Slow Down to Go Fast

What in the world?

The phrase “go slow to go fast”or any variation of that idea  is something I’ve been hearing in the business world for a few years now. At first I sloughed it off as not important – I am a full speed ahead type of person, and honestly, the faster I can get to a destination, the better.

And then I found out that business and life sometimes don’t work that way.

So tell me, does that phrase even make sense to you? If you’ve never in your life heard this concept, stay with me here – I hope to give you a lightbulb moment or two…

A quick google search of the words “slow down to go fast” comes up with a LOT of resources. I mean, everyone from Forbes to TedX to Huffington Post and the Harvard Business Review has articles or videos on this very idea. Even Porsche. (Which begs the question, is it even possible to slow down in a Porsche driving machine?…)

Two weeks ago today I had elective foot surgery to correct a decades-old injury. Even though the injury in itself had slowed me down, I had become accustomed to that pace and thought I could live with it. And then my preschool age grandson challenged me to a race. He pretty much wants to race every time he’s here. I obliged, but soon I was limping my way around the driveway. Could it be that hanging on to that old injury was too great a price to pay? I was asking my husband to pop my metatarsal back into place every few days or so – a process that was painful and unpleasant, but it was my new normal because my damaged tendon could not hold those bones into place. I was unable to hike with my friends in Yosemite each spring, I couldn’t walk more than a couple of miles, I was in pain at the end of a day of skiing and worst of all, I couldn’t even race my grandson around the yard. This had become my new normal. I didn’t like it, but I accepted it. It was’t the best for me, but I endured it. I started thinking about how I’d become comfortable in my new normal, but it wasn’t an optimal place to live.

It took me years of enduring this to finally decide this was no way to live. So when I found out it was fixable, and I had surgery to repair it. And then the REAL slowdown happened.

Here’s what slowing down to go fast looks like for me right now…

Crutches. Scooter. Sit with your leg elevated as much as possible. Wear this boot. And NO DRIVING for several weeks.

Yes, I am on the slooooooooowwwwwww boat right now.

But you know what? I’ve decided it’s ok. By slowing down to fix this torn tendon in my foot I now can look forward to a future of even more mobility. I am slowing down now to go fast later. I am fixing my eyes on a time when I will be able to walk or hike several miles, ski all day without pain, and I’ll be able to race my grandson again – and maybe win for once? (Doubtful, but I will certainly give it my best shot…)

So what happens during the slow times?

Healing. That’s what happens.

A foundation is built for a strong tendon and bone structure to hold up my body for the rest of my life. In order to walk (literally) in my purpose and calling to be a fun and active grandma, I need to slow down and let this foot heal properly. I need to let my cells knit themselves together to form a new bond that is strong and able to perform the work of holding those bones in place. This takes time.

It wasn’t until this past weekend when God was walking me through an exercise of also slowing down my spirit for some inner healing that I saw the full circle message of this.

Life is busy. I know that. We get comfortable in our normal of stuffing our wounds full of temporary fixes. We eat or drink too much to numb the pain. We shop even more to avoid facing the debt. We stay busy to avoid having to listen to that still small voice telling us what needs to change to be healed. But do you know what happens when we slow down and let God fix our torn and broken parts?

Healing. That’s what happens.

Feeling anxious? Slow down and let God heal you.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

Are you exhausted and weary in your spirit, even down to your very bones?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Slow down and let God do the healing work. Just as I know the good work of healing started when my surgeon repaired that torn tendon, I also know that pushing through it too fast and forcing too much activity on that tender foot would undo everything the surgeon has done for me. Likewise, if I don’t sit with God in the work of healing in my soul and let him knit together the foundation for what’s ahead, I could undo everything the Great Physician has started in me.

…Be still and know that I am God…

Psalm 46:10

Have the lights come on yet? I hope so.

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

Let God finish the healing process he started in you so you can soar into your purpose and the calling he placed on your life the very day you were born. It’s never too late to slow down to go fast.

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Rest

Why do we run ourselves into the ground?

Why don’t we ever stop?

Why don’t we rest?

What is rest?

Rest, I believe, looks different for everyone but there is an element that remains the same, we all need it! It doesn’t matter how you rest as long as you take the time to do it and it refreshes and restores you.

God continues to tell me to slow down. If you know me you know I always have a million things going on. I am involved in so much and I am very active. So slowing down is hard, but I came to the point of complete exhaustion and was running on empty. I was pouring out my energy in all aspects of my life including into other’s lives and in return I depleted myself. I was not myself and did not feel right.

