You Choose

The alarm goes off. You open your eyes and realize that this is not the first time it has gone off. You’ve been hitting the snooze button for the last 45 minutes. Now youre late. And its a big day. Much to do. Too much. And now you’re already 45 minutes behind.

Once again, you have two choices. You could fly out of bed, get ready and go plowing through this day, and hope for the best. 

Or you could take another 10 minutes…. to pray. Turn off the frantic to do list in your head, light a candle, face the icon of Christ, and pray. Offer your day to Him and allow Him to bless your efforts.

So? Which do we choose? Which do we wish we would choose? Can we make a better choice each morning? Maybe even for just this week?

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More on Slowing Down

It is AMAZING how slow I am at slowing down!  Ever since classes ended in March, I have been playing catchup!  I thought I had about a week of ends to tie up and then I would be entering this world of peace and quiet, healing and homeschooling.  Boy was I mistaken!

But even though my days aren’t the restful oasis I had imagined, the catch up IS getting done, which eases the weight of the burden I carry, and things really aren’t as hectic, and I really AM resting more, and having more time and energy for quality experiences with my family.  We even made it to a few of the free performances at the University.  Nights out with the family hasn’t been possible since……well……ever!

And along the way, I am also LEARNING more about slowing down.  For instance:

Of all of the Stressors and Aggravations in my life, which must I endure and which could I simply eliminate?

I LOVE these “think out of your box” kind of questions.  We get so busy dealing with what is in front of us, that we forget to discern.  Years ago I worked on a shrimp boat.  And while I can’t spell the French word we used for the process, we would stand at the back of the boat where the huge nets dumped into a large bin, and we would separate the trash from the shrimp.  Sometimes it was really trash, like Styrofoam cups, but mostly it was just things that weren’t shrimp.  Fish, jellyfish and seaweed got thrown back into the water, and when we wanted them, bluepoint crabs were thrown into a bucket for a crab boil later in the day.  The shrimp would be brought to be sold at the weighing stations back at the dock.

So I have that image now.  What in my life is the shrimp, the good stuff that I am actually here for?  What things that pop up are the crabs, useful opportunities and blessings to be utilized? (Note: a lesson all home school moms learn is that we can’t keep all the “crabs”.  As delicious as they are, if we don’t have time today to boil them, throw them back in the water!) And which things are the jellyfish and seaweed?  Those things that mistakenly get caught in the net of my life, but they are really meant for someone else, and I don’t have to make them my business.

So, maybe I am not slowing way down, but I am not in quite the mad rush that I was before, and I suppose this is progress.  Thanks be to God for progress, and for learning how to progress even more!

 

 

 

Art Journaling

Yep. This is my latest obsession.  My latest outlet.  My latest vehicle for creative exploration.  Art Journaling.  Also called Doodle Journaling, this idea has been around for quite a while, obviously.  But I was recently introduced to it by good friend and brilliant Artist, Courtney Hamilton.

I remember doodling in the margins of my notebook as I listened to lectures in high school and college.  Sometimes I remembered more content and more concepts from looking back at the doodles than I did actually reading the notes I had taken.  The Art Journal has the same effect, in a more or less inverted way:  I write words….thoughts, feelings, even questions to myself or God.  And then, as I apply paint to the page around the words, or doodle with markers, the thoughts simmer in my head, and new answers and ideas form.  It’s like taking time to study myself a little.  (Just a little, mind you.  I am NOT into all that new age self help belly button examining stuff!) But in this busy world, art journaling helps me carve out time to think about (and appreciate) the life that is flying so swiftly by.

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Slowing Down

One of our art teachers got me hooked on this Art Journal thing.  While my art skills are minimal, I have discovered the joys of writing my feelings fearlessly, dipping my fingers in paint and smearing it joyfully (or even angrily) around the paper, and cutting and pasting song lyrics and scriptures that inspire me. I recommend you try it if you haven’t already!merrygoround