Editors, Know Your Facts

Editing Advice, Life and Happiness, Writing

Last week, I mentioned how much I love to read. This week I want to discuss the perils of being a voracious reader while also being a strict editor. It’s not always a fun mix.

You see, when I read, I can’t help but find errors. It makes me good at what I do, but also hinders my reading experience. Especially if a novel has not been edited well. I’m not simply talking about missing commas – I tend to forgive those when I read. I’m talking about obvious mistakes in the content.

My niche is as a content editor. This means I can look at the larger picture of a novel and pick out any inconsistencies. I recently took on the role of proofreader for a Christian publisher. I love it. For the most part, the books I receive as a proofreader are already edited by a professional. I’m only looking for bits and pieces that might have been missed.

Here’s a great example. I was proofing a book set in 1872. As I was reading, I came across a passage about the characters sitting in Adirondack chairs. For whatever reason, the use of these chairs seemed odd to me during this time period. “How long ago were those invented anyway?” I thought. So I looked it up. Because a good editor looks stuff up. (Not that the other editor wasn’t a good editor – it just didn’t hit them the same way it did me.) I look up stuff all the time. I don’t know everything, but I sure have learned a lot by being an editor and looking up facts!

What I found out was Adirondack chairs were not invented until 1903. Sure, it’s close in time period and I would have accepted it if, in the story, the characters happened to know the creator of the chair. Thomas Lee certainly could have come up with the idea much earlier than 1903. BUT they were original referred to as “Westport plank chairs” because 1) he was in Westport, NY (which is in the Adirondacks – and also not where the book was set) and 2) they were made of planks. I couldn’t find a mention of when the name actually switched to Adirondack.

I absolutely LOVE finding out these kinds of details and also making sure a novel (especially one set in a historical time period) is true to facts. However, it does take my joy away sometimes when I’m reading for pleasure.

My advice to authors? Find a good editor. Or two. Or three. Editors who will ask about the details, not just the commas. (By the way, I just so happen to BE one of those editors and I’m booking clients for 2019. Contact me through my contact page to discuss.) It’ll help your readers have so much more joy if they don’t have to wonder about the details.

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2019 Reading Challenge

Life and Happiness, reader

When I was younger, I was a voracious reader. I remember reading every Stephen King book I could get my hands on. (It was a phase.) I hung out in the library in high school, was president of the Library Club for 3 years, and thought of our librarian as one of my best friends. I remember sitting in quiet corners, between two shelves of books, and reading whatever I happened to pick from the stack. The quiet enveloped me, stilled my soul and the reading thrilled it back to life.

Once I hit college, recreational reading took a back seat because of the actually reading for class I had to do. Then, after college, and after my then-fiance broke off our engagement, I took a part-time job at a local library shelving books. It took me right back to those high school days! As I’d shelve the returned books, I’d sometimes stop to leaf through a few, or even hold them back for reading later. Once all the books were shelved for the night, I’d find a quiet place between the stacks, sit on the floor, sniff the pages, and then let the author’s words take me away to a new place. The peace and solitude I found during those times were so healing for me. I could travel to far off lands, seek advice from self-help gurus, and learn new recipes to try.

Now, as you all know, I’m an editor. I get paid to read people’s books. What a great job! But I still read for fun too. In the last two years, I’ve been keeping track of my progress. Goodreads.com has a great tool to keep track of all the books you read in one year. It’s great motivation for those who have trouble sticking with a reading schedule and a terrific challenge for those of us who just want to see how many books we can read in one year. You can also see your other friends’ progress as well – kind of a competition, but a fun one.

Last year, I set my goal for 60. I thought it was conservative but doable. I ended up surpassing it. I read 74. (Yes, I do include the books I’ve edited IF they are published and available to be linked on Goodreads. I actually read many more than 74 last year but many did not meet that criteria.)

This year, I’ve set my goal for 75. Again, conservative but doable. (I’m actually hoping for 100.)

For me, it pushes me out of my comfort zone because I try to read anything I can lay my hands on. I don’t have specific genres I always read and I don’t shy away from longer masterpieces. (But I do include a lot of shorter ones because it’s easier to meet my goal that way!) I simply read for the enjoyment of reading. Some are good, some are horrible, and some are terrific. But every single one transports me somewhere, increases my knowledge in some way, and lets me return to that peaceful, quiet place between the stacks.

Are you participating in the Goodreads challenge? I’d love to keep up with your progress! Follow me here and check out my progress here.

