Consider: Refresh

Recently a new book came out, Refresh: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands by Shona & David Murray, that is an excellent resource for women feeling overwhelmed by responsibility and constant demands on their time and energy. The book discusses a visit to “Refresh Gym” for those facing or in the midst of burnout.

…there is a pace of running that will obtain the prize and a pace that won’t. A sprint pace will not win a long-distance race, although that’s what many of us try (and fail at). We try to run as fast as we can and even try to run everyone else’s race for them too. What miserable bondage! Now, having passed through Refresh Gym, many of us have learned that we must follow God’s race plan, a much more deliberate, grace-paced race, if we want to finish well.

There will be times when we have to run faster and push ourselves harder, but these times will be less frequent as we remind ourselves of the distance we have yet to run. These bursts of busyness and stress will be more frequently interspersed with refreshing recovery strategies, so that we will be much less likely to crash and burn as before. The occasional, sudden, immediate demands of our energy will not deplete us as before, because we have left margin in our lives.

If you feel the need for more intention and balance in your life, or are simply desperate to get your head above water, the book offers many practical insights across multiple areas of life. It’s also designed to walk through the gym one chapter (station) at a time, so you can take it at your own pace.

If you have read or do read this book, we’d love to hear your comments below.

Consider: Radical Womanhood

See words on household management below from Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley:

Homemaking is simply the collection of tasks that keep a home running. These tasks are no more the ultimate definition of “looking well to the ways of a household” than cleaning out electronic files, deleting email, answering the phone, and booking travel reservations are to the actual definition of office work. Every sphere has its repetitive tasks that contribute to the larger goal of productivity.

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Though the marketplace does not value the home beyond what goods can be purchased for it, the ministry to be found there is of immense worth to the Lord. The stability of family relationships, the care of elderly or disabled family members, the discipling and training of children, the warm reception of guests, the making of a lifetime of memories, the daily modeling of biblical instruction, the fresh nourishment in an age of processed foods that contribute to our general ill health, the joy of a Christ-centered marriage — all of these things have long-lasting, if not eternal, effects… If we are wise, we will recognize this fact and consider whether the choices we are making are either actively building up or tearing down our homes (Proverbs 14:1 NIV)…

 

These books are only set here as possibilities for you to explore. Posts and links are not endorsements or paid publicity.

Consider: How Should I Manage Time?

The short booklet How Should I Manage Time? by Ryan M. McGraw has this to say about intentional living:

Now that we understand the biblical principles of the value of time, we can consider how to manage our time in a God-honoring way. We must distinguish between principles derived from Scripture, the fact that we must apply them, and the varied ways in which we may apply them. For example, we must meditate daily on the Word of God (Ps. 1:2). we may do this by prayerfully reading through the entire Bible in a year or through some other method. We may read at different times of the day and more at some times than others. Similarly, using time well means being intentional with how we use time.

If our wise priorities show up in what we do all day and each day, we are living with intention.

These books are only set here as possibilities for you to explore. Posts and links are not endorsements or paid publicity.

Buffet Time

Are you familiar with the scene in Charlotte’s Web where Templeton enjoys his evening at the fair? He was all about the food — a glorious smorgasbord of indulgences. And he did, indeed, indulge. We smile at his feeding frenzy and the consequences that follow, but we also laugh because it is so relatable.

Each day has 24 hours. Sometimes what to do with those hours is like a buffet. There are so many dishes to choose from! We want to try all the beautiful dishes and enjoy every bite. So many flavors!

But the excitement wanes as our stomachs fill.

Just like a buffet line, don’t try to eat everything. There are so many good choices for what to do with your time, but not all those good choices are good for you this day. You have a limited amount of time and energy, so choose wisely. Consider what is best for this season. Decide what you can handle and don’t overextend yourself. Do one thing well, instead of ten things poorly. Make sure your responsibilities are covered before branching out. Run a marathon, not a sprint. Conserve your energy for your priorities — and then a little dessert! Choose a delicious plate and enjoy, instead of spending $15 to get sick.

Moderation in all things, as my mother often says.

Rejoice and Remember

Holidays are an occasion to pause, celebrate and be thankful. They may not work out that way any given year, but they are an opportunity for us. In our current American holiday calendar, the indicated reasons for celebration do vary. Labor Day, for instance, has drifted a bit from the initial cause, but we can still be thankful for the blessing of work and employment while many enjoy a break from such.

In my daily reading I noticed that God gave a list of holidays to Israel in Deuteronomy 16. He also clarifies on multiple occasions, including in Deuteronomy 5, the importance of the sabbath. Further, He designated a sabbath year and the year of jubilee (Leviticus 25). It was that important. And in all that, the purpose for each is clearly stated. I noticed two words repeated in the descriptions of these holidays: “rejoice” and “remember”.

Rejoice These are days to enjoy! However you celebrate, whether it be a large family gathering or a quiet day at home, you are free to take pleasure in the day. It is a gift. Unwrap and make the most of it!

Remember Most of us reading this have been given so much. Our countries and the earth itself are the recipients of so many blessings from God on a regular basis. Taking one day to especially remember certain categories (Labor Day — employment; Christmas — Christ’s birth, life and death, our salvation; Easter — the resurrection; Independence Day — our freedoms) and be grateful for what God has appointed is a blessing in itself.

May your Labor Day be joyful and thankful — and every holiday to come!