Time to Breathe

Yesterday was a pause, remember, and reflect day where I celebrated all God has done in my life and renewed my committment to follow whole-heartedly after Him. Which implies I will consistently take the time to actually listen for His direction. That’s the hard part, isn’t it? Especially when things get crazy. Today multi-published author Cara Putman shares her thoughts on calendars, stress, and taking the time to breathe.

Please note, she’s giving away a copy of Shadowed by Grace to one of you, randomly selected from the comments below. Also, don’t forget about Faith-Filled Friends’ month long give-away. 🙂 If you haven’t been over there in a while, now might be a good time. Tuesday, I talked about some of my friends’ greatest fears–finding themselves in my novels. ha! You can read this fun yet thought-provoking post here.

putman-LR-1Taking Time to Breathe by Cara Putman

It’s a new year.

If you’re like me, you’ve got a new calendar out … and are praying for a short reprieve before its nice, clean blocks begin to fill with new events, tasks and activities.

My family graduated from standard blocks several years ago to the kind of calendars that provide separate blocks each day for up to six family members. Even so the days get filled and hard to read.

Is it even possible to stop?

To pause?

To breathe?

Not unless we commit to make it a priority. I can complain that life is busy, or I can take a pocket of time to step back and intentionally evaluate where I am, where my family is, and where we want to be.

So what should we do? I have a few suggestions…just remember I’m talking to myself just as much as making suggestions to you.

1)     Pause and ask God what He thinks of your schedule. Should some things end for a season? Are there things you should add? Are there things you should do as a family?

2)     Evaluate your family’s pulse. Are you all tired? Is there an attitude creeping in that is tired-boy-899951-ma reflection of a harried life style or too little sleep? Do you need to make some adjustments?

3)     How many activities can each person/child do? I’ve known families that only allow one per child. Or all children do the same sport. What works best for you?

4)     Are there on-going responsibilities you’ve taken on that you should release? Just because you’ve taught Sunday school for five, ten, twenty years, doesn’t mean you should continue to do so. Do you need to step out of the way so someone else can step up and grow?

What would you add to this list of suggestions?

Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. An award-winning author of seventeen books with more on the way, she is active in women’s ministry at her church and is a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. Putman is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration at Krannert. She serves on the executive board of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization she has served in various roles since 2007. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana. You can connect with her online at:

FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

ShadowedbyGrace_CVRShadowed by Grace:

Rachel Justice is desperate to save her dying mother. She doesn’t want to leave her, but she accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy and photograph war images. No one knows her photography is a cover and that Rachel is really seeking to find the father she never knew, hopeful to get some help with her failing mother. Dedicated to her mission, Rachel is focused on completing it. Soon, though, she finds her priorities and plans changing when she is assigned to Lt. Scott Lindstrom, on mission as a Monument Man. Their meeting will have far-reaching consequences. Will this derail her plans? Will she ever find her father? Is her faith enough to carry her through?

Buy it here.

Read the first chapter here.

livingbygracepic.jpLet’s talk about this. Do you regularly take time to reflect–on your faith walk, personal growth, AND schedule and commitments? I’ve found, come December, I’ll notice a large number of tasks have been added to my calendar, many that were accepted almost accidentally. Accidental commitments don’t move me in the purposeful direction God’s planned, which means, there are times I must cut back. Then again, there are times He nudges me to add something new. But if my schedule’s loaded with the accidental, there’s no room to embrace God’s new. 😉 Join the conversation in the comments below or on Facebook at Living by Grace.

What are some ways you stay on top of your schedule? How do you keep yourself centered in God’s will for you and your family?

Some other articles you might find helpful:

Finding Meaning in the Mundane

Living 2014 With Intentionality

Time to Quit 

Additional book length resources:

Mommy Pick-Me-Ups by Edna Ellison and Linda J. Gilden

Deeper Still by Edna Ellison