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Hello friends,

I am taking a break from the outside to cool off here in my front room office/sewing/counseling/research/writing room! July sure has arrived with all the heat and humidity that comes with this scorching month! Last time, we talked about being super busy, so let’s continue our conversation! I found some iced passion tea K cups in the basket, so have some with me and enjoy this air-conditioned room!

Our culture leads us to believe we need to eat more, want more, buy more, live more, go more, and strive for essentially unattainable goals! We go, go, go, and suddenly we are way overwhelmed and wonder what happened! Generally speaking, we are conditioned for busyness. What would happen if we decided to sloooow down, take a breath, and take time to actually notice the cool summer breeze, see the blue sky, smell the freshly cut grass, taste a popsicle (or snowball if you live in the Deep South), and feel the heat of sunshine on our faces?

The enemy can always use the distraction of “busy” to get us even when nothing else works. Busy leads to stress, anxiety, and the feeling of inability to simple keep up with life! The stress of striving to keep up robs us of our joy and hope. And, hey, stress keeps us from noticing the needs of others and sharing the love of Christ. Not only do we miss out on the delights in life, we miss opportunities to be Jesus to the world. Let’s do life better! Simply put, Jesus is the answer to more peace and more joy. When we realize He is capable to handle everything that comes, we can truly rest in His comfort and experience His peace. He even said, “I have come so they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10).

I live in Tennessee, specifically the Nashville area, which is number 10 in the top 10 most stressed states in the nation. There is a fast-paced culture here for sure and I feel it each day. Among friends I have talked to, we all feel the pressure to be more, have more, and do more. Sometimes I feel like closing my eyes and covering my ears while I hide out in a closet. Yikes!

Do you feel this too? Listed below are a few signs of stress and fatigue:

Sleep too much or too little

Trouble falling asleep

Trouble staying asleep

Anxious thoughts

Always tired


Appetite loss

Lack of motivation

Uncharacteristically emotional

What is to be done about all of this? I am a bottom-line girl. Give me the main stuff. Listed below are some suggestions that have been helpful for me and other girls I know:

physical. I mentioned last time that it is helpful to physically visualize where your time is spent by writing out a typical schedule by day for an average week. Obviously summer will look different than the school year. Identify which activities and responsibilities are absolutely necessary and which ones are not needed. If possible to cross some of those extras off, go for it! I just read recently that gardening and simply being outside without “doing” anything, is shown to reduce depressed and anxious feelings.

mental. Some stress is from the inside, from our own belief “busy” equals successful. Success is not feeling too stressed to enjoy God-given LIFE! We can learn to let go of our cultural beliefs that we have to be “going” to be productive. This is simply untrue. We can be successful ladies while taking time to visit with neighbors and play with sidewalk chalk with children down the street. Maybe our ideas of success are not actually as successfully fulfilling as we believe…

spiritual. Spend time with the Lord. If possible, begin each day with even just a few minutes alone with His Word, listening for His voice, and taking in His peace. Not all at once, but after time, it will not be possible to imagine a day without this special daily occasion. I challenge you - do it! It all depends on you life stage as to when you can create this retreat with Him each day, so find a time that works for you and go with it. It could be the middle of the day for a college girl or middle of the night for a mom with a young baby!

I pray you begin to consider ways to relax a bit more and experience all the peace and joy the Lord has for you. May you rest in Him throughout today and as you lay your head on a pillow tonight, wherever you reside. May you relish time with our Father and feel His love even today.



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