Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up – Part 9


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I was down with some bug the week after Christmas, and then, of course, that means Brendan succumbed the week after New Year’s. Whether the flu or some new random variant of covid, as far as I’m concerned it didn’t really matter. I did the same thing I do whenever I get sick: drink lots of water, let the fever do its thing (God created fever to kill germs so why would I interfere with that?), and rest in bed away from other people. No one likes to be sick. It interferes with life in so many ways, not to mention feeling crummy. But I have now seen almost every Christmas movie on Pure Flix so I had my fill of that.

It also put a damper on our house hunting so we’re still hanging out with our Jesus friend. God’s done incredible things while we’re here, and I’m so grateful. I’m also ready to move on whenever a door opens. (Literally.)

In the meantime, God is still pulling my attention to REST. Not the napping kind, even though I still need that every day, but the kind of rest that happens when I stay in the mind-set that God has everything in hand.

Rest in him. His rest.

I’m good at it for a while. I do whatever he says and it’s all good. But then circumstances don’t line up, and I start wondering why nothing is happening!

I start vacillating between what I’m certain God spoke—those promises he’s given us—and what’s actually occurring. Did I hear him correctly? Did I miss something? Am I obeying like I think I am?

So, I start trying to figure things out.

Trying to figure God out. As if that’s even possible.

Sometimes I’ll be taking steps I’m sure I need to take (you know, the things that he never said to do but that make sense), and it’s almost like I can hear him whisper

What are you doing, daughter?”

I’m…uh…I mean shouldn’t I…uh…doesn’t it make sense to…?

Always. Always. It comes back to God’s plan, God’s timing. Always. He knows what he’s doing. Everything is so much better when I throw up my hands and say “I don’t know.” I get into trouble in my spirit when I try to know, to figure it all out.

Typically, God gives me a word for the coming year. But the new year approached, and I heard nothing. Granted, I was sleeping with a fever and ongoing Christmas movies that week so maybe I wasn’t in a great attentive mode, but I think the delay was purposeful.

The New Year came with a promise of acceleration.

Yay! We’re moving on!

In rest.

What? How does that work?

Joseph Prince gave a great illustration for this 2022 promise. Resting in God while he accelerates us is like the travelator at an airport. If we’ve got our bags and we stand on one, it moves us ahead more quickly while we rest. I love that picture. Thank you, Jesus and Joseph.

Here’s the trouble.

I usually walk briskly on those things. I figure if it can move me quickly, won’t my walking move me even more quickly? Of course, it will. Makes sense. Right? But there’s no rest in that.

I guess that’s the point God is making. Let him do the work. It’s much easier when I don’t try to add my efforts to his already perfect plan. It tires me out. I end up feeling discouraged. Getting some place faster isn’t always better. Often, it’s not even right.

After this first week of the New Year, I was feeling a little discouraged. It’s a new year, why isn’t everything new? A place to live would be a good start, God…

Then our pastor’s message for this month is Ready. Set. Wait…

Of course, it is. This girl is raring to jump into the new thing God is doing. Now! And God is saying “rest, wait, be patient, let me do it in my timing.”

Finally, God gave me a word for the year yesterday. (Apparently, he wasn’t in the same hurry I was.)

RESTORE.

I’m excited to think that he will be restoring things this year. There are plenty of areas that applies to. And then one of those light bulbs went off in my head.

REST begins restore.

Point taken, Lord.

Today, I’m resting in him. Waiting on him to renew my strength. Exchanging my burdens for his lighter ones. Trusting that he knows what he’s doing. Only he can restore. And it has to begin with me resting. In. Him.

The Day After Christmas


‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse

He’s eating some crumbs from the day’s Christmas feast

There are cookies and biscuits, cheese crackers at least

The stockings are empty, the toys are in play

The parents exhausted and sleeping all day

Carols and movies are done for the year; farewell to the relatives

We’ve all shed a tear

We waved over Zoom to those stuck at home

Next Christmas we’ll see them – none left alone

The meaning of Christmas still rings in our hearts

A birthday for Jesus is only the start

What if we could share all the love we’ve been given

Not only on Christmas since we’ve been forgiven

The New Year is coming within a few days

It’s never too late to live in new ways

Resolutions we’ve promised may flee out the door

Within a few months, we may be as before

I’m grateful for Jesus.

He gives our lives meaning

A place in God’s presence; on His life, I’m leaning

So even though shopping is done for the season

Let’s focus on Jesus—He is the real reason.

Wishing you and your families  a wonderful Christmas season and Happy New Year!

