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August Review

August Review

August was a whole month of no rush for school drop off, or quick get to school for pick up, and packed lunches, and no after school activities. It was a month of skipping the alarm clock, enjoying quiet days, working on projects, and enjoying summer. The weather is beginning to feel cool and so I am thinking of all the soups to make. I am ready to find my scarves.

Tomorrow is the first day of school for Miss K though she had three days of orientation last week. Uniforms are labeled, a new backpack ready, and excitement is high. Last week for the first day of orientation she was up and dressed at 6:30 ready to go. I wonder what time she will be up tomorrow?

So what happened in August working toward my 2018 goals.

Let me just say that it is August and I still remember my word for 2018. One of the reason is I write my verse that goes with the word in the margin of my planner most weeks. Writing it and seeing it helps me to remember it keep that focus.

So what happened in August.

I have been spending some time considering special needs in the Bible. Some of the those are written here and here. I have a bit more reading, pondering and writing to do on the subject. In addition to the Bible, I have read Disability and the Gospel and The Bible, Disability and the Church

Currently I am doing an in-depth study of II Corinthians getting ready for autumn small groups. I am being challenged and encouraged. I shared a big about what to do when you are overwhelmed.

In August I read 10 books. Technically I should say I finished reading 10 books in August. One interesting book that I read was Stasiland Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall. In April we drove through that part of Germany and spent a few days in Berlin. I was able to picture bits of the book from our trip. We had also visited the DDR Museum which helped to understand life in the DDR. Reading can you to new places or old places, give you glimpses of life in other places and time.

I finished a project. Let’s not talk about the fact that I still have seven projects to finish. I finished an autumn table runner.

August 2018 Finished Project

I did buy the backing to finish another project. Now to just do it.

At the end of July I was mentioned looking to reduce our use of plastic. I have begun to make yogurt in the Instant Pot. We like our yogurt thick so I strain it. Then I end up with whey. I discovered a great bread recipe that uses the leftover whey.

August bread

What am I looking forward to in September?

School – The routine is good for all of us. Miss K has a great schedule and I am looking forward to seeing how she grows and learns this year. Finishing high school with my son. We, well really, he is almost finished.

Autumn Activities – small groups, dance, and just a bit of briskness in the air. A set time to exercise as I walk to pick up Miss K from school.

Book Discussion – I posted on Facebook that I wanted to read The Gospel Comes with a House Key and did anyone want to read it with me. I am ordering 10 copies of the book for local friends and have a few others friends around the world that are joining us reading and discussing this book. I don’t really know what I am doing but am excited to read this. Have you read it?

How was your August? What are you looking forward to in September?

Is Sleep Important

Is Sleep Important

is sleep important

Does it really matter how much sleep I get? If I stay up late, I can get all kinds of things done. What are some of the things that you tell yourself about sleep?

Sleep (noun) ” a condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.” (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sleep)

Why We Sleep

A few months ago I read the book, Why We Sleep. I read it based on the recommendation of someone. My disclaimer for the book is that the author believes in evolution and throughout the book talks about how humans have evolved to this point.

Why We Sleep

The book was full of studies of what happens when people do not get enough sleep. There were studies of how after learning something people then sleep and how the sleep helped them to retain what they had learned. One study showed how the lack of sleep impaired reactions for driving at the same level as alcohol.

I thought I would share some of the things from that book. But also some truths from the Bible regarding sleep. Some of this might not be new.

We do need sleep. The goal should be eight hours.

Sleep helps us physically boosting our immune system. It also reduces injury risk for athletes. I found that section fascinating to read about the performance of athletes relating to sleep.

I remember when I was working in Taiwan the work hours were long and sleep was not always important. The author advocates that employees should be rewarded for sleep because as a result of sleep they will be more productive.

“Sleep has proven itself time and again as a memory aid: both before learning to prepare your brain for initially making new memories, and after learning, to cement those memories and prevent forgetting.” (page 109)

If you can’t sleep, get up and do something that will help to relax you.

Get exercise outside in the sun late morning. This helps with the cyclical nature of our days.

Put screens away two hours prior to going to bed. For me that means I need to have a real book to read in the evening instead of reading on my iPad.

Sleep in the Bible

The first mention of sleep in the Bible was when the Lord put Adam to sleep and created woman. (Genesis 2:21)

A deep sleep fell on Abram. While asleep God speaks to him foretelling what will happen to his offspring. (Genesis 15:12) God had already given Abram the promise but reminding him.

It was while Samson was sleeping that Delilah cut his hair. (Judges 16:1-22)

God calls to Samuel while he was lying down. (I Samuel 3). I think that is a time when we are quiet and still.

