Monthly Archives: April 2013

Taking Stock

lake

I was blessed this weekend to spend some time by the lake with a new, dear friend. It came on the tail end of an especially busy week during a hectic month. Quite frankly, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

We walked, we chatted, we enjoyed the beautiful nature around us.  We cooked out and laughed a lot.  When the sun went down, we sat around the campfire fellowshipping and admiring the beautiful night sky filled with stars. The peacefulness of those few hours was unrivaled by anything else in my life these past months.  I knew my soul was thirsty for a chance to get away and just “be,” but I honestly didn’t know just how much I needed that until I was there.  My iPad was at home, my cell phone was in my purse and forgotten, and I didn’t worry about the time – what a refreshing change from the usual!

I was actually sad when I had to gather my things and make the trek home, knowing that work would come early the next day. I was content and at peace as I drove away, then stunned when moments later I was speeding down the interstate toward home with a hundred other cars. The difference was jarring – and disconcerting.

As I fell asleep, I couldn’t help but think upon the shock my system felt upon returning to “normal.”  And I began to think: WHY does that have to be normal?

Don’t get me wrong – I can’t get away from my commute, the traffic, the demands of a busy job, and so much more. There are things that all of us balance every day that are just a part of our lives.  I love my life and I find great satisfaction in it.  But as I went to bed last night, I found myself longing for more.

“More” can be such an ambiguous term … we often use it in pursuit of the traditional rat race: more work, more success, more recognition, more commitments, more money, more things, more, more, more.  No matter how much “more” we acquire or attain, we are left wanting only … more.  What we have, who we are, what we can do – it’s never enough. And sometimes that kind of “more” only results in even more stress.

But that’s not the kind of “more” that leaves my soul longing. I want more of the feeling I had in those few hours yesterday. More of the peacefulness I embraced sitting by the lake or around the campfire. Sometimes less IS more – life gets so complicated by all the “stuff.”

As I went about my day today, I realized that it’s time (maybe past time) for me to make some changes.

Minimize.

Let go of “stuff.”

Streamline.

Simplify.

I’m so grateful to my friends for sharing their beautiful home and honest life with me – what a crazy, wonderful perspective it brought to my life. I’m eager to spend more time fellowshipping around the campfire, but in the meantime, I am so excited to begin separating myself from some of the “stuff” of life.

sheryl2

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The Sky Beneath My Feet – By Lisa Samson

skybeneath

This book tells the story of Beth, whose organized life is thrown into a tailspin almost overnight. Instead of spending his month-long sabbatical traveling with the family to the Florida beach, her minister husband decides to seclude himself in the backyard shed for the month waiting to hear from God.

Dismayed by her husband’s choice and her increasing sense of isolation, Beth struggles to come to terms with a life that suddenly seems foreign and leaves her feeling completely discombobulated. Focused on fixing everyone around her, she takes a journey that soon teaches her that sometimes you have to fix yourself.

I gave this book four stars.  It was an enjoyable book and I read it very quickly.  The author does a great job of developing Beth’s character, and you will empathize with her throughout the story.  You will feel her frustration with and confusion about her husband’s decision, and you will cheer her healing in the end.  The other characters are not as well-developed so, while likable, you will not feel as bonded to or invested in them as you will Beth.

There are some plot lines that seemed a little far-fetched and disconnected, as if inserted just to add more drama to the story, so I struggled with those. However, the overall theme of the book and lessons learned by Beth and the other characters along the way will resonate with many on many different levels.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”