Farewell 2018 – Welcome New Life


DSC_0042

‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse

He’s eating some crumbs from the day’s Christmas feast

There are cookies and biscuits, cheese crackers at least

 

The stockings are empty, the toys are in play

The parents exhausted and sleeping all day

Carols and movies are done for the year; farewell to the relatives

We’ve all shed a tear

They’ve driven and flown back home for a time

Next Christmas we’ll see them—celebrations sublime

 

But the meaning of Christmas still rings in our hearts

A birthday for Jesus is only the start

What if we could share all the love we’ve been given

Not only on Christmas since we’ve been forgiven

 

The New Year is coming within a few days

It’s never too late to live in new ways

Resolutions we’ve promised may flee out the door

Within a few months, we may be as before

 

But I’m grateful for Jesus.

His birth and his death give our lives meaning

A place in God’s presence; on His life, I’m leaning

So even though shopping is done for the season

Let’s keep in our hearts Jesus—the reason.

Wishing you and your families  a wonderful Christmas season and Happy New Year!

Is It Worth It?


Today I share the words of a young scholar.

He wouldn’t call himself an author even though I am featuring him as such. As a matter of fact, English is his least favorite subject. He didn’t write the following for me, he wrote it to encourage a couple of friends. But when numerous people read it (on Snap Chat) and began responding with resounding thanks and “I needed that,” he showed me.

My featured author is my fourteen year old son, Blair, dsc_0031who composed this late at night in the shower taking a short break during a study session. But I’m not sharing this because he is my son. I’m sharing this because it shows that even at a young age we can consider what it means to take our lives forward. This is what my son was thinking about the other night when he was tired, wanting to be watching television, sleeping or playing a video game instead of studying.

“Is this really worth it? All this stressing? Is it really worth it?”

I really thought about it.  Yes, it is extremely worth it. We dream big. We set out goals way out of our reach to test us. And we make them. We want to go to a good college to get an education and play sports to prove something.

But it starts here.

With these late nights studying. We will go far because we set our goals way too far. We don’t want mediocre. We don’t want to be okay with where we are.

We want to be great.

We want to be completely and fully satisfied with where we end up. We can only do this with the power of God! Let him work in you and through you, and you will go far and accomplish your goals.

Blair’s friends were encouraged, he was encouraged and I hope you are too.

Don’t give up.

As we end the first month of this New Year, look at the steps you’ve already taken and applaud yourself. Even a baby, barely standing and reaching out a shaky foot to take a tiny step is celebrated.

  • Find your celebration.
  • Recalculate your direction and the steps needed to get you there.
  • Evaluate the good and the not so good. Set your goals out there so you have to reach.
  • Be great because God has greatness for you. He will strengthen you and uphold you.

Now go tackle the next eleven months.

Shared with permission. =)

10 Ways to Take Our Life into the New Year


Resolutions. Hard work. Expectations. Failure.107

Sometimes we feel like we have to work so hard to make life work or to be who we think others or even God requires us to be.

But it’s actually simple.

God’s done everything for us already. Psalm 104 & 105 reminds us that he set boundaries for waves, made mountains and every creature that dwells there. He’s given us plants for food and makes each thing suitable to the place he’s put it. He’s forgiven us and given us his spirit to help us live.

So what are we stressed about?

All we need to do is respond to his love and care for us.

Here’s 10 ways to do that:

  1. Give thanks to the Lord
  2. Call on his name
  3. Make known what he has done
  4. Sing praise to him
  5. Glory in his holy name
  6. Let your heart rejoice
  7. Seek the Lord – his face – get up close and personal with him
  8. Look to him for strength
  9. Remember the wonders he has done
  10. Shout for joy!

Not a hard list, is it?

Let’s try it for a couple of days and see if our day goes more smoothly. Or even try it every day for 1 week and see if you notice your days shifting to less stressed, more positive and happier. Try it for 3 weeks to make it a new habit.

I can’t wait to start.

Let me know how you’re doing by sharing your experiences here in the comments or by emailing me at laurabennet14@gmail.com

 

Let the New Year Begin!


Since we’re all about taking life forward, we’re ready to embrace the New Year, right?DSC_0033

I’ve posted mostly about our emotional and spiritual well-being, but something I read recently grabbed my attention, and I wanted to share it.

The article was in AARP magazine.

I know, the magazine for old folks. Don’t freak out. The information is great and appropriate for most ages. (You wish you were over 50!)

What I loved was that the article, Younger Next Year, adapted from the book by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., with the same title, gave us great insight on how to live well.

It’s taking life forward physically.

Even if you haven’t crossed the 50 year line, starting now will put you in an even better place then. Following this team’s guidelines has helped millions and can help you too. They have 7 rules to stop aging that include exercise-both cardio and strength, living within your means, eating fresh food, and being committed and caring with others.

Clearly their plan also includes ideas to nurture your emotional life too which benefits us physically. None of us know when our time is up, but we can live the time we have to the fullest. Jesus said he came to give us an abundant life!

Now’s the time to evaluate where you want your life to be headed next year. You have choices for every area of your life. Each step leads in a direction that can take you where you want to end up.

God’s best is waiting for you.