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.
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:
- read fiction. something mindless & relaxing.
- unplug from work. no emails. no texting.
- keep my master bedroom a clutter free, relaxing space
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:
- 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
- beauty. as often as possible i have fresh flowers in my studio or in the kitchen where i spend most of my time
- 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.
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 🙂
please note, all images are mine except for the “sleep” graphic which is from jenngietzen.com. listening images created by jeanne oliver.