Where Pause and Time Meet

One of my new to me Starbucks cups with a message.

I heard a statement recently that really hit home for me. I know and understand the concept but it was time for me to hear it again. What was the statement? My paraphrase is that the devil doesn’t have to work very hard in and around us. Why? Because all he has to do is distract us. Wow!! You may want to read that again. Are you and I THAT easy?? We ARE! So here is the tie in.

Hubby and I had a two night and three day get-away this last weekend, and as usual, my mind, body and soul, get cleared out. As it is for me when I get away, God speaks even more clearly to me. A fresh wind blows deep down into my soul. He knows I will settle into a time of refreshment and that He has a chance to speak without distraction, and I listen more intently. Let me share some thoughts with you regarding my “Pause” and my Time, and where and why they blew into my heart and refreshed my soul.

Let me start with a question. Does being happy make you healthier? I am a firm believer in the fact that happiness brings health to the body and the soul. I think the happier we are, the healthier we are, or can be. For me there is a definite connection. When we left for our time away, we left anything behind that required our attention. No lists and half-to activities. We left with the idea that we would enjoy every minute, big or small, roll with the punches, and just enjoy each and every moment…sun or rain. We would enjoy each other, the fact that we can move and go and see our area of Washington with new eyes, because it isn’t he same as the last time we were there.

So maybe it is this time where I asked myself, what makes you happy? THIS. Seeing family, seeing nature, some thrift store and antique shopping, reading a good book, singing as I travel low and to myself, and enjoying the sounds of nature around me. THAT. Purchase of items to bring into my home that make me happy, give me a memory, or something new my hubby and I can share for a memory…those are the things that make my soul sing. I FEEL like singing. What makes your happiness meter soar? And please don’t tell me you can’t do THAT. Because it will be different for you and your family but it is still important to do it. Maybe it is playing in the back yard, or an ice tea on your deck or porch, or ten minutes in a good book or magazine. However, the things that make you happy will make you want to be better in all the other areas of your life. You feel refreshed and like you can get back into life in your corner of the world.

If we have problems, or feel angry or cheated out of being happy, then we are just asking for a less healthy life. It wears us down. Do what brings your happiness meter up. Your inner self knows what that is. Let it be so in each day! Close your eyes and dream what makes you happy and what that looks like for you. Now before anyone gets too excited, I am not meaning this to be a selfish way where its all about you. However, when you are happy, those around are happier. God can work in and around you because you will tend to commune with Him more with a grateful attitude. Give yourself time for a pause, it might be to meet up God for a few minutes, which should be daily in the best way it works for you. What about an afternoon phone call, a drive, a couple days somewhere planned ahead. Ask yourself what you need. Ask God to show you. And by the way, less time with God, less happiness within. Also my own personal motto.

I love it for the above reasons. I don’t come back from a “pause meets time” the same as I was. Don’t give up on yourself with this. You know, sometimes we are just doing things that aren’t even something God has ordained for us. Instead, we are doing something we want, and want God to bless, but we haven’t really been honest with God enough about where we are to make good decisions about it. We may even be afraid to ASK Him for fear He will say, “That wasn’t my deal for you. You stepped into that one without really weighing the cost or talking to Me about it.” Don’t lose yourself in the maze of life by being anything but who YOU are meant to be. It will be frustrating as you try to be what someone else is, or having what someone else has. It also leads to discontentment in your spirit, and there goes the happiness meter down the tubes.

Let’s talk about another thought I weighed out in my mind while we were gone. I felt free! THAT made me feel a sense of happiness. It can be thought of as reclaiming your time. We did that. We didn’t have so many plans that if we didn’t get to it, we were disappointed. If it didn’t work, there was next time. That freedom to decide can lift your happiness meter up several levels. Again, you have to examine how you can take some of these thoughts captive for you and your situation. What is important is that you think about them at all. Then asking yourself, what can I do to give me a sense of freedom and happiness in my life?

