Thursday, July 27, 2006


So, okay, here's the scene.

It's a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon. And it's hot. After spending over four hours at the beach and swimming in Lake Michigan and nearby river, my son, his friend and my hubbie are inside our trailer, which I think is close to a sin on such a beautiful, breezy day as this.

Now, here's the thing. I like it quiet on Sunday afternoons esp if I have some time alone. Or should I say, I'd expect that in the park, it would be quiet on a Sunday afternoon. It's one thing when I'm enjoying the outdoors, say fishing, reading a book on my deck or even when sitting by a roaring campfire. I expect noise then, right? Of course. But today there is an unusually loud, annoying man-made noise in the park from one of the nearby campers. It's some sort of power generator, which I have come to find out is from someone power-spraying his/her trailer. Yeah so my soothing, relaxing time is not so soothing because of this over-bearing, constant noise.

I'm pretty darn good at drowning out noises (whether they are internal or external) in order to accomplish a quiet Sunday when necessary. But I confess having to work hard to tune out that generator. It's humming and buzzing and not stopping. It's been a few hours. Nope, still there.

Well it got me to thinking. Life is like this, isn't it? In order to accomplish any goal, hear God's voice, we must learn to quiet the other voices and noises around us. At times, peace doesn't come easily--we need to work hard to achieve it. Let the problems go, let the internal monologue go, and let God give you peace. And if you want peace on any noisy day, you might just need to block out the noise, even if only for an hour. Yes, even blocking machinery.

How to block these stubborn noises? Focus. It takes a great deal of focus/concentration to block out equipment, believe me--but I've been doing it as I concentrate on writing exercises and reading a book. I've trained myself to focus on the task while taking out the background. I still know the noise is there, no doubt about that. We can't just work away from life's problems or issues, but we can put them in the proper prospective so they don't run havoc to destroy our peace and joy.

It's about staying at the task at hand until something stops you that can't be stopped and yes, there are those things. I'm interrupted many times at work, but when focusing on the top priority task, I go back when I've taken care of the other issue. But when the focus is on the project rather than the noise, we're actually working harder and longer on our goal. Could you imagine if we stopped everything in our day when we hear an annoying noise or couldn't block our annoying self-talk? We wouldn't ever get anything accomplished.

So when the noises of life take over, just remember to stay on task until the job is complete--even if it takes many interruptions. Ahh, the post is written and the external noise has stopped. The generator humming has stopped. Now isn't that perfect timing? Ha! But isn't that the story of our lives?

Enjoy the Journey

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Why is it harder to focus when I'm not as busy? Does that make any sense?

Yes, of course I'm busy--who isn't? The month of July is normally a relaxing month for me, more so than any other month. But I've noticed that I'm not accomplishing any more, even though sports and misc. church activities aren't in the schedule. Of course then I'm running around like a madwoman, but I still feel like I should be getting more done around the house, more writing projects out the door, making more time to write new stories/revise older ones and other activities. I am taking care of normal business, but how to focus when the sun and chair on my deck call my name?

Or is it the Lord who calls me? Part of me knows that rest & relaxation is needed to find time to listen to the Lord. When the track and cross country meets overwhelm my schedule and let's face it, even my spiritual responsiblities, at times, deflate my spirit, the Lord often reminds me to cool my jets. (Is that an expression that is even used any more?) Sometimes we want to concentrate on the achievement of goals too much when I think sometimes God wants us to sit. Listen. Then there will be a time to march forward to work out his plan. But are we listening?

My thoughts for today...It's okay to enjoy the sun and let go of all of the madness, but it's important to remember to praise God and listen for his guidance in our daily lives, no matter the season.

May God bless you and keep you. Look to the heavens for focus and God will show you the way.

Enjoy the Journey, my blogger friends!

Monday, July 10, 2006


I'm baaaaaccccckkkkk!!!!!

I've been on vacation for the past week, and it was fantastic. I went kayaking for the first time--we kayaked for three hours on Hamlin Lake. We went down trails that few choose to go down. Shallow trails with high weeds and plenty of bugs, snakes and of course a beautiful blue sky and water. We had to get out five times, and port (portages seasoned kayak'ers call them,) drag the boat and then get back in another side. Those who kayak might be able to appreciate the challenge of this. It aint easy. Challenging. Will I fall in this time, I wondered. I spent time with close family and cousins...sitting around campfires, watching thunderstorms roll by...sprawling out in the sun on the beach and of course, reading my books purchased at the local used bookstore, and so much more.

But people are surprised when I tell them that I'm usually ready to get back to the routine--to my life, my work, my writing. I like my job (most times) when I have the right frame of mind, thus the importance of rest & relaxation. Sometimes I forget to take that daily break--to focus on the important things in life--devotions, praising God, spending time with family. Once priorities are in proper order, life is much more enjoyable, with or without a get away from it all vacation. A vacation for me can simply be time with God on my deck, listening to the birds as I complete a devotion, or even spending time with family--playing cribbage with my son.

But let's face it...there's nothing like that time away from everything...when our minds are renewed...refreshed...almost erased of worry. If we don't take time to wipe the slate clean, how can we get down to what's really important? Just like God wipes are slate clean, we too must forgive ourselves and let the past go, let the worries go, and just enjoy the journey that we must follow.

Isn't it interesting how it all ties together? Peace, rest, relaxation, forgiveness and yes, work. We can work and have all of these things. Vacations away remind us of what that peace feels like, but if the only time that I felt peace was one week a year, I would go insane. My joy is in the Lord and peace comes from Him--not the lake or a cottage or RV.

I thank God that he allows us our vacations to remind us what his peace can feel like year round even when we know that we have hard work ahead of us as we do God's will.