Category archives: Slowing Down

When you need to slow it on down--and tend to the most important part of you

The new year came in quietly for me. I wanted it to be that way. While the world rushed places and people got excited about new goals and achievements and began making lists and marking things off already, I decided to be still. I decided not to talk so much. I withdrew from social media a little bit so that I could fully enter in to what's right here in front of me. I decided to let my soul get some rest. I made art. Read lots of books to the kids. Sat with Brent on the couch at night and talked to him more. I organized the house a bit because there's this new me that likes everything to have a place. And I have these hopes that at the end of the day, each thing can find it's rest until we need it again. Getting there is so exhausting, though. That's okay. I'm learning to be okay a[...]

When You Just Need to Be Quiet

Hi, my friends, I wanted to tell you that here the next four or five weeks (till the end of January) this little place on the internet is gonna be quiet. I'm taking a break from social media so I can practice being still and listening to my Shepherd. I want to feel His love more this new coming year. I want to hear Him better. And obey Him. I want to walk closely with Him. I want to be filled up with Him. I think for me, that means I need to be a little more still. And a lot more quiet for now. This is how I will cease striving. And rest. I'm listening to good music. And drinking in the Word. And I'm praying. Did you know that I pray for you? Even though I'm making space for quiet and for God to speak to me, I want you to know that if you need anything, you can reach me her[...]

Here Lately

Here lately, I've been practicing a little solitude. And silence. I'm taking a month off of social media. I don't know that I've ever done that before. And Brent and I are taking a month off of our regular show watching activities during the week. We want to talk more. And pray more. Think more. Read more. Listen more. Really see each other, more. Sometimes you just have to shut down the screens in order to actually do that. Last night, we sat on the couch and talked about paint colors for the living room. We argued and laughed. Compared paint swatches and even changed our minds a couple times. It was good for us, just thinking and planning together. We would have missed that if both of us had our lap-tops on. Something is different without all the noise of Facebook and Twitte[...]

What the Summer Days are Teaching Me

Today, as the kids played in the warm sunshine out back in the yard, I remembered how much I love summer. And then I recalled all my growing up years under an Arkansas summer sun. There were popsicle days and creek exploring afternoons. There was honey suckle dripping on the tip of our tongues and strawberry nibbling.  I vividly remember the dandelion blowing, dirt digging, frog catching moments and the times when the afternoon storms would blow in and we’d dance around the yard in the rain and “take a shower” in the waterfall that flowed from the eaves. I used to begrudge my momma for having us play outside so much in the hot sun. We’d sit in the shade and make tents and forts from old sheets and me and my little brother were sure we were languishing out there in the heat. But, [...]

Maybe the One Simple Plan You Need This New Year

Dear Jesus-follower, Whatever plans or goals you’ve set into place for this new year, I want to encourage you in this one thing. There is something that I hope you’ll move on up to the front on that list of “important things to do”, if you haven’t already. And that is this—take time to care for your soul. Now, I’m not a psychologist. Or a philosopher. Or a theologian. Or a preacher even. So, I can’t dissect it down and tell you precisely what your soul is. Or even the difference between your soul and your heart. But, from what I’ve gathered from God’s Word, I believe the soul is the deepest most vital part of our human self. Perhaps it’s the part that integrates our heart and our mind, our will and emotions and our body all together. Our heart and soul sort of go hand-in-ha[...]

What I Learned in the City about Life

The other day, Brent and I drove into the big city. We went to Chicago to see the folks at Moody Publishers because we had never been and we wanted to thank the team that worked on the book. Now, I don't go to the city much. I live in a little neighborhood across from a great big corn field and I only have to drive a few miles before I'm in the middle of grape vineyards and apple orchards and strawberry fields and a big ole view full of sky. So, as we entered Chicago, I was struck by the strange beauty of all those grey skyscrapers huddled up together and the impressive labyrinth of overpasses and roads. Everywhere, there were just so many people. I looked over and noticed these two men in bright orange vests way up high on the roof of one of the buildings and in my heart, I grasped [...]

Why It's Good to Walk Slow

I walk slow. Slow enough to really feel my life. Slow enough to notice the asters that have gone to seed. The honey crisp apples mottled in shades of yellow and red. That one fuzzy caterpillar on the leaf. Slow enough to enjoy my kid's wild laughter out there in the yard. To catch a glimpse of Hope's eyes as she runs and the way her hair bounces as she bounds along in her pink Crocs. Slow enough to pay attention to my soul. I've been reading this book where John Ortberg asks Dallas Willard about the one thing he would recommend that could bring new energy into Ortberg's spiritual life. Dallas Willard looked him in the eye and said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life, for hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our world today.” It's hard to calm ourselves[...]

On Finding Peace in the Pandemonium

There are some moments that are just so beautiful, they hurt. Like, Saturday morning moments, when my little girl in her mismatched pajamas wakes up early enough to go with her Daddy to retrieve donuts. She's got this certain little grin on her face and that extra bit of glimmer in her eyes because she gets to ride in the Jeep with Daddy and surprise her brothers with overly sprinkled sugary goodness when they wake up. I had stood there by the front door and watched them go as the sun came up over that rustling corn field back behind the neighbor's house. There were just enough clouds to make the light soft and pink and the sun a round smear across the sky. Yes, there are some moments when I can feel the worth of my soul. When the edges of my heart bump up against the nearness of[...]

For the Anxious Hearted: A Song of Peace

Today I had this anxious heart. It was all tied up in knots and I knew that I could keep knocking out my to-do list at this frantic pace, or I could just come away and be with Jesus for a minute. I chose to come away and be with Jesus. I spilled out my guts to Him and then opened up His Word to Colossians 3 and I began to pray those things into my life. I let His Word make its home inside my heart and I praised my God. Then I sat still in His Presence and breathed deep and let Him calm and quiet my soul. God's perfect love flooded out all my fears. Then I sat on the couch and sang. This is what I sang: I don't know if you've got an anxious heart all tied up in knots, but if so, well, consider this me singing to you. Little heart, why are you troubled? Why do you walk aroun[...]

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