Naps

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Are you a napper? I am. I can do the power nap. I can lay down for 20 minutes, sleep and wake up refreshed. Love those type of naps. Today I took a longer nap. I started work at 5 am and finished at 2 pm. I crawled back into my bed, under my cozy blanket, and snoozed for almost 2 hours. I needed it. I feel tired still but more refreshed than had I just stayed awake. The 5 am start time just exhausts me. Thankfully it’s not the norm.

Even if you aren’t a napper, can you rest for 20 minutes? You know, turn off your phone, close your eyes and rest? You don’t have to sleep. Just let your mind slow down and stop racing through the daily tasks or the daily drama. Let your mind focus on just one thing – you are loved. Some may call this meditation. Others call it a quiet time. Some even may call it a waste of time. I call it smart and necessary.

We need time in our day to slow down our body, but more importantly, our mind. When I snuggled down for my nap at 2 in the afternoon, my mind was a jumble. Finish laundry, check my work email again, prep for class, make dinner. Once I quieted my to do list, then came the daily drama. “You shouldn’t have wasted your break watching TV.” “Why didn’t you call her out on what she said?” etc. The drama is much harder to quiet. Know how I do it? I ignore it. I speak in my mind, “God loves me” or “I love you Lord” and let that be louder. Eventually, the drama ceases and the peace invades.

Meditation, in the non-Christian sense, is to clear your mind of all things. Meditation for the Christian is to fill your mind with the things of God. Not your to do list for God but His character and His love. Let Him wash over you and fill  your thoughts. Let your mind dwell on things that are true, good,…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. – Philippians 4:8 NIV

Take a 20 minute “nap” tomorrow. If you can sleep, awesome. If not, just quiet your mind. Don’t empty it fully. Fill it with God’s goodness and love. You will “wake up” refreshed.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

My Defender

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In the sermon last week, the pastor shared a story of a childhood bully. He was to meet after school so they could fight. When he got to the fight, he was petrified. However, his best friend (who grew up to play professional football) stepped between him and the bully and said, “You need to go through me to get to him.” The standoff ended immediately. The pastor then said, God is the one who stands between you and your bully (aka enemy – Satan) and says, “You need to go through Me to get to him/her.”

That imagery moved me. I felt empowered. I can see some upcoming situations where I know I will be weak. My defender, God, will stand between me and the enemy. He will fight on my behalf. He is so big and powerful, He doesn’t have to fight. He just says “I am” and the enemy shudders.

 

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

~ Psalm 18:1-2 NIV

 

I have this image of my big God standing in the gap between me and trouble. He’s where I run for safety. He’s where I hide when I’m scared. He’s where I lean when I need support. He’s who I hold onto when I need stability. He’s who I listen to when I don’t know what to do or where to go. He’s my present and my future. He’s my hope.

Let God stand in the gaps of your life this week between you and the enemy and you and your fears. Stand firm in Him and accomplish much. He is our defender! He’s all we need.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Happy Labor Day

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A day off of work. A much needed break. A day to BBQ. A day to catch up on housework. Labor Day is all this and more. However you choose to celebrate, take a moment in your day to say thanks. Thank God for providing for your financial needs. Even if money is tight, He has provided. Even if you are in debt, He is providing. Even if you are rich, it’s a blessing from God. Thank Him for His financial provision.

Money has been the topic in our house lately. We have less these days. I am working now. My oldest daughter is working as well. I gave my son some extra cash for extra chores. We are all thinking about money. It’s something we all need and something we all stress about. When I get in those moods where money, or lack of it, is bumming me out, I refocus on my past. Have I ever been without? No. Have I ever not eaten because of lack of food? No. Have I ever not had a roof over my head? No. I am blessed beyond all measure. Money has been the source of keeping me fed and sheltered. God has been the One who guided me to the right jobs. He has provided. He is providing.

Today on a day when we are relaxing and taking a break from our jobs (unless you’re a mom – we rarely take a break from that job), take a moment to thank God for His providing. Take a moment to remember times when you were provided for in a unique way. A friend brought a meal to you after you had a tough week. A refund check showed up right when that extra expense showed up in your budget. You had leftovers from eating out and you shared them with a homeless person. You are blessed.

Dream Big! Pray Big!