David spares Saul’s life when he was sleeping. (I Samuel 26)

Being awake at night at times can be part of God’s plan. That happened to the king. He couldn’t sleep so he had the book of memorable deeds read to him. He remembers what Mordecai had done. (Esther 6:1)

Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (ESV) We can sleep when we feel safe and that comes from the Lord.

We are warned not to sleep if we have done something wrong to your neighbour. (Proverbs 6:1-4)

Ecclesiastes 5:12 sleep is sweet to the labourer. I agree with that. At the end of a busy day of work it is sweet to go to bed and sleep.

Sleep is also used in the Bible to refer to those to death.

There are also numerous passages about dreams in the Bible. God often spoke in dreams.

So a quick summary. God is the one who gives sleep and there are times that he keeps us awake. We were created to need sleep. God does not need sleep (Psalm 121:4) but we need it. Get the sleep that you need.

Are you getting the sleep you need?

Book Review – Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Book Review – Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

I recently posted on my Facebook page that I had finished reading this book. For my benefit as well as yours I will just summarise a bit of the book, Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. As I review this, I will point out things that agree with the Bible or maybe where it disagrees.

Essentialism

First impressions – The book was easy to read both in content and in font size, graphics, headings. Yes, the physical aspect of the book does play into how easy I find to read the book. It was easy to finish. Do you know what I mean? I started it and easily kept reading. It didn’t get stuck on a pile of books to finish in the next decade. I read the physical book with a highlighter in hand.

Getting this out of the way – My husband bought this book and gave it to me to read. He knows how much I enjoy reading and reading this type of books. The review, opinions, and thoughts here are my own. This is a secular book in the category of Business/psychology.

 What is Essentialism? 

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at your highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” (page 5)

What does it mean to do the right things? We live in a noisy world; meaning the media, people, friends, social media are all saying things. Maybe it is things that they are doing and we think we should do it. Maybe it is intentionally things that others want us to do. We need to know what God is calling us to be at this time.

Essentialism requires courage. We are going to do and be different than all the noise around us.   This is going to require discipline. That means that we will need to be intentional.

“The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default.” (page 7) How easily do we just go to default mode. It is often easy and doesn’t require much thinking. Essentialism is going to require courage and discipline. We need that to live by design.

“Essentialism is a disciplines, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.” (page 7)

I made it to page 7 only 239 more pages to go. Don’t worry I won’t go into as much detail.

Principles of EssentialismFour Parts of Essentialism

The book has four parts: Essence, Explore, Eliminate, and Execute. Also throughout the book there are charts that showing the non-Essentialist and the Essentialist. I found the charts helpful to just show a summary of some of the differences.

The author talks a bit about priorities. The importance of priorities but also gives a bit about the word priorities. The word came to English in the 1400s and it was singular. There was only one priorities but it in 1900s it became plural. A word that means first or prior thing now has come to be multiple things. I think we really need to go back to the idea that priority is one word. My priority might change from one day to the next but it is the one thing that is important. You can’t do everything.

Essentialism involves choice. An essentialist says, “I choose to.” While the non-essentialist says, “I have to.” There is a big difference. You make the decision and you choose it.

Here are some quick take aways from the book.

Have time to think. Sit and think, evaluate. Have space in your life for this. The Bible talks about being still and listening to God. That is what this time should be in our lives. Do you have be still time in your day or week?

Sleep is important. That goes along with the book I read on that. An Essentialist understands the importance of sleep.

Live with intent. As a Christian, our intent should be to love God and glorify Him in all we do. If we keep that intent in the front of our thinking as we make decisions and live each day, our life and schedule will be different.

An Essentialist knows when to say, “yes” and when to say, “no”.  Just because someone asks you to do something, doesn’t mean you need to say yes.

Know when to stop even if the project isn’t finished. When I was homeschooling, it was easy to decide, I bought the curriculum, we started it, we will finish it but we should have stopped. It wasn’t working. Be willing to stop.

How will I put this into my life?

My quick answer is, “I am still thinking about that.” Any really that is true. I don’t have a boss and a job description so it is a bit more difficult to see how it could apply in my life.

It has made me consider my attitude so instead of saying, “I have to make lentil and barley stew for 50 people on Thursday.” I changed it to be, “I have an opportunity to make lentil and barley stew for 50 people on Thursday.”

I am still asking myself the question, “What is essential?”. This morning I was intentional in sitting and just listening to the Lord. I had to be disciplined to sit and be still. I have a page of thoughts. On one specific thing God said, “be faithful and leave the rest to me.”

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

Are you trying to do too much? Do you need to learn principles of Essentialism in your life?