Finding Rest in Unfinished Work

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I have a constant to-do list running through my head these days. No matter how hard I try to organize my schedule, no matter how much effort I put in to filling out my weekly planner, no matter how early I get up or how hard I work, the days keep ending before the list does. Every night as I crawl into bed I turn off the light and leave a stack of things undone. Unfinished business has become the theme to my life these days. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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The One Thing to Get You Through Your Busy Life

The thing about life is that it has a tendency to swallow you whole. Have you noticed? One minute you’re skipping through your day, dolling out your yes’s and your I’d be glad to’s like free candy and the next you’re in over your head, swamped by all the many things you thought you could manage. Over-committed and overwhelmed you’re now trudging through the day, biding your time till the next cup of coffee – hoping it’ll hold you over to the moment you can at last crawl back into bed. I know the feeling, I’ve been there before. And let me tell you the one truth that got me through: this season won’t last forever.

I’m absolutely in favor of guarding your time. Create a sabbath, set aside time to rest, allow room for white space on your day timer. But as a fellow human on this walk through life let me share something with you: you are going to encounter strenuous seasons. You can’t escape it. No amount of carving out free time and declining invitations can safeguard you from the constant whirl of our world. We live on a spinning planet, one that is imperfect and subject to chaos. Of course we are going to find ourselves encircled with hard days, arduous work, or at the bare minimum – busyness. It is the fate of being a mortal on this side of heaven.

But let me remind you once more, this season – whether busy with work, plagued by illness, racked with financial crisis, burdened by relationships, or dripping with stress – won’t last forever.

Three months ago we warily put a cast together and began rehearsals for the annual musical at our local high school. Everyone involved in the production put in countless hours of work, we all spent more late nights at the high school gym than anyone should in their lifetime. From my perch at the piano bench I watched each night as the show progressed, characters developing, harmonies getting tighter, dance steps improving. By the time we arrived at opening night and the curtain opened, all the long hours and short nights seemed worth it. I was mesmerized by the sheer joy and delight radiating off that stage. The season didn’t last forever, and what’s more – it was worth every moment.

The human body has a very high capacity of tolerance when there is anticipated joy at the end of all the hardship. Just look at all the people who’ve run marathons and climbed mountains and birthed babies. Just look at soldiers and first responders and firemen. Just look at Jesus, hanging on the cross, nails hammered through his hands and feet, thorns stuck into his head, suffocating to death as his blood trickled down his naked body. Endurance was possible because the agony wouldn’t last forever. Endurance was possible because there was joy at the end of it all.

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12: 1-3)

There it is, the model of endurance set before us by our Savior. He didn’t enjoy the cross, he didn’t relish his time spent dying a most excruciating death, he didn’t savor the mocking voices that ridiculed him as he struggled to take his final breaths. But there was joy ahead of him, the joy of reconciliation with his children and a future together in eternity with him, and so he endured. He knew the season wouldn’t last forever, and there was joy at the end of it.

I know, it seems almost silly to compare our present difficulties to the sufferings of Jesus. How can a challenging job, or a teething baby, or college finals, or any number of our first-world problems possibly be similar to the death of God? And yet he invites us to look to him, look to his example of endurance, no matter what our circumstances look like. Surely if he withstood such agony we can make it through our challenges. You are not alone, he whispers. Look to me and remember: this season won’t last forever.

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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When You Need to Decrease to Increase

increaseGod has a way of teaching us something a million different ways until the truth we need to learn is pounded into our hearts and brains.

Let me expound.

Lent began the first of March. Decrease was the theme I chose to pursue these weeks leading up to Easter. Decrease of sugar, of resources, of achievements. A total decrease of self is really what it came down to. I was ready for me to be smaller, and hungry for Christ to become central to the entirety of my life. I opened my Bible, threw out the remaining Christmas candy, and began down the path of less. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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It’s Time to Take a Risk

risk

I’ve been moving through these winter days like someone moves through icy roads. Slow, uneven, careful. I keep slipping, losing my footing, and then returning to the path more cautious than ever. In a season that is typically about setting lofty goals and determining to make this year count for something, I am over here watching yet another episode of Gilmore Girls and fighting the desire to stay on my couch for the rest of winter. An apprehension has crept into my soul, and I am hesitant to even daydream about what this year my hold, lest I trip over my feet as I attempt follow these dreams. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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How to Get Through the January Blues

january blues

As long as I can remember Christmas has always been my favorite part of the year. The countdowns and candlelit services and waiting with ears strained for the sound of sleigh bells vividly return to me as I think about the past holiday seasons. And for as long as I can remember that eager excitement Christmas held, I also remember the enormous let down that sank into my heart as I climbed into bed Christmas night. When I was little I equated this feeling with not getting the right presents. But even now, as the importance of gifts has decreased, I can still feel that heavy weight of disappointment. Post-Christmas blues hit hard, whether your six or twenty-six. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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If You Only Do One Thing This Christmas

christmastreeI love the practice of advent, the sacred space it creates for holy waiting. I love the quiet anticipation for our Messiah’s coming. I love the dim rooms lit only by candles, the soft twinkling of lights strewn across trees, the early evenings and the choirs singing Silent Night. I love the marking on the church calendar that urges us to be still and prepare our hearts for the coming King. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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How to Make the Dark Days Light

