Snapshots & Snippets Time Management, Simplifying, Organizing

Snapshots & Snippets: Learning Rhythms

Welcome to “Snapshots and Snippets” … some musings and practical thoughts along with goodies from around the web to bless and encourage you.

 {life lessons}

Each Thursday, as I sit to write the Snapshots & Snippets post, I reflect back over the week to draw out what is most important to share with you.  Looking back over the whirlwind of this week {I was in four cities over the span of five days!}, I see that God has one big lesson for me in this season of my life: rhythm.  Starting in March, I had three major speaking commitments.  Each one required me to prepare a different topic.  For each I spent hours in the Word and prayer, thinking through what I would say and asking God to lead me to scriptures and other writings and to give me examples to bring the talks to life.  To be honest, whatever rhythm of life I had built in sort of went kaputz from the start of March through the beginning of May.  I’m just now getting my bearings back a bit.  I’m seeing this current season as a time to reestablish rhythms.  I’ll say a bit more about that further on.  For now, let me share a bit about what we’re doing as we close out the school year.

Family shots at Cherry Fest

 

 {summer learning}

Our summer routine usually involves doing some math and reading daily.  It makes it way easier to get back into school in August if we haven’t taken a total break from all formal learning.  Children often slip backwards significantly if they didn’t continue to practice reading over the summer.  Since my older son is taking Algebra 1 at the local High School over the summer for six weeks, we’ll be “on” anyway.  Don’t fret, we’ll still have downtime a’plenty over the summer.  We’ll swim, hang out with friends, relax, do some projects we never get to through the year, go camping, spend time at the beach and purge {I purge over every break … getting rid of things we don’t need or want anymore}.

Surfer boys

 

 {rhythms of life}

Purging always makes room for what is more central, valuable and important. 

Living intentionally means finding some rhythms.  It’s far easier to live from a place of habit than not.  We are simply wired that way.  So, I’m considering mundane things like what I do in my mornings and evenings on a consistent basis to set the tone for the rest of our life, and how to fit meal planning, school preparation and self care into a usual week.  How we use time matters.  I want to make more room for the essential things – like ministry to others and growth in Jesus.

On another level, I’m thinking about spiritual rhythms.  There are habits of the heart which foster growth – how do I spend devotion time?  Do I fast from words or food weekly?  What about practicing solitude and silence?  These “sacred” rhythms need to weave into the practical elements of life or they become wishful thinking.  I’ll be revisiting Ruth Haley Barton’s book “Sacred Rhythms” as I grow forward in this area.  I feel like this little window of time with no planned talks needs to be used to regroup and plan forward so I can be more available for ministry without the wheels falling off in other, more private areas of my life.

Sacred Rhythms

 

 {self-care}

Growing up, my mom had a fetish for health.  Her extreme zealousness for all things nutrition caused a bit of an aversion in me – can you say, “pass the Doritos?”  As I grew older and faced some chronic issues with my thyroid and some recurring pains such as sciatica and arthritis, I reconsidered my “I don’t have to be neurotic about health” attitude.  No, we don’t have to become obsessive, however, in our world these days, we do have to work a bit if we are going to eat well and get enough movement for the well-being of our body.  I’m putting habits in place to care for my body.

Here’s what you have to know.  I haven’t done this perfectly since I have struggled with weight and food issues for most of my life.  I’ve given up at times and then I’ve attempted to do healthy things for all the wrong reasons.  I was self-obsessed with weight.  It’s such a battle in this culture – with the unspoken ideas that thin is good and beautiful and overweight is bad and ugly.  If you struggle with this, you are in good company here.  I want to share what I’m doing now to show that God is able to turn around even the most entrenched hearts and bring freedom to places where there has been life-long bondage and oppression.

joy

 

 {goodies around the web}

I found a few gems for you this week.  The first is a letter from Beth Moore about the spiritual warfare we face when we step out to serve Jesus.  It isn’t what you would expect in a letter of this sort.  There’s a real heart-to-heart feel about how Beth writes this.  I encourage you to read it today.  Another great article – short and sweet and oh-so practical – was this one on Medium about seven habits to increase creative output.   This is not written from a Christian perspective, but contains some real pragmatic wisdom I know I will be implementing as I move forward in creating rhythms.  Finally, in light of the way God pressed on me to love the women in my own local church – to be devoted to them in love – while I was having a time of quiet with Him on our retreat, I want to share with you this article about learning to love well.  We love, yes.  Sometimes that love has a lot of self woven into it.  We want people to shape up and be more of what we have in mind for them.  In her post, Katie Westenberg shines a light on how God loves and they kind of love we are called and empowered to extend to others.  Oh … and in my craziness, I forgot to link my parenting post for the week to my email service, so everyone got last week’s post instead of this week’s.  You’re welcome.  In the event you’d like to hear what I have to say about finding joy in motherhood, pop over here.  It is a “from the heart” post. 

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