I realized I have never fully taken a Sabbath. A day of complete rest without working. I have taken partial days, a few hours of rest but never a full day.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he RESTED from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he RESTED from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:2-3

It’s biblical! God rested! He rested the whole day. Not part of the day, not half of the day! THE WHOLE DAY! God did this as an example for us. He wants us to rest. He did it so we would follow suit. So why don’t we? Why do we fill our days with work, work, work and feel like there is always more to be done?!

I always have a “to do list.” I think of things that I need to do and let it consume me, even on the day I should be “resting.” I have a trick for that if you are like me…have a note pad with you and when you think of something that you need to do write it down. This way it gets out of your head and you have space for rest. Try it and let me know if it helps you! : )

Let’s all take a Sabbath day. It doesn’t have to be on Sunday. Pick a day, any day of the week!

This week, I chose Sunday because it worked best for me. I slept in for the first time in a very long time with no alarm and got 11 hours of sleep!!!! Obviously my body needed rest. I had been neglecting it for too long. Then I made some coffee and sat with Jesus in my living room, journaling, and reading the Bible. And then He and I decided to go for a prayer walk. I got in the car and started driving towards the coast. I walked along the beach talking with God. It was so rejuvenating! I let go of some things, revelations were revealed to me, and God reminded me how much he loves me. I felt at peace and very calm. I had no distractions. I had my phone off the whole time and WOW! That was freeing!

And now I feel like I can take on the week and pour into those areas important to me. Look what a day of rest can do! 

What are you doing to rest?

We all need it. One day a week. Stop trying to push it aside. You will only make it worse.

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The Busy Life

I have to admit I live a busy life. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. I love having variety in my life and always having something to do. I enjoy jumping from one thing to the next. It is a constant struggle for me to rest and be still and be ok with not always having something to do.

We live in a busy, fast pace culture. We are constantly making plans and “to do” lists. I have many “to do” lists myself and I am always planning my next adventure. Which isn’t a bad thing, but I need to check where my priority lies.

We put too much confidence in our flesh to hold ourselves together. We put so much on ourselves and tell ourselves we are ok, put on a face, but on the inside we are falling a part. We try to cram in as much as we can because that is the culture we live in. Running from one party to the next, to soccer games, school events, you name it! Where do we fit in time with Jesus?

We run ourselves into the ground and don’t put our energy into things that really matter. When was the last time you asked Jesus what he wants you to do with your day? What would happen if you turned your “to do” list upside down? What if instead of rushing into the store, you stopped to talk to the person standing outside asking for a donation. I went to a store and ran in to grab one thing. When I came out I was stopped by someone asking me if I wanted to “save the ocean”. I was slightly annoyed because I wanted this to be a quick stop, but God put my heart in check and instead of rushing past them I decided to stop and talk with them. Knowing that I would not partake in what they were advertising, I engaged in conversation and they told me all about the program. In the end I told them I loved seeing the passion they have for this particular program and to not lose that passion. They were taken back by my encouragement to them because they don’t get that response, and even though I didn’t sign up to join them, they were happy I took the time to talk to them.

You never know the impact you can have on someone’s life when you simply give some of your time. Forget about the “to do” list and the ticking clock and look at the people in front of you who need love.

Think of your initial feeling you had when you met Jesus. The passion, joy, excitement, and wonder. There is a song by Bethel called “Wonder” and a line in the song is “May we never lose our wonder. Wide eyed and mystified may we be just like a child staring at the beauty of our king.”

This is how we need to live our lives day to day. We need to live in the wonder and awe of Jesus. Live in the passion of knowing Jesus! We don’t have to have it all together. We don’t have to put on a face and carry everything. He wants to take everything from us. All Jesus wants us to do is fix our eyes on him and seek his face and he will do the rest. Find time to rest, to be still, to get away from the busyness and be with Jesus. He will get it all done for us. He needs to be our top priority and everything else will fall into place. I have seen this happen in my own life, so why is it still a struggle to trust him everyday? I have to remind myself everyday to give my day to Jesus and see where he leads me. When I do give Jesus my day, everything works out and I have a better day than I could have imagined.

 

Don’t be so busy that you miss the opportunity to be a part of God’s work on earth. Great things happen when we allow God to use us. We are his vessels to bring heaven to earth. Don’t miss your opportunity to change the world!

