Productivity

run_hard_rest_well04102014How do I get more done?

Answer: Work fewer hours.

Before you let out a guttural scream, peek at the article below. I think you’ll enjoy this article by Sean Kim (March 11, 2014) as much as I did. It’s called Work to live. Don’t live to work.

 

Think it through

  1. What was Ford’s 888 Rule? Was it a successful, strategic move?
  2. Despite the fact that numerous studies find a work week beyond 40 hours makes people less effective and productive, most refuse to believe it. Are you among the dissenters? (Parenting does not fit easily into 8 hours. Kiddos don’t have an on/off switch. How does a stay-at-home parent figure out this balance? I think it’s worth the effort to wrestle this one through, knowing there are no cookie-cutter answers.) Any thoughts on this?
  3. Which one of Sean’s 5 Rules is worth a try this week?

Onward, dear friends. Run hard. Break a sweat. Find your focus. Then, rest well—feet up, guilt- free.

First time here?

Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters the our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.

Two Truths for Hard Times

psalms_625_rest-605761The question at hand – How do I rest when the bottom falls out? Two truths will take us far. This week I have had to live them. Most of you know our son, Josh (20), is in Hospice Care. This week took on new dimensions when Joe (17) took an ambulance ride to a children’s hospital 3 hours from our home last Monday. On Monday Joe had surgery to remove a benign tumor from his spinal cord.

This is not our first crisis. It won’t be our last.

How do I find rest when life turns upside down?

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone. My hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

This page in my Bible is tear stained. It’s water-logged, my friends. Soaked to the brim.

In January, 1999 God set into motion a passion for the Rest of God in times of crisis through the promises He revealed to me in Psalm 61,62 & 63. Whispers from His heart. If I have learned one thing in 47 years, it is this: pain ushers us into the Presence of God. In the Presence of God we find a rest that some never have the privilege of experiencing. Here in this hospital I see it first hand. Far from being absent in this place of pain and suffering, God is alive and well.

Truth #1

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone. My hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

  • Fly Heavy. It’s an aviation term used for Air Force One. It means the plane is equipped with two jet fuel tanks. Upon arrival at a destination overseas, if the plane encounters a crisis of any kind, it is prepared to safely fly the president back to US soil. It is prepared. A second tank remains full. Spiritually, do you fly heavy? It makes a difference when the world turns upside down.
  • Home Base. It’s a term I learned from Sheila Pritchard. When emotional overload threatens every fiber of my soul, I go “home.” In crisis a few years ago “home” was saying out loud, “I will trust Him.” I declared it through whispers, clenched teeth and blinding tears. This week home base has found me at the feet of Jesus. My tears splash on his feet. I hang on every word. His hand rests on my shoulder and He has yet to take His eyes off me. Home base.
  • Name and Claim. For me, the greatest villain of crisis is fear. My hardest hours are when fear consumes, when it dismantles trust and triggers my deepest vulnerabilities, my panic, my deep discord. Left on my own, I am defenseless against this assault, but in it, I have a choice to make. Name the fear. Claim the promise that will reign it in, that will place God back on the Throne. This week, Joe and I began to focus on the Names of God through a horrendous week of unknowns. We dove into the promises of the Good Shepherd (ah! ). Next we searched Isaiah 9 – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. We have only just begun.

Truth #2

Know what you need. Know what you need—bottom line, specific needs. They might shift by the hour. A solitude that is honored. A shoulder to cry on. Every moment of sleep possible. Music that restores. Time beneath the wide open sky. A timer to remind you to breathe. People who can handle gut-level honesty. Heroes from Heaven that rise up to bless. (Receive them and embrace their acts of kindness.)

Needs. My needs? I don’t function that way. I suspect many of you don’t as well. I tend to focus on others’ needs. What do I need right now. (What did I grab in 5 minutes while flying out the door to the hospital last week?) My Bible. Paper/pen. My medicine, pillow, wrist braces and Diet Dr. Pepper. What do I need in a hospital setting? A window view. Moments of quiet. A song to hum.

What are your basic needs in a time of an emergency? Know what you need and where to go to ask. Don’t be shy.

Begin on your knees.

Jehovah-Jireh, the One who provides, will not disappoint you.

Onward.

 

First time here?

Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters the our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.

Men and Women

run_hardrest_well032414The question before us: Do men and women rest differently?

Yes we do—just like men and women do just about everything differently. My husband, Tim, played an integral part in teaching me about rest. It was not an easy task, especially in our early years when I equated rest with laziness. God bestowed upon Tim a great deal of determination and very thick skin. For this, I will forever and always be grateful. Tim was my first (and possibly the best) role model of a balanced life on the work/rest continuum. He introduced me to the whole idea of rest as it’s meant to be – guilt-free. He is the unsung hero and a founding father of Run Hard. Rest Well.

What have I learned about this topic?

There is a growing body of information to explore about gender related topics and research into rest. Below you will find two insightful articles. This post will likely create more questions than answers, but it will open the door to an on-going discussion that will likely be rich and productive. I would love to hear your stories, insights and research findings.

