I just have to write. It’s funny. As I do my taxes (ugh) I keep having the urge to write something. And my computer is right here. So — here I go.

The Drive to Excel

The past few days I realized that I have fallen into the “drive to excel”. That’s not good — really it isn’t. At least for me. I am an A1 personality so that drive to excel pushes me past what I need in my life. I need peace, joy as well as production.

Bible Art by Janis Cox

In my group, Connect, Create and Grow through God’s Word we are studying 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 this week. The study made me stop and think. It made me remember that I want to keep the joy of Easter in my heart all through the year. I will keep praying. And I will give thanks. I want my eyes, face and body to show this. And thus — .

I am backing up or at least stopping moving headlong forward. I am putting my feet up and looking over what I accomplished in the last 90 days and seeing where God wants me in the next 90.

But What About All My Ideas?

Too many ideas are popping into my head. That’s good and it’s bad.

Deanne Michelle Welsh has an excellent course I’m attending now that is taking new members on a waitlist and opening in June. It is for Christian writers who want to write but not forget God in the doing.

One thing I have learned is to make a note when that wonderful, marvellous, fantastic idea pops into my head. Deanne calls it “Squirreling Away Our Thoughts and Ideas”. I told her she could use my painting to help people remember this idea. Once I have jotted down the idea, it frees my mind to accomplish something else without stressing about forgetting it.

Watercolour by Janis Cox

Rethinking and Looking Forward

I’m taking a break to rethink what I have accomplished and figure what is important to my life. This break will allow me the peace I need to hear God’s Word clearly.

I remember a collector’s plate I was given by my mother-in-law. I think it will remind you too — To Stop and Smell the Roses.

My plate — on my shelf

Keeping All Things in Focus

We get on our tasks — read treadmill — and forget there are other things in life.

Make sure you take care of yourself. 

Thanks to Sturm Enrich for refocusing me to that thought. Taking care of me. It reminds me of the airline telling me to put my mask on first.

Keep your connection with others.

We are not mice in a Skinner experiment.

We are humans, related to others and here to help one another and ourselves be full of the joy of Christ.

I can’t do that if I am stressed. I can’t do that if I don’t have time. I can’t do that if I am so focused on “doing” I have no time to live.

Here are 7 ways that I think will help me and hopefully you to find and keep the Joy of Christ, live as He would want us to, and give Him glory.

7 Ways to Be Fruitful for God and Do it In Peace

1.) Start each day with a prayer and a Scripture. 

(Even if you are not Christian — start with something that will bring meaning and purpose to your life — quote, an inspiring message).

2.) Sit by yourself. 

Feel the Oneness of creation. You are special. God has create you with meaning. Sit with Him. Write Him a prayer. Breathe in the stillness. Breathe in His Spirit. For me this means NOT looking at my phone when I first wake up.

3.) Check your schedule for the day. 

Choose at the most 3 tasks to do. Be ready to pivot if the Holy Spirit calls you to move in another direction (like He did with my taxes. — “write this instead”.)

4.) Focus on one task at a time. 

This is the hardest one for me. When I do it I am many times more productive in the time available.

5.) Remember to eat good wholesome food, drink water and get exercise. 

Don’t be chained to your desk. Get up. Move around. Take a walk. Put your feet up. I found in Arizona I wasn’t drinking enough water. Now I always have a glass beside me. (note: it’s empty. Go fill it up).

6.) Connect with others.

Go visit someone. Phone (with a real phone) one person to ask them about their day.

7.) Get enough sleep. 

Do you know that sleep deprivation accounts for more problems than we really understand? If you are not sleeping, find out why and fix it.

CALL TO ACTION

Are you like me? Do you need to stop and smell the roses? It’s so important for our lives to be fruitful but also a blessing to others.

Are you interested in spending time in God’s Word that is SIMPLE but meaningful?

Creating is a purposeful way to slow down and connect to God’s heart.

 

If you liked this story, please consider buying one of Janis’ books from our store. Click here.

Visit Janis at JanisCox.com and see more of her work here.