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Overboard Blog

Living the extraordinary life of faith!

Filtering by Tag: tired

Suck It Up Buttercup

Joseph Castaneda



Every time I read these words in the book of Joshua, I am reminded of what the prophet Isaiah would share with Israel about 700 years later:

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives STRENGTH to the weary
and increases the POWER of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and wary,
and young men stumble and fall;
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 40:28-31

[written in August 2018]: As I finish up this week's prayer email, I realize that I'm running on fumes! The last few weeks have been exhausting in a strange sort of way, and tonight, after a fairly long day, I spent two hours moving lumber in preparation for future remodel work at the bowling alley. I've been burning the midnight and early morning oil, and as I look to my calendar I realize I'm not 100% ready for 20+ hours of teaching at the YWAM base next week.

And this is where I must realize that the strength I need, the power that will help me pull it all together, won't come from within me; I don't have much left going in to the weekend. No, the strength and power I need comes from another comes from The Source! So I'm clinging to Joshua 1:9 to be strong and courageous, and I'm clinging to Isaiah 40:28-31 that assures me God will give me the strength, courage, and power that I need to accomplish life over the next few weeks.

Are you running on fumes right now? Is your tank on empty? If you're looking at Joshua 1:9 and thinking that strength and courage must come from within you, you might be feeling even more depleted and defeated. Thankfully Isaiah reminds us that God is the giver of the very thing He requests, and when we lean in to Him, He provides more than enough.

When you hit the wall


Last month I was working out in my friend’s gym, having one of those days. You know, the ones where every exercise seems painful and hard? Some days exercise is fun and energizing for me, but other days it feels like the weights are extra heavy, the treadmill is extra fast and my whole body just lacks the umph it needs to keep going.  

As I finished my first set of reps (I usually do five activities two or three times, then do a different set of five activities, two or three times, for a total of ten activities in a regular workout), I thought, “Ok, today I’m only going to get through 2 reps” and I felt a little energy boost knowing that I was already half way done.


I stood up on the gym floor, faced the mirror to do a set of dumbbell curls, and that’s when I noticed the verse my friend had stenciled on the wall opposite the mirror: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” It’s from Isaiah 40 and the whole passage reads like this:


“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young me stumble and fall; 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 40:28-31).


As I reflected on the passage from Isaiah 40, that line really struck me: “...will renew their strength.”


When I think back to my youth, I can think of just a few times when I was one of the “young men” who “stumble and fall...” In fact, I can vividly remember a time when my youthful energy totally betrayed me and I had nothing left to give.


I played basketball my freshman year of high school, and we played for a tough, but very good basketball coach. Coach Miller had a very important philosophy about practice and it was very simple: “We are always going to accomplish something. And if we can’t accomplish anything else, we will get better conditioned.” That was code for running our butts off.


One particular torturous conditioning drill was called a mop-up. When doing a mop-up, you took your practice jersey off and placed it on the floor. You then grabbed it with your hands and ran a basic line drill. There were only three rules: The jersey had to stay on the ground. Your hands had to keep in constant contact with the jersey. And you could never sit down.


You and I are probably thinking the same thing when we look at this picture: "#lookslikearnold"

One mop-up was painful, but doable. Two mop-ups was excruciating, and required breaking through a pain threshold most of us had never approached. But the day we screwed up in a basketball game so badly that coach gave us three mop-ups, I found muscle groups in my body that I used that day, that have never been exercised before or since!


Coach walked in with a stack of papers and said, “Well boys, you know what we have today. So all we’re doing is three mop-ups, and when you’ve done your three, you can go home.” Then he sat down and started grading papers he was behind on. The fastest of us took the better part of an hour; our slowest teammate took almost two.


There was a point in which my legs burned so badly! I honestly have never hurt that much in my life, and that was after I had completed two full mop-ups, with on full one left to do. I kept praying that coach would just tell us to stop, but he didn’t. I knew that if I stood up I wouldn’t be playing in next week’s games. I pressed on through the pain and after about 75 minutes, I had completed my third mop-up. I waited in the gym until our whole team had finished then we hobbled to the showers together and committed to never, EVER, play in such a way as to need a mop-up as torture. If I remember right, we didn’t do a single mop-up the rest of the year.


I hate hitting walls. I always wish my walls were further from the starting line, but it seems like any time I get going on a new project, new workout plan, new eating goals or a better morning routine...SMACK! I run right into some personal, internal opposition. And all-too-often, the wall wins.


When living the Overboard Life, we are bound to hit some walls. That’s when the words of Isaiah 40 have to be embraced. We have to hold on to the truth that God will provide strength when we have only pain and weakness. He will give energy when we are weary and exhausted. He will restore power when we are faint and feel out of control. He will move our standing to walking and our walking to running. He will always give us what we need to get through the next wall.


Have you recently hit a wall? Are you staring at one right now, exhausted, weary and feeling defeated? Have you smacked your head one too many times, and certain that you’ll never get through, over, under or around?


