Thursday, April 28, 2016
The summer is almost here! If you have been planning and thinking through many commitments, consider these things I am not planning to do:
• I will not overbook my family - I think I have spent close to 3 hours just studying different summer programs and trying to fit it in our schedule. I am aware of the red flag right in front of my eyes that is warning me of overbooking. If I'm gonna become a shuttle service, I'm not signing up. If we are all going to be stretched thin, I am not signing up. I often remind myself that some year round commitments such as church and Bible study do not stop during the summer. It is important to be wise with my precious time.
• I will not feel pressured to do all the cool activities - Let's me honest, there are some summer activities are cooler than others. They're all (supposedly) super important for my child's development. I have learned not to succumb to pressure but to see "pressure" as a warning sign. God doesn't put pressure on me, He gives me choices and He clearly encourages me to choose life.
• I will not dread my own schedule - This has happened to me before. Do you know what's worse? I am the master of my own schedule. I dread my schedule when we're out of the house all of the time. I dread my schedule when my kids are overtired. I dread my schedule when I am overtired. I believe that the summer should give us some activities but also the rest we need to recover and actually enjoy the things we sign up to do.
Here are the things I am committed to doing:
• I will remember that I need recreation too - You can't give what you don't have. I am determined to enjoy recreational activities so that I too can be refreshed and renewed. Unless I take the time to relax and do something I enjoy, I will run out of patience, joy... you get the point. This doesn't take 40 hours a week, all it takes is doing something you enjoy that can give you a sense of renewal. I encourage my readers to make a list of those things. My list includes running, reading, writing, meeting a friend for coffee and going to an art gallery.
• I will remember that this summer will part of my family's memories - if I am to look back at this summer, what type of memories will I want to create? I believe that this perspective is helpful when creating a summer schedule my entire family can enjoy. When the kids were little we focused on bonding and enjoying simple activities we could do in our backyard. When big events came around, we enjoyed them too. I am a believer that the best memories do not revolve around things but people. I am committed to be available, peaceful and joyful so that our summer memories will be supreme (yet real).
• I will consider God when creating my family's summer plans - Have you considered that God has something to say about your summer plans? I am convicted that what everyone is doing might not be God's plan for our family. I know that He can lead me and guide in the way I should go. I am fiercely convinced that I need to involve Him in my plans before I say yes to another brain-forming, life-enhancing, academically and fitness beneficial activity. The Maker of the Universe, our God, has something to say about our summer plans. Let's give Him permission, or "Lordship" over our schedules. I believe it will revolutionize our lives. I also believe that while I might want to go for the elaborate, God might want me to keep it simple and leave room in my schedule for human interaction. What do I mean? Instead of committing 12 hours of my week to an activity, God may lead me to be available to sit with a friend and enjoy conversation while the kids play. I just want to plant a seed in your heart my friend. Before you sign up for anything else, consider God and what He has to say.
Before your summer even starts, what are you committed to do or not to do my friend?
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
My favorite thing to ask my friends is about their dreams. Not the "last night I had a dream" kind but the ones that exist in our minds all the time. When the answer to "what is your dream?" comes, I see a different light in the eyes. I see a secret hope and joy that accompanies those who dream.
Dreams are magnificent but dreamers, even more. Each one of us one has the capacity to dream.
Dreaming costs absolutely nothing and it makes a huge difference in our lives.
Dreams feed the hope in us so it is important to take the time to dream.
You and I have many dreams. They might be hindered by your daily schedule. Life is so full of demands and those urgencies push dreams to the back of our subconscious.
I'm here to encourage you to dream again.
Dreaming takes virtually no time and it makes an enormous difference in our lives.
I know you have dreams for your children. I know you have dreams for your spouse. I know you have dreams for your department at work. What I really want to know if if you can consider for a moment the dreams you have for yourself.
Consider that dream that looks nothing like what you are currently doing. It may have been a childhood dream or something that recently came into your mind.
I want you to encourage you to keep dreaming.
Dreams not only feed the hope in you but they awaken the joy in you. I'm amazed at how God created us to dream and to find joy in it.
So, you have to do something that's unlike your dream. Don't feel that bad because that's called responsibility. You are also responsible for awakening the hope and the joy that comes when you simply dreaming again.
Take the time to dream: it will enhance your life. What is your dream my friend?
"When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, And we are glad."
Psalm 126:1-3 (NKJV)
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
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- Cintia Listenbee is a Journalist, Preschool Music Teacher but more importantly, she is the wife of Pastor Zeke Listenbee and the mother of 3 amazing children. This SimplyCintia.com is the bilingual (English/Português) blog where she spreads hope one post at the time. Cintia enjoys running marathons and listening to audio books. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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