Give Yourself Some Grace

pink flowers in a pandemic

We’re in the middle of a pandemic, my friends, and my encouragement for you all today is GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE!!!

[Or perhaps you are reading this later, and although thankfully the world has returned to somewhat normal, you feel as though you are in a crisis all your own. Read on.]

It’s been a rough couple or few (or how many??? what day is it???) weeks on all of us, and I just want to recognize something. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I am NOT functioning at 100% right now (and many of you know, as I’ve shared on Facebook) I’ve been brought to tears many times lately. I am recognizing that I am emotionally and mentally taxed.

This is not to suggest that I am ungrateful. NO, I am extremely grateful to have it “good” right now. No-one in my family has lost their jobs/income (although business is a bit slow), we are all together and healthy, and I cannot imagine what others are going through who are being more closely touched by this pandemic.

And don’t even get me started on how hard it must be for all of the health care workers, first responders, and even the many workers in grocery stores, drug stores, and such so that we can be safe and get what we need. I am SO grateful for all of you!!! 

But I realized something.

It is still really hard for all of us right now. It’s tiring and emotionally heartbreaking to do something as simple as go out to get groceries or manage another day in the house altogether. The amount of thought it takes to do things that either would have been “normal” or that are completely NOT normal is crazy.

We feel the sadness and fear of those around us, whether it be our families, the people we walk by (6 ft. away), or the news we hear from outside of our homes, and we cannot avoid it completely. And on top of all that, we cannot get together or touch hardly anyone (which is one of our basic needs!) And we are afraid of what the world will look like when all of this is over.

So yes, let’s allow ourselves some space to feel what we’re feeling, grieve the losses (great or small) that we are ALL experiencing, and cut ourselves some slack. Let’s continue to reach out to to others (that’s a message for another post), so we don’t get stuck in our own negativity, but be OK with not accomplishing it all or being happy in the midst of a really hard situation.

Take some time to care for yourself in whatever way you can. Enjoy the outdoors, some quiet, prayer and Bible reading, uplifting or fun music, play a board game, reading a good book, mindlessly watching TV when that’s all you have left, or doing something you love, and let some other things go.

One of the nicest things my Mom ever told me when she was going through her first cancer struggle many years ago, was that my feelings still mattered, even though they felt small and unimportant to me by comparison.

You are important and your feelings matter, no matter what’s going on in the world around you.

No matter where you find yourself on the pandemic spectrum, know that I am thinking of and praying for you all. 

And enjoy my pretty flowers. 

[This post was originally just something I posted on Facebook, but I soon realized it needed a blog post of it’s own. I pray that you have been encouraged.]

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east coast shore with sun setting

Are You Who You Want to Be?

east coast shore with sun setting

This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link-up, where the word of the week is who.

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I’ve always liked a song by one of my favorite alternative Christian music bands. Some of the lyrics are, “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?” 

Sometimes it’s a challenge to love life, with all of it’s ups and downs, the good and the difficult.

And it’s easy to feel like we don’t measure up.

 

 

Every time I hear the words of this song, I wonder if I’m living the life I was meant to, even though it looks different in many ways to what I had planned.

Isn’t that how life is?

We dream and plan and make choices.

Then life comes along and things don’t always go the way we want or imagined.

Some of these discrepancies are due to our own actions, yet many are uninvited, whether happy or ill.

But I wish to be a person who embraces the life I’ve been given.

We’ve all heard it said that we can’t change our circumstances, but we can choose our reaction to them. It really is true of much of life’s events.

 

There are some choices that can help me to become the person I want to be.

First, I wish to be content.

Even though my personality often tends towards seeing the glass half empty, I purpose to be grateful and enjoy what I’ve been given. Even if it isn’t what I expected, I have been given much.

That’s why I keep a gratitude journal.

Nothing changes our perspective more than a thankful heart.

Secondly, I desire to live with intention.

I’m good at this in some areas, and sorely lacking in others.

But I want to be sure I’m not wasting the precious time and gifts I’ve been given.

I will continue to endeavor to live the life I was created for, and follow his design for me, wherever that may lead.

It won’t always be easy, but my God has never left me on my own.

 

There is a beautiful balance between accepting and enjoying our lives as they are, with grace, and using our strength, wisdom and love to make a difference to ourselves and to others.

 

I need not settle with where I am at, yet I need not pine away for the past or a future that may not be mine.

So in the end, I am who I want to be, and I ask God to help me to further fulfill the destiny he has planned for me.

One intentional baby step and thought of gratitude at a time.

So what about you? Are you who you want to be?

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