Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tis the Season for Reflection

It is obviously apparent that I was MIA last week, while trying to plan for my family vacation that we are taking this upcoming week, because I have not had time to sit down and blog in a while. But I am thrilled beyond belief at getting to spend some much needed quality time with my husband and family this week, and looking forward to lots of sunshine, white beaches, delicious food, new adventures, and lazy days by the pool!

The weeks leading up to this week have been hard, with many struggles, stressors, hurts, losses and worries. In fact, my husband and I have both asked ourselves if we really should be taking a vacation at all. But honestly, it is usually the times when we dont think that we should get away, that are the times when we need to get away the most. Just like a coke bottle will eventually explode if you continue to shake it up, our hearts and minds will do the same thing if we dont allow time in our life to settle down and slow down, and just breathe.

As a corporate trainer on stress management, I know full well the effects that stress takes on the body, mind, heart and soul. And trust me friend, it is not pretty. Stress affects us emotionally, physically, mentally and even spiritually, and if not dealt with, it can have negative affects that affect our health, our relationships, our life, and maybe even our future.

How easy it is for my husband and I to become passing ships in the night, while he is pulled by constant stressors at work and putting in a lot of hours, and I am pulled by the needs of the kids, house and home, plus ministry. How easy it is to forget the importance of real conversation, when I am running the girls to tumbling practices and he is taking our son to football practices. If, in the midst of our busy life, we didnt take time to love God and love each other, then eventually, we may find ourselves as strangers, not recognize who our children have become, and wondering what happened, and how to fix it.

If you ask me, there is no better time than the present to make family, health, and a little bit of rest and relaxation a priority. Maybe doing so will require some sacrifice, but it be well worth it in the long run. The truth is, it might be easier, and even cheaper, to just keep plugging away day in and day out doing the same old things without taking to reflect and relax, but the costs could be high, in more ways than one.

Family time doesnt happen just on vacations, in fact, those times are usually few and far between. But family time can be enjoyed on an evening sitting on the deck, cooking out chicken wings and talking about everything under the sun; or in the car on a trip across town; or on a weekend when all activities are pushed aside in order to make spouse and family a priority.

This is a wonderful time of year, the week after Easter, where we have celebrated our Risen Savior, to really put God and family at the top of our priority lists.

Easter is also a great time to reflect.

To reflect on who Jesus was, is and will be. To reflect on the sacrifice He made for us. And to reflect and be thankful for the gift of eternal life that we receive as a result.

Easter is a great time to start fresh.

A time to breathe in the intoxicating aroma of spring, from freshly cut grass and sweet flowers, to warm air and honeysuckles. A time to recognize how everything is new, starting over, experiencing new life. A time to consider how each day we are given another chance to focus on the things that really matter. How exhilirating to remember that every day can be a new beginning in Christ.

Easter is a great time to relax.

To allow stress to melt away and Gods peace and reassurance to fill those empty spaces. To recognize that Christ gave His life, so that we could have life, and have it to the fullest. To relax, by remembering that He holds all of our tomorrows, and that anxiety and worry will not accomplish a thing.

The Bible tells us that God is to be our first priority, above all else. Secondly, our spouse, and thirdly our children. Easter is a wonderful time of year to focus on all three of these, and that is exactly what God placed on my heart over the weekend.

What things did you think about this Easter Sunday? What did God place on your heart that you feel prompted to focus on this spring - a new beginning of some sort, a second chance, the sacrifice that offers forgiveness, a desire to spend more time with family, a yearning to rekindle a marraige relationship, a longing to feel His peace amidst the stress of life, a fresh passion for Christ?

Whatever you are thinking about, tis the season for reflection, re-energizing, rest, and relaxation through Jesus.

Tis the season to focus on not only what Christ did, but how what He did is impacting our every hearts, and how we are given a fresh start each and every day, because our sins are forgiven.

Tis the season to rest, knowing that Christ has already paid the price for our sin, so that we can focus on glorifying Him by living His priorities every day.

Tis the season to relax - and this week, I will be doing just that. Smiles.

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LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Amen! WE all need extended times of relaxing especially spent with those we love. I will be so glad when my hubby is finished with college in DEC of this year. I'm so ready to get away together.

Spring always reminds me of how God gives us new starts and new hopes and new paths. Even at my age of over 50 yrs. I can't imagine living life without HIM and his guidance.

I'm not sure if you accept blog awards or not Tracie. Either way, I just want you to know that I passed one your way over on my blog today. You have been such an inspiration to me ever since I found your blog and Proverbs blog in August of last year. God has used you and your words to grow me in new ways.

Thank you so much and enjoy your time away.

Lee Ann

KELLY said...

I am a little behiind reading your blog, thaat I so dearly love, due to.......stress! Boy this one really spoke to me. I feel something between my husband and I is just not right (7 yrs. married) since he lost his job last May. The stress keeps creaping in and we keep growing apart. Please pray for us. We have GOT to take time to de-stress as well as continue to pray for God's guidance. Thank you......Glad you had a wonderful deserve the best!