Working Harder

Working Hard

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I am so saddened to hear about the tremendous increase in unemployment claims. However, there are also many, many people right now who are working harder than they ever have. I’d like to give a shout out to all the healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, first responders, custodians, truck drivers, food service and anyone else I’ve forgotten to mention that is working hard right now 8)

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When I was in second or third grade, (I can’t remember exactly which grade— it has been a minute!), I remember being in a reading group called GINN. This group was for the more advanced readers and writers in English. I didn’t really have to do much to be in the group, but teachers had noticed my comprehension was more than the “average.” One day after the GINN class, the teacher took me aside and told me she saw me struggling with the reading and thought I should think about stepping down from GINN and joining the regular class. 

She gave me some time to think about it. 

The other kids had already left for gym class. I tried to catch up to them. I remember putting on my yellow shirt and grey shorts (gym uniform) and lacing up my tennis shoes when the tears started. I tried fighting back the tears, knowing if they started, I couldn’t stop them.  I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the rest of the day. I had taken pride in being a member of GINN, but had really taken it for granted. I had quit working for it and it was showing.  Shame, pride and emotion were taking me over.

As I started to run to catch up to my classmates, (not wanting to be left behind and have any more rejection to face in this day!),  I realized I couldn’t do both- cry and run hard to catch up. So I ran harder. Believe it or not, running harder helped me get through those tears. By the end of the day I’d made it without crying in front of everybody. 

The next day I gave my teacher my answer: I was going to work even harder to stay in the group, if she could just give me another chance. (It worked!)

To this day, I use the same tactics. 

When I am struggling with some thing, I lace up my shoes and I run hard— after all these years of practice, I have learned how to cry and run at the same time; however, that quickly turns into praying and running. It’s been 99.9% effective for me for whatever it is I’m struggling with.

Like now.

The last two days at work in my “essential position,” I have been struggling.

I got home Wednesday after a 10 1/2 hour shift, and I could hardly breathe. The anxiety of trying to hold a sneeze or a cough, especially during allergy season, while you’re working in a room with coworkers is hard! By the time I got home, my heart was racing, my face was flush, and I was struggling to breathe. No, I don’t have COVID-19, but yes I have been extremely anxious through this time.

I bet many of you can relate.

So I laced up my shoes and took to running hard. What I realized is, in this time, I need to work harder with what I’m struggling with right now. And I know exactly how to do it – but it is so difficult...

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I need to work harder at being still and knowing that God is in control. 

(Psalm 46:10)

I need to work harder at laying all of my troubles and burdens at the feet of the Prince of Peace.

I need to work harder at finding compassion instead of anger when those around me aren’t washing their hands or staying 6 feet back.

I need to work harder at remembering how very, very, very scared the older lady is, who yelled at the fire fighter at Costco for going in before her (which Costco had offered as a service to first responders). And I need to work harder appreciating all the first responders putting their lives and the lives of their families at stake for choosing a job in public service.

I need to work harder at remembering all the things that Jesus has walked with me through before this. I need to remember the way He got me through was different/better and to trust in His ways.

(Isaiah 55:8)

I need to work harder at remembering this is all temporary.

(Hebrews 13:14)

I need to work harder at remembering there are so many people out there suffering not only with this pandemic; but they are moving, looking for a job, trying to make ends meet, arresting someone with Covid 19, battling cancer, filing for divorce, burying a loved one to an empty church… 8(

 

I need to work harder at keeping my eyes fixed on the One who holds me in His hands and remember I can find shelter beneath His wings. (Psalm 91)

And I need to work harder at remembering I have a Counselor, a Helper, a Healer and a Savior who is never gonna leave me during this time.

(Joshua 1:9)

I also want to work harder on asking how people are doing through this.

So, please tell me-

How are you working harder during this time?

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RECOVERING MULTI-TASKER

BE STILL

BE STILL

“Multi-tasker Extraordinaire.” That was how I characterized myself several years ago. I actually prided myself in being given this title by several people in my life.–I could be simmering organic quinoa breakfast on the stove, downloading the latest health articles, sending out e-mails, memorizing flash cards for school, playing with the cat and applying mascara—all concurrently and all at light-speed.

I liked that title until I nearly burned up the kitchen because I forgot about my simmering quinoa while doing those five other things. So, I downloaded (while eating breakfasts and doing make-up) an article that spoke of how multi-tasking actually makes you stupid. (–As if I needed proof after the kitchen incident.) Hmm…

In synopsis, the article explained that brain stimulation is decreased when attending to multiple things. It would appear, as one multi-tasks, that the brain becomes numb.

Add in stress and you may have a kitchen fire!

The other day, a friend of mine was leaving a voice message at a business and she absentmindedly recited her social security number instead of her phone number! She didn’t even realize it until I pointed it out.
Too much on your mind and, SHAZAAM!—numb.

When was the last time you quieted your body and mind?

I think this is one of the reasons Yoga has become so popular. People need balance desperately in this fast-paced, fast-food, hi-speed world. If people understood the benefits of quieting their hearts and re-focusing their mind, maybe that whole “peace thing” could have a chance…

A new trend in Yoga is to couple the practice with Bible Scriptures.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

When we quiet our minds, we give God the opportunity to be heard. He still speaks. We just so often are numbed to hearing Him.

It’s difficult work. I still find juggling multiple things appealing, but I also find how much I drop when I don’t begin with balance.

When I take the time to be still with God—quiet time to pray, journal, read His Word and simply be still with Him—I find balance. I have a clearer mind and more productive day. (Ahh—Always the temptation to be more productive—I admit I am still in recovery 😉 But, the truth is I have more peace, and maybe that allows me to feel more of that balance and the productivity is the result.

I am a work-in-progress. I don’t always strike that balance. But, on those days when I adhere to more time with God and leave the e-mail unchecked, skip playing with the (now two) cats and without even having enough time left to check the color of my shoes; I walk out the front door with a steadied mind. And, the peace I have the rest of that day as I look down and my two different colored shoes?
Priceless.