Friday, June 20, 2014

An Exciting Month and a Short Blogging Break

June has been an amazing month. It's also been an amazingly busy month that hasn't left much time for blogging.

One week ago, my oldest son and I ran our first 5K. We trained for two months with a local running group, going through the the Couch Potato to 5K plan.bour goal was to run the whole race, and we did it! It was amazing! There is a break this summer with no local 5K's - because no one wants to run in Texas in the summer. But there are lots of races this fall, and we're already maping out our schedule. 

Today my second short story, Salt Water, went live. It's in the June issue of Splickety magazine - and the featured author in this issue is Jerry B. Jenkins, the co-author of the Left Behind series. I'm so excited! You can find digital copies of Splickety magazine here.

In the middle of all this, we've all been been sick (the one thing you don't want your family to share...), we had a huge kids outreach event, and we're in the middle of a major remodel at our church. "Chaos" is the only word that can describe this month! 

Because of our crazy schedule, I'm taking the rest of June off from my blog and pushing back my newsletter debut a couple of weeks. I'll be back July 1 with new posts, more exciting news and surprises. See you in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

When You're Running On Empty

Drained. Exhausted. Unfocused. Restless. Do those feelings sound familiar? My guess is you've been there. I have too. In fact, if I'm totally honest, I'm there right now.

Lots of things can bring it on, but many times it's just the overwhelming demands of everyday life. For me, it's the complete remodel of our children's ministry wing at our church. I'm so excited about this project - it's been in the works for a couple of years, and the results are going to be amazing! But it's also a massive undertaking, especially since we're doing a big part of the work ourselves. Add to this planning two major summer events and training for a 5K, and you have the perfect recipe for a mom sucking down massive amounts of coffee and staring off into space, completely overwhelmed.

We all have times when we're overwhelmed. Dishes are piled in the sink, a baby won't stop crying, kids fight endlessly, jobs change. Before you realize it, you're barely keeping your head above water. You find yourself exhausted, worn, weary to the bone, and barely hanging on.

What can you do when you feel your peace slipping away? You can sneak away for a few minutes and completely lose yourself in The Hunger Games trilogy (ahem...not at I would know anything about that) - but a few minutes of fun reading won't fill you up. You can - and should - work out and get plenty of sleep. You'll be stronger, but it won't take away that 'edge of panic' feeling you get when life is closing in.

This weekend, I got the reminder I needed from my morning time with God. My favorite devotional, Jesus Calling, opened with the words, "Time with Me cannot be rushed."

Guilty. Right before I tapped open my devotional in my Kindle app, I was running through my to-do list for the day. My mind was already jumping ahead to other things. I hadn't even started my time with God yet, and I was already rushing it.

My time with God is the one thing I can turn to when I'm running on empty. It's the one thing that will truly fill me up. Job 22:21 (NASB) says, "Yield now and be at peace with Him; Thereby good will come to you." The NIV says, "Submit to God and be at peace with Him..." I have to give my crazy, hectic, 'guy at the circus spinning plates' life to God. I can't give it to Him if I don't spend unhurried, unrushed time with Him.

This week, I'm refocusing by spending more time with God. I'm starting a new Bible study with She Reads Truth and a new Hide His Word memorization plan. What are you doing right now to focus on time with God?