About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. Last summer, during school vacation I took off my watch and left it off all summer. It was my tiny act of rebellion against the strictures of time, because I am also a woman with a long list and hair afire. Knowing God has all the long leisure of eternity to do His work in us, I have to stop in my tracks now and then and ask myself, “What’s YOUR hurry?” I want the volume of this question to drown out the ticking of the clock and the notion that no matter how much I accomplish in a day, it’s not enough.

  2. Anna,
    I hear you. My “word” for 2019 is “Rest”. I’ve been sidelined with surgeries that have forced me to be still for awhile, but then I’d be right back at it again. Lately, I really hear God saying, “Be still, Bev!” I believe He means it in an everyday sense, not just for short periods of time. I look at the life of Jesus when He walked this earth and he never scurried about like a frantic squirrel, He was slow, intentional, pensive. He took time away from the maddening crowds to be with His Father. What better example do we have? One of my favorite words is “abide.” I want to do more abiding in Christ than checking things off my “to-do” list. I am starting to see the results of turning it down a few notches and God really isn’t impressed with my busyness….even if my busyness is doing His work. Joining with you in basking in the holiness of slow.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  3. I have found for myself that an overscheduled calendar only gives birth to anxiety.
    Knowing that I purposely tend to lean on the slow side of life. Is it ever appropriate
    to bridge the discussion of busyness you see in another person, that seems to be draining the life
    out of them? I have an extended family member who seems to get her “badge of honor”
    by showing a full calendar and participation in many things. She is a young mother and it saddens me to see the pull of notoriety and approval that are dominating her life. It’s a cycle that will continue to dominate our lives unless we recognize it’s long term affects. In the end I chose to take away the word “busy” out of my vocabulary, as it shows others you may not have time for them. You never know when the Lord may need to use your calendar to bless others and having margin allows for the blessing to occur.

    • Oof, that could be a difficult conversation for you both. I will say, if any concern has been voiced to me (a woman with a very sensitive heart) with the deep tenderness, and comes from a place of love, it’s only ever served me well. Let us know if you decide to broach that with your family member, and know that we’re cheering for you both!

  4. We as women Married or not Married still feel we have to have things done by certain time. Get to work by certain time. It harder if we have kids. I don’t have any. But I heard Mother say getting them up for School dressed and breakfast then out the door. Especially when they have to go work themselves. Plus evening time homework tea made. During the week house work. Ironing etc. When do I get time for ME. Among this. I feel God is say to listen if you can on Youtube the song if get 5 minutes for yourselves. This song. Be still for the presences of the Lord. Plus read Psalm 46 verse 10 all you Women and Mothers out there. It says Be still and know that I am God. Meaning God is with you to no matter how stressful thing get and life gets. You are all doing a great job. God is giving you the strength to see it through even though that teen child might make you want to scream at times. You feel am I doing this right as parent or a woman. Yes you are. Be still know that I am God. He is with you giving you the strength you need. Love Dawn xxx God Bless

  5. We as women Married or not Married still feel we have to have things done by certain time. Get to work by certain time. It harder if we have kids. I don’t have any. But I heard Mother’s say getting them up for School dressed and breakfast then out the door. Especially when they have to go work themselves. Plus evening time homework tea made. During the week house work. Ironing etc. When do I get time for ME. Among this. I feel God is say to listen if you can on Youtube the song if get 5 minutes for yourselves. This song. Be still for the presences of the Lord. Plus read Psalm 46 verse 10 all you Women and Mothers out there. It says Be still and know that I am God. Meaning God is with you to no matter how stressful thing get and life gets. You are all doing a great job. God is giving you the strength to see it through even though that teen child might make you want to scream at times. You feel am I doing this right as parent or a woman. Yes you are. Be still know that I am God. He is with you giving you the strength you need. Love Dawn xxx God Bless

  6. This is lovely. Thank you. I’m retired now and my “to do” list is shorter. But I still fill up my days with the wrong things sometimes. This was a good reminder to slow down.