My Word for 2019

God, Life and Happiness, Religion

I’ve been thinking long and hard about my word for 2019. Last year, I chose “consistent” and did pretty well. My work was consistent – I increased my sales dramatically. My exercise routine was mostly consistent even though I’ve gained weight. And my desire to make stronger relationships continued to grow and be consistent.

This year, I know my husband and I are in for some changes. (Check out my last post for more details on that.) I think God has a year of renewal in store for us. I thought about the word renewal, but primarily it means that you will continue to do something. You renew your license, for example. So I began to consider other words.

Refreshment

Rejuvenation

Revival

Resurrection (Okay, I would never use this one – but I wanted to keep up the “re” theme.)

Recently, I mentioned to a friend that I thought this year would be one for my husband and I to reconnect (Another “re” word!) with God. A time for us to seek respite (!) and a time of finding our center once again.

In the Bible, God rests on the seventh day of creation. He instructed the Israelites to take a Sabbath year. And I know I need to rest too. But it seems like 2019 will be more than that. I like the thought of refreshing my soul, finding what God wants from me again. My husband and I have done mostly the same things for the last 10 years. It’s been good and a lot of it has been rewarding, but I think God is ready to move us to the next “level.” I think He has something new in store for us.

So how do I combine rest with rejuvenation/revival?

I think REFRESH is a good word.

Merriam-Webster defines “refresh” as “to restore strength and animation to, to run water over or restore water to, to update or renew especially by sending a new signal.”

Wow. Yes. That’s it. Refresh. I need refreshed. I need my strength restored. I need some living water poured on me in order to restore me. I need a new signal that will update my thinking and my actions. I need to restart the power of my life. I need to refresh my screen – the way I see things.

So there you have it. 2019 will be my year of refreshment. It doesn’t mean I won’t be working as hard or will be just lounging back with a cocktail in hand. But it will mean a new outlook. A new way of seeing the world. A new way of interacting – and reacting. Spending time understanding the peace with which God wants to fill my soul.

American businessman Joseph B. Wirthlin said, “Many in the world are searching, often intensely, for a source of refreshment that will quench their yearning for meaning and direction in their lives. They crave a cool, satisfying drink of insight and knowledge that will soothe their parched souls.”

I agree with him. But I know where my refreshment comes from – the Lord.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11: 29 (NKJV)

I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. Jeremiah 31:25 (NIV)

Let the year of refreshment begin!

What’s your word for 2019??

Here Comes The New Year – Are You Ready?

God, Life and Happiness, Religion

2019 is almost here and I’m not sure if I’m truly ready, but I can feel a sense of anticipation. In fact, 2018 has gone pretty well for the most part and I can honestly say I’m excited to see what the Lord will bless me with in the next twelve months.

I already know of several changes that are in store for my husband and I. First, he should finish his doctorate program this year. In fact, we’re hoping it’ll be done by June. For those of you that have never gone through this process, let me clue you in to what our life for the past three years has involved. 1) He has been studying almost every night and for several hours every Saturday. 2) He has had class every Wednesday night – except around Christmas time. Yes, class year round. No summer break. 3) He’s participated in online cohort groups at least once a week as well (each lasting from a half hour to over an hour), further cutting into his personal time. 4) He’s still worked 40 hours+ while doing all these other things. As you can imagine, his brain is tired. Very tired. All this activity for him also means we’ve had very little time together. Chores around the house that need completed often get done in a rush on the weekends. Extra “fun” things usually don’t get done – at least not together (I’ve done fun things…). We’ve not been away on a nice long vacation in over a year.

I’m not sure people understand how much this doctorate program truly accounts for in his life. Or in mine. I miss my husband. Yes, he’s been here but his mind is often distracted. I am not complaining – I’m so proud he will accomplish this goal in his life. But it’ll be a huge change when we don’t have to deal with those things this coming year. (Fingers crossed.) We both envision sitting on the couch staring at one another with TOO much time on our hands. It sounds like bliss.

Secondly, we’ve both given up our duties at church. While we still want to attend and we still see the need to give of our time, we’re exhausted. Both of us have done our duties for our church for over ten years and sometimes it can feel like a real chore – not the peaceful experience church is supposed to be. Combined with all our other duties in life, it has been draining. We decided to step away, at least for a little while, to give ourselves some time to breathe, rest, and regroup. Perhaps someone else in the church has been waiting to utilize their gifts. Who knows. God has a plan for all of us, I am sure.

Giving up of our duties at church also frees us up to explore new churches and new opportunities. Yes, we need to rest first, but then we plan to reevaluate our relationship with the Lord. What does He want from us now? Where will He send us? It’s both a scary and exciting prospect.

