Friday, July 8, 2011

Sometimes you just have to STOP

by Niki Turner

If you've ever driven through the mountains, you've probably seen signs like these:

Runaway Truck Ramp
Their purpose is to direct truck drivers who've burned out their brakes onto these steep ramps so they can stop before they careen down the mountain.

The smell of overheated brakes is as familiar on our mountain passes as the scent of pine trees. It's a pretty clear indicator that SOMETHING IS WRONG!

Sniff yourself ... do you "smell" irritation, depression, frustration, self-pity, numbness, hardness of heart, fear, anxiety, anger, or offense?  Are friends and family asking "what's wrong?" with increasing frequency? Do you feel like you're on the verge of losing control?

If so, don't just keep rolling, picking up speed until you crash and burn in a tangled heap of hurt feelings, broken relationships, and a weakened body! Be smart. STOP. It's time for a complete check-up, a full 360 degree examination of your personal sphere to determine what needs repaired, what needs maintenance, and what is in good working order. Don't feel guilty for stopping, and don't feel pressured into moving again until you are good and ready!

So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;  Acts 3:19 AMP

photo by Wootpeanutsvia PhotoRee

If your life has been static and smooth, you might not need to stop. But if, like our truck drivers in the mountains, you've been through a lot of ups and downs, stopping before you have to hit the emergency ramp is an excellent idea!

When was the last time you stopped? Really stopped?

 Niki Turner writes romantic fiction, Christian non-fiction, blog posts, articles in the local newspaper, lengthy grocery lists, and Facebook status updates. Her first completed manuscript won second place in the 2009 Touched By Love contest for contemporary category romance. Colorado natives, Niki and her husband of 20+ years have four children  (three at home) and are new grandparents to a baby boy. Currently, they share their home with three teenage boys, two black Lab mutts, and Niki’s absurdly spoiled Westie, Archie. Niki can be found at In Truer Ink, her personal blog and website, here at Inkwell Inspirations, and at The Pastor’s Wife Speaks


  1. The thing about stopping is what and for how long.

    I'm just trying to catch up on sleep this week. A full 8 hrs without interruption is Sweet!!

    Thanks Niki!

  2. Good post, Niki. Your photo brought back memories of my step-dad telling us the hair-raising story of actually having his brakes fail during one of those downhill mountain runs and ending halfway up the runaway ramp. He said it's the only time he was scared so bad he had to change his pants after.

    I think my problem is that I stop too often and then have a hard time getting started again.

    Anita Mae.

  3. Deb and Anita,
    That's where I struggle, too. I'm either afraid to stop because I won't be able to start again, or don't stop long enough to actually get refreshed and recovered.

    Sleep is CRITICAL. I was up last night with panicked dog during a whopper of a thunderstorm for an hour and a half. Hubby slept right through the whole thing. As usual.

    Anita, those ramps are terrifying. I can understand your stepdad's response!

  4. Ha, ha. I definitely don't need to stop right now. I've been very lazy this summer and hoping I'm accomplishing enough. The kids are off school, we're all sleeping late and relaxing most of the day. Summer camps are starting up now, which should help.

    My only goals for this summer are publicity for Dandelion, which I can only do partway until its in print, and slowly working on a sequel to a book I haven't sold yet. Oh, and a little acquisitions stuff for WhiteFire, but I'm kind of in a lull between conferences.

    Okay, maybe I should take that back. I'm also teaching a dance class and a children's Bible class at church right now for July and August. Maybe I'm just feeling lazy because I've been sleeping so late. LOL.

  5. Oh, Niki, I can't even express to you how much this post means to me on this particular day. Thank you. :)

  6. Niki, we have runaway truck ramps in the east (though you must think our mountains rather wimpy and soft).

    Anita, great story!

    I've picked something to STOP. Oh this is going to be difficult.

  7. Dina, I think you may have a better handle on pacing yourself than some of us... maybe that comes from dancing! Summers are never a lazy season for me. I always feel like I have to DO everything before I'm trapped in the house by snow again!

  8. Blessings, Susie!!!
    Permission to STOP is hereby granted (wave of royal scepter).

  9. Deb, I figured there were some of those back East in Adirondacks at least. Do you have the "truck on triangle" signs, too?

  10. You know there are a couple of things I've been considering stopping, but I don't feel like I have the spiritual go ahead yet. I can't wait to get that permission!

  11. Yes, Lisa, I think I'm on the other end of that now and it's quite strange!


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