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10 Things I Learned in 2014

Image Credit: Blogworld

by Cathy Baker

Happy New Year’s Eve!

To close out 2014 in the blogosphere, I decided to share ten things I’ve learned this year. Hopefully, I learned more than ten (ha!) but it was first come, first serve in the memory bank so here goes (in no particular order): 

1. I have two new favorite authors!

Actually, it’s because of Emily P. Freeman that this post exists at all. The idea originated on her site, Chatting at the Sky. Emily’s book, A Million Little Ways, remains at the top of my all time fave books. 

Another favorite author is Lori Roeleveld. Her recent release, Running From a Crazy Man (and other adventures with Jesus), forwarded by Jerry B. Jenkins, is a must read for those who are serious about putting the gospel on display. (It’s 1.99 on Kindle right now!)

2. Every choice I make either moves me closer to my goals or draws me
further away from them.
   

When I consider my self-talk at the brink of an unwise choice it often goes like this: What difference will one frappe make in the big scheme of things?  Truth is, that one frappe does make a difference. Every single time I say “no” to an unhealthy choice I’m actually saying “yes” to my goal of becoming healthier. 

Why My Laptop Was Left Behind

Our view from the Portofino IV deck in Garden City, SC

by Cathy Baker

If you know me, you know my vacation actually begins when pen hits paper a few weeks prior to our departure. Yes, the list could be saved on a Google doc but there’s something about starting with fresh paper and bright ink each year that makes me…well, downright happy. 

This year, however, I felt the tinge of a holy adjustment coming my way every time I glanced at the words “lap top” on my list.

Moonlight skimming the ocean.

I knew with three grandbabies on the trip there would be no desire to peruse the internet, check email or write blog posts during the day but I admit I thought it might be the perfect way to close the evening before heading to bed. 

And then I came across Emily Freeman’s post Why Rest Takes Courage. Her final paragraph clung to my soul, refusing its release:

The details of soul rest may look different for each of us, but
probably includes some combination of silence, solitude, nature, your
people, and the willingness to come into the presence of Christ and
simply be ourselves.

The Holy Spirit was as clear as the moon on our first night at the beach—I was to leave the lap top behind. And I did, resulting in a few discoveries along the way: 

  • I was ambushed by the uneasiness that crept in as our departure day drew near. What did I think I’d really miss in 7 days? 
  • A new-found freedom emerged as I carried out my beach days with little to no thought of the lap top. I felt no obligation to check Facebook or email. I tried to rest in the fact that if someone didn’t receive an immediate response from me, all would be well in the end.
  • I lost nothing by leaving my lap top behind but I did gain a liberty I didn’t know existed, time I can never recapture and a renewed appreciation for God’s promptings. 

I’m not suggesting everyone should leave their lap top behind, but I don’t ever see it reappearing on my family beach trip list again. Ever. 

So, how about you? Is there one thing in particular you most appreciate about God’s promptings in your life? 

Taking time off is not a punishment or a dare or a rule.
It is a gift.  
-Emily P. Freeman

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