Tag Archives: rest

New Beginnings…

17880052_10154855786119270_7133823541196787549_oWednesday was my last official day in the office at Frontline. Thursday was a self-proclaimed rest day– a day to detox, refresh my spirit, renew my mind, regroup my passions, dream and drive. The day started over breakfast with Bryan and Kyle at Tandem in TR. Then Bryan took Kyle, and I took off for the mountains. Just before I left, Bryan wisely encouraged me to take the day to rest–not to plan or organize, but to rest, reminding me that God Himself rested. And Jesus rested, not necessarily because he needed to, but to set a precedent for us. It was just the reminder I needed.

I thinks it funny how you return to familiar places during times of rest. I found myself at a familiar coffee shop called “Quotations” in downtown Brevard–a place Bryan and I frequented a decade or more ago when we were getting to know each other and dating in that town. Then I headed over to Hendersonville for lunch at Life Leaf Thai Fusion restaurant, followed by a massage at YAM (for what it’s worth, I highly recommend both of these! The Crispy Fish with Red Curry Sauce still lingers on my palate). On my way home, I drove through Flat Rock. I tried to stop at the Carl Sandburg Home, but the parking lot was completely full, so I’ll have to stop there another day.

Finally, I met up with Bryan back at Tandem in TR for a Passover Feast to celebrate Christ with dear friends. It was my first Seder Feast, and it was perfect! Even the tables were decorated with candlesticks and fresh red and white flowers–perfectly symbolizing the blood of Christ and the cleansing only He can bring. Praise God for sending our Redeemer Messiah in Jesus! The hosts weaved in a book of readings, including traditions and explanations, Scripture, hymns and spiritual songs, as we washed our hands in a common bowl and shared a common Seder plate (unleavened bread, greens dipped in salt water, lamb shank, bitter herbs, sweet relish, eggs dipped in salt water), followed by a traditional Jewish Passover feast. What a great way to kickoff this Easter weekend! His blood has paid my ransom!

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Friday, I met up with my “frientor” (mentor/friend) Annette in downtown Greenville. We strolled through parks and drank coffee as we rehearsed all God has done and what we see Him doing in and through our hearts and minds in recent months. Praise be to Jesus!

I’m excited for new opportunities, fresh starts, good friends, and much grace from our Savior! “For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1.16).

Journey Journal: Days 12-13

Day 12: Saturday, January 12, 2013

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Saturday, how I love thee! Slept in…really late! Bryan heated up some turkey and cheese stuffed pasta shells, and we had a nice lunch. Drove up to Table Rock and hiked 6 miles! Whew! There were a few moments on the way up that I was a little leery, but the after about a quarter of the way in, it seemed to get a little easier. I’m so glad Bryan suggested hiking today! Stopped by “The Forest Coffeehouse” for a coffee on the way home (my reward for not complaining on the trail…or maybe just for finishing). Got home and took a shower, then had a quick bite to eat before dismantling the Christmas decor. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would, so that was a blessing. Overall, really great day!

Day 13: Sunday, January 13, 2013

Challenged by Pastor’s sermon this morning from John 2. Then had “Journey Group” with our 2nd graders. Today, our journey brought us to God being “Never-tiring.” It was a great encouragement, especially since we had two little girls ask for prayer for their moms to get more sleep (before they knew what the lesson was about). Also, nearly everyone in the class knows someone who either has cancer or is really sick with something else; there are some kids that are dealing with heartaches that are hard for me to think about, let alone a second grader know how to process. But we talked about being able to rest in God because not only does He not sleep, He also never gets weary AND has the power to make all things new. It was a big concept, but I think they really got it!

After a quick lunch, we headed to Paris Mountain for a hike with some of our young adult group. We ended up buying an annual pass–this is one activity Bryan and I are both really enjoying! Not sure exactly how far we went today, but I’m estimating close to 5 miles, based on the trail maps. Afterwards, it was back to our house for a grill-out of beef kebabs, grilled onions, peppers, and tomatoes, and some roasted lemon-garlic broccoli and cauliflower. Yum! So thankful for this group and how God has brought us together and worked on us through each other. Had some really good, Gospel conversations on the hike and tonight. Refreshed and ready to start a new week!

The Inspiration Behind the New Banner

In celebration of reaching 10,000 hits on the blog, and in a continued effort to simplify, I decided to create a new banner and change the background of my blog to white. Here’s the banner I designed and a little insight into each image it contains:

1. Rest.

  • We all know how important rest is. If we don’t have it, our bodies and brains don’t function properly. Each of us requires a slightly different amount of rest each night. For me, that means a minimum of 7 hours. 8 hours is preferable, and I love Saturday mornings, when I can soak in 9 or 10 hours in one night! Too bad America doesn’t instate siestas for people past the age of 5.
  • Sleep deprivation is a real and rapidly spreading problem in our impulsive, instant-gratification society. So many of us come home and run straight for entertainment to “detox” from the demands of the day: TV, Facebook, video games, and the list goes on. We live in a digital age. It’s not all bad, but throwing quickly moving images in front of our eyes doesn’t help us rest; it just adds more “noise” to our lives. Know when to unplug. Plan to turn off electronics a good hour before bedtime, so your brain has time to decompress from the day.

