Time Out

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Blog, Encouraging Spiritual Stories | 1 comment

Photo/KarenJordan

When you have a flat tire, you must stop long enough to change it. (Dan Jordan)

Another flat tire? Yes, here we go again—time for more blog and website maintenance. I hope it won’t take too long. But just in case, I thought I’d leave you with a some thoughts about taking a “time out.” 

Flat tires. When life sends us a “flat tire,” it forces us to take the time to stop and deal with it. If we don’t, it might destroy the tire and the rim. Then, we will have an even bigger problem.

The “flat tires” of life are different for each person. You may discover another problem with your car, like a strange knock in your car’s engine. Or you might find a virus on your computer. But you’d better not ignore them.

My husband manages a lot of the business problems at work. And when people get computer viruses, they often tell him that they don’t have time to deal with them. But he usually goes straight to the root of their problem. He reminds them that if they don’t stop and take care of the virus issue, eventually it will corrupt their work and shut their computer down.

Health.  It’s hard to just stop what you’re doing at times, right? Even if you experience a health issue, like chest pains, a back injury, the flu, or an allergic reaction to something? In fact, I almost killed my husband with my guacamole once—he had an allergic reaction to some overripe avocados. So, we both had to stop in the middle of our dinner to deal with his unexpected breathing problem.

I’ve learned that I can’t ignore symptoms of health problems, especially as I’m getting older. But even if you have a newborn infant, you can’t ignore some symptoms. My youngest grandson experienced a bout with the RSV virus. I’m so grateful that his mom didn’t ignore his first symptoms—he might not have survived without her intervention.

Spiritual. You can apply the same truth to a spiritual problem. Sometimes, I refuse to stop and seek God for guidance. But God’s Word encourages us, “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God … above everything” (Psalm 46:10 MSG).

Work. So, when I complained about some work-related problems to my husband recently, he just repeated his “famous” statement to me. “Karen, when you have a flat tire, you must stop long enough to change it.”

Honestly, I had ignored Dan’s advice earlier, and my “flat tire” had put me out of commission for awhile in my work. And for me as a writer, that meant totally laying down my work and seeking God for new direction. But I still struggled with the decision, since I knew that I couldn’t explain my decision to everyone. “What would people think? I’ve made all these commitments!”

Then, I remembered a promised from God’s Word:  “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met” (Matthew 6:33 TNIV).

I hope you remember to stop and check out the “leaky tires” in your life. Don’t wait, like I did, until you’re stranded in the middle of a busy highway, without a car jack or any help in sight.

See you soon—AFTER I’ve changed all the “flat tires” on my website and blog.

When was the last time you took a “time out”?

Photo/KarenJordan

 

 

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Considering the Power of Our Comfort

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Building Legacies, Encouraging Spiritual Stories, Equipping Disciples | 0 comments

Photo/KarenJordan

 

… He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us … (2 Cor. 1:4 MSG).

Have you ever been pulled into someone else’s painful narrative?

You’ve suffered the pain of losing a loved one. Or you know what it’s like to be left behind. You might be sitting in a waiting room right now.

Maybe against your own judgment, you’ve stepped in and walked the road of suffering with someone else. You may even feel like you’ve been forced into carrying their burden, like Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross for Jesus.

As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26 NIV)

If you’ve ever had to carry an impossible load, you know what it’s like to have someone else step in and help you.

I’ve been blessed by the rare friend who stops and reminds me that I’m not alone on my journey. Sometimes just a brief phone call, email, or text message from a concerned loved one gives me the strength to face the day. And in this day of social media, even a “like” or comment on Facebook, a “retreat” or “favorite” on Twitter, or a comment on your blog can bring the encouragement you need.

We wonder what good could ever come out of our times of crisis? Then, we’re drawn into the waiting room with someone else.

God often brings us alongside someone else who needs the same comfort that we have received.

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading. (Oswald Chambers)

As I watch the video below, I’m reminded of the power of our comfort. I’ve been on both sides of the fence–the one who needed support and the one who waited. Have you?

 

 Did this post remind you of an experience in your life? Be sure to tell us about your story in the comment space below. 