Third, I’ll be taking on a new position with my DAR chapter – as Regent. This will add a bunch of work to my life, but in a (hopefully) fun way. The work and all that is involved already overwhelms me at times, but I can’t wait to start really.

Fourth, my editing business did very well this past year so I’m considering how I can increase it further or what God wants for me to do now with what I’ve been given. I haven’t set up my goals yet for the new year, but I’ll be sure and share them with you when I do. It feels like a year to truly let the Lord lead so perhaps I won’t make strict goals this year – maybe I’ll just see what the Lord has in store for me.

As we enter in the new year, I pray you are also both praising God for what He has done in your life as well as anxiously anticipating what He might do next. God bless and Happy New Year.

 

Is Saying You’ll Pray Enough?

God, Life and Happiness, Religion

A few years ago a friend of mine was talking about prayer. She is a solid prayer partner for anyone who asks. While she was recounting how someone had asked her to pray, she said, “I asked right then and there if I could pray for them.”

This startled me a bit. As most of us, I will typically say, “I’ll pray for you,” when someone tells me they need prayer or they’re going through a rough time. And I do always pray for them. However, I typically don’t pray RIGHT THERE for them.

I began to think about the impact of the differences in these statements:

“I’ll pray for you.”

VS

“Let’s pray right now.”

Let’s discuss why we often choose the first option over the second.

  1. We find it easier. We can say that one phrase and be on our way. No real commitment, no relationship, no vulnerability on our part.
  2. We’re scared. We’re scared the other person might not want prayer. They might be offended. They might be uncomfortable. They might outright shun us.
  3. We feel inadequate. We’re afraid we won’t pray “good enough” or we won’t say the right things. We’re fearful we’ll mess up or stumble with our words.
  4. We’re not firm in our faith.

Let me say this: Yes. I’ve felt all those things – I’m not trying to judge, just to make us think. It’s still hard for me to choose the second option. But I often feel guilty when I don’t. For me, it’s a cross between not feeling comfortable with my own abilities and not being truly firm in my beliefs. I’ll come back to this idea a little later.

Conversely, when we choose the second option, here are some things that could happen:

  1. The person whom you are praying for will feel you truly do care about them.
  2. The person will feel God cares for them.
  3. The person will hopefully also feel a peace that comes from prayer. Helping them to focus on the Lord and His goodness will often help them to see their situation in a different light.

Do you notice something? When we choose the first option, it’s because we’re only thinking about ourselves. When we choose the second option, it’s about the other person.

This realization leads me back to my feelings of inadequacies. When I said I don’t trust my own abilities … I don’t have to. God gives me all the strength anyway. My abilities come from Him. When I say I don’t trust my abilities, I’m saying I don’t trust Him! And of course I trust Him! So what is holding me back? What is holding you back?

Endeavor to pray in the moment with a friend, coworker, family member, or even a stranger this week. Even if you have nothing else to say, pray this: “Lord, help. Lord, this person needs you now. Please show this person You’re healing power.” Trust me, it’s enough.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV)

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2 NIV)

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.(Matthew 18:19-20 NIV)

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV)

Weird December Holidays

God, Life and Happiness, Religion

As if you didn’t have enough to celebrate in December, there are a ton of other holidays this month that you would be celebrating. And some might distract you with a bit of fun from your normal holiday preparations.

December 13 – Today is Ice Cream Day! Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not up for ice cream in the dead of winter. Too cold and this idea makes me shiver just thinking about it. But if you can stand it, go for it.

December 15 – Bill of Rights Day. As a member of the DAR, this one rings true (Liberty Bell true…) for me. On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States proposed to the state legislatures twelve amendments to the Constitution. Ten of these amendments were added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.

December 16 – Chocolate Covered Anything Day. I’m not sure where they come up with some of these weird holidays, but I’m all about this one. What’s your favorite chocolate covered thing? I love chocolate covered peanuts and Ritz crackers with peanut butter.

December 20 – Go Caroling Day. This one sounds like fun – if it isn’t too cold out or you have a nice warm indoor place to do it. Don’t forget to sing some of my favorites: Go Tell It On The Mountain, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.

December 21 – Winter Solstice. This is the day with the shortest period of daylight in the northern hemisphere. I like this day because it means the days after it will bring more and more sunshine.

December 27 – National Fruitcake Day. I’m pretty sure this is the day you should throw out any fruitcake you’ve been given for Christmas. What else do you do with that stuff?

January 3 – Fruitcake Toss Day. Oh, wait. Then what’s December 27 for?

