God Got My Attention

 

God got my attention.

And it was difficult.

From January of last year to now, there have been a series of events that scream,  “Here’s your wake-up call. Don’t be a moron!” Bear with me as I ramble.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind of day to day living that we forget about “living”. Our time is broken down into a series of tasks and micro managing our minutes. Meetings, children, bills, spouses, significant others, deadlines, housework, jobs (…and the list goes on and on) fight for our attention every single moment of every single day. It’s no wonder that we escape to our worlds on the page! But even doing that can take a toll on our brains and body.

I feel overwhelmed just writing that last paragraph. How do we do it all- it’s mind boggling. So what’s my wake-up call? Life is finite and things can change in the space of a heart beat. I don’t know why it took a whole year of events to get me to realize that statement. I mean, I knew it, but I would brush it to the side like an annoying fly.

This past year, my cousin was surprised by a triple by-pass and his wife had a double mastectomy, a young friend and her baby were killed in a car accident, my neighbor was diagnosed with sarcoma and has undergone radiation treatments, her husband has tongue cancer, a close friend was diagnosed with ALS and is in the final stages- we only have 15minute visiting windows, my best friend’s daughter had a baby and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer (she’s 22), my best friend’s mother was killed in a wildfire(it’s been a very hard year for her), and this week our very good friend and Muse Track guest blogger, Will Graham, had a stroke and surgery on his carotid artery. (He’s fine and recovering nicely.) The icing on this questionable cake is the fact that I turned 50. Not a bad thing by itself, but coupled with the events swirling around me, it acts like a very loud alarm clock!

Life is a gift from God. We don’t always use that gift wisely and sometimes do things to screw it up royally, but it is still our gift. Here’s the trick- we don’t know how long it will last. I know there are things I can’t control. I can, however, watch over my body and feed it physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s something the big guy upstairs has been nudging me to do for quite awhile. Nudging is putting it mildly- He’s been hitting me over the head with a baseball bat to get my attention.

I started with the basics:

-I’ve lost 26lbs so far. Weight Watchers is my new best friend and she’s been very easy to hang with.

-I walk 3-4 times a day. I found I enjoy moving better when I do several short breaks rather than trying to do a marathon.

-I take a stretch break every hour I’m at the computer. A few minutes of yoga stretching does wonders for the body and mind.

-I make sure I’m getting enough sleep. One of the first things Will said when we visited him in the hospital was that he was lightening his stress load and working on getting more rest.

-I’m meeting friends to simply visit more often. Visiting is a lost art in this complicated, fast paced world of ours.

-I’m kissing my husband more often. This one might sound strange, but it’s fun and brings us even closer when we take time out to have quiet moments.

-I love to laugh and smile. I try to take a few minutes on You Tube to watch a funny animal video, a comedian, or hysterical animal voiceovers. I’m cracking up and my day seems lighter!

-I turn off all noise makers and electronics in my house for 15 minutes most every day. When was the last time your house was totally quiet and you weren’t staring at a screen? This is when I try to listen to what God is teaching me. Not always easy, but so worth showing up for!!

This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t even new advice. It’s a gentle reminder for you all to be good, really good, to yourselves. It took a jarring year and a birthday milestone to rattle my priorities. I’d like to say that I’ve got it all under control, but that would be a lie. Hopefully I’m developing tools to “stop and smell the roses” and not get totally sucked back into the grind.

I wish for all of us to be happy, healthy, and peaceful every day. It’s a stretch, but it can be done.

 

PS. I started off wanting to write an article about how to stay healthy while being a productive writer, but this is what came out. I hope this resonates with some of you and we’ll get back to tips on being a healthy writer another time.

40 Responses to God Got My Attention

  1. Tara Wood says:

    Well spoken. Sounds like the kind of reminder we all need with today’s busy schedules. Especially kissing the DH. LOL! Something so simple can really tug at the heartstrings. I make it a point to kiss my husband when he walks in the door from work every night. Just that few seconds seems to make whatever stresses from the day seem a little lighter. Great post!!!