  7. Sorry made mistake in my typing it psalm 46 v 10 Be still and know that I am God
    Xxx just go verse wrong.

  8. Anna,
    This was so well expressed, thank-you for your words.
    I hope that you all have a blessed day,
    Penny

  9. Anna,

    Lysa Terkeurst said in her book The Best Yes: “Saying yes to everything & everyone won’t make you wonder woman. It will make you a worn out woman”. Worn out women have nothing left to give to their families, church, etc. Bonnie Gray wrote a great book “Whispers of Rest 40 days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul.” She gives 40 ways to recharge a weary soul. One suggestion is breath prayers. Just breath in & say Jesus. Breath out & say help me. There are many others. We as women tend to want to “do it all”. God never intended for us to do everything. He wants us to sit still & know-really know He is God. This world is noisy & wants more from us. God only wants our time & full devotion. Being frazzled or anxious about life is trick from the evil one. Women take time for yourselves. Go ahead & take a bubble bath or long hot shower. Enjoy some tea or coffee & a good book or devotion. That is what delights God more than anything.

    Blessings 🙂

  10. Anna,

    Lysa Terkeurst said in her book The Best Yes: “Saying Yes to everything & everyone won’t make you wonder woman. It will make you a worn out woman.” Being worn out we have nothing left to give our family, church, or others. God doesn’t want worn out women only the devil gets a smile from that. Bonnie Gray wrote a great book “Whispers of Rest 40 days of God’s love to Revitalize your Soul.” She has many great ideas. One is breath prayers. Breath in & say Jesus. Breath out & say help me. It calms the soul & you get a prayer in at same time. This world between to Edens is about doing & having more. it applauds achievement. God says “Be still & know that I am God”. He wants a heart surrendered to Him. Women tend to believe we have to do it all. God simply asks us to sit & be with Him. Women take the time to have a bubble bath or long hot shower. Go ahead & sit in your chair with tea or coffee & read a book or devotion. That is what’s pleasing to God. Not all this busyness.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. Anna,

    Lysa Terkeurst said in her book The Best Yes “Saying yes to everything & everyone won’t make you wonder woman. It will make you a worn our woman.” Only the devil will get a smile from that. God doesn’t want worn out women. They have nothing to give family, church or others. He desires our full devotion. He wants us to be still & know that He is God. Bonnie Gray wrote a good book Whispers of Rest 40 days of God’s Love to Revitalize your Soul”. She has many suggestions. One that stands out is breath prayers. Just breath in & say Jesus. Then breath out & say help me. It is a quick way to calm your soul & get a prayer in. Jesus took time away from a busy schedule to be alone with God the Father. Why don’t we think we should do that also? This world calls for more doing & achieving. It applauds hustle & bustle & having it all. God doesn’t want or desire that from us. He wants contented hearts fully surrendered to Him. Go ahead take a long bubble bath or hot shower. Take time to sit in your chair with tea or coffee & a good book or devotion. You will feel much better & have the energy to run the race.

    Blessings 🙂

  12. Anna,

    Lysa Terkeurst said in her book The Best Yes: “Saying yes to everyone & everything won’t make you wonder woman. It will make you a worn out woman.” Only the devil gets a smile from that. Worn out women have nothing to give family, church or others. God desires us to be still & know that I am God. The world says do, get & achieve more. It applauds achievements & frowns on taking time for self. Bonnie Gray wrote a great book “Whispers of Rest 40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul.” She has many good suggestions. One in particular is breath prayers. Just breath in & say Jesus. Then breath out & say help me. It will calm your soul while allowing you to pray. God wants us to spend time daily in His word & with Him. He is constantly waiting for us to talk with Him. Jesus took time from His crazy schedule for the Father. How much more do we need it?! Take a long hot shower or a bubble bath. Sit in your chair with tea or coffee & read a good book or devotion. God delights in that.

  13. This is soooo good, Anna!

    Thank you for speaking to my hurried heart today. I literally just wrote a blog post yesterday called Naps Can Be Holy Too. Sounds like Jesus has been teaching us the same truth… go figure 😉

    Blessings to you, mama friend!

    Becky

    • Thank you thank you, Becky. Yeah, it’s like He’s got a purpose and calling and intention with our hearts and stuff… 😉 Thankful for a kindred spirit here.

  14. I love this so much Anna. I can relate to that busyness badge and the constant to-do list. God started impressing upon my heart my need to slow down, too, but it’s really hard to make the shift since I’ve operated in that hustle for so long. Shauna Niequist’s “Present Over Perfect” and the tea drinking habit at night have helped a little 🙂 We also started practicing Sabbath on Saturday mornings to try to slow down and hit re-set each week. I love some of the other suggestions you’ve listed here too! Thank you for sharing.

  15. You are SO right, Anna. There IS “holiness in slow.” Your examples make it clear. I’m copying this statement on a Post-It for my office space: “God has not called us to rush and hurry and hustle through our days. He’s called us to be still…to the holiness of slow.” (Even retirees like me need this reminder!)