Anyone Snowed Under?

Any of you ever find yourselves snowed under? This was the sight that greeted me several years ago when I opened our door the day after a blizzard buried us in its immobilizing winter white. With temperatures below freezing and more snow on the way, our bushes and lawn didn’t fully see the light of day for quite a while.

I have a feeling that some of you might be snowed under. Snowed under by things other than winter’s icy calling card. Burdened by things longer-lasting or even more immobilizing than a foot or two of snow.

Some of you may feel weighed down by a burden of grief. I’ve certainly been there. Others may find yourselves buried under a pile of work or unpaid bills while some of you are bearing the weight of others as well as yourselves as you struggle to keep up with parenting or caregiving duties. And it might just be a combination of several things causing some of us to feel overwhelmed.

Are you feeling like you may never see the light of day? Be encouraged. Remember that we have One who wants to bear the weight of our burdens for us. We have One who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

So turn to him. Tell him you’re snowed under and ask for his help. Then relax in his arms and be at peace, my friend. Be at peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

*What burdens you most in this season of your life?

*Hope this slightly revised post from February 2011 blesses you today!

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out Feb. 1st. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Midweek Morsel: Is Rest Calling Your Name?

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Earlier this week when my husband Don headed out the door for work, he groaned and said, “Somebody stop the world. I want to get off.” The semester is winding down for him, and he’s feeling the crunch. I bet many of you can identify for reasons of your own. I know I can.

Do I hear rest calling our names? When stress mounts and demands keep coming, sometimes we just need to step back for a few moments and breathe. Let’s take a breather today and soak in the following thoughts expressed through this REST acrostic:

Retreat and refresh with a whispered prayer and a few moments of silence.

Energize by going outside and drinking in the beauty of nature.

Soothe your body and spirit as you relax with a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.

Take time to count your blessings and thank God for being your Rock and Refuge.

Let’s do it, friends. Let’s rest.

“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

*What are some of your favorite ways to catch a little rest?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Simon Matzinger, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: Rest During Demanding Times

3475199344_22c0327a80_z“‘. . . even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.’” Exodus 34:21b

God knows what we need, doesn’t he? As Creator, no one knows us and our needs better than he does. The Bible, his Word to us, is full of his instructions, exhortations, commands, and wisdom that are for our benefit. We are our wisest selves when we listen and heed his words.

One of the things God knows we need is rest. He not only gave the commandment about resting from our work on the Sabbath when he gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, but he went on to emphasize in the passage above that even during the plowing season and harvest the people were to rest. Yes, even during their busiest times, God said, “you must rest.”

If people in Old Testament times needed rest during their busiest seasons, don’t you think we need rest today during our most demanding times as well? I can’t help but think that God knows us so well he knew we’d need explicit instructions for busy seasons. He knows we’re tempted to push too hard when we’ve got more work than hours in the week.

But if we’re wise—if we’re honoring and obeying God—we will rest. And it will indeed benefit us.

“‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark 6:31b

*What are some of the benefits of rest?

*Flickr photo by Meagan, Creative Commons License

Rest: Theme Word for 2015

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Has the new year found you deciding on a theme word or anchor verse for 2015? I’m a theme word kind of girl. I love how adopting a theme word for the year can help guide me throughout the year as situations arise or decisions large or small need to be made. The words I’ve focused on thus far have been focus, finish, and guard. Each one has proven to be helpful either personally, professionally, or both.

This year I’ve decided on rest as my theme word. Last month as I prayed about and considered what my word for this year should be, the word rest kept popping up—in my mind and in things I’d read, etc. I definitely felt God’s guidance towards this particular theme word. Maybe he knew I’d really need rest this year since I closed out 2014 and started 2015 in a period of increased demand after my husband’s accident.

Don’t worry, I’m not planning on giving up writing or quitting all of my other activities to rest for the entire year (though at times that sounds appealing, huh?!), but I am going to be alert to ways that I can allow myself moments or periods of rest more often. Those who know me well know that I can be quite goal and task oriented—so rest can get the short end of my stick more times than not.

It will be interesting to see how God uses the word rest in my life this year. I anticipate not only physical and work-related applications of rest to come into play but also spiritual and emotional ones as well. For example, the Lord may lead me to say no to certain things, but he also may teach me more about resting in his grace and love. Who knows what he’s got up his divine sleeve this year, right?! :)

I’m thankful to have a heavenly Father who knows what I need and guides me to it. He truly is our Shepherd, isn’t he?

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3a

*What would be a good theme word or anchor verse for you this year?

*Flickr photo by bjimmy934, Creative Commons License