Just be Still

“The Lord will fight for you.  Just be still.” Exodus 14:14

These words, from the kid’s church verse from last week, are a powerful reminder to me in this season of business.  Ryan and I have gone from place to place, speaking engagement to speaking engagement and this is just the beginning of our busy summer.  We swing from low, exhausted lows to energized, determined highs and back again.  Yes, this is our job but we have to be careful that we don’t start relying too much on our own abilities and forget the underlying foundation of our work.ExodusI’m not good at being still.  I’m not good at resting.  Case in point: As I type these words, I’m actually feeling a little guilty because it’s Sunday afternoon and I should be napping or otherwise really resting but instead I’ve convinced myself that writing a blog entry to maintain my blogging schedule is more important.  And although I am going to finish this,  I’m reminded that I need to remember the words of this verse even more.

“The Lord will fight for you.  Just be still.”  The deeper we get in this process, the more convinced I am that my own words and abilities are severely inadequate.  It’s only by God’s grace, through the Lord fighting for us that we will see everything fall into place, raise the support we need, finish the training we have to complete and make it to Australia.

We have a loving heavenly father engaged in this battle, we have his son Jesus who is also in on this fight and the Holy Spirit is constantly doing battle on our behalf.  We have a whole army fighting for us…now to just be still.

Unrestful Rest

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I’m terrible at resting.  Our work doesn’t fit into nice 9-5 weekday only time slots, therefore it is often difficult for my very full mind to allow me to rest.  So on days set aside for rest, it is not uncommon that I sabotage myself with thoughts of things undone or things still needing to be done.20160213_145615Today Ryan and I did our best to rest although I confess that there was a bit of self-sabotage mixed in.  However, Ryan is an amazing help when it comes to stepping outside of the never-ending work, taking a break and spending time together.  We enjoyed the beautiful day, toured the Sacramento Capitol, walked around downtown and across the tower bridge (pictured above), explored Old Sac, tested some yummy fudge and ended the day with a lovely dinner with friends.

I’m still learning to truly rest but I’m thankful for a patient husband and for days like today that at least provided a little bit of rest even if I couldn’t get away from myself.

The Jet Lag Fog

October 30th was an extremely long day.  We left Perth at 2am on the 30th.  Arrived in Singapore at 7am on the 30th.  Left Japan at 7pm on the 30th.  And finally arrived back at LAX at 1pm on the 30th (that’s 6 hours earlier than when we left Japan).  By the time 7pm on the 30th rolled around again, Ryan and I were fighting to stay awake and so after some failed attempts we gave in and were sound asleep by 8pm.

Although Ryan was awake from about 2am to 7am before sleeping again, I slept 14 hours before finally rousing myself after 10am.  Ryan was up about an hour later.  And despite the sleep, yesterday was still quite foggy.  We didn’t accomplish much other than staying awake.  But that in itself seemed like quite a feat.

Last night we each slept for about 10 hours again.  Much needed sleep as our bodies continue to adjust back to California time.  And much needed sleep because tomorrow begins real life once again.  And that includes waking up at 4 for both of us.  Since China doesn’t participate in daylight savings, my students will be ready for me an hour earlier and Ryan begins at the radio station once again.

Please pray for us as we unpack, adjust and navigate our new reality living in California but taking the necessary steps to get us back to Perth.

Our Beach View

IMG_0424The beach was lovely despite a few raindrops:-)  And the company was wonderful.  My only complaint is that one full day wasn’t enough.  It was great to have a break but still be close to home.  One of the perks of living in southern California is the beach so we were happy to enjoy it when we can.  The water was even warm enough for a swim!

Screen Free Saturdays

I’m doing my best to implement Screen Free Saturdays. Before I was married I had gotten good at taking one day a week off from work and my computer.  I often even turned off my phone.  The day was completely random depending on the week.  But I usually had at least one day when I found myself appointments free.  I definitely had to work to keep those days open but it certainly helped my sanity.  Weekends, especially Sundays were not restful or work-free for me and so I had to find that time elsewhere.  I don’t just turn off for a few hours, I need to step away completely and I got pretty good at actually making that happen.

However, this habit went out the window once I got married.  With the change and upheaval of my life in general, I just kept going week after week.  This isn’t healthy for me or my husband.  But now that I settled into a new sort of schedule, a healthier pattern is finally emerging.  And that is why it is now Screen Free Saturday.  This should be good for me, my time with God, my time with my husband and hopefully this will encourage others to step away from the things that bind us and prohibit us from real rest.

What Screen Free Saturdays are:

1. No email.

2. No blog.

3. No Facebook.

4. No Instagram.

5. No computer, kind of.  Some exceptions might be looking up directions, a recipe or watching a movie.  But if at all possible I avoid opening my computer because of the ritualized habit of checking Facebook, multiple emails and other sites regularly.

What Screen Free Saturdays are NOT:

1. Actually screen free.  TV, movies and my cell phone are all fair game.  But I have to be careful, especially with my phone, because it’s super easy to just open the Facebook app or look and see that I have emails waiting for me.  TV and movies don’t really have a strong draw but it’s nice to have the option of curling up and watching something on our rare (and so far nonexistent) lazy Saturday at home.

2. Set in stone.  The point of this is not to get all legalistic but instead to have a healthier relationships with technology, social media and other people.

So I will leave you with two more thoughts.  I find that being productive during the week actually allows my mind to accept and enjoy the rest.  There will always be a to-do list but if there are too many things left undone, I won’t be able to fully rest or unplug.  If rest and/or productivity are things you struggle with, here is a great sermon from Kyle Wells at Christ Presbyterian in SB.  We are indeed Set Free to Rest.

And finally this blog post was written on Friday and scheduled to post today:-)  Happy Saturday everyone!

Rest and Relaxation with Jenny



I’m so thankful for my friend Jenny.  She and her husband had already planned on coming to visit California before I was diagnosed with mono.  Instead of cancelling the trip, they adapted and worked around my limitations.  We just enjoyed lots of conversations, lots of sun and organized our activities around rest and nap time.  Or I would rest while Jenny and her husband went on hikes and enjoyed the outdoorseyness of Santa Barbara.  It was great to catch up in person and now back to my regularly scheduled convalescence.