    Like

  2. Kissing my husband is one of my favorite things to do!! I feel the stress just vanish as soon as he puts his arms around me- sigh. He’s a good one and I’m a lucky girl. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.

    Like

  3. Ah Stacey, good for you! I’ve been living this way for years, and I’ll be 79 this year, and will still live this way, God willing. So you have a good 29 years at least to go.

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  4. Well- here’s hoping I learn from the truly smart ones, like you. It’s taking me awhile to come into my own and discover the truly important things in life, but I’ll get there one day!!

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  5. Gerri Bowen says:

    An excellent post, Stacey. It certainly resonates with me.

    Like

  6. Yay!!!!! I’m so glad you took something away with you after reading this! Thanks for the compliment.

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  7. That was a great post. All of need to take care of ourselves.

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  8. It’s so easy to forget or delay taking care of ourselves! I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

    Like

  9. Neecy says:

    Sorry for all the hardship. God can put things in perspective. Your health is very important.
    Great post,
    Neecy

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  10. Thanks Neecy! I also want to wish you a Happy New Year. It was good to see your response today.

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  11. jbrayweber says:

    Yep, it’s been a tough year. Let’s make the rest of our time here count! (Not that it hadn’t before – but you know what I mean.)

    More smiles, everyone!

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  12. I hope I didn’t make it sound like I listed all the trials my friends have faced because it was such a tough year for me. Fortunately, my year was wonderful- but my heart broke as I shared their pain. I wanted to get the message out as to what I learned from it all. We do need to make the moments count and it’s OK to kick back and just enjoy!!

    Like

  13. Wow, it sounds like you’ve been going through a lot. *hugs* I hope this year is more restful and well for you!

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  14. Thanks for the hugs! I can always use some of those. All of those things I listed off acted as a catalyst for me to get myself in order- to find a center of peace and enjoy the moments I’ve been blessed to have today. My friends are the ones who have gone through the rough times and I hope I can learn from the lesson that was presented to me!!

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  15. Wonderful post and so true! Thank you it was just what I needed today.

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  16. I’m tooting my own horn but I think this is a post that everyone should read. It’s rare that you meet a person that really “lives” each day. It’s a wonderful thing to do, but difficult when your to-do list is longer than the hours in a day! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Like

  17. Shauna Allen says:

    Beautiful post, Stacey.
    Is it any wonder my favorite verse in the Bible is Psalms 46:10…”Be still and know that I am God.”

    P.S. You are one *HOT* 50! Who knew?! 🙂

    Like

  18. Blush blush! Wow- you made my whole week!!!! Thanks for the compliment. That’s also one of my favorite verses- it’s also one of the hardest to just be still and know there is something out there bigger than yourself.

    Like

  19. Brandie Nickerson says:

    An absolutely awesome post! Thanks for sharing!

    Brandie

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  20. You are so welcome, Brandie! I’m glad you enjoyed it- thanks for stopping in.

    Like

  21. A timely post for me, I’m just renewing my relationship with Him, the whole family is. Great post Stacey xx

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  22. I’m always in a constant state of renewal with Him. Thanks goodness for grace and forgiveness!!! So glad you enjoyed the post!

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  23. Marie says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful post, Stacey.
    Prayers are including your family and friends’ needs.
    All the Best.

    Like

  24. You are so welcome, Marie! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Like

  25. As you said, Stacey, it’s very difficult to stay focused on “what it’s all about” when you become submerged in the daily issues life brings. I so resonate with the being stil, and listening. I keep a Bible verse perched in my kitchen.

    Be Still and Know I am God.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at that this past year, and tried to apply it:)

    Lovely post, lovely message:)

    Lo

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  26. Hello Lo Lo-I’m glad you enjoyed today’s post. We need to do another weekend writing get away. I seem to remember laughing a lot, but not writing as much as we should. 🙂

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  27. Tess says:

    What a lovely post! I try every time I see or talk to a loved one to tell them I love them, because I just honestly don’t know if I will see them again!

