I feel like these lyrics right here are EVERYTHING 2020. These 4 words from “O Holy Night” strike me over and over again. Every single day during this holiday season, I am feeling this message in my heart.
All year long I have been using the Bible app on my phone. It started Jan 1st, reading the bible in a year. I have stayed caught up and so happy that in just 15 days, I will have ready the entire bible from cover to cover. Starting the bible in a year, led to many other bible plans being followed.
During Advent, I have done at least 5 with the advent theme. I am currently reading one called “Illuminate”. Today’s devotional was all about the idea of joy.
With everything that is going on this year, this holiday season, we have plenty of things that are threatening to steal our joy. However, if we choose, if we allow his joy to spread through us, then no disappointments can stop us from looking toward his return!
In the last week or so, I feel like our family has been bombarded with changes of schedules, mixed up plans, overwhelming stress and anxiety. Typically, I will keep telling myself not to focus on these things and get distracted by something good, something that I am looking forward to. I am finding it hard to look forward to anything right now.
So, this study today helped me remember who I am at my core. That I am capable of looking for an finding the joy, of looking ahead to that instead of getting stuck in the uncertainties and disappointments. “Unrealized expectations are the biggest joy zappers.” Ain’t that the truth? Lower your expectations and you will have fewer disappointments.
I leave you with this question….are you living in the happiness of the moment and bringing joy to those around you?? My answer…I am trying!
When the world is dark and heavy, taking a minute to be grateful can make a world of difference.
Thinking about all the small things you DO have can change your outlook. Before I got out of bed this morning I took inventory.
The coffee I have to make a fresh pot and the food in my kitchen to make lunches. The bed that I slept in, in the warm home that I love. My husband that I woke up next to. Greeted by a good morning kiss and a simple “I love you”.
Money deposited into bank accounts to pay bills and purchase Christmas gifts. My phone that keeps me connected to my friends and family when we are far apart.
Christmas cards that arrived yesterday. Invitations of hope, joy and peace.
Making it through another day. Long, hard, tiring days. Days that I get the opportunity to look for all the good and blessings.
The hardest part about this pandemic is how hard it is for me to say NO. I have learned over the last decade or so, that it is important for me to have boundaries and to be OK setting them. Just because I know that it is something I should do, doesn’t make it any easier.
I am asked almost daily to do something for someone that I feel like I should say “yes” to. Simply because it would be easier, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and because I am naturally a helper. I cry nearly every time I find myself having the courage to say “no” instead of complying with the request.
The fact of the matter is, this last month has been the most difficult for me in the pandemic. Being back out of work and at home with my children for remote learning. There are tears nearly every single day. Screaming, yelling, crying and the feelings of complete failure.
Watching my children hurt, long to be around their people and get easily frustrated with tasks that seem so simple. After 5 to 6 hours of each day going like this, I find it hard to have anything leftover. Doing laundry, prepping a meal and cleaning the house feel so taxing.
Most days I have traded my smile and laughter in for sadness and a resting bitch face. I want to find the light in the darkness, but it all feels so hard.
I take the time I need to in the morning to read the bible and do my yoga. Even if I would rather just stay in bed and do nothing, I know that these simple tasks will set me up emotionally for a better day. Most days I feel like I am starting with an already empty tank and that is a feeling I am unfamiliar with.
Tuesdays seem like the worst day. I have been up for about 2 hours and have already cried 3 times. I have barely even spoke to anyone and already the tears are flowing. I don’t like to feel like I have disappointed people and am falling behind. Yet, here I am….another day where I can’t say “yes” to what is asked of me.
I am someone who likes lists, schedules and routine. I like crossing tasks off and feeling like I have accomplished things. This can sometimes look like a lot.
First, I start with a couple of important self care tasks. Reading the Bible and Yoga. Then once I get in the groove, I can add from there. Writing in my gratitude journal, blogging, etc.
Instead of just leaving 2 or 3 items on the list, I keeping adding to the pile. What for though? To prove something to myself? To prove something to others?
Then, once there are 4, 5 or 6 things on that list every morning, I ultimately get burnt out. Just because I am home all day because of this pandemic, doesn’t mean that I need to push myself to be doing “something” all day long.
