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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My New Years Day Meltdown: An Honest Letter About 2017

2017

Hi Friends!

I took a much needed hiatus from social media this last week. My family was here visiting from California, and instead of documenting every moment with them, I savored it and drank it in. And I didn’t blog about 2016. Or my thoughts about 2017. Or my resolutions. And to be honest with you, it was so freeing. We had a week full of food fights, sunsets, and card games, with never ending laughs as we rode around in a rental van that barely ran. It was glorious.
And when my family left on New Years Eve, as much as I tried to shake it, there was no doubt a dark cloud looming over me all weekend.

I love the turn of the new year. The fresh, clean slate and promise of hope are inspiring. I’m a goal-setting, list-making dreamer with a perpetually restless soul that’s always aching to be part of a greater purpose.

So when I woke up on New Years Day, I never expected that our 2017 goal-setting session would end in the meltdown I had.

The truth is, 2016 may be in the past, and it may be last year, but it was also just last weekend. Problems and hurts aren’t erased. Stress and work and worries are still there. I wish the turn of the new year really wiped those things clean.

My sweet husband has so much grace and patience with me. I cried about missing my family. And being overwhelmed with more condo renovations, and going back to work, and hosting visitors, and vacations that may never come to fruition, and big life decisions: it’s no wonder the afternoon ended in tears for me.

I feel silly writing this now, but I know many of you have similar hurts and struggles. The New Year doesn’t mean everything is perfect and new. It’s not a magical day that fixes everything when the clock strikes 12.

But as believers in and followers of Christ, we are offered a new start daily. And with Christ, that does mean peace in the midst of chaos and overwhelm, comfort in the hurt, and hope in the future.

Friend, you’re doing just fine where you are. Don’t put pressure on yourself to live up to expectations this year that are going to end in stress or disappointment. Keep going on the road you’re on, and seek God all the way.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

In Him,

Laura
founder + editor

Laura is the co-founder + editor behind SWS. She is currently living on Maui with her husband, where they’re passionate about serving and glorifying Jesus. She loves naps, surfing, adventuring with their border collie, Mowgli, and is an advocate for the fact that #GraceNeverRunsOut.
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The Sustaining Promise of Hope

We are a people who have defied the notion of truth.  Right and Wrong? Subjective and malleable.  On one hand it’s good to appreciate nuance and differences and diversity and grey areas, but on the other hand we are killing ourselves when we throw away our plumb-lines; abolish our benchmarks; trample on our long-held standards.

We believe we are evolved and enlightened, and this is why we have the privilege of complete self-governance.  But as I look around, I see a world where evil is raging, and people are more divided than ever.

As I was reading this morning, I came across something that sounded like it was written about our modern era, but this was written nearly 3000 years ago.  There is something to be said for the timeless nature of scripture, see for yourself;

Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived.  Continue reading

I am a Redeemed daughter. I am a 33 year old wife, and mother to 2 boys and 1 girl. Every day feels full to the brim with our kids and our orchard life and all that it entails, but I never stop looking for Jesus in
all the details. I long for the day that our world is completely lit up by His love and grace; that day when the gospel spreads like fire, and freedom blows through nations in a way that liberates the captives and bonds enemies as friends. I like to lose myself in books, look for beauty through the lens of a camera, put words to the page to try to unravel the tangle of thoughts in my mind, and I am absolutely crazy about seeing life-giving relationships come alive through friendships and shared passions. I’m hopelessly hooked on coffee, podcasts, music, and skies.
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Transcendent Confidence: And How to Pray For It

confidence

He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

There have been two times when I’ve clung to that verse for dear life.
The first time was when we were leaving our two boys, flying to Austin for a conference. I had never flown anywhere without them since becoming a mom.
As we were taking off out of Seattle I started to panic and I started to cry and in my head I was repeating “He is before all things and in him all things are held together.” I don’t have a fear of flying, and I had never had anxiety about a takeoff before. I remember being so afraid that something would happen to us, or happen to our boys, and it just terrified me to be going states away from them. Continue reading

I am a Redeemed daughter. I am a 33 year old wife, and mother to 2 boys and 1 girl. Every day feels full to the brim with our kids and our orchard life and all that it entails, but I never stop looking for Jesus in
all the details. I long for the day that our world is completely lit up by His love and grace; that day when the gospel spreads like fire, and freedom blows through nations in a way that liberates the captives and bonds enemies as friends. I like to lose myself in books, look for beauty through the lens of a camera, put words to the page to try to unravel the tangle of thoughts in my mind, and I am absolutely crazy about seeing life-giving relationships come alive through friendships and shared passions. I’m hopelessly hooked on coffee, podcasts, music, and skies.
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Why I Owe Our Country an Apology: And You Do, Too

black lives matter

I have to apologize.

I have to apologize for remaining silent. I have to apologize for retreating and choosing to hide instead of taking a stand and speaking out. I have to apologize for being at a loss for words, and instead of just coming out and saying that, I opted out completely. It’s with a heavy heart that I feel burdened to say something about what’s been happening in our country and our world. I’m sorry for all the lives that have been taken, whether it was at the hands of ISIS or others, they’re all straight up clothed in hate. Whether the victims were black or white or in uniform or gay or straight. I’m sorry for the lives we’ve lost, for the hurt that’s been inflicted, for the pain that is permanent, and for the lack of Jesus in all of it. Continue reading

Laura is the co-founder + editor behind SWS. She is currently living on Maui with her husband, where they’re passionate about serving and glorifying Jesus. She loves naps, surfing, adventuring with their border collie, Mowgli, and is an advocate for the fact that #GraceNeverRunsOut.
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