Maybe Rest Is Best

Good-bye weekend. Hello, new week…and all the inherent stress that goes with it. Before it goes further, let’s consider four ideas for rest. This isn’t a professional or exhaustive (no pun intended 😂) list. Just my list from personal experience…
1) Practice the Power of Saying No. Two books I recommend to acquire this skill is “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend and “People Pleasing” by Lou Priolo.
2) Set a Bedtime Timer. Your kids have you as their bedtime timer. But who has you as YOUR bedtime timer? So make one! Set a timer to go off every night at your needed bedtime. At the sound of the alarm, turn off the TV, shut down the computer, power off the phone.
3) Pray For Understanding. If God didn’t think you could get done what HE needed you to get done in a 24-hour day, He would have made longer days. It’s not that we don’t have time to rest. It’s that we’re choosing to do things God hasn’t scheduled and those things are occupying the time we coulda have rested.
4) Take Advantage of Quiet Places. The bathroom, your car, a waiting room, church. These are “isolated” moments. Take advantage of them and use them to embrace the quiet and be at ease with your soul.

I hope this encourages someone today. And that you get some rest!

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Hard to be Humble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was 1991, my senior year in high school and the night of our Senior Banquet. A highly-anticipated night for the seniors, with lots of chatter and wonder as to who would be crowned Class of 91’s “best of,” “most likely,” “all-around” superlatives. Since my Dad’s family was generous enough to host the banquet at their restaurant, I was sure I’d get one of the more coveted superlatives. Especially since, for the last four years, I hadn’t been nominated, coroneted, elected or crowned for anything. As the president of our class emceed his way through the list of superlatives, he announced that a plastic pink telephone would be given to “Class-Gossip.” Then I heard my name, “Heather Funk,” echo across his mic, off the stage, to the ears and jeers of allllllll my peers. I’m pretty sure that night God also crowned me with, “Most Humbling Moment!” Segue please. It’s hard to be humble when you think you offer, have, deserve or are the best. It is hard, but it is right and not impossible. In the gospels, Jesus offered us the best–-eternal life–-but was humble enough to sacrifice himself for it. Jesus had the best–-Heaven–-but was humble enough to lower himself to Earth. Jesus was the best–-perfect–-but was humble enough to wash the imperfect feet of his friends. There are many hard-to-be-humble moments in my life, perhaps you have some too. Along comes something in our life that gives us a one-up on those around us. And it’s not that we take pride in it, it’s that we take pride too far. It was hard to be humble at that senior dinner; as I confess this, it’s hard to be proud! Proverbs 16:18 ❤️

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The 8 Most Restful Words

  1. It is said in only eight words.
  2. It requires only one course of action.
  3. It includes only two people.

The eight words? Psalm 46:10, BE-STILL-AND-KNOW-THAT-I-AM-GOD.  The course of action?  Be still. It literally means, “take your hands off, relax.”  In Hebrew, it means, “Enough!”  To be still and to know means: “Enough! Just acknowledge!”  Yet in the midst of trial, it is often the last thing we do (if at all).  Instead, we get panicky, impatient or depressed; become addicted to alcohol, caffeine, food or busyness; or take it out on our kids, our mate, our God.  It is only one course of action and we CAN start it today.  Stop right now and simply pray it if you mean it: “God, please help me be still and know that when life falls off the edge, YOU are still on your throne and I am still in your hands.”  Oh, and #3, the two people?  You and God.  In the midst of chaos, we often include everybody else and their opinions.  So amen for this verse, because it’s a command.  And the One commanding it is the One who loves us; and is plenty when our life is empty.  If God did not want us to be still and know Him, He would not have commanded it.  It is so important to Him because WE are so important to Him. Today, treasure these eight words in your heart, and have a great day being still in it!

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Looking Up, Not Down,
To The Hurting


Whether your a bible-reader or not, almost all of us have heard of Job. He was a righteous dude. I mostly study Job to understand a human’s worst suffering. Job was IN hell, ON Earth. There’s one thing that sticks out to me regarding Job’s “friends.” I use quotes because if you study their role in his life, you’re left wondering if they really were. In a good portion of Job, his friends are there to offer pithy opinions and wisdom. What I particularly gleaned was the position of Job’s friends. They picked the proverbial posture of looking down on Job. But The Message author Eugene Peterson offers an alternative posture for friends who are suffering, he says: “We need to quit feeling sorry for people who suffer and instead look up to them.” Fireworks went off in my brain. This is genius! What if, instead of looking down in pity on godly-good people suffering, we look UP…
1) We look UP to the sky to pray for them.
2) We look UP to show RESPECT that God has deemed them worthy of such suffering.
3) And we look UP because when Jesus was suffering on the cross, his good friends stood near and looked up to Him.
As you think of anyone you know suffering/struggling, I hope this encourages you to shift your gaze. Who knows, maybe God will use your upward gaze TO them, to HELP them get on their feet again!