2. Good Nutrition.

  • “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” right?! Healthy eating is a necessity to live a balanced, whole life. Food is fuel, and if we want to “live long and prosper,” we need to be conscious of what enters our systems. But who says healthful food has to taste bad?! Think about this: God wants the best for our lives. Meanwhile, God created us to need food to survive. Every good gift is from God, food being one of those gifts. He’s given us creative minds and tons of different flavors. So, let’s praise God by creating delicious, beautiful meals that are full of nutritional value, and then use the energy from those foods to bring Him glory.

3. Fellowship, Support, Communication.

  • What is fellowship? If you’re not familiar with the Christian term, you may be familiar with the classic trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. Part I is The Fellowship of the Ring. The Fellowship was a group of people who joined together over a common goal. In the Christian worldview, the one thing that binds us together is Jesus Christ. So, when we fellowship, we are joining together over the union we find in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • God knew what He was doing when He put more than one person on this earth. We need each other. We need support; we need love; we often need correction. We need each other. It’s important to have a support circle, a small list of close friends and family you know you can count on if your car breaks down a thousand miles from home, if you need a shoulder to cry on or a solid kick in the pants, or if you need to ramble at 2AM. Most of us won’t have more than 5 of these in our lives, so when you find them, hold them dear and be mutually supportive.
  • It’s also a reminder to practice communication, just like any other skill in which we want to excel. We need to communicate with each other, always remembering the perfect balance of truth and love. And we need to communicate with God through prayer and Bible reading. God created us to be dependent on Him. But it’s more than a dependence; it’s a personal relationship that He desires to have with each one of us. And it’s amazing!

4. Environment of Growth.

  • I liked this picture because it’s in an office setting, which encompasses things like working (and blogging: see the computer in the background), but it also contains new life being nurtured. Create an environment, at home, in the office, in your car, wherever you are, that is an environment of growth. Eliminate things that hold you back or distract you, and encourage things that push you to be the person God wants you to be.

5. Exercise and Hydrate. Two more vital necessities in life.

  • It’s a constant battle to get off the couch or out of the house and just move, but we all know it’s important. Not only does it help us burn calories, it releases endorphins which lift our moods and help us keep a balanced perspective on life. You don’t have to join a gym or spend lots of money on fancy equipment. Just be endeavor to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • For years, doctors and educators recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day. Today, they’ve increased the recommendation to 9-13 glasses per day! The majority of our bodies is comprised of water; it’s essential for every function of our bodies. It’s important! It’s really important! So, hydrate! And when you’re exercising, remember the trifecto: prehydrate, hydrate, and rehydrate.

6. Refresh.

  • Carve out a block of time each day, even if it’s only 15 minutes, that’s set aside to reboot. Soak up the word of God and give yourself time to meditate, pray, and apply what you’ve just read. Go on a short walk, listen to music, read, practice some yoga, or just sit still. Your body and mind will thank you.

This is My Journey to Lean. And it can be yours too. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the journey! ~Melissa

Is Your Plate Too Full? (Jan. 29, 2010)

Each day, I receive an email devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries. It’s a free sign up, and the devotionals are often just what I need for that day. Funny how the Lord works like that.

Today’s was wonderful, and relevant to this blog because it contains a kitchen analogy. Just as we limit our portion sizes at the table, it’s important to limit our portion sizes on optional responsibilities and extracurricular activities. Though it may be fun to host company, take a class, work full-time, keep up with exercise, and help at your local church or other organization, it may be too much.

God expects us to serve with everything we have, but He also commands us to rest. He even gives us the example of rest from Creation in Genesis to Christ on the boat during a storm and in the desert after a long preaching tour. I once heard a preacher say, “We must come apart before we come apart,” meaning that we must take time to get away and rest before we come apart at the seams and either go crazy or collapse.

So, if your plate is too full, pray that God will help you with life’s portion control. For P31’s article, check out their blog here.

New Year’s Resolutions (Jan. 5, 2010)

It’s that time of year again. Many of us see January 1st as a clean slate, a good day to start making the changes we’ve been putting off or to get back on the wagon.

My resolutions for 2010 are as follows:
1. Buy and consume more fresh and organic food options and fewer (if any) processed foods.
2. Drop our monthly food budget to $250/month (including dining out). I know this will be tough, but I think it is possible. It might just take a little more time to plan and prepare meals. Granted, we only have 2 people in our family at this point, so it’s not as hard as when you’re paying for extra mouths.
3. Lose 5-15 lbs. by eating 1250-1550 calories each day, walking 3-5 miles at least 4 days per week, and doing yoga at least 30 minutes 3 days per week.

To determine your healthy calorie count, check out this website: http://www.ahealthyme.com. Under their “Cool Tools” section is a “Calorie Need Calculator” along with several other helpful tools.

Remember to make rest and water intake priorities too. Your body doesn’t know how to function if you don’t treat it right. So, if you make no other resolutions this year, remember to eat right, get enough rest, exercise and drink plenty of water.

Have a happy & healthy year!
Melissa