!
  • Insert the button & link up link: Include this image with link up URL in your participating blog posts. That way, your blog visitors can click their way straight to the party!
  • Leave 2 Comments: Please choose 2 link up posts. Leave an encouraging comment on each.
  • Share on Social Media! Share your favorite posts from the link up!
  • Tell your Followers! Share this link up with your email subscribers so they can join the party too!

Connection, Kindness

Choose Kindness

shutterstock_160575743A few years ago, my son was super into origami. Spending countless hours meticulously bending and folding paper into mini masterpieces, he protected his crafts with a ferocity rivaling a mother dragon. As only a nine-year-old boy would, he proudly displayed his creations in his bedroom’s origami museum to protect and admire his labors.

That’s why I nearly fainted when he offered one of his freshly crafted origami cranes to a stranger.

We had just come out of the library that balmy summer afternoon. Bustling along, clicking errands off our To Do list, I prepared to squeeze myself into our tin can of a hot minivan. Just before the leather seat threatened to scorch my hamstrings, I heard a little voice mumble something indistinctive in another direction. Realizing it was my son’s, and determined to attack our next task, I turned to bark some version of mama orders like “Get in the car! We’ve got things to do and can’t be late to pick up your sister!” But my “mama ire” was quickly stalled by a disheveled elderly man sitting alone in his car. Panning over to my son, I soon gathered that he was attempting a conversation with our chronologically gifted friend.

Like a freight train screeching to a halt to spare someone sprawled across the tracks, my attention laser-beamed on my son. Why is he talking to this man? Doesn’t he know not to talk to strangers? Plus, this particular stranger looked next in line for the Curmudgeon of the Year award, complete with curling lip.

“Sir, would you like my crane?” my son interjected through my protective panic.

And then it hit me… yes, my son knew all of those things, yet he chose kindness.

He chose to step across those invisible boundaries we erect for ourselves and our children. Ones grounded in good intention, but dividing us from real connection. Ones that mean to protect us and our children from harm – borne out of responsibility – but sometimes fueled by fear.

As our curmudgeonly friend’s face transformed into a picture of grace received, I knew God was whispering through my nine-year-old. I could hear his tender voice lift me on waves of eternal hope with these reminders…

• Busyness blames, but kindness cares.
• Fear kills kindness. Kindess bears love. God is love.
• Kindness can be an act of worship – paying it forward in God’s name.
• Kindness can be His love expressed, and there is nothing greater. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
• Kindness can be sacrifice – of time, of energy, of prized possessions. Yet Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Let’s follow His lead.

Like my son’s origami, God bends and shapes us to prepare to add us to His eternal museum in heaven. We are His masterpieces (Ephesians 2:10). As His masterpieces, let’s keep fear from leaving us reluctant to abide in His love, balking at our chances to choose kindness. Dare to choose kindness, as God boldly chooses grace for us everyday.

Reflect:

1. What is one small act of kindness you can integrate into your daily life?
2. How can you push fear aside to fuel love and kindness?

Resources:
A Case for Kindness by Lisa Barrickman
Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman

August Giveaway!
Leave a comment to be entered to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card! Winner will be emailed in early September.

Congrats to our July Giveaway winner, Lindsey Z.! Check out her blog here!

Post Featured!

blossom-in-faith-logo6I’m honored that this post was featured in the 9/14/17 Blossom in Faith Newsletter as a #FreshlyPickedFind! Thanks for your support, Kelly Basham!

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Mom-ventures Monthly Link Up

FOR READERS: August Inspiration!

Be inspired by the incredible women of She Speaks 2017! Click here to read their stories!

FOR BLOGGERS: Welcome to the Mom-ventures Monthly Link Up!

August Theme: She Speaks Shares 2017 – If you attended, feel free to share a blog post recalling your SS experience or even your most favorite post – whatever suits you, honors SS, and glorifies God!

Insert the button & link up link: Include this image with site link in your participating blog posts so your blog visitors can click their way straight to the party!  IMAGE LINK. SITE LINK. IMAGE & LINK CODE.

Leave 2 Comments: Please choose 2 link up posts. Leave an encouraging comment on each.

Share on Social Media! Share this link up post and your favorite posts from the link up!

Tell your Followers! Share this link up with your email subscribers so they can join the party too!

humility

Pride Monsters

 blog pride monster picI have a confession: I’ve been arrested by the “pride police” on many occasions.

By this, I mean I’ve been caught red-handed in major acts of mom hubris. I grin widely, giggle with glee, and feel that much better about myself when my kids get recognized at school or in sports. With toddler-like gusto, I post their accomplishments to social media, anxiously awaiting “likes” and comments.

Before I go any further, know that, in my opinion, celebration and pride are two very different things.

Celebration is totally acceptable and something God wants us to enjoy. The key is to give all the glory to Him. We’ve only arrived in Problemville when that gladness gives way to human superiority. When our identity shifts because of that achievement. When we give ourselves the glory instead of God.

Now that we have that established, let’s jump back into my impending arrest…

I revel in the glory of achievement and the approval of others. I’ll take a good pat on the back – in almost any form – any day.

But after the rush inevitably fades, I find myself drained – physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Then I ask myself: “What was so great about that?”

That’s God’s way of starving my pride monster. I know it’s what I need, but don’t always want.

What is a pride monster?

He’s that snarly, scaly little critter who puffs out your chest and creeps into your heart to feast on your insecurity. He’s the evil gremlin who clutches your neck so you’ll stick your nose up to gasp for high-brow air. He’s the Enemy’s child and he’s always on the prowl for souls in need of earthly recognition.

