Bible Quilt your selected verse: If you’ve kept your template page loose, go ahead and attach it to your journal page. We like to add washi tape around the border to frame it and keep it more secure.
Now that you’ve completed your 31-day pages, you can display them by standing your journal upright on a counter or table. It’s a colorful reminder to you, your family, and guests of God’s timeless truths each day.
This picnic table is one of my favorite places to do my devotions and create in my Bible Quilt journal.
I like to settle in with my colorful supplies, enjoying nature and an occasional wave with neighbors, while I have my Quiet Time.
My current reality, however, is reflected in this 2nd picture: NOT much is going on in this little spot these days!
Summer heat has marched back in with a vengeance, the ants have developed some impressive infrastructure all around the base of #theturquoisetable, and my schedule has been squeezed from a lot of different directions lately.
As I walked past this spot yesterday, I was reminded that we need to hold our routines loosely. Although this is still my favored space in the yard, I’m just not able to visit it as frequently as I’d like during this season of family life. I have to release my expectations of all the time I could be spending here to be more fully present in other areas right now. I’m somewhat grudgingly relinquishing it to the charmed squirrels who picnic here in my absence.
We all know about self-care during stressful times, but the gritty truth is that it’s one of the first things to slip through the cracks.
– – – Stewarding our emotional resources is vital in seasons of stress.
I’ve been experimenting with some ways to squish my rhythms of self-care in the chinks between tangible agenda items. Maybe one of these will resonate with you…
Pay attention to what really FILLS you up. Cling to that even if it’s in smaller doses than you usually would have.
I shorten my walks, but still try to get out there. To optimize the experience, I’ll go on a new path …or take a familiar path in reverse.
I shave a few minutes off of my morning devotions in order to have time to throw ingredients in the crockpot for dinner.
Consolidate when you can.
I’ll return a friend’s phone call while I’m taking my dog for a walk rather than listening to a podcast like I normally would.
I add forgotten items to my grocery order while I’m in the school pick-up line. I treat myself to a social media break when I’m waiting on my order or in the pharmacy line. I tiptoe into these waters rather than wade.
Share your own household chores or give yourself a “pass.”
I’ll ask one of my boys to water plants I typically water. I skip making the bed…or let my hubby beat me to it.
We’re putting out the paper plates and using up what’s already in the freezer rather than come up with something new.
I’m embracing more days of ponytails & hats instead of battling humidity and frizz with my hair dryer.
Acknowledge you’re in a marathon season, so don’t go for a full-out sprint at this point. Conserve your emotional energy.
Endurance and perseverance are critical when you’re in a long-term circumstance. Interval training makes you stronger. You may have short bursts in which you have to sprint, but allow for some recovery time. Have a friend be a “pacer” for you. Keep your eyes on that long-distance goal.
It’s important for us to have enough self-awareness to recognize when unexpected people step in as our encouragers that they are meant to be in step with us for this season. The Lord will provide who we need at that particular mile for a given stretch of our race.
Celebrate each mile marker – – – even if you’re tired and have more miles to go.
When we’re supporting loved ones during challenging times, it can seem a little jarring to step into life events still going on around us.
It’s okay to take a breather from the heavy emotions and soak in some lighter ones.
Celebrate the joys of other family members. Eat the birthday cheesecake. Take the silly pictures.
Look for ways to tweak your perspective.
Recently I’ve found myself marveling at the wonders of the sky.
Feeling small by comparison helps the issues circling me not feel so big.
Release the weight of Today to be open for Tomorrow…
– – – “HIS mercies are new every morning.” – – –Lamentations 3:21
It’s been a while since I’ve been on a teeter-totter, but I have fond childhood memories spending time with a special friend, seesawing and giggling as we soared up and down on that creaky teeter-totter.
The seesaw is an example of one of the 6 simple machines that we learned about way back in elementary science class. The integral piece of a teeter totter is the fulcrum, the point on which a lever rests or is supported and on which it pivots.
A teeter-totter is one of those playground structures that requires a friend. It’s rather pointless to sit on a teeter-totter by yourself. It doesn’t get you anywhere. As soon as you’re joined by a friend, however, it becomes an interactive piece of equipment with “fun” potential.
Friends share each other’s ups and owns, balancing each other out. When one friend is down, the other often has a clearer perspective of the situation. You can help a friend shift back into neutral by leaning in or adjusting your own position.
Reciprocity is a beautiful part of friendship. This give-and-take between friends strengthens the relationship as friends buffer each other in the ups and downs of life.
We can soften the landing if we see a friend heading for a hard fall.
We can slow down the pace when the momentum gets too frenetic.
We can offset the load by grounding ourselves for a moment, standing firm to steady our friend.
To manage our end of the teeter totter, we need to maintain contact, being aware of our friend’s level of readiness for impact.
Most importantly we need to have a shared fulcrum that allows us to have some leverage when we need it. The fulcrum plays an essential role. We depend on it for support and stability. It bears our combined weight even as we gain momentum together.
When we lean on the Lord as the fulcrum in our relationships, we depend on Him for support to bear our emotional weight and to dissipate our shared burdens.
We all have a turn at the downs of life and may find ourselves on the receiving end of a friend’s kind gesture. During these tender times, we’re challenged to be open and receptive even though it feels a little vulnerable.
When we hear struggles that our friends are facing, sometimes it’s unclear how we can help. Although we can always offer to pray, sometimes we want to put our support into more tangible action.
It can be tricky knowing when to offer a word of encouragement or figuring out an action step to support a friend. We have some social norms that guide us in some situations, but otherwise this helping gig can seem pretty murky.
This year I’ve been working on releasing expectations and praying that I follow the Lord’s leading in each day as it unfolds. I’ve tried to be more intentional when I feel a #Godnudge to do an act of support for a friend. Sometimes these nudges seem small or random, but the obedience to follow through on them allows the Lord to do His work.
To connect with long-distance friends, sometimes I’ll call them while I’m taking a walk to catch up. It’s a double stress reliever…often for both of us.
Recently when I was chatting with an out-of-state friend, she offered prayer support for a family situation. Then she commented that she wished she could help me out in some way. I had a #Godnudge to ask her if she had some simple recipes she could send me to take the brainwork out of menu planning. Having something new to try helped me regain some momentum in the kitchen.
Last Tuesday, I stepped out of my comfort zone to reach out to someone I didn’t know concerning a sweet girl and a group of her friends. Within 24 hours, this same girl was acting on a #Godnudge to do something for me.
These little interactions reminded me that when we connect through Him and utilize Him as the pivot point in our relationship, He can bless us in many different ways.
Listen for that #Godnudge.
Be brave as you act on it…and gracious receiving.
“God is our REFUGE and STRENGTH, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Whatever you may be facing today, may the Lord be your fulcrum, resting in Him for your strength.