Photo/KarenJordan
YouTube/Austin Stonnell (“Massive Heard of Elk in Montana”)

 

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Do You Struggle with Being Alone?

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Blog, Building Legacies | 2 comments

Photo/KarenJordan

Solitude often seems impossible for me, even with an “empty nest.”

If you’re a stay-at-home mom, chasing kids around the house all day, you may long for some solitude. You may look forward to the time when your little chicks have flown the coop.

You might dream of the day when you can finally sit down, read a good book, and drink a cup of java without a toddler jumping up in your lap, knocking your book to the floor, and spilling your hot coffee.

I understand. It’s not been that long ago that I longed for some adult conversation during the day. And I thanked the Lord for our church’s Mothers’ Day Out program.

Struggle with being alone. Honestly, as a stay-at-home writer, I still long for some adult conversation at times.

For example, my son Adam observed a while back, “Mom, you need some ‘real’ friends. All of your friends are online.”

Ouch!

I DO still struggle with the solitude that this season of my life brings. My writing life requires that I’m alone without distractions. Then, at other times, the silence IS my distraction.

Yes, I still need my space–like my grandson, Aidan, who demands his “alone time,” escaping from the noise and annoyance of his three younger siblings. But sometimes, the isolation is more than I can handle. So, instead of struggling with it, I just choose to go where my restlessness takes me. 

Sometimes my anxiety or boredom leads me to the walking trails of the Village. At other times, I take my lawn chair and computer or camera down to the lakefront to work on a project or to take some photos of the landscape. Or I take a short drive, stopping for a cup of coffee or lunch. At times, I even invite a friend along for some conversation.

Some of my most creative writing ideas come to me when I’m alone, outside of my writing cave. I observe a beautiful sunrise. Or I watch a young mom dealing with her child in the park.

And in the solitude, God speaks to my heart. Meditating on the sights and sounds around me brings rest and peace to my soul.

Importance of being along. Jesus knew the importance of spending time alone with His Father. When He needed to listen, He would pull away from everyone. Matthew 14 says that after Jesus fed the 5,000, He “climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night” (23).

I discovered the following video demonstrating the poem “How to Be Alone” a while back. Even though I may not embrace all of the author’s ideas, she addresses the question that a lot of us ask about solitude from time to time. Enjoy!

How do you spend your alone time?

YouTube/Andrea Dorfman (How to be alone)

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Keep Blogging!

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Photo/KarenJordan

Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! (Ms. Frizzle, The Magic School Bus)

I still struggle as a blogger, even though I’ve been blogging since 2008. 

Why? Because I still don’t like others to see my shoddy first, second, or third drafts. And that’s usually what you see on my blog posts. Ugh!

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Look at the Birds!

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in Equipping Disciples | 4 comments

Photo/KarenJordan

“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds” (Matt. 6:26 MSG).

What a great reminder for us all, as we face the mirror and our work today! 

I captured this shot at DeGray Lake this past week. I don’t claim to be a great photographer, but I LOVE this shot! 

Speaking of the mirror and my work, I don’t really have the freedom to spend too much time on blogging today. [You'll understand why if you read my post from last week.]

But I DO have the freedom to share my photo and this promise from God’s Word with you. 

I pray it encourages you today!

Photo/KarenJordan

What promise from God’s Word encouraged you today? Be sure to leave your comment in the space below.

 

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Distracted from Your Work?

Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 in Encouraging Spiritual Stories | 3 comments

Photo/KarenJordan

I am doing a great work and cannot come down …. (Neh. 6:3 HCSB)

A friend reminded me of this scripture a few days ago. [Thanks, Anita.]

Not only do I admire Nehemiah’s perseverance, I admire his ability to resist the temptation to get distracted and pulled away from his work.

Confession. For quite awhile now, I’ve let distractions keep me from completing some of the book projects that the Lord placed on my heart long ago.

I still believe in the importance of my online writing commitments. But I know now that I must allow some focused time for my other writing projects.

I’m not sure how long it will take me to get this next project on target, but until then I want to make this public confession, “I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down!”

Photo/KarenJordan

So, see you on the other side!

 Photo/KarenJordan

Can you relate to my struggle with distractions? I’d love to hear your story! Leave your comment in the space below. 

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