rest well, rise up & make time to listen

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honestly you guys. january has me all zzzz’s in the morning. my 4:30 am internal alarm along with my get up & go has got up and went. as much as i’m not going to inspire you with new years resolutions ( because i didn’t make any)  i have chosen to not have a word this year either. my inner rebel is fist pumping right now!

i do however have a vision for this year~a vision for my walk with the lord, for my family and for my business & my personal life. while i’m focused on this vision, it just so happens to be sandwiched between a couple thick slices of grace.  i’ve lived long enough to respect that grace hovering over all my plans, visions & expectations is a great idea. extending grace not only to myself, but to all the people in my little world as well.

a few years ago i identified three filters that i sorta run everything through. how i spend my time. how i work & play. how i use the gifts that god has given me. you get the picture. live creativity, seek wisdom & love well.  i’m going to share a little bit more about each of them over the next few weeks but first i wanted to identify a couple things i want to be aware of right out of the gate.

rest, rise & listen

REST~ we all know that in order for us to live healthy lives, emotionally, physically & spiritually, we simply must rest. god’s original blue print already set us up with a whole day for this…the sabbath. while that might sound like a religious rule and oldtimey it serves a powerful reminder that he calls us to rest. it was part of the plan all along. for those of us who are all ‘work hard play hard’ making time/allowing time to stop is crucial.

rest can look different for all of us & it can look different day to day. for me, some days that means i have to choose to say “no”. some days that means i pull the shades & take a nap. over the holidays i downloaded netflix on my iPad. my hunky hubby gifted me earphones & i began watching parenthood for the first time. i felt a little guilty climbing in bed on a overcast saturday, in the middle of the day no less to fire up two episodes but remember grace? giving yourself freedom to allow some personal luxuries ( with moderation & occasionally-insert netflix) is grace.

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most days that also means lights out is 9pm. a former night owl can effectively become an early riser. i promise. most evenings, i intentionally wind down that last hour before actually turning out the light. here’s some of the ways i may do that:

  1. read fiction. something mindless & relaxing.
  2. unplug from work. no emails. no texting.
  3. keep my master bedroom a clutter free, relaxing space

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RISE~read jon acuff’s book Start to see the studies but basically he says~ “countless studies have shown that willpower is finite and you have less at the end of the day to create”. one of my filters is to live creatively, so that means i gotta get up early. like 5 am early. and if i’m going to get up early, i’m going to go to bed early. this is not complicated. tricky yes, but complicated no. when i get up at 5 am i honestly feel like i’m living a freebie hour. no one texts me at 5 am, my children aren’t usually awake at 5 am, i’m not tempted to dust at 5 am, its a free hour people and it’s quiet. i find that waking up & hitting the floor running makes me all tense & rushed. if i gift myself that early morning hour i already feel like i’m off to a better start. here’s a couple things that help:

  1. tidy. organize & clean off my studio desk the night before. if it’s cluttery and junky i’m already distracted & feel like i’m working
  2. beauty. as often as possible i have fresh flowers in my studio or in the kitchen where i spend most of my time
  3. treat. if i’m getting up a wildly early hour, i look at it as a treat. yummy coffee and use that time for reading & inspiration.

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LISTEN~earlier this month my friend & creative genius jeanne oliver began a free online series on creating space where we can find quiet & hear from god. it’s called Listening. we’re in the middle of the four week course & since it’s a freebie, i’d love to invite you to hop over & enjoy the videos. you could even listen to these during your freebie 5am hour. wink. i’m sharing this week on what listening to god has looked like for me so please join me. directions given in both links above:)

 

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please note, all images are mine except for the “sleep” graphic which is from jenngietzen.com. listening images created by jeanne oliver. 