You are still here and you are in charge of it. So if something in your life needs to change, change it. If you need to do something different or in a different way, go there. I came home with some treasures! In the same way I look at these times away, I look at things with new eyes when I come back home. I change out items, I share some, and re-arrange spaces in my home to work better than before. You can do that with what you already have…just take the time to really look at it. You see, I have re-invented myself in every home I have lived it, at least 12 times in 23 years. I have learned new skills which change how my home is set up. I have different interests as opportunity has presented itself to learn something new. So… it changes. We reinvent ourselves. I feel content and happy in those changes. I enjoy every aspect with renewed ferver. My happiness meter just jumped up today as I changed something around to work better in my kitchen. It can often be one or two things and WOW, you would think you got a new lease on life! Well…you sort of did! Your pause met time!

Don’t give up. Don’t give in to the distractions. Life is too short to live it without happiness and good health. It IS tied together. Try it for yourself in some small area of your life and see if you don’t get a little tickle deep in your soul… that sense of happiness. You know what that feeling is? It is recognition when your soul and spirit whispers to you, “Now THIS is living!”

Deut. 4:9

Until next time…

~JoAnn

Where Do You Go?

If you could choose a place where you can go when you need to be refreshed, where would it be? Where can you go, that when you get there, you can dial down, hear God’s voice, and actually feel your spiritual tank getting filled back up? In Romans 15:32, it says “… so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.”

My place?  Anywhere near the water. That’s a beach, ocean, river, stream; it doesn’t matter. I love to sit and look out on the water. When I am there, I can feel my body calming down, I can breathe deep of the fresh air and feel the relaxation that the water brings to my soul. The ocean is one of my most favorites but I will take what I can get where I am, which is usually the bay, a lake or river. I can think and create there, and it is there that often times God places special things in my heart. If we know our place of replenishment, then why don’t we go there more often? We know what it can do for us, we know it gets our creative juices flowing again, and that our spirit is renewed. So, what is the problem?

I think it has to do with what we tell ourselves. What do you tell yourself that keeps you from being in that spot where you can be lifted up? Is it the time? You might have to do somethings differently to make it happen, but you can. Is it children? It may mean taking kids along with you. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and milk with you. GO! Even if it is cold, you can go with the kids and have a car picnic and enjoy the view and talk about all things fun with your kids while you look out, see the beauty, and let God speak into your heart. Even a ride through the country can change a mood pretty quickly when you see the beauty all around you. Maybe it isn’t the water at all but a country farm, or a hike. Whatever it may be, find it. Search it out. If it is just you and your sweetheart, then pack a love basket, bundle up and go for a walk on the beach, and look for shells, or just go for a drive. If you are a camera bug like me, make some memories with your camera. BUT DO SOMETHING!

What if you can’t get to a beach or to your special place outside the home? Ladies, our home is our sanctuary. Find that place in your home that can give you that same kind of lift! It may be a corner of a room with a chair and light next to it. Make it your corner. Add your favorite reading materials, your bible and maybe get a candle to place there when you are sitting there. The man’s spot may be in front of the fireplace, out fishing, or in his work shop. For me? I have my office. I love it there and it is the first place I set when we  have moved. Why? Because I know I need that in my life. It’s my creative space. In my office, I have a little fountain that I run that also helps me feel close to the water. I love the sound. I have candles to light up my life. I have music that makes my heart sing. Key word: do SOMETHING!

God wants some time with you, when you aren’t distracted. When you can hear His voice, and it is quiet enough in your spirit to be refreshed. Let’s go to that place! Know where it is! Let’s get refreshed! Let’s ask God to help us arrange it. Let’s ask Him to speak specifically in that place of renewal. I’m ready! My car is packed. My camera is in the back seat! I want to hear what He will give me next! How about you? Let’s go!

God bless you as you find the “sweet spot” where you can be refreshed with Him. Walking the journey with you….