"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, August 12, 2011

BRAIN BREAKS

Hello Friends! Today you will be blessed by my friend Susan Stilwell.
Susan and I met last year through an online writing peer critique group developed from the "She Speaks" conference. She is a student of the Word and a lover of Jesus. Her insight through her writing blesses me quite often.
Please visit Susan's website and consider supporting her ministry. Her wisdom and transparency will touch your life.



Luke 5:16 (NIV) "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."


“Hey, mom. I’ve been in a wreck,” groaned my son. “You WHAT?” My heart raced as a dozen frightening images flashed through my mind.

Thank goodness it was just a fender-bender and no one was hurt, but it still took a big chunk out of our day. It would also take a big chunk out of our checkbook. We faced several challenges at the time, and this accident was one more thing on a long list of issues.

As I slid behind the wheel and stuck the key in the ignition, I thanked the Lord for keeping my son safe. I also thanked Him that I had 30 minutes to pull myself together before I got to the scene of the wreck. I knew my son felt bad about the accident and I didn’t want to add to the problem by being frazzled. He needed a gracious and compassionate mom, and I determined to morph into that lady.

Taking a deep breath, I tried to calm down and shake off my fatigue. The previous night had been a late one. I had a deadline for an article and instead of tackling it earlier in the day, I put it off until after dinner. Then I got distracted sorting through my email. Then an old friend messaged me on Facebook.

I finally finished the article, glanced at the clock and sighed. It was way past my bedtime when I finally slipped under the covers. Still exhausted when the alarm jarred me awake, I hit the snooze button one too many times and ended up skipping breakfast.

Tired, frustrated and hungry. Not a good combination. I needed to recharge my batteries, and I needed to do it soon. Unfortunately this was a familiar scene, so I knew what I had to do.

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places…” echoed in my ear (Luke 15:16). I needed some time by myself, away from the gadgets, noise and distractions.

At least twice a day I find a quiet place and be still for 5-10 minutes. I walk away from whatever I’m doing, sit by myself and let my mind rest. The Lord once showed me how many sounds and images surround me, and I was amazed at how much information my brain processed every day. I found that little “brain breaks” in my day helped relieve tension, and I could focus and be more efficient.

“Jesus often withdrew… and prayed.” Not only had I skipped breakfast, I skipped my quiet time. Oh, I prayed as I drove and went about my morning routine, but I missed the opportunity to focus on His will for my day. To ground myself in the Word. To let the Holy Spirit fill me with His peace.

During my “brain breaks” I make a point of giving the Lord all the things I’m dealing with. I want to be a good and faithful servant (Matt 25:21) who works wholeheartedly as if I’m working for the Lord (Col 3:23). If I’m stressed, I can’t function at my best. I trust Him to work things out, and ask Him to fill me with His peace.

Unexpected events will always be a part of life, so it’s comforting to remember that all the things that happen to us are sifted through the gracious hand of God (Romans 8:28). They are designed to refine us, draw us closer to Him and make us more like His Son. A few restful breaks during the day can help recharge our batteries, keep our focus on the things that are important, and respond in a way that’s Christlike.