This world makes my head spin in crazy circles and it makes my breath catch and my stomach lurch when I think of all of the bad things that could and might and will happen in the lives of my precious little babies, these small people, IMG_1785so fresh on this earth, sprouting and growing and still rich in their innocence and wonder and joy and the peace of their unknowingness. So easily could I give in to the fear of the ‘what-ifs’ and and the regret of the ‘should-haves’ and ‘could-haves’ and ‘what if I hadn’ts.’ And so easily I could give over my heart to the hurts I see and the hatred I see and the pain and the fear and the trouble that I know lurks and leers in darkness and corners. And I worry that my precious little tots will never be able to navigate this life and I fear what might happen when I’m gone and I can no longer shield them from the hard, and the worrisome, and the things that might break their tiny little tot hearts, and the things that make the news, and the things that take our innocence away. Moms and dads and parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends, we are not different; we want the same things; to protect our beloved babies and let them grow up to be free in a world that is more frightening than free. And sometimes it’s easier to be the big mama bear who chases off the hard stuff and the scary stuff and the bad days and the things that we can’t understand. And we don’t like to be afraid so we fight hard, ferociously hard, to keep the scary and the dark and unknown away. And the fear and the fighting is for our babies so it must be a good cause but fear and fighting kind of look like hate and hurtfulness and I really, truly think that there’s a better way to change the world.

And how do we navigate this life when the opportunity to share God’s love is directly at odds with the convictions we have of what is right and wrong? And what if we cannot find the balance between standing up for what is right and standing against what the Bible says is wrong and offering mercy and grace to the people who disagree? And what if fighting for the safety of our precious babies is in direct opposition to the moms and dads that are fighting for their own precious little babies? How do we win the war where all sides stand on moral ground and how we do we win a fight that shouldn’t have become one in the first place? And how do we know the truth when that Christian over there says truth is different than what I believe the truth really is? And how do we stand for Christ and stand for love and stand for hope and still sit down and listen to what’s happening on the other side?

Don’t step up, SuperChristian. Step back. Retreat. No, no, not from the hard stuff and not from the people we don’t retreatunderstand and not from the half-truths and the broken and the pain and the wrong. Retreat to your knees and retreat to your closets and retreat to the place where you can run right to the waiting, loving, restful arms of Jesus. Because it is in quiet conversation that we learn God’s heart and we learn God’s voice and we learn God’s Word and we learn God’s ways and we learn what it really is that we are fighting for. And we want peace and we want freedom and we want safety for our little ones but what is that God wants for all of his children?

Retreat, SuperChristian. You don’t have to fight so hard against the world with words and weapons and wits. Our best defense, our smartest strategy, our toughest offense, our bravest moves are in the quietest moments of honest conversation between created and Creator. Surrender, Warrior Ones and Wise Ones and Weary Ones, Surrender, Cautious Ones and Confused Ones and Courageous Ones, surrender your passion, surrender your purpose, surrender your hopes, your dreams, your goals, and your moral ground, surrender your fight not to the other side, but to prayer.

 

 

IMG_0895 - CopyDon’t we seem to lose sight of what’s the most important when we’re too busy?  It’s just one day…. it’s just a few minutes… just, just a moment here or there… and in those few busy minutes we seem to lose track of precious years of the things that mean the most to us, the things that are the most critical to us, and the things that should be defining us. I don’t like myself when I am too busy; I don’t like what too busy and too tired and too stressed does to the person that is supposed to be me. Too busy means that I am not kind or creative or contemplative; I am not giving nor seeking to give. Too busy means I am too caught up in my own concerns to see how I can help someone else’s too busy, too. Too busy means that I am just getting by and not enjoying a single moment of the too busy so why bother with all of those things that make it what it is? What is the point of too busy if it isn’t positive and helpful and most importantly, focused on what is most important?

No matter how busy we are, there are things we cannot afford to skimp on; things we just must not let go of; things that need our attention and our affection and our absolute best self. No matter how busy we are we cannot afford to skimp on these 6 things. We cannot afford to lose sight of the most important; we cannot give up on, let go of, or let fall by the wayside the 6 things that we need the most when we are at our busiest.

Exercise. It helps keep you healthy. It creates mood boosting endorphins that counteract stress. It helps you stay younger, alert, and strong. It doesn’t have to be much, or fancy. Just a walk in the park or the yard or if necessary, at the mall.

Eating well. It keeps you healthier, it keeps bad food from weighing you down, making you sluggish, and tired, and sick, and miserable. It makes your body function the best that it can, and the busier we are the better we need our bodies to work.600817_4103356262744_1911529201_n

Sleep. I need my beauty sleep, and even more so, I need my attitude sleep. I need sleep to stay calm and I need sleep to stay strong and I need sleep to work harder, faster, and be more creative. I need sleep so my body can rest, recoup, and recover from stress and sickness. I need sleep to cope with the busy but somehow sleep is always the first to go when busy sets in.

Family. No one needs you more than your family, no one loves you more than your family, no one is probably more willing to let you get by than your family because no one is quite so forgiving as your family. No matter how busy busy gets, you can’t afford to skimp on cherubic faces and toothy grins and muddy hugs with holes in the knees. Nor can you skip on an aging parent’s wisdom or your crazy brother’s shot in the arm. They need you; they need you to need them; and need them, you do and if not today, you’ll need them tomorrow when the busy is hopefully gone.

God’s Word. More than bread. More than air. More than water. We need the Word of God to feed our souls so our souls can thrive under any pressure. We need God’s Word so we can draw close to God even when He seems far away because of the busy. We need God’s Word for its perspective, its strength, its soothing balm, its faith inducing, miracle inspiring, soul healing, life changing words that come straight from the heart and mouth of God and aimed directly at us.

IMG_0926Prayer. Prayer isn’t just a list of demands for a supernatural genie. Prayer is conversation with the Creator, the Maker, the Holy One, the Savior, our Friend. Prayer is when we unload our burdens, share our cares, solidify our hopes, discover our dreams, and become more like the Savior who gave up everything for us.

Six things. Just six. That you cannot forgo no matter how busy. 6 things that will control the busy. 6 things that will fulfill you like the busy never will. 6 things. I need these 6 things. I need these 6 things no matter how busy. I’m working on the six things and I’m working to get rid of the busy.  If you help me with the 6 things, I’ll help you with your 6 things.