 

 

January 14, 2016 - 4:04 pm

Christan Perona - Thank you for this ever-important reminder to REST. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I so often tell my 14 year-old he needs to put down his phone and just go to bed! But in reality, I need to preach that same message to myself. And yes, willpower is finite. Here’s to the “freebie hour”… Oh, and PS, I love your sweet puppy dog. :)

January 14, 2016 - 4:21 pm

Karen Stone - Once again, you encourage & inspire me!💕

January 14, 2016 - 6:58 pm

Lisa Mothersead - This is wonderful. One of my favorite Paige “lessons”. Thank you.

January 14, 2016 - 7:53 pm

Kerri Galluzzo - Yes! Yes! Yes! As always, you inspire me! And I found myself nodding and agreeing with everything you said! We are the same age and at similar points in our lives so I can totally relate! Thank you! Ok, I am off for some REST!

January 14, 2016 - 8:01 pm

Lori H - Thanks, Paige! You always teach me needed lessons. I have a 4 day weekend and so I will be “listening”!

January 15, 2016 - 9:13 am

Kimberly Falls - Thanks for this, I really needed it! I am turning 50 tomorrow and you would think I would have this down by now..but I don’t..thanks for the reminder to give myself grace, I give everyone else grace but not to myself. i also loved your Listening session on jeanne oliver series. And that dog bed…i am coveting, but right now macie destroys every bed she gets so I will have to wait!

January 15, 2016 - 10:50 am

Corey - Sis, I love your blog and I Love this reminder to rest, rise and listen. Couldn’t come at a better time for me to hear this Truth spoken into my life.

Love you Sis!!!

January 15, 2016 - 3:46 pm

Linda Stoll - Paige, as ever, I leave here inspired, calmed, focused, grateful. Thank you for always ministering to my soul.

Weekend blessings to you …

January 15, 2016 - 5:06 pm

Jodie R - Hello Paige-
I just listed to your video in the “listening” series (I’m behind) and I was encouraged by what you shared to listen to God all throughout my day, in big and small ways.

I had a couple of questions for you though–what was the Adore CD that you mentioned? I couldn’t hear that part very well and I can find it when I’ve tried different searches. I’m always looking for inspirational music.

Also,your skin looks great! I’d love it if you’d share what products you are using. :)

Thank you for sharing from your heart.
Jodie

January 21, 2016 - 2:41 pm

Beth Penning - May I please be your neighbor?! :-) Thank you for your encouragement and wisdom–such wonderful words to help this part-time working momma’s heart.

today is a gift for you & for now

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back during the photo session frenzy, also known as fall 2015, i had delusions of reflection, relaxation & netflix binging for the first week of january. well yesterday around 12:45 i about came undone. none of that was going down, my inbox was needing my attention, phone calls needed to be returned ( not my favorite thing) and the vet had just called with discouraging news about duke. that’ll have to be another blog post. while i am efficient when my calendar is full, my homebody extraverted self craves down time, a cleaned out inbox & tacos. let me clarify. reflection, relaxation, netflix binging all while wearing the comfiest softest clothes i can find, sipping a vanilla latte & listening to lauren daigle, david crowder & holly williams, often times loudly, usually followed by eating out with my loves.

part of my almost coming undone status could have been avoided but honestly days like that are just part of life for all of us. part of life when we’re raising up a bunch of kids. part of life when we work multiple jobs. part of life when there’s sickness and visits to specialists because our bodies are not always healthy. part of life when we run our own business. you get what i’m saying? days that threaten to take us out are just part of life.

i chopped veggies at 12:46 and thought, there will probably never be a day when life & it is just all caught up. all the emails answered. the laundry basket is empty. the baseboards are free of grime and the checkbook is balanced. ( millennials don’t do that. you know that right?) all the kids are feeling poured into & registered for whatever.

but here’s what i’m thinking.

today is a gift. all of it. sometimes disguised under a load of doctor appointments followed by sweet conversation with a college kid soon to head back to school because i have a family. sometimes disguised behind a morning spent working on taxes because i have a job.  sometimes wrapped up sweetly with beautiful music about jesus because i have a savior.

