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HOW ARE YOU DOING?

How are you?
I mean, really, how are you doing?
If I were lucky enough to be sitting across the table from you, would you give me the abbreviated version, or would you share a bit more honestly? 
 
 
Sometimes finding the answer is difficult. Many days don't seem to hold enough time to check in with how we are actually holding up. And even if we did know, would it even help?  Just because life seems extra hard and crazy, we seldom cross through items on our calendars and take a break from the hectic pace of life.

Maybe we can't avoid making supper or taking the kids to sports practice, but we can use some of those "in-between" moments to create moments for rest. One huge caveat: you are going to have to put your cell phone down.
 
Currently, I have Jeremiah 17:7-8  on repeat. “But blessed is the man (and woman) who trusts in God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf; serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.” I never find serene and calm when I am feeling stuck in the crazy of my life. Sometimes I have created so much noise in my own mind, that I have no room to even stand and look for God's truths.

You may think, "but there isn't time"... but there are moments. And thankfully, moments can be enough. The moments just must be intentional. We must make the decisions put down the phone, and shut off our own chatter. And instead, fill those brief moments with taking in the Word of God, and seeking quiet in the midst of noise. What I often find when I practice this, is that what I thought was bothering me, was really just a mask for what is at the root of the frustration. Example: when I have had enough of the kids arguing or complaining—maybe the issue isn't really the kids—it is how I am responding to the kids. Usually, my expectations come into play. When life isn't living up to them, then I find myself stressed and more quick to blame the hectic pace of life, and everyone around me—for life not going my way.  You can't surrender something if you don't know what has you stuck!
 
This leads me to something else I've learned about myself. I'm not very good at changing me. I can try, and work really hard at it—but for true change to occur and last—my efforts must be directed to knowing and believing God and His Story. As I spend time with Him, He creates transformation. He gives us the tools when we put our faith in Him, but more often than not, we have to learn to give Him the time and space for the transformation...
 
I think this is how we can have some of the fruit Jeremiah was writing about. When I am able to stand and see God's truth about what is really valuable—beyond my expectations—then whether my calendar is light or heavy, I am able to say a genuine hello and sincerely ask, how are you... and be willing to take the time to listen.

I will honestly say, I do not come by that kind of goodness naturally. Serene, calm, and unshaken happens only when I have held space for God to have His way in me.

So, is it worth knowing how you, yourself, is doing? Yes, if you want a life that can stand calmly in the midst of a drought or a storm, then yes, it is worth the moments you have to offer to Him.

How about you? How do you make room for what matters most in your life? As Autumn approaches, and many of our lives speed up, what do you practice to find calm? I would love to know.

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I've spent enough years stumbling around, trying to avoid my own feelings and frustrations to know that (at least for in my own life) ignoring the negative gives the thoughts room to grow. Before long I am trapped and stuck. Somehow the negative became the loudest, and I'm so busy trying to ignore (please feel free to insert your desert or storm here) that I no longer have the strength to stand and truly see what spurred on the negative attitude and noise.

 

TRIANGLE POSE (UTTHITA TRIKONASANA)
PATTERNS

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