Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cool, Calm, and Connected by Zoe M. McCarthy

Because one of my accountability partners prayerfully chooses a guiding word each year, I decided that was a good idea. It didn’t take much prayer to discern my word.
Zoe M. McCarthy

I’m an insomniac. My teeth ache from grinding them together when I do sleep. My problem is not that I’m a big worrier. I’ve learned to respect God’s command not to worry. But I feel like I’m always behind and need more time, especially with three books in progress with three publishers and traveling to BSF Bible study two hours away and spending Monday nights in NC. I’ve asked God to help me be more efficient so I have time to chill. I’m tired of treating my teeth with the strongest version of Sensodyne.

So, my word for this year is calm. In January, I stopped asking God to help me be more efficient. I asked Him to help me learn how to be calm. I knew the answer had to be my next step in learning how to abide in Jesus. I wasn’t surprised when I sensed He called me to honor the Sabbath.

My Sabbath before I was called to calmness: Rise early and go up to my office, and after working on my personal Bible study and prayer, get an hour in on writing the Bible study I teach on Wednesdays and maybe fit in some writing tasks. Go to Sunday school and church. Fit in some blogging or writing work if John watches sports on TV in the afternoon. Plan my week and work while John attends the Sunday evening Bible study. Motive: make my workweek easier by getting ahead.

On my Sabbath now, I don’t do any of my writing, blogging, or platform work. I’ve joined John at the Sunday night Bible study. I decided to trust God and watch how he orchestrates my days so I get more work done in six days than I did in seven. Most of all, I’ve found honoring the Sabbath has been a learning process.

At first, I needed to implement an attitude change. I was also going through the motions without connecting much with God. I was enjoying the rest part too much! Then during my preparation to teach the Wednesday Bible study, God showed me that I could do good for others on the Sabbath as Jesus did. Now, during my Sabbath day, I write notes to people needing encouragement and enjoy activities that show others my love.

Next, I realized, besides intercessory prayer and completing my study questions for the BSF Bible study, I needed to sit with Jesus for a while. I now use a devotional to start the conversation.

So, in two and a half months, what has keeping a Sabbath done for my calmness? It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve been sleeping well, and my teeth don’t ache. I still sometimes feel I need more time, but in spending quality time with Jesus—time connecting with the Lord other than studying the Bible and praying intercessory prayers—I believe the pressure will decrease and calmness will be part of my new nature. And, my Sabbath day is becoming precious.

What might be your word for this year?

Prayerfully choose a word for the year to help you become the person God has called you to be. Click to Tweet.


About the Author

Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little-known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is: Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Her first novel is Calculated Risk. She has two more contemporary romances and a nonfiction book to help writers ready their manuscripts coming out soon. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John. 


Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com

Calculated Risk


Calculated Risk
by Zoe M. McCarth
What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books





18 comments:

  1. I don't set out to do the yearly word, but if I did :), mine would be balance...balance between my writing life and personal life.

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    1. Balance is a great word, Sandra. I think honoring the Sabbath was not only to find "calm" but to find that balance you mentioned. Thanks for sharing your would-be word.

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  2. Wow...GREAT post, Zoe! Thanks for sharing.
    One prayer I've implemented is "time expands to meet my needs" this tends to calm me down quite a bit.
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

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    1. I like your trust that God will expand your time to meet your needs. Of course, as he see our needs, right? I'm going to remember that, Pam. Thanks.

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  3. It's a toss between kindness and gentleness, beginning with myself. Because if I'm cracking the whip on my own back, how can I be kind and gentle toward others?

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    1. Ooh. I like your reasoning, Peggy. Kindness and gentleness are good ones because they are two of the 9 fruit of the Spirit. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Wonderful insight and goal, Zoe. And sounds like you've made good progress in these first months of the year. I'm with Sandra--balance is a good goal for me. I'm slowly letting things "go" that interfere with inner peace and family. Hugs and love to you, and many blessings, too!

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    1. Tanya, I'll accept all those hug, love and blessings. They all help in accepting what Jesus gives me through others in bestowing calmness. I agree with you and Sandra, balance is so important. My extra time with the Lord on Sunday's contributes to my balance. Thanks, Tanya, and love, hugs, and blessings going your way!

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  5. What are your three books and who are the publishers? What awesome news! Congratulations, Zoe! My word for the year is Expectation. When you expect something, you work toward it. When you're expecting a baby, you get the baby's room ready. When you are expecting company, you clean house, buy food, get things ready. Expectation is a verb, it's action. I think about this in relation to my writing. I'm expecting to get published, so what should I be doing? Writing. Getting stories ready to be published. Not sitting around waiting for it to happen and not be ready. Expectation: trusting God even though it may look impossible. Waiting with earnest expectation: doesn't mean you're sitting around doing nothing. Means your busily working as in Isaiah 40:31-Yes, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed. Wait with earnest expectation. They know the Lord will renew them, but they aren't just sitting around. They are doing God's work as they wait. Great post, Zoe!

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    1. Yes, Sally, expectation is a good word for the year and scripture based. Made me think. I'm expecting to be a calmer person, and my action is to honor the Sabbath and keep my eyes on Jesus. In Bible study we've been discussing being about our Father's work. So I identify with what you said about that. Thanks for sharing with us, Sally.

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  6. Wow - I'm currently struggling with the whole working on Sunday thing. Like you, Zoe, I've used Sundays to catch up on work-related stuff (blogs, editing, book work, e-mails, etc.) hoping that I'll feel more on top of things when Monday morning arrives. But I'm really feeling the need to get away from working on Sundays and truly keeping it a day of worship, rest, and fun. That is a current goal!

    I've thought about a "word" for this year. Nothing really felt in my spirit right until this moment. PEACE. That's my word. Peace in all things ...

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    1. Dawn, peace is a wonderful word for the year. It's close to calm in many ways. We can have peace in the storms of our lives. I guess my calm is for me to quit making stress out of my days. I pray you have success in your hopes for your Sundays, Dawn.

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  7. How interesting! I choose a word for my Lenten blog and emails, and this year I chose Calm, too. It is something I believe our whole society could use: the calm that comes from trusting our God.

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    1. Yea! A sister in calmness. Betty, you made me think of how Jesus acted at his trials that was discussed in a recent lecture. Jesus remained calm, spoke truth, and never struck back. He chose to do his Father's will, and as you say, trusted God and HIs mighty plan.

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  8. I need to embrace this more, too! Great post and thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Karla, maybe we can report our progress in a year. I hope and pray I'll be able to give more encouragement by then!

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  9. Great post. My word is courage - to try new social media and marketing techniques.

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    1. You picked the right word, courage, Jann, when it comes to social media and marketing techniques. I remember how uncomfortable I was. It gets better as you courageously jump in and don't worry about mistakes and low responses. One lessens and the other grows. Lord, please honor Jann's courage. I ask in Your name, Jesus. Thank You. Amen.

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