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Creating Restorative Time with God

The year didn’t begin as expected.

I hoped to grab a quick breakfast on the road so we could arrive at our family vacation spot earlier than expected, but Brian insisted we take advantage of the free breakfast at our hotel. (Brian also insists I missed my calling as an industrial engineer because I naturally gravitate to saving time. *wink*)

We took the stairs instead of the elevator on our way back to the room. (Trust me when I say you don’t want to join me in a confined space.) In a blink of an eye, the rubber tip of my shoe kissed the edge of the stair step, and down she went. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was downright painful from the get-go, but we enjoyed our vacation only to find out later I’d broken the shoulder socket.

One doctor appointment after another quickly ensued, leaving me exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Every week required a different appointment, a follow-up call, or a notification that a new bill had landed in MyChart. I needed restorative time with God but struggled to create it.

One night, however, while taking Henry the Doodle for a walk outside, it felt like the sky was magnetic. I couldn’t help but look up. And when I did, God used the glorious backlit heavens to remind me of His vast love, faithfulness, and purpose in every detail sifted through His hands for my good and His ultimate glory.

 

Threads of God’s restorative power began weaving its healing power through a weary soul that night.

 

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

 

Jesus created restorative time with God, and we can too.

 

When people or circumstances look for us at every corner of our day, we can look up and find help in Christ. In my featured article on the Dawn app this week, I share how Jesus exemplifies this beautiful connection after experiencing an onslaught of expectations from those around Him. Hop over and join me there. It’s a short read, but one I pray will stick with you on those days when everything feels like it’s falling apart.

When was the last time you felt sought after by either circumstances or people and how did God help you? 

 

Restore: 30 Days of Wonder Challenge

DAY 18: RESTORE

Portraits of restoration surround us, but sometimes we walk by such beautiful work unaware. Look around your home for something that needs restoring. A wall that needs touch-up paint. A piece of jewelry that’s lost its shine. An appliance that needs to be fixed. A piece of furniture that needs to be refinished. Instead of waiting another day, begin the process of repair today. As you work, consider the wondrous work of restoration that God has done and is doing in your life. 

– Margaret Feinburg, Wonderstruck

Think Bullying is Just For Kids? Think Again.

When asked by Oprah if he considered himself a bully based on past interactions, Lance Armstrong said, “Yes.” Many were surprised to hear his admissions of dominance over colleagues, some for simply disagreeing with him.

Bullying during adolescent years, however, doesn’t seem so surprising. Perhaps statistics from i-SAFE Foundation prove why, unfortunately:

  • Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
  • More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber-threats online.
  • Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.
  • Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.

The results can be devastating. 

But bullying isn’t just for kids. Although adults may react differently, the pain remains — emotionally, physically, and spiritually. (If you’re being bullied at work, home, or in ministry, please tell someone.)

This post, however, is to raise awareness of our own actions.

According to bullystatistics.org we might be considered a bully if we:

  • Are quick to put down others
  • Desire to gain power over another person to make himself or herself more dominant
  • Enjoy showing others “who is boss”
  • Use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate

More subtle ways? 

  • Invading another person’s “personal space” in a strong or dominant way. (Some believe this to be about arm’s length) Hugs, of course, do not count.
  • Using a dominant tone of voice when speaking to others.
  • Facial expressions. A nonverbal but powerful source of communication.

While preparing my first lesson in Nehemiah, I was struck by how Nehemiah’s shrewd leadership skills were divinely rendered in love. 

The result? God used him to not only rebuild a wall, but to restore His people. 

Are our actions/words restoring or destroying others? 

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. (Neh. 2:17, 18)

 

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