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The days are getting short. The light is coming later and leaving earlier while darkness invades more of our time. Each day we lose a few more minutes to the night. I wake up in the dark, tripping over yesterdays shoes on the way to the light switch. An hour later it is still dark. Two hours later and the sky is finally turning that misty gray before the sun comes up. At last it is high in the sky, and then all too soon we head indoors as dark begins to set in again. The season of darkness is here. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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Practicing the Art of Walking

The Art of Walking

Walking is hard for me.

Ok, not the physical act of putting one foot in front of another. I can do that without a problem.

But going at a walking pace when I could be moving faster is very difficult for me. Why go slowly when you could move quicker? Why burn 100 calories walking when you could burn 200 by running? Why let your eyes leisurely move across the page of the book you are reading when you could speed read and get through twice as much content? Why take the scenic route when you could arrive at your destination an hour earlier? Why play your scales at tempo largo when you could click it up to allegro and let your fingers fly? Why adjust your morning schedule to accommodate the shuffling pace of a toddler when you could just pick them up and run your errands at double the speed? Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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Wanting What I Have

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Love does not envy. -1 Corinthians 13:4

My husband walks in the door. Another busy day at work, another set of obligations that kept him later than expected, another lengthy to-do list on the agenda for tomorrow. I sigh when he asks how I am. I passively allude to how soon morning will come and he’ll have to leave again. As he settles in for the evening, I scroll through Instagram and like all the pictures of my friends on romantic get-aways and fancy date nights. All we have is a few hours in the evening, I mutter to myself. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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Devotions That Last All Day

Bible Devotions

If there’s one part of the Christian life that comes easy to me it is doing my devotions. Even as I type it out I can see the Christian-ese dripping from that phrase – doing devotions. As if highlighting Bible verses, jotting down prayer requests, and reading through the latest Christian best-seller for thirty minutes each morning could possibly summate the act of devoting yourself to anything. But you know what I mean. And whatever you call it – quiet time, spiritual contemplation, meditation – I like it. I love reading, I love sitting still, I love pretty pens and notebooks, I love Jesus. And coffee is usually involved. So far I’ve got this devotion thing down.

And then the day happens. I have to get up from my corner on the couch and I go on with my life. I close the Bible, I snap lids on the pens, I say amen and I go forward. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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Hope For a Happy Ending

Happy Ending

I love good stories. Real life stories, imaginary stories, memoirs, children’s fiction, movies, TV shows, a conversation with a friend. Any narrative that relates a person’s journey through obstacles and triumphs, sorrows and joys, until they reach the end, the fulfillment of their destiny. Maybe it doesn’t turn out as suspected, maybe it is exactly as planned, but the common thread that ties all these stories together is the redemption that each character encounters. The hardships seem worth it, the rift is mended, the disappointment is no longer prominent, the ugly is made beautiful. These stories are satisfying to our souls, they lift our spirits upward and remind us of a masterful author, crafting all our stories toward their own delightful end. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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Living with Longing

Living with longing

You know that feeling that you got as a child when Christmas was over? When you got under the covers Christmas night and lay still in the dark silence that came with the end of another celebration? It was a hard feeling to pinpoint, especially at age ten. But the taste of it still lingers in my mouth. The taste of unsettled hunger and a gnawing tension in my stomach. That couldn’t be all there was, all that I had been anticipating for months… could it? I wanted more. Not more presents. Not more sugar cookies. Not more decorations. I didn’t know what I wanted. I just knew that I wanted.

That twinge of unmet desire continues with us as we grow from children to adults. No matter what we get in this lifetime – the love, the money, the experiences, the achievements – there seems to be just a little more that we didn’t get. Just a little something that we wish we had. Just a little further until we reach what we’re truly after.

Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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Sacred Dailiness

Sacred DailinessMost of my life feels fairly ordinary. I wake up in the morning, pour myself a cup of coffee with a little cream, scramble some eggs, brush my teeth, and face another day that looks similar to the ones that came before it. Part time nannying, assisting my husband at the school, house keeping, it all becomes routine after a while. Continue reading

Greer Oharah is a lover of authentic words and strong coffee. She blogs over at greeroharah.com where she writes on encountering God in the sacredness of daily life. She is a nanny, choral accompanist, and piano teacher. Her home is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her gallant, school-teaching husband.
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