So, as a result, I haven’t blogged in 4 months. Blogging really helps me, it makes me happy, it is a safe outlet and a therapy that I deserve. I want to come back and remember to more regularly engage with this community 💕
A friend of mine recommended the book “The lazy genius way” on Facebook. Her recommendation was so strong, I ordered the book off of Amazon right away. I read it in about 24 hours.
It really captivated me. Though, much in the book I felt I had put into practice over the last 40 years, I took much away from it.
The biggest and best thing that I tool os that what makes me happy, doesn’t have to make everyone happy. The parts of life that bring me joy, pain, calm, laughter doesn’t have to be the same thing that does it for everyone else.
Learning to coexist with people who are driven by something completely difcerent then us, is important. We can learn from each other, it probably won’t change us, but may open our eyes.
Taking care of myself, my family and my home are what drives me. It is why I wake up at 5:30, it is why I choose to make homemade meals 6 nights a week and it is why we have a balance of extracurricular activities and boring evenings at home.
When I am stressed, you can find me cleaning and organizing because it settles my brain. As items are put into their place, clutter is removed and I feel prepared for the day ahead, I can have a sense of peace and can rest. These things matter to me, so I choose to prioritize these tasks.
What matters most to you? What do you pour time into, that feels really worth it?
21 days until I am 40! I am beyond excited to celebrate this milestone. To cherish the celebrations over the month of August and to reflect on all that I am thankful for over the last 40 years.
I have always been pretty confident. Perfectly happy to tell you why I think I am amazing and why you should also! Lol
I don’t believe it comes across as cocky or arrogant, at least I sure hope it doesn’t. I hope that it comes across as I work hard to be this person that I love and that others can love as well.
The older I get, the more often I truly realize the notion of, “If you can’t love yourself, others will not be able to love you either.” We need to choose to do what we can to hold our heads high. To be proud and sure of who we are!
I am a control freak. Whem things feel out of my control, I am in a downward spiral. A spiral that will take everyone nearby into it.
Over the last few weeks I have been working everyday to focus on what I can directly influence, let go of external stuff. Plan for what I can control, accept things outside of my control. These are actual written down goals from therapy. That I need to go back and read every morning.
When I remember to look at things in this way, my life is happier and not nearly as anxious. I deserve the smiles and the laughter. More important to me, is that my loved ones deserve it.
The pandemic is highlighting that many, many things are outside of my control. Even though that may not be preferred, it is fact. So, instead of living every day pissed off….I choose to bring my own sunshine.
In my devotional this morning I read this “Have you ever noticed, that we tend to judge others by their actions, but that we judge ourselves by our intentions?” Andy Knight YouVersion
I haven’t ever thought of this idea before, but it makes so much sense. I mean, when we do something we know the intention behind it. So, we know the spirit in which we acted. We do not know that for everyone or do we kind of?
For the most part, don’t we know that the people we have chosen to surround ourselves with have a pure intention? Even when we are hurt and things feel messy, what if we reminded ourselves of this. Many disagreements would be prevented, or at least wouldn’t escalate if we thought about that.
When we have a core belief that the individual has a pure heart and wouldn’t intentionally do something to hurt us, then are emotions probably wouldn’t escalate as much. We wouldn’t be so willing to self destruct, if we could stop and think.
Easier said than done. After all, I spent my whole session with my therapist yesterday discussing my irritability and my all to easy ability to snap at people. Though, I do know if I can take a minute to breathe, I am reminded that there is no need to be harsh.
“No matter how bleak the relationship seems to be, believe unswervingly in the motives and trust that God is walking you through.”
An age that I am super comfortable and am embracing with all that I have.
This last decade has been so important. Has taught me so much and really helped me to grow into the woman I was meant to be.
Pretty regularly I find myself looking at the clock when it turns 8:17, my birthday. It occured to me yesterday that some (many) may not do this. It seems to catch my attention once every few days. Then I stop, take a minute and put a little positive energy into the universe.
Less than 4 weeks until my big day. No big plans for celebration yet and to be honest, that might just be meant to be.
You can’t control time. It’ll just keep rolling whether we are ready or not. You can control how you spend your time and who you spend it on or with.