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  28. What a great habit to form! We just never really know, do we? Thanks for stopping by, Tess.

    Like

  29. What Tess said! Tell your family members (and friends) every chance you get that you love them! We don’t know what’s in store for any of us! Immediately 9-11 comes to my mine as a BIG example.

    A couple of years ago I dealt with SO much “stuff” at one time, I was swamped and went to what I can only describe as a very dark place in my head, luckily just for a short while although it seemed an eternity. I was absolutely lost. Until everything I heard and saw pointed me to God. I started talking to Him all the time–initially because it felt like He was the only one listening. I haven’t stopped talking to him since. He’s a nice guy. Very forgiving. You can forget about him for a while, forget to talk to him, go on with your life, and He welcomes you right back when you’re ready. No guilt trips required.

    Stacey, I love your “basics!” Keep tooting your horn because this IS a fantastic blog post.

    Like

  30. Thanks so much for the compliment, Nancy. It means a lot to me. I’m glad that you found your way back from the dark spot you were backed into. We need your sunshine and laughter!!

    Like

  31. TJ Bennett says:

    Stacy, great post. I, too, had a wakeup call last year and decided to get healthy and scale back on the stress level. I went on Weight Watchers with my DH (he claims he did it to support me, but I did it mainly because I was worried about HIS health) and I have lost 33 lbs since (more to go). He lost 40 and has already reached his target. My goal for this year is to increase my sleep–tough to do in my house. The best goal I’ve met, though, is to walk a little closer to God. That tends to put everything into perspective, doesn’t it?

    TJB

    Like

  32. Hi TJ! So glad you stopped by today.
    It’s a funny thing about humans that we need wake up calls to get us to change our behavior in some way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were smart enough to do what’s needed without the call?!?!? Whatever the reason, it seems like you and your husband are on the way to a healthier 2012. Make sure you give him lots of kisses too!
    Walking closer to God ALWAYS gives you wonderful perspective on issues life deals you.

    Like

  33. jeff7salter says:

    Great post, Stacey.
    The Lord has thumped me on the head several times, sometimes with things which directly involve me, but often with circumstances/conditions which I merely observe.
    It’s so important to stop and listen and ask God what HE wants us to learn in each type of situation — whether it’s happening TO us … or merely in our vicinity.

    Like

  34. Amen Jeff. Seems like a simple thing to do to just stop and listen- why does it always seem so hard for me? Thanks for stopping by, I always love to read your insights.

    Like

  35. anievan says:

    This is wonderful.Love the part about kissing your husband! I know what you mean when you say it sounds strange, but it only does because ppl are so dumb about important things like that; they make a person feel foolish for the gorgeous things in life, which are not what movies and tv would have us think.

    @lorettawheeler That’s a beautiful Bible verse. Which book and chapter? I can’t believe I don’t know that one.

    Really enjoying the comments here!

    Like

  36. Babette: You are a woman after my own heart. Isn’t that magical # of 50 something? It’s like everything that has gone on before that was some sort of surreal off-broadway play. It’s weird. I can’t believe your year, that’s pretty heavy. But, hang in there – you only become more awake from there.

    Ronnie in Va.

    Like

  37. It’s Psalm 46:10! Great verse for all!

    Like

  38. Your post really resonated with me. I must! get rid of many excess pounds I’ve carried around since my husband died. (And yes,yes, remember to kiss your DH every chance you get.) I celebrated #50 a bit ago, and every day I think about becoming more active. Your words have helped me realize I’d better not wait any longer. Good luck with your own efforts!

    Like

  39. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I’m so sorry about you losing your husband. I can only imagine how awful that must have been and is. I wish you all the good things of this world! We can change significantly one little bit at a time.

    Like

  40. Carina Betts says:

    This is the piece you mentioned when we chatted a few weeks ago! Very apropos. Thank you for being my friend.

    Like

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