It’s the Little Things

Like many others, I sometimes experience fatigue and anxiety this year.

Here are some of the ways I have found to cope.

  • Create something to look forward to every week.

My favourite time of the week is Friday evening. Shabbat or Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday and goes until an hour after sundown on Saturday. Rest is God’s idea. “And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2: 3.

One of the 10 Commandments is: “Observe the sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.” Deuteronomy 5: 12 – 15

Jewish people light candles, eat challah bread, and drink wine every Friday night. They often buy flowers to take home for the family Shabbat dinner. It is a weekly celebration of food, family, and faith.

I look forward to a glass of wine and a special dinner on Fridays even if I am alone.

  • Buy yourself some flowers. Tulips or daffodils are available now in the grocery store and when the weather is warmer, I buy from a roadside stand or farmers’ market.
  • Get outside. Take a walk in a beautiful place like a park or forest or beach. Breathe deeply and slowly. Notice your surroundings. Use all your senses. Do you feel God all around you?

Sometimes a drive is better when the weather is cold. Drive somewhere you don’t usually go. Stop to get a coffee and park where you can enjoy a lovely view.

  • Rearrange your furniture. Pushing things around not only gives me a new view of my room but forces me to clean under the heavy stuff and vacuum blinds or wash windows! Those “chores” are Wednesday or Thursday jobs so I can enjoy my pretty clean room on Friday night with my wine and a bowl of chips!
  • Decorate for spring. Many of us decorate our homes for Christmas but do you also decorate for other times of the year? At the end of January, I put away all the red and green from my mantle and changed it to pink and pale blue and white. A string of tiny lights draped randomly makes me smile when they come on every night.
  • Find ways to rest. Listen to music that moves you. Watch a funny show. Read a novel or magazine that gives you ideas and hope. Have tea with a friend on a video chat.

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. It is a day of rest so find ways to change your daily pace.

We’re almost through winter and March brings spring, new life, Easter…hope.

There is always hope!

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Leave Room For God

Most mornings, I start my day with coffee and a message from Oswald Chambers. His little daily devotional book My Utmost for His Highest,originally published in 1935, has inspired me with his wisdom for many years. Here’s a quote from January 25:

“Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy and leave room for God to come in as He decides.”

Have you experienced “His surprising power”?

Maybe it has become so ordinary that you don’t notice when He steps into your circumstances. Or maybe you feel that it is just coincidence. How can you know the difference?

I believe that when we start being thankful all day, every day, no matter what our surroundings seem to tell us, we will see (and hear) God more often.

Think back to a recent time when things seemed to work out unexpectedly. Money or a job came to you at just the right time. You were in a rush to get somewhere and suddenly there was a parking spot in front of your destination. A person you have been thinking about calls to encourage you – out of the blue.

I understand that life isn’t always that way. Family members do get sick, bills sometimes go unpaid and maybe you believe it’s selfish to pray for a parking spot.

Life can be difficult which is why leaving room for God to come in is so important.

If you haven’t noticed that good things happen to you all the time, maybe it’s time to sit down with God and ask Him why things seem so hard. Where is He when you need Him?

Hearing His voice is challenging at first but there are a few things you can do to open your ears. Start by reading the scriptures, even just a few verses at a time. Have you read the whole Bible? If not, maybe this year is your time!

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119: 105

My sister-in-law called a friend she hadn’t seen for awhile and as they talked, she asked the friend if she could send an encouraging email then forwarded my message about Shalom in 2021. The friend said she really needed that message when it arrived!

Watch for God “coincidences” and act when you get the nudge to reach out to someone else.