Then you’re in Isaiah 40 country. You need to remember that God doesn’t grow weary and He is always working on behalf of His children. “Since God is for us” wrote the Apostle Paul, “who can stand against us?” And the answer is “No One!” Will you lean on Him again today as you face your wall?


14 down, 26 to go!


Go ahead and take the plunge, life is better on the water!

1,440 minutes: the discipline of time (5/7)


How much time do you waste every day? ;

I hate that question because, probably like most of you, my first response is defensive. I don’t waste time. My day is so jam-packed, I can’t afford to waste very many minutes. Too many of my days end with me being dead tired, collapsing into sleep, only to wake up and start all over again. There is no time to waste, I convince myself.


Then I start looking at the hard data.




I’ve been reading a lot on this topic lately and it seems that my initial response is pretty typical of people. However, when the times are really tested and recorded, another picture evolves all together. Here are some of the big time wasters in my life, what about you?


Facebook (Social media): On average, users are spending over an hour, each day, on their profiles, scanning the “news feed” and liking pictures of cats. How often do you just make a “quick check” of your facebook at work, home, in the car, and then spend the next 30 minutes commenting, liking, laughing, poking, messaging and friending? Facebook can be a great tool and connector, but Facebook can eat away lots of minutes.


Instant messaging/texting: I can’t seem to find consistent numbers on this, but estimates range from 60-90% of all texts are simple chatter. I know most people will be quick to point out that their texts are important, but a quick scan of your text histories might reveal a different story. How often did you text when you could have talked? How often were you texting to just “pass the time” or “not be bored”. As a youth pastor for the past 16 years, I’ve seen the evolution of texting and how those 3-5second exchanges become hours of a child’s day. And not just kids many of us adults stop everything we’re doing every time our phones chime a new text? Texting can be a real time killer.


Multi-tasking: When asked, most people say they are very capable of doing multiple tasks at a time. It’s a badge of honor we like to wear. However, multiple studies have shown that multi-tasking is a waste of time and produces lower quality work. Focusing on single tasks for specific amounts of time produces better work, more efficiently. My friend Danny Ray has a great method he uses when he has much to do in a short amount of time. Instead of multi-tasking, he takes 15 minutes to work on one task. When the timer goes off, he switches to another task and works for 15 minutes. He then moves to the next task. After working on 4 or 5 tasks, each for 15 minutes, he returns to the first one, and continues this pattern until each of his assignments is completed. By focusing on one task for 15 minutes, he increases his production, improves his efficiency, and wastes much less time.


Being busy: I can get real busy. When I’m at my busiest, I start losing details, forgetting important commitments and I spend a lot of time looking for things that “should be right here....” Busyness is a time killer. I think most often busyness kills time because we don’t organize our days sufficiently to be productive. Instead, we react all day, in stead of proact, and the result is a disastrous waste of time.


Those are four big time wasters I have to be aware of, how about you? If you’re not convinced you waste time, take a week or two to measure your time. I try to do this at least once a year. Write down everything you do, every day. Don’t gloss over any minutes, and don’t round up/down to make it look better, just write down everything you do. You’ll probably be shocked at how many minutes you actually spend watching TV, Netflix or Hulu. You will be sure your math is wrong when you add up all the facebook minutes or time playing games. Those three second texts couldn’t possibly add up to that many hours, right? Did you really spend 30 minutes looking for a sticky note? Reality shows most of us that time isn’t the issue for our days -- it’s how we manage the time we have.


Here are three tools that have been huge in helping me manage my time better:


  1. Start each day with a power 15, and a schedule: The first 15 minutes of the day is the most important for me, and it sets the course for what I plan to accomplish. Start your day right, and the rest of the minutes will fall into line.
  2. Discern the urgent from the important: Charles Hummel wrote, “Tyranny of the Urgent” to expose the trap that urgent matters can create. How many times do lose valuable minutes chasing after urgent “problems” while letting important issues remain unresolved? When urgent matters suddenly arise, I love to take a moment to pray and ask God whether or not this is His disruption or someone else’s. I don’t want to lose minutes because of a “crisis” that really doesn’t involve me!
  3. Disconnect for at least an hour: Each day I try to disconnect from technology for at least an hour. No phone, no iPad, no laptop. I use that time to be face-to-face with my friends and family or to enjoy reading a book. The point is, when I know I’m going to part from my gadgets, I’m forced to be more productive while I’m using them. That hour each day sometimes stretches into more, because when my productivity is up, I have more opportunity to be with others without feeling like I’m falling further behind.


I want to encourage you to take an honest inventory of your time. Are you focusing your efforts on the Overboard Life God is calling you to live? Are you using your most precious gift wisely? God has given each of us 1,440 minutes, each day. No more, no less. Are you maximizing those minutes? If you have some other ideas for wasting less time, would you post those in the comments for others to read?


Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!