If Only I Could Hibernate

The clock radio next to my bed clicked to 4:50 am and I woke to a country western ballad. I turned over, pulled the covers up close to my chin, and checked the time. Despite the black sky, it was morning, and time to get up for work.

Buried deeper under the covers, I listened to the rain beating on the window panes. The bed was warm, cozy . . . and it felt sooooooooo good to just lay there. Hibernating from the cold—the wet—and the world.

If only I could just stay home today. I wouldn’t have to deal with the long commute, crazy drivers, horrible traffic, or crazy drivers. There wouldn’t be any expectations or deadlines to meet at work that day. Did I mention crazy drivers?

A sigh escaped my lips. The day could be spent in front of the fireplace, dressed in sweats, writing away on my laptop. With a fresh pot of coffee at my side, and no interruptions, I was sure I could get several chapters written for my novel.

Yep . . . if only I hibernate and stay in my own little world.

But, I didn’t. I threw off the covers, forced my body out of the bed, and drove into work. (After I dressed appropriately, of course.)

It’s important to take time off from responsibilities and refresh our minds and bodies. And there are times when I think it would be nice to escape more often to solitude. I am an introvert, after all.

Some days we need to crawl into a cocoon of our own making.

Where it’s safe.



But I don’t believe that’s where God wants us to stay.

I believe we’re called to step out from our shelter into the “real” world, where the storms of life batter people emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually.

There we can trust Him to provide us with what we need in order to help build shelters for those who need sanctuary. A place to rest their bodies, hearts, and minds. And I don't necessarily mean a physical structure. Some people just need a hug or a listening ear from someone who sincerely cares.

Step out . . . and have a great week.


To Be Noticed

I believe most people want and need to be noticed.

Take for example the couple who recently made national headlines by reporting their six-year-old son was possibly on board a helium balloon that floated away. When the balloon landed, the little boy was actually found safe at the family’s home.

The couple face charges that include conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, making a false report to the authorities, and attempting to influence a public servant.

The lawyer for the family has stated that the father was obsessed with trying to land a TV show and become famous.

People want and need to feel important in one way or another.

To be appreciated.

To be noticed.

A little boy tugs on his mother’s shirt while she’s visiting with a friend, demanding her attention.

A girl, knowing the answer to a question, raises her hand in class, hoping the teacher will choose her.

A homeless person on the street yearns for someone to call him by name.

A hardworking young woman wishes her boss would acknowledge the effort she puts into her work.

A wife desires her husband to compliment the new way she’s cut her hair.

I believe even the very shy want to be recognized as having a place and purpose in the world. But sometimes I think we can get so caught up in getting noticed, we forget that we should be about noticing other people.

What would our day look like if at every opportunity we genuinely complimented a person?

Sincerely inquired as to how someone is doing - and then actually took the time to listen?

Or acknowledged a coworker for a job well done?

I challenge you to focus on making those around you feel important. By taking the time to notice other people, you may discover just how important you are . . .


Stoke the Fire

Last night we lit a log in the fireplace and enjoyed a cozy fire, completing our official transition from summer to fall.

After a day of pouring rain (or falling snow if you’re in other parts of the country) and cool temperatures, there’s nothing better than a crackling, warm fire to make you feel comfortable and safe.

But it doesn’t last forever. The needs tending, or eventually what’s burning will be used up. The embers will die. The air, formerly warm and inviting, will grow at first chilly, and then cold.

It’s the same in relationships, especially those between a man and woman. When love is young, a couple will do everything they can to fan the flames of passion. They spend time together talking, touching, and sharing their dreams. You can tell they’re in love by how they look when they’re near each other.

If passion in a marriage is left untended, it will become a flickering, small flame. The two people may still care for each other and enjoy the other's company, but something will be missing. Later, if the embers are allowed to die and become cold, the couple may merely exist as roommates, passing each other on their way to or from as they go about their lives.

The same is true of our spiritual lives.

When we get our first taste of what it’s like to be in relationship with our Lord—not just know about Him from Sunday School lessons—but really know Him, we hunger for more. Passion for our faith, for living what we believe, and serving God takes priority over everything else.

But if we don’t stoke our inner spiritual fire for God, the flames will slowly die down. We’ll become passive about not only sharing what we believe – but also what we believe in. We may attend church on a regular or semi-regular basis, but our minds will drift to where we’ll go for lunch, the football game that’s being played while we sit in worship, or the list of things that need to be tended to Monday morning.

We won’t give God much time, let alone thought during the week. We may shoot up a quick prayer for help if needed. We may glance at the devotional on the nightstand. But we won’t stop to spend time with Him.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way . . .

We have a choice.

People who are in relationship with Christ are recognized as people who have something different about them. You know who they are because they emanate a warmth and glow to people around them. Their inner spiritual fires are stoked.

That’s what I want.

I want to keep the fire stoked in all my relationships—but especially in the one I have with Lord.

Do you?


A Beloved Blessing

"The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace." (Num. 6: 24-26 NKJV)

Growing up, I heard this blessing spoken by the pastor at the end of every church service. Even as a child, there was something about the words that felt special.

Opting for contemporary worship and music, I no longer attend traditional services. Hearing this blessing is probably the one thing I miss . . .

Why? How could so few words make me feel so wrapped up in God’s love?

The Lord bless you . . .

All good things come from God. But this means more than physical blessings and the ability to pay our bills. It includes being in a strong enough relationship with Him that we're not feeling spiritual hunger or thirst.

. . . and keep you:

The idea of "keep you" is divine protection - spiritual protection. He keeps us safe. And He promises us eternal life.

the Lord make his face shine upon you

Imagine it. Doesn’t that bring the image of warmth and caring? Awareness of God's presence brings comfort to the faithful.

and be gracious to you;

Our God is merciful and compassionate. He desires to forgive us when we mess up.

the Lord lift up His countenance upon you

This means . . . may the Lord look upon you with approval. We want Him to be pleased with how we’re using our talents, opportunities and lives.

. . . and give you peace.

In this crazy, hectic, stressful world, who doesn’t want and need assurance and peace? Jesus can give the kind of peace that passes all understanding.

So dear friends, let me send these words to you . . .

The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.




Doesn’t it seem like we’re always preparing for something?

The other day my husband packed up and stored all the deck furniture in preparation for Seattle’s rainy fall weather. He even mentioned the need to get stocked up on boxes of logs for the fireplace, anticipating our desire for evening fires because of cooler weather setting in.

Soon we’ll be preparing for the holidays. Luscious dinners will be planned and prepared for family and friends. Homes will be decorated and gifts will be in place by Christmas morning.

Yes, it does seem like we’re always preparing for something.

We prepare for the flu season, the new school year, and the arrival of a newborn.

We prepare for vacations, for our children’s college tuition, and hopefully for retirement.

We’re always busy preparing for today, tomorrow, or the future.

Even though most of our preparations are necessary – and often times the rewards are great - don’t you sometimes just want to “be?” And not have to think about what or when you have to get something done?

Take heart.

We’re not the only ones preparing.

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2 NIV)

At the same time that we’re making all our many preparations, Jesus is also making preparations for us!

He’s not sitting idle, while we hop from one thing to the next like energizer bunnies.

Christ is preparing a place for us. Just for you. Just for me.

That’s not only comforting – that’s exciting!


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