Push the Pause Button: Taking Time to Evaluate

At this very moment I am enjoying a rare moment of bliss.  My laptop, Bible, calendar and I are sitting at a local coffee shop, in an air conditioned room with, ironically, a cozy fireplace flickering nearby.  It is doing it’s job well, relaxing me while I sip a blueberry Italian soda, nibble an M & M cookie, and reflect on life.  Yes, I’m spoiled.  A whole pack of thank you notes wouldn’t be enough to thank my sweet husband.

It is a break, yes.  But, it is also a work appointment.  As a wife and mother I take my job very seriously.  And sometimes I need to get away from the workplace I love to renew my perspective.

As a stay-at-home wife, homeschooling mom, host mom, writer, daughter, friend, and growing child of God, I must take time to pray, evaluate, and plan for coming days.  When I was single I needed to do the same thing.  It was tedious to face life’s ups and downs alone, besides being responsible for everything. 

We all need TIME to REFOCUS.

Here are some questions to help us check our path as we push the pause button:

1.  God – Is God still a priority in my life?  If so, what is the evidence?  When is the last time I was truly abiding in Him?  Have I poured my heart out to Him today?  How many times a day do I think about Him?  Do people know that I am His?

2.  Myself: God’s Temple – Is my heart soft or hard?  Am I where God wants me to be?  Do I need help?  If so, am I asking for help?  Am I a thankful person?  Am I taking care of my spirit, mind, emotions, and body?  Am I doing ____ for God’s glory or mine?  Are my goals in life reasonable or am I constantly defeated by unrealistic expectations?

3.  Others: Eternal Souls – Who has God given to me as priority relationships to help?  Am I putting them first?  Am I doing my best to help them in their walk with God?  Do I pray as much for others as I pray for myself?  Do I need to change my schedule to make more time for others?  Am I using my influence for good in my home, neighborhood, church, community, and beyond?

4.  My Home: God’s Embassy – Do I have too much stuff in my home?  Is taking care of things weighing me down and sapping energy better used elsewhere?  What do I need to get rid of?  How often do I have people over?  Is my home a refuge for my family?  Is my home a God-place?  Am I clinging too tightly to things?  Is my house a place of peace and joy?

5.  My Schedule: My Soul Test –  What does my schedule say about me?  About my view of God?  Is it too packed or do I need to add some things to use my time wisely?  What is causing me the most stress?  What about it is stressful?  How much time do I spend online every day? What is the first thing I’d like to remove from my schedule?  Why?  Am I dwelling in the past or future instead of today?

Jesus told us what our priorities should be …

“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Blessings abound in us because we are daughters of the King.  Whether we are single, married, with or without kids, an empty-nester, a grandmother, or are standing at the end of life on earth, God wants to help us live with His heart.  All we need to do is ask Him! 

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all. 
– Forgaill

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