The first article, “Why Mom’s Time is Different than Dad’s Time”, is designed for parents and comes from The Wall Street Journal (1/24/14). It focuses on the non-negotiable time demands of life with children called “Pressure Points.” In it, moms and dads will find nuggets that contain insights to more stress-free family living. I think it’s a good read even for those without children, as it sheds light on some gender-based characteristics about work and rest. There are too many great insights to share here; you might want to read it twice.

The second article, “Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?” comes from the magazine Shape (2/24/14) and relates to the impact of sleeplessness on men and women. The research is interesting and surprising. The writer, Charlotte Hilton Andersen, brings up several important points:

  • Reduced sleep takes more of a toll on women than men. It sets women up for more feelings of stress, depression, anxiety and anger. (Take home: make sure the women you love are getting 7+ hours of sleep)
  • Poor sleep increases men’s level of testosterone. While there are negative effects, the extra testosterone decreases inflammation, helping keep the impact of stress hormones at bay. (Women’s hormones set them up for more inflammation. Go figure.)
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood is an important marker for stress. Taking 30+ minutes to fall asleep is a key factor for an increase of CRP.
  • Daniel Kahneman (in a separate study) found that there is a profound difference in the level of happiness for those who get 7+ hours of sleep versus 6. That 60 minutes could be the best investment you’ve ever made.

What’s your 2 cents? Any light bulbs? How is “rest” for men and women similar? Different?

What can we learn from each other?

First time here?

Welcome! We are a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race, our race, God’s race in a power not our own.

Love

Question: Why rest? I have no time for it. It’s an impossible burden that only leaves me feeling guilty.Rest well. Love big.

Love.

It’s our most important call. It’s hard work. Sometimes it’s the hardest work of our lives, but in the end, it typically the most rewarding and the most fruitful. When Josh,our 20 year old son in Hospice care, shares a Red Diamond with an old or new friend he says, “It’s red because love matters, love makes a difference.”

I wrote a bit about his passion for sharing red diamonds, but now I want to share why I think Josh has a passion for love. When Josh was getting sicker in the Spring of 2013, he was becoming emotionally unstable. In the end, we came to understand the toxins from his liver were causing encephalopathy. These toxins were attacking his brain. We were up to our necks in anguish and turmoil. Josh was spiraling out-of-control. It was one of those hard, hard places that you wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Josh ended up with a police escort to a behavioral health center. The psychiatric care at this particular place was not impressive. It was actually heart-breaking. God, however, still had a plan for Josh’s 3-day stay. On the last day at this facility, Josh met me with tears during visiting hours. He had a story to share.

The night before, after visiting hours were over, Josh and his roommate had a heart-to-heart talk. “Josh, your family really loves you. I met your dad yesterday and your mom, today. You’re really lucky. Do you know how lucky you are? Look around this place. There’s not a single person here who has that kind of love in their lives. When you have love, Josh, you have everything. You’re going to be OK.”

Josh wept when he told me this story. “I don’t just have your love, I have God’s love.”

When you have love you have everything.

For God so loved the world…

Love.

Are we situating our lives so that love is making a difference in the lives of those in the realm of our influence—even the ones who drive us crazy? And what about beyond? How is our love moving us to enter into the lives of those who are last, least, lost and lonely?

Why rest? I think it’s a one-word summary of the Great Commission.

Love.

Rest well. Love big.

First time here? Welcome! We are a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race, our race, God’s race in a power not our own.

Shipwrecked

shipHow do I change the direction of this ship? I hate that my life feels like a shipwreck. It probably looks like one, too.

If there was ever a shipwrecked soul (apart from me), it was Bill W., the father and founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was introduced to AA through a person I dearly loved when I attended an Open AA meeting—a gathering open to all. I was 16. That evening altered my life and my understanding of community. The authenticity was captivating, the community riveting.

“This is what the church should be like.”

I was already well aware that the church was not a safe place to be real. Masks were the norm. Somehow we had come to believe that God’s credibility rested on us and the image we projected. The church was about image control, not a place of grace and on-going transformation.

Anyway…I recently watched a dramatization of Bill W.’s life. I didn’t know his story, only his name. “Shipwrecked” describes his life well. Once proud and successful, his ship hit rocks. All that remained was a broken, splintered mess. The whole story blessed me, but one gem emerged. When Bill was in the early, fragile days of recovery, he knew what he wanted. He had tasted new life, but his commitment to sobriety was was tested at every turn. Through a series of events, he came to understand a simple truth that altered the course of his recovery and restoration.

“To keep it, you must share it.”

On this journey through overload and exhaustion, we’ve all hit bottom. We’ve all hit some rocks, some of us more than others. The damage is real. I would venture to guess you are reading this blog because within you is a desire for “a better way.” This better way becomes ours when we recognize that our recovery from overload will be a journey spanning the of our lives. We must commit to the long haul. There is no quick fix.

My passion for Run Hard. Rest Well. runs deep. I am a hard-core addict of work. I write and speak, ultimately, to an audience of one. Me. I don’t want to go back. My life (and my LIFE) depend on it. So does my children. This culture, when given full reign, points us to a single destination: self-destruction.

Do you want to change the direction of your ship?

Explore. Taste. Try. Fail. Wrestle. Grow. But know in your heart, “To keep it, you must share it.”

Out loud. Deep within. In person. All the time.

Lord, the rudder is yours.

Do you think there’s truth in, “To keep it you must share it?” What will that look like in your life?