Friday, July 20, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: The Best Rest and Renewal


The Best R & R
A devotional by Susan Lindstrom

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” –2 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT) 

I’m all for celebrating life and have no problem with aging, really, I don’t. Okay, turning 35 knocked me for a loop but that was a long time ago. The thing is, I used to look at pictures of my aunts, uncles, and my mom and dad when they were young adults and wonder how they could have changed so much. Now I look at a recent picture of myself and see that I have arrived. Who is that anyway?

Peering into the bathroom mirror, lights ablaze, I search my reflection for any new…well, character lines, life etchings, you know what I mean, wrinkles. I frown and instantly hear my mother, “smile honey, frowning makes more wrinkles.”

Even though I turn that frown upside down, and watch my face brighten, I contemplate putting in a dimmer switch.

And maybe a new beauty regimen. I saw a line of products the other day that were ‘pro-aging’ instead of ‘anti-aging’. A different spin but one I definitely like the sound of. It’s positive and encouraging, and I’ll take all of that kind of thing I can get.

I think we all need that.

There’s so much in this life that drags us down. That’s the stuff that puts wrinkles on a beautiful face. I’m convinced that’s why the One that loves us more than we can fathom, tells us in Matthew 11:28 (NIV), “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

Rest and renewal.

Did you know the best beauty regimen is to spend time with Him who renews the best part of us, our soul and spirit? Our soul, the life essence of our being, and our spirit, the part of us that connects with God.

Romans 12:2 (NLT) says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think…”

Every single moment we spend with Him praying or in His Word, we are being renewed and shaped slowly and wondrously to be more like Him and to be the person He created us to be. The person you were before the world or circumstances told you who to be.

Too busy you say? I used to be as well. Or so I thought. Struggling with sporadic Bible reading, with a devotion here and there, a good friend suggested I ask Him to show me when would be the best time in my busy schedule. I wasn’t sure how He would show me but okay, guess it couldn’t hurt.

Summer hours at work meant I clocked in at 6:30 in the morning. My routine was to shower the night before, crawl out of bed at 5:30 in the morning, grab coffee and breakfast, make my lunch, dress and go.

The morning after I prayed for Him to show me, my eyes popped open before the alarm went off. I shut them tight trying for a little more precious sleep, but it didn’t work. My mind raced, was today something important? What was I forgetting?

The clock read 5:15 a.m. and I felt an urgency to get up.

I washed and dressed before I poured coffee this time. Checking the clock, I saw time to spare so I sat in my favorite chair and sipped the wake-up brew thinking over what it all meant. When I spied my bible and devotional next to my chair, I knew! Why should I be surprised? I asked and He showed me! And do I even have to tell you that my day was so much more meaningful, so full of Him? It’s been over 12 years since then and what a beautiful habit it’s become.

I look again at my reflection in the mirror and sure, I see an aging me, but I also see a daughter of the One True King, my life with Him is what I proudly wear etched upon my face. Can you see my smile?

~*~

Author Bio:
Susan Lindstrom is not an award-winning writer yet unless you count that ‘best story’ award in third grade but stay tuned to see what God has planned! 

Writing has always been a passion but raising a family, running her sewing and design business, involvement in women’s ministry and teaching Sunday School has kept her plenty busy.

Now retired and an empty-nester she trusts in God’s amazing timing and has jumped in to embrace this new adventure of writing.

Her first book is for children and will soon be released. It's the first in a series of real-life adventures focusing on the fruit of the Spirit.

She grew up on both the East and West Coast. But now, she calls the beautiful state of Wisconsin home. She’s a wife, mom, and grandma to 10 children.

Susan listens to a wide variety of music, loves live performances and believes that laughter is the best medicine.

When she is not indoors writing, reading or pretending to clean the house, she’s outdoors enjoying the beauty of God’s Creation.

She’s a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

2 comments:

  1. Delightful devotional! Susan definitely had me laughing, even until the end: "pretending to clean the house." When Susan talked about being wakened early, I thought of Isaiah 50:4 "He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple." I heard once that the best time to spend time with Jesus, is when He is passing by, when He calls you. And the more time we spend with Him, the easier we hear His whispers to our heart. Thanks, Susan & Alexis!

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