Pace

Have you found your optimal pace? The rhythm and tempo you work best in?

I am still trying to figure it out!

I know I don’t love the “Hurry up and wait!” kind of thing. When I have put my mind to something, I like to move forward without interruptions.

But I also think it depends on what I am trying to accomplish. If I am visiting with someone I enjoy, I don’t want to rush the time. But, there are time limits all around me. Maybe grabbing a coffee and 60 minutes of conversation is all there is time for, even though I want more time. Sometimes those limits make me cut to the heart of things much more quickly because time is of the essence.

A friend of mine recently said, “A deadline is my muse.” And boy does that ring true for me! There is nothing like a ticking clock nearing its finally tock that can spring me into action.

If the task ahead is something I dread, it is hard to get motivated. But “the road to a friend’s house is never long,” [Danish Proverb]

What motivates your movement?

  • Relationships?
  • Accomplishment?
  • Accolades?
  • Commitment?
  • Obligation?
  • Love?

I do much better following through when there is an external commitment on me. I do get plenty of things done on my own, but I often fudge on my own, self-inflicted deadlines. I probably don’t do a great job estimating what space and time I need to accomplish a task. Also, I sometimes let perfection be the enemy of something that is “good enough”.

I know I am guilty of wanting a certain pace for things. For example, when I have a need — how often do I ask God to come quickly?

16 Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love;
    in your great mercy turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant;
    answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 Come near and rescue me;
    deliver me because of my foes. [Psalm 69:16-18, NIV]

And God wants me to call on Him (He does quickly come) – but to also keep perspective on His pace and His much bigger picture plan.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. [2 Peter 3:8-9]

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. [Romans 8:28, NIV].

May you have the patience to see God’s work unfolding in your life!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: GOOD, BETTER, BEST

Layers

The initial “hellos” give way to more profound discussions. For some relationships, deep conversations can come quickly, particularly when time is short.

It could be there is just a short amount of time face-to-face due to busy lives but it could also be there is a terminal illness in the picture. Whatever the reason, peeling back the layers that may have been built up against the regular world and having conversations of substance are important.

Sometimes, when I meet someone, we dive deep right away. But, most often, it is over time that a relationship gains trust and leads to richer conversations. I enjoy discussing the deeper things; the challenges, the discoveries, but I am also good with the mundane and silly. Sometimes hanging in the deep for too long can get heavy and there is a need to take a break from it. But allowing time for relationships and discussions to deepen is important.

I know I am guilty of squeezing conversations into a short period of time. The lingering cups of coffee and opportunity to really get into some meaty discussions are set aside in favor of whatever I am in the midst of dealing with.

Have you made the time to peel back the layers of life to delve into deeper discussions?

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. [2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, NIV]

Blessings to you as you make time and space for the important conversations!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: FOOTHOLDS

Time

I pass it, mark it, don’t take it, mind it, waste it, honor it, keep it, tell it, push it, ignore it, stretch it, squander it, and I savor it. Sometimes it passes slower than molasses and sometimes it flies!

But whatever I do, time is always on the move, whether or not I keep up with it.

It is a constant.

How we deal with it is up to us. Do we ever have enough? Do we use what time we have wisely?

I have been guilty of using my time to complain, argue, sulk, seethe, and criticize. But the older I get, I am more interested in using my time to encourage, explore, connect, listen, uplift, laugh, learn, and love until it is my time to die.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace. [Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NIV]

God’s blessings as you consider your time!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: DESOLATE

A Time for Everything

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

In the scheme of life, we are all run by some sort of clock whether it is internal or external. If we live where there are distinctive seasons our activities are sometimes centered around those transitions. But even if there aren’t definite weather seasons where we are, there are seasons in life, jobs, relationships, growth, faith — you name it!

When our kids were little, we never wished they would move through stages quickly — we knew that each child had to move at their own pace and we had to let them figure it out and trust their own stride. We each have our own unique tempo. Sometimes we are attracted to those who have a similar beat and other times, knowing we need a change in pace, we find ourselves connecting with others who have a very different pulse. Sometimes I have to be very intentional about slowing down my pace because once I get going I struggle with turning my brain off to relax a bit. I am thankful for changes in pace, even though they take some getting used to. Measuring our progress by speed is useful in some ways but not in all. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.

I love that God has created us each in a unique way and with a unique pace. I appreciate those around me who share my rhythm as well as those who challenge my stride.

Has your regular rhythm been challenged recently? Are you frustrated with how slowly things may seem to be moving in certain areas of your life? If you allow it, God may use your new pace might bring along a new perspective and a new peace about your circumstance.

On the way,

Liz

Take the Time!

burnoutwGod is always working in my life but sometimes I just have to slow down and pay attention. That is a part of why I like cycling, especially on a path. The freedom to ponder situations is so important for me. But it is also important to view things in light of Scripture and that means I have to be in God’s Word to get His perspective. I know that if I am unchecked by Scripture, I can muddle all sorts of things rather quickly.

The very moment I think my life is too complicated for contemplation I know I am desperately in need for some. Reflection always leads me to prayer and God adjusting my attitude towards a person or circumstance.

Feeling bogged down and out of time? Stop and pray for your perspective and the day. Don’t budge out the very thing that will give you precisely what you need to accomplish the task!

On the Road,

Liz

Thirst

O God, you are my God, I earnestly seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

Don’t you just love how God uses a common experience to relate to us? These kinds of verses really help the Bible come alive for me.

I have been thirsty before…have you? Sometimes I have contemplated compromising what I know to be right just to get the thirst quenched. That beautiful babbling stream coming from the mountain? It looks refreshing. It sounds refreshing. Do you have any idea unhealthy or dangerous microorganisms or dangerous chemicals that could be in there? Not unless you have a water testing kit.

Sometimes we are so desperate to have a need or a desire or a thirst quenched, we will drink anything…and that decision can be deadly.

Earnestly seek God on the matters of your heart. Prayer is always a great starting point. If you find yourself in a difficult place, definitely start with prayer. Then open your Bible and see what God has revealed about Himself. What does His Word say in relationship to your struggle? If your exact situation isn’t in Scripture, how can you apply what you know about the character of God?

Earnestly seeking God would be committing time and focus on Him. Quality time. Quantity time. Is there something that you might need to consider giving up for a time in order to truly seek God’s heart on a matter?

If you get a chance, finish the rest of Psalm 63.