Anyway, whatever ways you choose to lighten up this holiday season, I hope this list has helped in some way. Remember to enjoy your family and the REAL reason for the season this Christmas.

*********

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2 NIV)

Advent Ponderings – Mary’s Expectant Waiting Period

God, Life and Happiness, Religion

As we enter into the month of December, I’m thinking about Advent. Wikipedia defines Advent as “a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.”

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Mary’s role during the Advent of our Lord and Savior into the world as a little baby. I often think about Mary during this time of year. Probably because I’ve never been pregnant – the thought kind of scares me actually – and I realize that Mary’s role as mother was truly out of the scope of anything we as women could possibly understand.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33 NIV)

Mary has just been told she’ll bear God’s Son – the Messiah her people have been waiting for! He’s coming. Finally!

In nine months.

Talk about an expectant waiting period! Not only is Mary expecting, she’s expecting the Lord! Forget all the not-so-great stuff women endure during those nine months of pregnancy. Mary had the added complication of knowing that her son would save her people, but she’d have to wait for his birth in order for it to come to fruition. I bet those were a really long nine months. (And sometimes we can’t even wait ten minutes for a cup of coffee!)

As she waited with such anticipation and preparation, did she think about how he would accomplish his task? Would he be born and immediately save the world? Or did she consider how he’d have to grow first into a man? Did she wonder how her and Joseph would raise such a person? How do you discipline the King of Kings?

 

All of these questions and more may have plagued Mary during those nine months of expectant waiting. Yes, her stress may have been high and her mind confused with what was to come, but she would also have been waiting in joyous expectation for the King of Kings to save the world.

It is this kind of expectation we should have during the season of Advent. And we don’t even need to wait!

During this season of Advent, take the time to consider how you can wait in expectant joy for what the Lord plans to accomplish in your life. Think about how you can wait on Him and His timing. Think about what could be accomplished in your life when you accept the Lord and His will for your life. This month, be like Mary as you wait: strong, confident, and full of joy.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. (Mary’s Song – Luke 1:47-48 NIV)

 

 

A Thankful Heart

God, Life and Happiness, Religion

As we come to the end of this month of thankfulness, I want to look ahead at the holiday season before us. We still have so much to be thankfulit need not end when November ends. As we move forward toward the celebration of Christ’s birth, let’s consider his mother Mary.

Take a look at Luke 1:46-55. This is Mary’s songsometimes referred to as the Magnificat. Mary praises her Lord despite her circumstances.

Let’s take a look at all she could have bemoaned.

  1. Mary is set to marry Joseph. This is a wonderful time in a woman’s life. She looks forward to this moment with anticipation. When she’s told she’ll give birth to the Savior, Joseph had every right to divorce herbefore they are even technically married! She is defiled, disgraced – it would be difficult to feel joy about her circumstances.
  2. Mary probably looked forward to her wedding night, having saved herself for that moment with her betrothed. Being a virgin then was respected, upheld, and holy. But it’s taken away from heror at least in the eyes of otherswhen she announces her pregnancy. Her wedding night is now put on hold as Joseph “did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son.” (Matt. 1:25 NIV)
  3. Instead of enjoying those first few months of wedded bliss, Mary is forced to flee from her home in fear for her life and the life of her babywho just happens to be the King of all Kings! No pressure! Mary cannot bask in the glow of pregnancy. She cannot have baby showers or even accept well wishes for this pregnancy out of wedlock. People will not understand and she must live in fear for nine months.

Despite all these things, despite being told she is a pregnant virgina fact that could have caused her great ridicule and even deathshe praises her Lord.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.

Mary looks to her future instead of her present:

From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.

She sees how her Lord will use this moment in her life to change the lives of those to follow in her footsteps. She sees that it’s a significant moment in timeone that will not only change her life, but the lives of her people.

When faced with hardships, struggles and infirmities, do we try to understand the good God is attempting to do in our lives? Do we see His greater good? Do we thank Him for these moments?

As we move forward into December, let’s remember Mary, her circumstances, and her words. When the unexpected happens to us, let us repeat Mary’s words as a prayer, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.” Let us set our minds and hearts on the Lord, be ready to embrace all that He has in store for us, and give thanksjust as Mary did.

A Word of Thanks

God, Life and Happiness, Religion

During this month of thankfulness, I’m seeking a better understanding of how I can be thankful for all that God has provided me on a deeper, more connected level. I want to get to know the Lord as I grow in my Christian walk. I want to connect with Him as I do with family and friends. I want relationship with my Lord and Savior. In order to do that, I need to understand His words to me, His gifts to me, and His love for me.