this year, just as dan encouraged our family on christmas morning, our family has big things ahead. exciting things ahead. some will be hard, heck a lot will probably be hard. my plate is full. i have started a little part time job. i’m working monday & friday mornings at Sugarboo & Co down at ponce city market and i am pumped! my photography business is off to the busiest start i’ve ever had in the month of january. my passion to represent & be a voice for the oppressed through Noonday Collection continues for my 5th year…but above all that…my day & how i love on, serve, bless, encourage, handle all the misunderstandings, raise up teens, prepare young adults to leave the nest, & love on my man comes first.

so this day, is a gift. yeah it is. and how i chose to use it, unplug it, crank it up, spend it, is my gift to my savior & my family…and hopefully a reflection of christ in me to you.

my hopes for this little blog is that it is an encouragement to you, a place where you see genuineness & hope…always hope in christ!

happy new year friends. we may be stumbling into 2016, still trying to catch our breath & get it going, but we’re here. whether you have a word of the year or not, it’s here ~

today is a gift for you & for now. right now! not the bruised up “i blew it” past, not the “well what about tomorrow”. right now. go open your gift my friend!!

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January 8, 2016 - 11:04 am

Julie - Just.what.I.needed.this morning! Thank you, Paige. Well put and oh, so timely. These days will become the story of my family. I want that story to be lovely and not take for granted. This day is a GIFT!

January 8, 2016 - 1:33 pm

Tiffany Day - Yes, yes and yes!!!

I am always encouraged when I visit your blog and IG!

Happy New Paige!
xoxo

January 8, 2016 - 3:28 pm

Laura - Hi Paige,
I read this as I am waiting for a prescription for my mom, then clean and do laundry for a favorite visitor, then…. and then….things. So thank you friend for helping me to remember my word for the year is joy!

January 8, 2016 - 3:41 pm

Heidi Feguson - You are right Paige, today is a gift. We both know that sentiment cannot be taken lightly. However, yes, there are days when there simply are not enough hours to accomplish everything. I cannot imagine trying to mange a household of 6 – including the dog! I also cannot imagine the sweet blessings, the fun, the excitement for the future either! Sorry to hear about Duke, hopefully, it’s just about treatment for his ears and nothing too serious. Blessing to you and I’m excited for you in your new venture at Sugarboo!

January 8, 2016 - 9:16 pm

marcie - I ran into Sugarboo today because you posted about the shop :) but now I am worried about Cowboy Duke Please post about him soon!!! And what an amazing engagement for Savannah. That’s like a movie scene!! So sweet!

January 9, 2016 - 2:04 am

Destiny - Paige: I’m a reader from WAY back, and should have told you this sooner; {cue my guilty gulp!} thank you for continuing to blog. I know that it is incredibly time consuming, especially in the age of IG, and that you are stretched for time, but I get so much from you, from your blogging style. You inspire and encourage! There is both truth and accountability in so many if your posts. But you do it with a stunning grace and mercy that is relatable, approachable. Even though we’ve never met, I have prayed for your family over the years as/when requested, so even though I’ve given up on reading almost all of the other blogs I used to read regularly, I just can’t quit you! And this post is a perfect example as to why. Blessings on you. Destiny

January 12, 2016 - 8:38 am

Beth - Thank you, Paige for the very relatable post. Back in July we adopted a puppy from Turkey (our first! Made me think of you), my oldest is in the season of college applications and scholarship searches, my mom is living alone and battling memory impairment and cognitive issues, the laundry is NEVER done! I find myself turning away from my normal way of doing things, which would be to try to take care of everything, and instead am spending early mornings slowing down, and asking the Lord for His guidance and help. At this point in my life, I don’t think there is any other option. Im discovering more and more that spending this time with God is imperative for my mental help and well being.. That the sense of peace and security from this time completely changes my perspective. I am starting a 7 week series at my church this Friday on discovering Christ that I am very excited about. I credit you, among others, for your continued encouragement on knowing and loving the Lord. Am so looking forward to great spiritual and personal growth in 2016!! xoxo