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Guys, 5 Things to Know
About Us Girls

Guys, I’ve been a girl for four decades. I’m not an expert, but can we agree I’m more than an amateur? Then if you will, allow me to share five abridged things to know about us, girls:
1️⃣We get moody that time of the month. We get bloated, we get zits, we eat bad, we double our bathroom visits. All that is reason to be moody. We are sorry we are, but please don’t have high expectations that we shouldn’t be.
2️⃣True, we are more “emotional” than you. But don’t make that assumption with all of us. I, personally, am not an emotional person. Passionate? Yes. Emotional? No. Raul has done a great job of figuring this out, accepting it and navigating it. Guys, be sure to know your girl!
3️⃣No matter how much we play it down, our birthday IS a big deal. I’ve seen this a 100 times. Woman tells man don’t make a big deal out of my birthday. Man takes her literally. Man pays for it for a year til he can redeem himself at the next birthday. 🙂
4️⃣We age and with that comes change. Women are keenly aware of their changes (vertical lines around the mouth, horizontal lines across the forehead; moles; saggier boobs; raisin-hands, etc.). We have to live with the descent of our youth every day. So your compliments mean a lot. There’s no one we’d rather get a compliment from than you.
5️⃣The bible says, “You want but you do not ask.” LOL! It’s funny, but that actually translates to us, too. You want wifey to do something for you? In the kitchen? In the bedroom? In the spending? Ask her! Because the other verse is also true, “ask and ye shall receive!” (and ladies, help me out, if your man asks nicely, hook him up!)

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The Pain Manager

At a medical facility, I saw this pic that said: we want to do everything possible to manage your pain. The word “manage” started spinning in my head like a rotiessiere chicken! Shouldn’t a medical facility like a hospital, urgent care or doctor’s complex be able to eliminate pain, not just manage it? They have all the resources and tools one would need to do so. Yet that’s not the promise they make. Segue, please… God has everything He needs to eleminate our pain. He has cures, miracles and remedies man could never dream of, much less perform. But why then, like this sign, He sometimes just “manages” our pain? I think Paul answers that for us in 2 Corinthians 10. He said, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” I’m learning to see some ongoing pains as…wait for it…a win-win! Crazy? Hear me out: I walk with God who could give me a miracle or cure at any moment! Win #1! But if He doesn’t, He will manage that pain so that others who hurt see Him THROUGH it. Win #2! If you are hurting, I hope you are walking with God through it: the pain manager who is for you, and working through you. Your pain is not in vain. ❣️

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One Breath at a Time

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When Godly People Hurt Other People

It’s one of the biggest questions in life. How do godly people hurt others? I’d make it the 8th Wonder of the World if I was in charge. But it happens. It’s happened to me, I’ve caused it to happen to others, and it will happen to me again. Although there are many tips, verses, and resources I could include in this post, let’s just take one mini-bite outta it. Several years ago, when I was hurt by godly people, someone recommended a book called “Exquisite Agony.” It’s a short, unassuming book, that beheld the biggest revelation of my adult life. In short, I had to learn to adjust my gaze–not on my hurters around me, but on the Holy one above me (who’s sovereignty knew it was gonna happen). The God I love and the God my hurters love is a sovereign God and nothing happens by his “oops.” So if others hurt me, God knew, God knows and God allowed. This was HUGE for me. It allowed me to reroute my pain and anger OFF the ones who caused it and ON the One who could do something about it. Why do godly people hurt us? Who knows. But when they do, trust God with ALL YOU GOT. Walk with HIM every step of your healing days. Consult with him, cry to him, and yes, even get mad and ask, “Why?!” And then, one day like Joseph, you will be able to say, “you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.” THIS is what makes the agony…exquisite.

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Is It Worth It?

Is it worth it? Are all the ups and downs of a Christian life, worth it? Is it worth having family make fun of you? Is it worth being discriminated against? Is it worth giving up the alcohol, the drugs, the indulgent parties? Is it worth loving the one who hurt you? Is all of this worth it? Yes. Yes it is. Soon after I signed up for Christianity I knew it wasn’t gonna be easy. But I have also learned it is worth it. Every trial, valley, storm, ailment, rejection, fear I go through, I go through with God and come out better because of it. And the only reason I come out of it is: He walked me through it. I love this promise, “for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Yes, at times, God has been silent. But He has never been absent. He has never abandoned me in pain or forsaken me in circumstance. So is this Christian life worth it? Yes. Because without “Christ” in my “Christian,” I would just be an “ian.” Just kidding. Without Christ, I would have given up a long time ago. It’s worth it on Earth–it makes us better/stronger/wiser and others encounter God watching us not give up. It’s worth it in Heaven because when we stand before God, it’ll make sense that His cross was worth it too.

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Dear Mentally-Well Person

Dear Mentally-Well,
First, let me start by saying that for those of us with mental afflictions, we are thankful for you! We may struggle with something you have together, but you inspire us to stay at it!  I believe it’s a Soveriegm God who makes the world go ’round with BOTH.  As far as being like us,  I wish I had a Dr. Seuss book that could explain in rhyme and simplicity what it’s like. Because, it’s complicated! It is a mind that can live in two poles. Imagine living in either the North Pole or the South Pole, and not having a home to stay in between. Furthermore, never knowing when, or for how long, you’ll be at one pole or the other.  Welcome to a bipolar’s brain–or for that matter, a brain that jockeys between anxiety and depression.  It’s arguable one could presume this would be impossible.  But that’s where someone like me would stand up and say: but with God, all things are possible. God is my equator in my biPolar mind. God is the hope at the end of my rope. God is my anchor. God is the cushion where my erratic thoughts land. God is in my mind, in unexplainable drifts, where no sane person would want to go. God holds my mind in the palm of His hand, lest it be too fragile for my body to carry it. A couple years ago, I had an unexpected visitor with an unexpected gift. She said I had been [of all things] on her mind. It was an ornament with the word “Hope” on it. How did she know to drop that by? Maybe like I said earlier, God knows our world needs both kinds of us: those who live struggling in their minds, and those who give HOPE to those who do.
Love, us

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