 

“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead… But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:8-11, 13-14

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This is my friend Erica sitting with two Monks in Laos. She was showing them the love of Jesus by meeting them where they were, giving her time, and listening to them.

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Shabbat Shalom

What is the big deal about Shabbat? And why do Jews say this to each other every Friday afternoon?

Well, it is a big deal. God even told us in his Ten Commandments to honor the Sabbath. (Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work: but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.) 

This is something that we struggle with in our Western Christian thinking, and it is something that we both miss the meaning of and miss the benefits of because as a society we do not honor it.

Our Jewish brothers and sisters shut down their work places and spend sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday in fellowship together and with the Lord. It is so amazing to be in Jerusalem on Shabbat when the streets literally empty for 24 hours and resume the hustle and bustle of life on Saturday evening. Everyone returns to their routines rested and happy, and ready to work. Let’s discuss the meaning of Shabbat and Shalom.

shabbat shalom

Shabbat in Hebrew literally means “ceasing” or “stopping.” This is the word that is always used for the seventh day, the day work ceases for the purpose of rest. Not only is this a time of rest, but a time for holy gatherings together.

Leviticus 23:3 says, “Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to rest in all your dwellings.”

We know the word Shalom as the word for peace in Hebrew. But the noun Shalom has the more literal meaning of “being in a state of wholeness with no deficiency.”

Therefore, when we put the two words together, Shabbat Shalom, the simple meaning is, “may your day of no work be peaceful.” But, if we dive deeper and look at the literal meaning, it really becomes, “may you become whole during your ceasing of laborious work,” or, “may your wholeness be restored as you cease work on the seventh day.”

This is fantastic, right? So why aren’t we doing this? God actually gave us a day that we should dedicate wholly to Him and to gathering together with our loved ones in His Name. Why do we miss this when it is such a gift?

Now hold on to your hat, because I just learned something that both helped me to understand just how special and important we are to our Creator God, and made me appreciate the Sabbath enough to want to keep it from now on. Ready?

Genesis 1:1 God created the heavens and the earth. The 1st Chapter of the Bible tells us how he created all things and then made man at sundown on the 6th day. He made everything in creation perfect BEFORE He made us. He made it for our pleasure because we are the apple of His eye, made in His own Image. Then, once everything else had been made, He formed man. And, He formed man just in time for His Day of rest! Man’s first day on earth was set apart for rest and communion with God. Our first day in existence was Shabbat, spent building our relationship with the One who made us.

I can hardly contain my excitement! We are special, and we were made to be in relationship with God.

We are free in Christ, so we are not bound by law. God does command us to keep the Sabbath and to keep it holy. However, our society does not collectively adhere to the Sabbath. The day of the week doesn’t really matter – what matters is that we unplug once a week and take our God-given gift of a day of rest.

Imagine how our relationships with God and with each other will deepen when we set aside 24 hours a week to rest together in His Presence.

May your wholeness be restored as you cease work one day a week to commune with the One who created you and gave you peace and rest!

Shabbat Shalom!!!

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Prince of Peace

What do you think of when you hear the word peace?

I think of being content. When there is no stress or worry. Being still and quiet, sitting in the presence of God. Having a heart that is calm. Peace is defined as a state of tranquility or quiet.

Where does all this come from? How can you have this?

The answer is Jesus!

Jesus IS the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

 Jesus IS peace.

Ephesians 2:14

“For he himself is our peace…”

Ephesians 2:17

“He came and preached peace to you

who were far away

and peace to those who were near.”

God sent his son to be born on this earth and live in the flesh and die so that we could have peace.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled

and do not be afraid.”

 

God GAVE us peace. We didn’t have to do anything to earn it! He wants us to have peace, but it can only be found in Him! God tells us to be still and know that he is God. Are we doing this? Are we separating ourselves from the chaos of this world and resting in his peace? You cannot find true peace in the things of this world. The world will leave you unsatisfied and constantly searching for more. GOD IS ENOUGH. He is all we need. He will fulfill every need we have. What an incredible promise that is!

 

My challenge for you this Christmas season is to take time to rest. Take time to be still and experience Jesus’ peace. Stop searching for peace in the world. God has it for you. It is available to you, you have to take the effort and look for it!

 Peace

This is peace to me… being still, not thinking of anything but looking at the ocean with a breathtaking sunset. God’s beautiful creation! This was the sunset this evening in San Diego, Ca! Winter in Southern California!

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