#130 Finding Whitespace During Christmas

#130 Finding Whitespace During Christmas


ListenNowHave you ever had one of those… days.  What do you do when life feels out of control, when you can’t find peace, when your soul is restless… and it’s the holidays?  We talked to Bonnie Gray, author of Finding Spiritual Whitespace about:

  • How to embrace the part of you that is real and let go of the business and fluff that tend to overwhelm at this time of the year.
  • Creating space in your heart for God in a busy season.
  • Practical tips on how you can find spiritual whitespace for your entire family this Christmas.
  • How to enjoy the small things this holiday season for a truly joyful, hopeful season.

Click here to read Bonnie’s list of favorite reads (so you can settle your heart with story per her advice) and then listen in as Bonnie Gray brings a breath of fresh air to the frazzle of the season.

Plus, start off 2015 with Bonnie’s online spiritual whitespace book club and start your year with some peace for your soul.

After you listen to the podcast, come back and answer the question below for a chance to win:

1) “The Lost Chapters” free mini-ebook with extra chapters from the book!
2)  “Ten Soul Espressos: Top 10 verses on Rest” (a printable)
3)  “You Are Loved” digital wallpaper

Descriptions for each item can be found here!

QUESTION – Is God calling you to create whitespace in your heart for Him in a busy season? What does it look like for you?

We are giving away 10 copies of items 1-3 to ten winners, so don’t forget to leave a comment!

The Me Project Day 8 – Sabbath and Dancing Cows – The Chick-Fil-A Way to Rest

The Me Project Day 8 – Sabbath and Dancing Cows – The Chick-Fil-A Way to Rest

Dancing Cows – The Chick-Fil-A Way to Rest

Resting Your Way to Successs

Today: Schedule in times of real rest in your day, week and month as you are working toward your goals.

I sigh as my husband Roger and I are driving over highway 17 heading towards Santa Cruz. Driving over the mountains toward the beach and the boardwalk, surrounded by redwoods and local farms and state parks.  “Do you realize how blessed we are to live where we do?” “Yes.” Roger replied. “And if I didn’t, you saying it every day of our marriage would remind me.” I didn’t realize how deep my love for the Bay Area ran until Roger pointed out that I commented on it every single day. (He should be doubly grateful – I was born in Northern California – he moved here from Indiana where digging his car out snow before driving it during the winter was a common occurrence.) But how can you blame me? We live less than a half a day’s drive almost anything you can think of: the beach during the summer, the mountains during ski season, San Francisco when there is a musical coming through, great ethnic restaurants, and not once have I had to dig my car out a blanket of snow. There is only one thing missing from our little corner of paradise – a Chick-fil-a.

If you have not experienced the perfection that is the Chick-fil-a Chicken Sandwich, let me describe it for you. It is a chicken patty that is breaded and then deep friend in peanut oil (trust me, it works) it is served on a buttered bun with two pickle slices (they say that you can add tomatoes and lettuce, but why ruin it with healthy stuff.) Chick-fil-a also has a healthy menu. Whatever.

I love Chick-fil-a and what they stand for and their chicken sandwiches so much, that at one point, I had a Google alert for articles about how they run their business. (I’m not just a fan, I’m a super fan.) As I started to read more and more about how they run their business and the values that they have, I fell in love with them for more than their deep-fried chicken breast. This is an amazing company that values their employees and customers. Chick-fil-a is very selective about who gets to sling that chicken. “It’s easier to get a job in the CIA than to own a Chick-fil-A franchise,” is a favorite saying at the corporate office. They have one of the highest employee retention rates in any service industry. Part of that is the careful screening they do before hiring someone. Another reason? No Chick-fil-a is open on Sunday.

While visiting our friends Steve and Shannon in Colorado Springs, they introduced us to Chick-fil-a and then told us the closed on Sunday policy. I know that Steve and Shannon are intelligent people, but I honestly believed that they had to be mistaken. Fast food restaurants are not closed for a whole day. I had worked in the service industry enough to know that Sunday was a major money-making day. Industry experts were baffled as well. But listen to this response that Dan Cathy, president and Chief Operations Officer of Chick-fil-a, gave to talk show host Dave Ramsey when Dave asked the question about the business sense of closing on Sundays. “My younger brother and sister and I signed a covenant of agreement that we gave our parents about five years ago that said that long after they’re gone, assuming that we survive them, that we’re going to continue to be closed on Sunday. To be honest with you our corporate purpose is to glorify God by being the faithful steward of all He has entrusted to us and have a positive influence on people.

But I would share with you that as a business person it really does work for us. It makes a difference. We are more rested on Monday because you’ve been able to take the day off to rest and renew ourselves.  Our smiles are bigger and I think even our Drive-thrus run a little faster on Monday because we had Sunday off.

We are not built 24-7. God built our body to have eight hours of sleep and to take some time off. And we found that we pick up on that productivity.  Any business we lose on Sunday we more than make up for a better service and better atmosphere on Monday.”

Sabbath – Not Just for Old Testament Folks

OK there is some stuff in the Bible that doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense to me:

Leviticus 19:19

Don’t let cattle graze with other kinds of Cattle

Don’t have a variety of crops on the same field

Don’t wear clothes made of more than one fabric And I have to admit, that observing a Sabbath was one of those rules that felt a lot like the instructions not to mix a cotton-weave with a poly-blend – a bit antiquated. Observing a Sunday off is a hard thing. I was talking about the concept of a Sabbath with my agent, Rachelle. She said, “If I want to observe a Sabbath, I need to prepare for six hours on Saturday to be able to rest on Sunday. If my husband wants to observe Sabbath, he takes a nap.”

But the more that Roger and I were intentional about having a day to rest, a day to put away our computers, not plan work, and focus on God, our family and restoring ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually, the more we feel we are able to slide back into work having taken our stress down a level or two.

I have definitely discovered in my own life that when I indulge in the false economy of trying to get more done by work seven days a week, not only do I suffer, but my goals suffer. That is why I want you to rest your way to success.

• Make sure you have some “down time” every week where your focus is not getting things done, but getting deeper with God and with community, and getting rest.

• Make sure you have a beginning and an end to each week.

• Make sure you have a beginning and an end to each work day. (No spreading work from eight in the morning until ten at night). I know the last project you would expect is for me to say work less. But I do want you to make sure that you don’t burn out. I want you to be living a life that is full of God-adventure for years to come.

So tell me in the comments below below – when are you going to rest.

You could win Camy Tang’s Sushi Series Books: Sushi for One?, Only Uni, Single Sashimi