I wish I could say that my pride monster, after many forced fasts, looked more akin to a shriveled gremlin instead of a fluffy moguai, but in the interest of full disclosure, he is somewhere in between. Just when I think I’ve deprived him of all nourishment by praying, Facebook fasting, and Bible study, he tilts his pitiful little head and thinly squeaks, “Feed me!”

I try to ignore his cries and tune them out with prayer, but he’s a tenacious little thing, ripping at my unbelief, reminding me how good that initial rush of recognition feels.

Then, I remember His Word…

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

The creature finally goes quiet. I breathe in and lean back into God’s arms. But I know he will be back and I’ll be arrested again. It’s just a matter of time. It’s just part of being human and the reason why we need God. Every minute. Everyday.

Reflect:

  1. What do your “pride monsters” look like? What are yours?
  2. What verses or prayers do you use to starve your “pride monsters?”
  3. How can you invite more humility into your daily life when “pride monsters” invade?

Dive Deeper:   A Platform of Pride. First 5, Day 11, Covenant Plan.

Giveaway!    Leave a comment to be entered to win a $20 Target gift card! The winner will be emailed by the end of July!

 

 

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!”

Introduction

Blog Coming Soon!

Welcome to my shiny NEW blog!

So thrilled you’re here!

I’m a mom of three who loves to encourage women, study the Bible, make meaningful connections, and have deep conversations! I’m a lover of all things fuzzy (especially blankets), long walks on a warm summer afternoon, and great reads. And… I struggle with early morning bus schedules, housekeeping, and managing tween angst… among other things!

Like many of you, I have also survived life-altering experiences that have rocked me to the core. These experiences have forged the cornerstone of an exciting and deepening faith. And that burgeoning faith is the genesis of this blog!

Although I’ve only lived a little over four decades, Continue reading “Blog Coming Soon!”

Uncategorized

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, doctor’s 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 bake cookies for our kiddos’ benefit while conference-calling and cooking dinner for our family… and squeezing in a folded piece of laundry while dinner’s in the oven.

I contend that we were made for rest – literally. Aren’t we made in God’s image? And didn’t God, the creator of the universe and Lord over all – even smartphones on which we pack our e-calendars – rest on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2)? Does the Bible say to stay busy until you run yourself ragged? Is this how we should honor Him?

Last time I checked, no! Although He warns against idleness, His example clearly supports a balance of work and rest (Proverbs 31:27; Genesis 2:2).

We all need time to physically rest, to spiritually rest, to fill our tanks.

If we don’t rest physically, our immune systems are depleted and our neural circuitry is overwhelmed. We get sick and anxiety and depression strike. My kids will tell you that I become an over-stimulated ADD mommy-monster!

If we don’t rest spiritually, we become raisin-souled – displaying anti-fruit-of-the spirit qualities like crankiness, harsh judgment, and narcissism.

Why are we determined to idolize busyness when it can wreak such havoc?

First, let’s examine why we became so busy. The American Dream is a fantastic thing, but I’m afraid we’ve chosen the Extreme Games version. What started out as an earnest and worthy ode to working hard and making something of our lives has morphed into a perceived obligation to “work hard” at everything we do… even rest. Heaven forbid we not schedule a “leisure activity” during that 45 minutes between gymnastics and choir practice.

Further, our culture commonly advises us to schedule everything, including rest! I’m guilty! But scheduling itself can be exhausting!

When I try to make a doctors appointment these days, aligning my schedule with the office’s is as simple as a root canal. Each week, I’ve had to add a list called “calendar additions” to my To Do list. Scheduling seems to dive-bomb me incessantly… Sometimes I just want to duck and cover and let the “scheduling bombs” fall where they may.

And sometimes I do… I turn off my smartphone, power down my laptop, tell the kids and hubby that I’m taking a nap… But even then, my mind races… I struggle to stamp out my brain’s blaze of baseline to-do-listing… Then I have too much in my brain to enumerate or mnemonic into memory… So inevitably, my smartphone lures me from beneath the sheets and I’m recording all the things that I need to do, but shouldn’t be adding to my list because I should be resting…

What I should be thinking is “I should follow God’s example to rest.” I should put down my smartphone in the name of the Lord. I should ask Him to wash over me. I should pray. Because how can we forge a meaningful relationship with God without resting in prayer? How can we fulfill His deepest desire to have relationship with us without resting in prayer?

And this brings me to how Christianity is being eroded by our busyness. How many times have you found yourself too tired to drag yourself out of bed to attend church or bible study? How many times do you have an extracurricular commitment for your precious kiddo that conflicts with your church or bible study? What do you choose?

I bring this up not to be accusatory, but rather to illuminate my own struggles. I’m so fried from over-scheduling that by the time I get to God time, this girl is nap-bound. I reason that society will judge me less for missing church or bible study than missing my child’s gymnastics meet. And so I’m back to worshipping the idol of busyness over God.

The irony of it all is found in God’s offer to give us rest! He so clearly wants to give it to us, and even longs to fold our tired souls into his warm embrace. Just take a peek at Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” We just have to listen and go to Him. He is there waiting.

So, I’m now on a mission to promote rest. For God, myself, for moms, for dads, for friends, for we weary American Dreamers who built this country on trusting in God, but who have lost Him to busyness.

How do we start? Maybe the next time someone asks what you’re up to, say you’re enjoying resting. Resist the urge to say “I’m so super busy and feel like I need a vacation.” Consider saying “yes” to God and “no” to busyness. I promise He’ll notice… And maybe even bless you with that nap you’ve been looking for!

Reflect…
1. How have busyness and rest influenced your relationship with God?
2. How can you invite more rest into your life?

Dive Deeper…
1. Whispers of Rest: 40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul by Bonnie Gray
2. “The Disease of Being Busy” by Omid Safi

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