Archive for October, 2012

FMFriday:Look, but do I see?

Look. Look around you. No, not a quick glance. Really LOOK.

Do you see it? Among the messy piles of books, Halloween costumes, empty bowls of popcorn, parts of toys the dog has been chewing, the game not put away, the chair askew.

Do you see just how much you are blessed?

Children who are eager for family reading time again. (Thank you, JK Rowling.) kids who could be looking for expensive, elaborate costumes but are more excited about being animals made out of felt and hot glue. A husband who took the day off just to be with us and help with a project that wasn’t even fun.

It’s simple stuff. But it is mine, and it is beautiful. And too often I glance and see a mess. Or I look past it altogether while looking for more, something different, something better. And all I need to do is to stop – and look – and really see.

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With just 5 minutes

If you know me at all, you know that housekeeping is um, not my strength. As I just said to someone recently, you know it’s bad when I’d rather exercise than clean!

Sadly, this is one attitude I’ve been able to pass on to my children with great success. With any reference to picking up or cleaning, lots of moaning and procrastinating ensues.

So lately, I’ve been trying a new tactic. With no notice, I’ll issue this decree: Let’s spend 5 minutes and see how we can make this house look better. Or, what can you do while I finish dinner to clean this up?

Its actually met with some success! Especially the short chunks of time, because then they know they can move on to something else. They won’t be trapped in their disaster areas rooms all day.

It hit me this morning that I should be posing the same sort of questions to myself throughout the day. Some issues in the world seem so overwhelming. I can’t possibly make a difference, and so it’s easier to just look away.

So instead, what if just asked this question more often: what can I do to make this world a better place right now? How can I be Jesus’s hands and feet in the next 5 minutes? How can I take quick action to move more toward restoration? What can I do with this 5 minutes that might be more redemptive than checking Facebook. Again.

It might be a quick phone call to encourage a friend. It might be educating myself just a bit on an issue. It might be a quiet moment with God, or it might be quickly filling a big of old children’s books for the local shelter.

The heart to use each moment well is at least as important as the what I actually do. Time is one of the most precious gifts He has given us, but it’s limited. What can I do to not just throw it away? There’s no such thing as “just” 5 minutes.

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MY Race is all that matters: My First FiveMinuteFriday

Race. Racing. Running. It’s been on my mind a lot as I try to, again, bring running into my life. I want to learn to like it. Even love it. I want it to whittle away my bum and my thighs and mostly my calves so they’ll fit into tall boots this year.

I really need to sign up for a 5k for motivation. I have in my mind that I need to run it in under 40 minutes. Which is terribly slow for real runners. Yet it’s a stretch for me. Last time I did Couch to 5k, I ended with a 47 minute race. No lie. My friends walked faster than I “ran.”

So this time, I’m so determined to be faster. I’m more fit (but still a long way to go.) I’m stronger. I should be able to go faster, right?

So I obsess over Runkeeper and pace. I get discouraged when I realize I’m really not any faster than before.

God and I had a nice long chat during yesterday’s 20 minute run (the first time I’ve run an interval that long straight this time). And He reminded me of how I still need to break my addiction to performance. That all that matters is that I run the race He has set before me. No one else’s pace matters, no one else’s path matters.

Just run the race He sets before ME.  Nothing more. Nothing less.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1 NLT)

PS – I’m a casual blogger who moves in and out of blogging in cycles.  I’ve been thinking about blogging again for a while, and when I wrote 3 posts in 28 hours, I figured it was a “back in” part of the cycle.

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A few quick lessons on margin

Tweet from Bob Goff: @bobgoff: If we don’t leave some margins, there won’t be places for God to write into our lives. It’s Thursday! What are you going to quit?

Tweet from me: @lgiltmier: @bobgoff I’m slowly learning this. And it’s GOOD.

Reply tweet: @bobgoff: @lgiltmier Take lots of notes and let me know what you’re learning…

I purposely quit some “good things” in my life this year as I sensed God calling me to be more intentional about my commitments, and either be “all in” or “all out.” It has resulted in more margin in life, and I am much more at peace with the pace of life than I have been in a long time.

What I’m learning about margin – my quick, unedited, not fully processed thoughts:

1) I have to create margin intentionally. The world won’t leave me any.

2) When I’m not creating it, I still crave it. So I start hoarding my time for myself to make sure i have some time to do “nothing.”

3) When I create more, I feel freer with my time. I may end up just as busy, but with better things. God things.

4) Quick examples so far: extra day at the food pantry even though I was just committing to once per month. Field trips with my son who truly LOVES me being there. Encouraging a friend. Just because on short notice, I could say, “Yes, I can do that.”

5) I’m quicker to say yes when I know it “fits” with my priorities.

6) I’m quicker to say no when I discover it doesn’t.

These aren’t profound shifts in how I spend my time; I haven’t suddenly had extraordinary things happen in that space in my schedule. But it’s progress, and it’s good. God’s working some things out in my heart and head these days, so I know it won’t end here.

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