Do You Have Four Minutes?

Right now seems to be a season of flux for me. It looks like some changes are coming. For one, I’m taking a break right now from working on any novels. I am still writing daily using a writing prompt, and I hope to work on this blog a little more. But I will need to make some decisions about what direction I want to go with my career soon.

As a Christian, I want to follow God’s path for my life. I want to  use the gifts He’s given me for His good, not mine. Most of the time, I feel like I just need to get out of the way and quit overthinking everything.  There are some very simple mantras that stick in my head, like “Do the Work.” Or “Take Action.” Both of those are great and exactly what I need to do. But when you’re lost on which direction to go, it’s easy to just stop. And that doesn’t feel right either.

hourglass-1703330_1280Sometimes, though, it’s okay to stop. Take a break. Just breathe for a moment. And that’s where the title of this blog comes in: Do you have four minutes?

Recently at church, one of our teaching pastors, Ryan Leak (@ryanleak), talked about our prayer life. In this fast-paced world, we’re not always stopping to pray, and most certainly aren’t taking time out for quiet time with the Lord. We all know the passage in Psalm 46 that says “Be Still and know that I am God.” Yet most of us aren’t still. So, Ryan suggested an experiment. For four minutes, you sit still. Set a timer (because yes, it feels strange at first). But quiet yourself. You can start out praying, but God knows our hearts. He hears from us enough, but do we take time to hear from Him? So be still, for four minutes. And absorb the silence.

Now, you may not hear the booming voice of God. You may not hear anything. The answers may not come, but for four minutes, you focus on God. You quiet your heart. Maybe you find peace.

As I’m struggling in this season where I’m purposely taking a break, I’m going to try to be still for four minutes a day. Will I find the answers I need? Will my path suddenly appear before me? I don’t know. But I do know that for four minutes a day, I will revel in the quiet. I will settle my racing thoughts. I will have a peaceful moment. Maybe the answers will come, maybe they won’t. But I do know they certainly won’t come unless I stop long enough to listen. I’m setting aside four minutes a day to listen.

What about you? Do you have four minutes?

Lost Motivation? It’s Okay to Start Again

I’m privileged to blog for Novel Academy. My most recent post is about beginning again if you’ve lost motivation from your goals that you set a few weeks ago. Read more here.

I’m at the stage where I need to heed my own advice and begin again, as I’ve gotten a bit off-track already. To be fair, I’ve had a new grandchild arrive this month, so that’s a worthy distraction.

Worthy or not, I have a job to do if I’m ever going to fulfill my own dreams and goals.

What about you? How do you  stay on track? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Five Minute Friday

I’ve recently joined a group called Five Minute Friday (@5minutefriday), where we’re sent a one word writing prompt.The idea is to write for 5 minutes — little editing. It makes us write (and I definitely need that!). Today the prompt is “loved”. So, here’s my  unedited, stream-of-conciousness writing about “loved.” Thanks for indulging me!Loved

This is an interesting topic. I believe it’s human nature that we all desire to be loved, cared for, and cherished. So many words go along with “loved.” It’s the basic of human emotion.

It’s a lonely world if we aren’t loved. The world can be gritty, painful, and just plain tough. People hurt us, intentionally or not, they will hurt us. That’s when we need to remember that we are ALWAYS loved, by the one who saved us, Jesus Christ.

When we’re alone, we’re not really alone. He is there.

When we’re sad, He cries with us.

When we hurt, He soothes us.

When we’re happy, He shares our joy.

To be truly loved is to love unconditionally. It’s something that we sometimes struggle to do. However, God never fails us with HIS love. We continue to be loved no matter what because we are HIS. And guess what? That is enough. It’s all we need. To be loved by Him.

Oceans

I’ve recently joined a group called Five Minute Friday (@5minutefriday), where we’re sent a one word writing prompt.The idea is to write for 5 minutes — little editing. It makes us write (and I definitely need that!). Today the prompt is “ocean”. So, here’s my pretty much unedited, stream-of-conciousness writing about “ocean.” Thanks for indulging me!

The ocean is vast, mysterious and many times, lovely. But it can be cold as often as it is warm. It can be dark as often as it is clear and blue.

There can be an ocean between us, or we can cry enough tears to fill the ocean, or feel grief as deep as the ocean.

How interesting to think about the many contrasting images you can conjur up while thinking about the ocean. All the way from snorkeling or diving in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean to looking a the murky depths of the Atlantic and recalling how much the movie “Jaws” still impacts your swimming decisions by the sea.

I have one friend who is happiest at the beach. She doesn’t live on the water full-time, but I certainly can imagine her doing just that. As for me, I used to love the beach like that. But now, when I think of the beach, I think of chubby thighs, sunburns and too much humidity. And yes, “Jaws” impacted me, along with pinching crabs and stinging jelly fish. So, the ocean no longer holds the same appeal.

The mountains are now my sanctuary. However, I can’t ever deny the mysterious lure and contrasting beauty that comprises the ocean…as long as I stay on the shore. 🙂