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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

3 Habits That Breathe Life Into Your Spiritual Journey

Wrap the habits of your soul in the sweet lavender of your Lord’s character. -Meyer
Habits. We brush our teeth, pour the coffee, buy new notebooks before filling the last one (or is that just me?). But what about the habits of our soul—those choices that breathe life into our spiritual journey? While there are many, I chose three I’m currently highlighting in my own walk.

Chew, don’t swallow. These days, there’s much to do about eating clean (unprocessed) foods to ramp up energy and kick start our metabolism. Why would we feed anything less to our souls? God’s Word is pure, active and alive (Hebrews 4:12). Try choosing one or two verses to focus on throughout the week. Don’t swallow it whole. Chew on it—ask God questions, search out His answers, and watch with anticipation to see how He makes Himself known. 

Embrace solitude. If Jesus made it a priority, why wouldn’t I? He knew what many of us are still learning: Solitude energizes the soul. Jesus intentionally withdrew from people in order to commune with the Father, listen without interruption, and rest. With so much noise clamoring for our attention today, it’s imperative that we too become intentional, even if only for a few moments each day. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Be Your Story. Yes, we need to tell our stories but sometimes we’re only seen, not necessarily heard. We pass people in our cars, ride their bumpers, stand a few buggies behind them in the store, interact with our spouses and children in public, etc. What do others learn about us when seeing us from a distance? I can talk all day about how I’m supposed to be kind, patient, slow to anger, etc. but is that what my actions, even my expressions, are revealing to those I may never have the opportunity to talk to? I fail often, but I want the sweet waft of Christ to be evident to all who see me, as well as hear me. 

Do you have a habit of the soul to add? I’d love to learn more!

“Since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
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