Best Advice

Respond rather than react:  Pause (in God’s presence).  Breathe.  Refocus.  

 I received an email from an individual who wrote an extremely negative message, threatening to destroy me because of a decision which had been made.  Though I would not have done anything different, their words crushed me.  I passionately wrote a “strong defensive” email.  But.  Before I pushed the powerful “send” button the words of my mentor came crashing into my thoughts:  

Respond rather than react:  Pause (in God’s presence).  Breathe.  Refocus. 

I knew my passionate written words would go out into the great internet abyss to be reread and shared with who knows how many people when I pushed the “send” button.  Even so, I was ready for action.  My first thought–“Bring it on.”  

I am so glad I did not send my initial email.  I waited until the next day. I had a completely different mindset because of taking the time to refocus on the value of understanding what someone is communicating. 

I sent an entirely different email with words of empathy and compassion. 

A response came back within minutes: 

“Thank you so much for your kindness, I’m really hurting.  Can I see you today?” 

The Psalmist wrote about the challenges of people coming against him in Psalm 3, writing these words:

Pause in his presence.  

 I am certain that the best way to manage the challenges of life is to pause in God’s presence, taking a breath and refocusing.  This practice will give us the perspective to respond in the best way rather than reacting in the heat of the moment. 

 Part of the Christmas story includes a long wait between the promise and the advent of the Messiah’s birth.  Today’s advent thought centers on the value of waiting.  It’s a vital piece of the best advice:  Respond rather than react:  Pause (in God’s presence).  Breathe.  Refocus. 

 Photos taken by Shelly Mackerell Photography

If, you have access to the Salem, Oregon area Joshua and I  hope you will stop by between noon and four at our open house on December 16.  For details see  I will keep you updated on my public Facebook page @

Advent Thoughts: 

  1. Party.
  2. Surprise!  
  3. Do you know?  (This is long but worth thinking about.) 
  4.  All Is Well.  
  5. Five Words . . . And More.
  6. The Problem Is . .
  7. Transparency And Trust. 
  8. Red-Letter-Day.

My Advent Writing Place

Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Author: Kerrie Carlisle Palmer

Hi there, I am a Life-Story Teller, Co-Developer of TableThink (, co-host of TableThink and Think On This Podcasts, Pastor, Church Planter, Founder of Red Door Church. I love to be with my family, friends, and anyone I meet along the way. Two musts are coffee and celebrations. I hope you and I are able to connect soon.