“When you need a time out, go to the beach,” is my mamma’s lesson 12. As I wrote in my book, Mamma has always been a big believer in taking “time outs.” Since I’m fixin’ to do just that, THANK GOD, I couldn’t help but dream about what I hope to experience when I get to my spring break destination.
These past couple of years have been filled with some doozy challenges I hope not to repeat anytime soon – or rather I hope to never repeat! Two surgeries, for example, are two TOO many in a lifetime much less in a year. But my health woes are not the half of what has weighed heavily on my heart. And I know you have your own troubles and certainly don’t need to hear my dreary list.
So I’m moving on to reminiscing happier days. My mamma and I made countless trips to the ocean, often driving a thousand miles to get there. Sometimes we drove all night even if only for a weekend. The beach was her favorite place to “time out.” Whatever the reason, a trip to the beach picked up her spirits and gave her the rest and encouragement she needed to keep moving ahead with her life and goals.
Indeed, there is something calming about listening to the ocean waves crash and enlightening about gazing at the endless ocean horizon. Problems that seem huge and unsolvable become small and fixable as I soothe my feet in the infinite grains of cool sand. Yes, the seashore is my favorite “prayer closet.”
But I can’t always head to the beach because it is still about a thousand miles away. Thankfully, there are other opportunities to be alone and quiet. It might be a candlelit bath, a walk in the country side, a drive to a nearby lake, or just shutting my office door and closing my eyes to ponder how much greater God’s love is than any problem I’m facing.
But this time……I’ll be closing my eyes oceanside!
May you find your “beach” where ever that may be this spring break week and every week in the year ahead!
Books & more that inspire!
I’m always looking for books, quotes, videos – ANYTHING – that inspires me! Two of the books noted below – The Gentle Art of Blessing and The Last Lecture – are two of my favorite inspiration books and the other – One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You – was recently recommended by a friend. I’ve ordered it TODAY and can’t wait to read it because I have a feeling it is exactly what I need to read and read soon! (I’ve included the book summaries published on Amazon and the book titles are links to their Amazon page.)
Who among us isn’t looking or longing for inspiration right where we are? The many details of our day-to-day life can become consumed and overwhelmed with trying to get by, get past, get done with whatever needs to be accomplished. But sometimes we need to take a little break – a time-out. It’s usually during these moments when I wish I could run away and escape, such as going to the beach – my favorite place to take a time-out. Since that isn’t always possible being that the ocean is about a thousand miles from my house, taking moments to look for and find inspiration in books, quotes and videos suffices. Of course, a trip to Starbucks can help, too!
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long–and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!
The Gentle Art of Blessing: A Simple Practice That Will Transform You and Your World by Pierre Pradervand
How can a blessing change the world? According to Pierre Pradervand, making the conscious choice to bless every person or being around you can truly make a world of difference in yourself and in others around you. In The Gentle Art of Blessing, Pradervand shows that the practice of blessing has the power to create more than just a renewed perspective. It unleashes tangible benefits throughout your entire life — through your daily interactions, your life-long relationships, and in the way your approach your place in the world.
Pradervand describes blessing as genuinely wishing the best for another person through seeing their individual worth and honoring them for it. By looking at several different perspectives — providing spiritual inspiration from Hinduism, Taoism, the Koran, the Bible, and other important spiritual sources — The Gentle Art of Blessing explores the potential in shifting one’s attitude from confrontation and negativity to acceptance and enthusiasm. A powerfully simple way of perceiving and shaping our surroundings, blessings can reflect the unconditional love and acceptance that is necessary for world — and inner — peace.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
May something or someone provide the inspiration YOU need today!