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Re-energize before Christmas

19 Dec

“Three phrases that sum up Christmas are:  Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not included.” ~ author unknown

“I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, ‘Toys not included.'” ~ Bernard Manning (1)

Ever feel like you need a new set of batteries to keep running?

This is about the time of the Christmas season that I (Dawn) start wearing down, so I took time to think about Fifteen Ways to Re-Energize before Christmas. Maybe this will help you, too.

  1. Connect with friends and family members spontaneously ~ no expectations ~ and chat about some fun holiday memories.
  2. Schedule some play time that doesn’t require a lot of planning. (Holiday preparations can get so intense, they feel like work; so allow yourself some down time. Think like a child.)
  3. Look at your “to do list” and determine whether what you are doing right now absolutely has to be done right now. Is there something you can put off until after Christmas? Something you can delegate? Something you might decide isn’t worth doing at all? Learn when to say “no.”
  4. Think legacy and impact to determine what is important. What will last? How do you want people to remember you? What counts for eternity? What builds people up?
  5. Use “now-time” wisely. Plan for long-term goals, but take just one step at a time. Don’t fret over tomorrow’s responsibilities.
  6. Eat healthy ~ a balance of protein and good carbs.
  7. Drink more water!
  8. Exercise. Yes, that sounds counter-productive, but daily exercise will help, especially if you can get some sunshine outside at the same time to beat winter blues. At the very least, do some slow stretches ~ get every muscle group involved. Reach high… bend low… twist gently.
  9. Breathe deeply … breathe out for as long as you can through your mouth, and then breathe in deeply through your nose. Hold your breath.  Repeat. Repeat.
  10. Simplify housekeeping. Keeping the “clutter” down and wiping down surfaces is all that’s really necessary, if you’ve been keeping your home in shape. Don’t think that your ChristmasNaphouse has to be “immaculate” for guests.
  11. Take a power nap in the middle of the day… it’s better for you than an extra half hour in the morning. (A friend reminded me that it’s not a nap if I’m still holding a cell phone or have my hands on a keyboard!)
  12. Smell good stuff ~ the aromas of your Christmas tree, tangerines, rosemary, etc.
  13. Enjoy light and warmth. Sit by a glowing fireplace, or light candles.
  14. Sing Carols out loud in your home, or listen to Christmas music as you work.
  15. Turn over all of your cares to God.

What I’m talking about here is how to get back a feeling of energy … powering up. These are things, actually, that we can do any time we feel like our batteries have run down.

One of the most “draining” things we can do during the holiday season is to fret and worry about all that we have to do. That’s why I especially like #15 on that list.

The Bible says, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” (1 Peter 5:7, Amplified). God says we can cast our cares on Him, and He will sustain us (Psalm 55:22).

We “cast our cares” by handing them over to God. Envision that you have your hands full … because you do! And then hand those things over to God for safe-keeping.

We don’t need to worry about tomorrow’s “to do list” (Matthew 6:34), but only consider what God wants us to do today. Can you feel the “aaaaah” in that?

So, the way we power up to face the stresses of the holidays is really by powering down … or rather, surrendering to God’s power. We recognize that we can’t do it all, but we CAN do all that God wants us to do, by His grace, in His power, with His strength and help.

Relax. Think about what’s really important in this special season, and then ~ cast your cares on the One who has promised to sustain you, and allow Him to recharge your batteries.

(1) http://www.quotegarden.com/christmas.html

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God’s Creation ~ Drink It In!

15 Jun

Glass_HalfEmpty?A well-known proverb states that an optimistic would say a glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty. What would people of different professions and walks of life say?

The Banker would say that the glass has just under 50% of its net worth in liquid assets.

The Government would say that the glass is fuller than if the opposition party were in power.

The Opposition would say that it is irrelevant because the present administration has changed the way such volume statistics are collected.

The Economist would say that, in real terms, the glass is 25% fuller than at the same time last year.

The Philosopher would say that, if the glass was in the forest and no one was there to see it, would it be half anything?

The Psychiatrist would ask, “What did your mother say about the glass?”

The Physicist would say that the volume of this cylinder is divided into two equal parts; one a colorless, odorless liquid, the other a colorless, odorless gas. Thus the cylinder is neither full nor empty. Rather, each half of the cylinder is full, one with a gas, one with a liquid. *

Whether a glass is half empty or half full, there’s nothing like crystal clear water to satisfy our thirst; and I (Dawn) am so thankful that God blessed our planet with rivers, lakes, oceans … beautiful bodies of water that serve so many purposes in our lives.

As Pam posted photos to Facebook recently of her time in beautiful, exhilarating Alaska ~ especially the gorgeous Pam Reading in Alaskascenes where she had her quiet time with God (I love this one of her reading LOL with God), I couldn’t help but think of the three years I lived in Iceland during high school ~ a place that is, in at least one way, much like Alaska. It gets cold!

Iceland’s official first day of summer is at the end of April, even though Icelanders won’t see higher temperatures until June or even July.  My favorite time of year there was summer, when the sun was visible for almost 24 hours of each day. I remember playing softball outside at 3:00 am! If I were there now, I’d be covering my bedroom windows with aluminum foil so I could sleep in the “Land of the Midnight Sun.”

OxarafossIt is a “land of frost and fire” with volcanoes, hot springs, and active geysers alongside glaciers, making this country one of the most unusual in the Atlantic. One of the most beautiful natural features of Iceland is its waterfalls. They are among Europe’s most powerful, magnificent falls.

My favorite waterfall ~ though not the most beautiful or the tallest ~ was the chilly Öxarárfoss near the Almannagjá rift valley, where the Vikings met for their parliament meetings at Þingvellir (pronounced Thing-vet-lur).  We placed six-packs of Continue reading

Longing for a Porch

26 Apr
Feet on Porch

"You can paint my porch."

Angie, wanting to earn some money, decided to hire herself out as a handyman-type and started canvassing a wealthy neighborhood.  She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any jobs for her to do.

“Well, you can paint my porch,” he said. “How much will you charge?”

Angie said, “How about 50 dollars?” The man agreed and told her that the paint and ladders that she might need were in the garage.

The man’s wife, inside the house, heard the conversation and said to her husband, “Does she realize that the porch goes all the way around the house?”

The man replied, “She should. She was standing on the porch.” A short time later, Angie came to the door to collect her money.

“You’re finished already?” he asked.

“Yes,” she answered, “and I had paint left over, so I gave it two coats.”

Impressed, the man reached in his pocket for the $50.

“And by the way,” Angie added, “that’s not a Porch, it’s a Ferrari.” *

Remember Andy, Barney, Opie, and Aunt Bea on the front porch Continue reading

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