Because of this endeavor to create a lasting, connected relationship with my Lord, I am thankful for the Greek word tetelestai. In John 19:30 (NIV) it says this: When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

In the original Greek, “it is finished” is the word tetelestai. This word may be perhaps the most important word in all of Scripture.

A. C. Gaebelein, a Methodist minister, says:

“Never before and never after was ever spoken ONE WORD which contains and means so much. It is the shout of the mighty Victor. And who can measure the depths of this ONE WORD!”

Tetelestai is in the perfect tense which describes a PAST completed act with PRESENT effect, emphasizing that the past completed event of Christ’s death on the Cross has ongoing, even permanent effects. (from Precept Austin website)

This word – tetelestai – was used by a variety of other people before Jesus uttered it on the cross.

Servants: When a servant was finished with their work, they reported to their masters “TETELESTAI.”

Priests: Priests would examine animals for blemishes before they were sacrificed. If the lamb was faultless, perfect, and acceptable, the priest would say, “TETELESTAI!”

Merchants: In ancient times when a promissory note was paid, the one holding the note wrote “TETELESTAI” across it.

This word tetelestai was common in the language of the day. Jesus knew everyone would understand what He was saying when He uttered, “Tetelestai.”

Pastor C. H. Spurgeon wrote:

Christ has said, “IT IS FINISHED!” and we must cease to work too, not only with our hands but with our souls—working no more for life, for that is given; working no more for justification, for that is concluded; but today RESTING in Christ for “It is finished!”

There is nothing for God to do. “IT IS FINISHED.”

There is nothing for you to do. “IT IS FINISHED.”

Christ need not bleed. “IT IS FINISHED.”

You need not weep. “IT IS FINISHED.”

God the Holy Spirit need not delay because of your unworthiness, nor need you delay because of your helplessness. “IT IS FINISHED.”

Every stumbling block is rolled out of the road; every gate is opened. The bars of brass are broken, the gates of iron are burst asunder. “IT IS FINISHED.” 

I am thankful for this word, tetelestai for I know it means my sin is forgiven. The work of redemption is by and in Christ and is finished. We need not perform for our salvation. It is already done for us. We can rest in the Lord and, for that, I am thankful.

How’s Your Rest?

God, Life and Happiness, Religion

Last week, my blog post discussed “hustle” and the need for Christians to use their gifts to win others to the Lord. It’s work and we must battle the roaming lion (Satan) on a daily basis. In addition, we need to be constantly seeking to use our gifts as God has instructed. For me, it’s helping Christian authors edit their novels and nonfiction books. For others, it’s providing a listening ear or going on mission trips.

However, we’re also called to rest in the Bible.

As many of you know, I love the podcast, The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman. She often talks about rest and finding our peace with the Lord. In Episode 40: Keep Your Rest, Ms. Freeman talks about “keeping the Sabbath.” She quotes A.J. Swoboda who says that rest is not something “that comes with getting our lives in order. Rest is something God finds on our behalf.” She goes on to say, “He mentions that no where in the Bible are we asked to create or make Sabbath. Instead, we protect it and enter into it. It’s not something we make up, it’s something we’ve been asked to take care of.”

Whoa. Are you getting this? So why do we work so hard at finding times to rest? Why do we spend hours researching and gads of money going on vacation to find this allusive rest? When it’s right inside of us the whole time, freely offered by the God we love?

If we go back to my last blog post, we see that God tells us a lot of what we do here on this earth will be hard work. That’s on us. However, He doesn’t say we also need to find times to rest. Instead, He gives it to us!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)

Rest is not something we are to do just because we’re tired and need a break. It’s a moment to enter into connection with God, the Father. Rest is a gift from the Father. Something we receive, not create. All we have to do is go to Him to find our rest!

We wonder why we’re so tired when we take on every project, say yes to every request, and add on yet another activity to our already crazy schedules. Ms. Freeman likes to say America’s “gospel” is “Blessed are the busy.”

Here is what the Bible says:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

~ Matthew 5:3-10

There’s nothing in there about being the busiest. Nothing about being blessed if you have the most chores to do or the most blessed if you say yes to everything. It’s the broken, the poor in spirit, the persecuted … it’s everyone. You. Me. Your sister. Your spouse. Your neighbor. Your co-worker. We’re all blessed because God gives us everything we need, including rest.

So as you go about your “hustle” today – especially as we start our holiday busy-ness – consider how to let God’s rest – His peace – fill your soul today and every day so you can continue the good work He has called you to do.