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I Want to do it all!

I want to do it all! I want to travel, sing and dance, write and give workshops, teach, have time for friends, read a book every day, entertain, have long conversations with good friends, etc, etc, etc.

However, I soon find myself at odds with time. There are only so many hours in a day after all and unless I can somehow come to terms with what I am able to do each day, I will soon become dis-stressed.

Since I had made the decision long ago to avoid harmful stress, the choices I make are important. While I can’t control events, I am the one who chooses to be in charge of my life. That includes how I choose to respond to events and circumstances.

So then – how do we choose between all the things we want to do?

Shadow Remnant

Imagine a future where we have survived a third world war. In the process, our country not only bears the scars of war, but our governing body is no longer the same. The government we knew built on the principles of freedom and individual rights has now been replaced with a single head of state and government rule that dictates what we are allowed to believe, what we can and cannot do, what we are allowed to read and learn. Churches have been destroyed and religions replaced by a secular government who now takes care of you. Any rebellion against this new ideology is squashed with re-training and indoctrination programs. All communication sources are governed by one source and we only receive the information our government wants us to have.

Shadow Remnant tells the tale of a boy who escaped from a re-training and indoctrination school, is hunted down by government police, shot and presumed dead. But a member of the Shadow Remnant, living in the wild rescues him and nurses him back to health.

I know what I can’t do – But what can I do?

We had just built and moved into our new home and were in various stages of unpacking and trying to find a place to put things.

A vertebra in my lower back had been gradually deteriorating putting pressure on a sciatic nerve. Without warning, it could trigger a spasm in my left leg, culminating in a leg cramp that locked my entire leg in a rigid position. Once locked, I was unable to move it until it had run its course.

However, if given enough warning, I could alter the outcome of the spasm. If caught early enough, I

“Let’s Talk”

I am a visual person and with the help of my wonderful webmaster, Laura Christianson from Blogging Bistro, I have a new website with an invitation to “Let’s Talk” to anyone who stops by.

It is by deliberate design that my new website features a table and two chairs, with a pot of tea (or coffee) – an invitation to sit and chat.

At the bottom of each page you can imagine yourself stepping out of the stream of life and into the small boat, floating lazily on its tether, to relax for a few minutes or hours, allowing the gentle rocking to take away all cares of the moment .

Life is full of unexpected joys and pleasures. It is also full of devastating events, tragedies and cruel misfortune that change our lives forever. The expectations we held have been shattered: that marriage we thought would last forever, the disloyal friend, the perfect family, or the accident that forever changed our ability to do things.

Kondi’s Quest

A new feature of my website, will be once a week blogs that highlights a new author or books that I have enjoyed.

Sylvia Stewart is the author of 3 books. Two of those books tells the story of a child growing up in Africa. First as a missionary’s daughter and later as a missionary herself with her husband, she has spent many years teaching and spreading the gospel of Christ to the people of Africa. In the following two books, we are given a window into the daily lives of the people she served.

In her first book, Kondi’s Quest, we are introduced to a young girl who is running away from the anger of her father. Kondi was always so careful – but this time she tripped and spilt hot tea on her Dad and the precious secret he keeps with him all the time in an unmarked brown package. He lashes out in rage hitting a hard blow to her head.

In the Blink of an Eye

The sun was setting, as our sailboat glided silently over the calm waters of the Columbia Bar – a stretch of treacherous water that can challenge the most rugged sailor when the tides drastically change the waters trajectory.

We were on our way home after several glorious weeks of cruising in the San Juan Islands. It took almost an hour and a half to reach Astoria.

After quickly scanning our charts, we decided we could reach a tiny cove located in the upper part of the Columbia River. Cruising at 7 knots, we continued to make our way through the expanded mouth of the river where water spread out over a wide expanse of water giving the illusion of a huge sea of navigational water. Only those who had studied their charts knew that going outside the clearly marked channels could quickly end up running aground in the surrounding shallow water.

From Stop to Go

The time has come to have that meeting with myself. I sit down with a clean pad of paper, my “Have to do” list made earlier in the week and a determination to find both short and long term solutions to the overwhelming string of demands on my time.

As is my practice, I start my session with a prayer asking God for wisdom, clarity and strength to follow through. It is so easy to gloss over the things I may be doing that contribute to my problems.

STOP!

The phone hasn’t stopped ringing – the kids are fighting again – the teacher called to schedule an emergency conference about your child’s schoolwork – your boss is uncompromising as the company instigates new policies, little time for training and additional workloads for everyone – you can’t afford to lose your job – nobody seems to care – and you are exhausted.

All you want is a quiet evening of peace and quiet, free from any more problems. And then the phone rings, and you cry, “Not another problem, Lord. I can’t take anymore.”

But this time the phone call is from your best friend, who patiently listens as you unload your frustrations. But when you hang up the phone, although some of the pressure has been lifted, you know it will begin again. You have asked God for strength, thanked Him for your special friend and the daily strength He gives you. But the problems are still there and you know you can’t continue like this.

Make Stress Work for You

We live in stressful times, constantly bombarded with the need to go faster and faster while still maintaining a high level of productivity. With more and more single parent households, aging seniors and troubled financial times, fear and anxiety become the norm as we deal with the unknowns in our lives.

Advanced technology further complicates our choices because we are led to believe that we need to purchase all the newest electronic product or be left behind. After running all day, we plop into bed at the end of the day and hope we can get enough rest to get up in the morning and start all over again.

Our energy source has been compromised. “Normal” stress that allows us to live has been turned to “dis-stress”. And what is worse we are led to believe that is the only way we can live.

How Heavy is Your Problem?

A professor was giving a lecture to his students on stress management. He raised a glass of water and held it up in the air. Then he asked the class, “How heavy do you think this glass of water is?” The students’ answers ranged from 20gr to 500gr.

To which the professor replied, “Does it matter how absolute the weight is or does it matter how long you hold it before it becomes a heavy burden?

If I hold this glass of water for a minute, it won’t be too heavy. But if I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it all day, you may have to take me to ER. It is the exact same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”