A Day Without a List!

List

My last post was about the wonderful gift of a snow day!  As much as I love snow days, I have an uncanny ability to spoil the day off for myself by trying to catch up on my never ending “to do” list . Before I know it, the day is over and I forgot to relax and sip hot chocolate curled up with a good book.  I was so mad at myself that I had “wasted” a perfectly good snow day working on laundry and housecleaning!  So this week when we were blessed with yet another snow day, I was determined that I was going to relax and make it everything I dreamed a perfect snow day should be!

I had been texting a childhood friend who also has the same Type A tendencies of not being able to sit down and relax.  She also works for a school and we agreed that if we both had a snow day, we would relax.  To me the perfect day would be one without a list.  You see, I LOVE lists and have multiple lists and even lists for my lists!  They keep me focused and productive but sometimes I just feel chained to it and would love to have a day where my life is not dictated by the next thing “to do”.  So on this snow day, the first rule was NO LIST!  I decided I would try to sleep in and then whatever I felt like doing, I would just do.  I had some ideas in my mind of what a snow day should look like (The sipping tea, reading a book, watching movies, baking chocolate chip cookies kind of day!) but decided that I would just kind of go with the flow and do what I felt like as the day passed.

After waking up at 6:00, I was able drift back into a deep slumber and slept in and then proceeded to have a leisurely day catching up on some reading, writing letters, exercising without feeling rushed and even a nap!  Before I knew it, the day was almost over and I felt accomplished in a different sort of way.  Although many things were left undone, for the first time in a while, I felt truly relaxed and re-charged.  Throughout the day, I had that antsy feeling that I should be doing something more productive, but I’m glad I stuck with it because I did feel much better.  (Sad to say my friend, who had been texting with me all day for relaxing accountability, only made it until 2:00 before she ditched out plan and went grocery shopping!  There is always next time!)  I survived a day without crossing something off my list!

For many years, I have tried to follow the commandment to keep Sunday a day of rest and worship.  This has always been difficult for me because after working full-time all week, I feel like I am always playing catch up on things that need to get done.  We attend worship regularly, but I need to continue working on the rest part after we leave church.  I want to focus on this because I think it will make a huge difference in how I feel as I start my week on Monday and beyond.  So no more lists on Sunday!  I want to make it a day of worship, rest and time with family and God.

I think (hope) our snowstorms are done for the year, so I’m very happy that I made the most of the last one for the season!  I hope you are all able to find some time to rest and relax this week.

~Blessings,
Jen

Important Lessons

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This is probably one of my favorite local places to hang out at. The beach at Lake Huron. Just a few short miles from my house and I can enjoy the fresh lake air, hear the laughter of children playing and the call of seagulls. It’s a peaceful place for me. Yesterday was Friday, my day off. I had nothing on my agenda that seriously needed to be done. I have spent most of July recovering from pneumonia, so my summer has felt very limited. As the week was coming to an end I prayed that it would be a sunny day as I had decided I was going to go to the beach! It was a little cool in the morning, but the sun started warming things up as the day went on. By noon I had my chair set up and my book ready to go. I think for the first time in a very long time, I went to the beach when I wanted, did what I wanted when I was there, and came home when I felt like it, not someone else’s agenda. I have to tell you, it was a very healing and therapeutic day. I took several walks along the shore, about ankle deep, and of course I had my eye on the rocks…always looking for something good. (I did find 2 Petosky stones, something I never have found at this beach!) When I decided I was ready to go home, I pack stuff up and headed towards the car. I started noticing, my knees didn’t hurt, my back didn’t hurt and the headache that had been lingering for weeks was gone. So a day of rest and relaxation is what it takes to help take the aches and pain away.  Well…it did for a little while.What an important lesson for me! I believe it is a really important lesson. We can’t get rid of every bad thing in our life. We can’t always avoid the aches and pains and sorrows that comes with life. But sometimes……sometimes we need to just step out of the world for awhile and just be.

I hope you can find some time to do this for yourself. I promise it will be worth it!

Have a great weekend!

Julie

 

Be Inspired To Listen

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” Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  

                                                                                                           1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

I have been dealing with a back injury since February of this year.  At the time of the injury, I thought I could just work through it and it would go away, but it didn’t.  Ten months later I am finally starting to feel better.  This journey to healing has been a frustrating one, but I have learned a lot about listening to my body.  I have had to learn to be patient with myself and give my body time to heal.

Up until this injury, I was pretty active and ran five days a week.  After the injury, I kept running for four months despite the pain.  I kept thinking it would get better and I could just run through the pain.  The old adage of “no pain, no gain” was not working for me. I finally decided to seek some help, trying a few different options, until I eventually ended up with a prescription for physical therapy. One of the first directions my physical therapist gave me was to stop running.  This was a tough one to follow,  I had never had an injury that kept me from doing the things I wanted to do.  For me, running is not only a great form of exercise but it is also helps me to stay mentally fit!

Over the course of my treatment, my physical therapist taught me exercises that would help strengthen my back and improve my pain level.  I had a few setbacks during the course of treatment, when I would try to run and then realize my body wasn’t ready for that type of exercise yet. (I can be a slow learner sometimes!)  Over the weeks, I learned to really stop and listen to my body.  If I was in pain, I would try to listen to my body and  if  it was telling me I needed a  more gentle exercise or even rest, then that was what I needed to do!  It was a very hard lesson for me, to slow down and listen, but it was definitely one I needed to learn!

I started thinking about how listening to our body is something that often gets lost in this busy, fast-paced world.  I know I am guilty of rushing through my day, not always getting enough sleep or nourishing my body with healthy food.  When I really stopped to think about it, why wouldn’t I listen and care for myself?  Why would I take for granted this most precious gift of life from God?  I started thinking about how intricately God designed us, all that goes on inside our bodies each day from our beating hearts to the gift of sight and sound and all of the other many systems within that allow us to live each day.  This motivates me to want to take better care of myself.  In doing so, I can honor God and live my best life, a life of service to the One who created me.

I am human and I know I won’t always listen like I should, but I am going to try.  If I am tired, I will get some rest, if I am in pain, I will slow down and care for myself .  When I am feeling stressed, I will take a deep breath and try to manage it better.  If I feel like jumping for joy, I think I will do that too!  These are just a few of the things I can do to listen and take care of myself.  In a month where we focus on thankfulness, I can’t help but reflect on and be so very  thankful for this beautiful gift of life God has given me!

~Blessings,

Jen