I usually write with a title in my mind; however, this time, I just can’t wait to get all of this on electronic paper. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know I’m pretty open to a certain point. I want to hold some things to my heart, and I share openly in conversations with God, family, and trusted friends. With that said, this week, without the details, has been a place of battling for sanity and choosing life. Every moment, making a conscious decision, to choose hope over despair. I thank God for resources like good therapists and doctors who can help those we love in a time of need. I thank God for His love and grace poured into the hard moments. I praise God for a job that gives me space to work and to connect with others who are struggling with similar things. These connections are vital to health and well-being.
My mind is flooding with the realization of how God carries us when we are intentional. He will carry us despite ourselves and behavior; yet, I have discovered that if I show up in an intentional way, He is my biggest cheerleader.
Individual, Community, Focus
In my amazingly timely study, Looking for Lovely, by Downs, I’ve learned the value of individual work finding the lovelies in my life. I’ve also recognized the value of community, and how, together, we can build each other up. Lastly, God has shown me the importance of focused attention on what He is trying to cultivate in my life.
Brene’ Brown and Burnout Podcast
Have you ever stopped to think about “completing the stress cycle?” You will never eliminate stress in your life. Never. This podcast will revolutionize your ability to manage your toxic stress. I need to listen to the podcast again with the transcript up. A recommendation from a friend in my community, I made myself take the time to listen. As I listened, yes, interrupted a few times, but committed, I laughed, cried, and asked God to please, please, please help me incorporate the practices so I can have better health. I was so doubtful that I would create change or take a step. God carries us. The next day I woke up early and did yoga from my house. I intentionally created and imagined to release stress into beauty. I intentionally re-connected with my husband and allowed myself to have fun, eat delicious food, dance, and sing Karaoke. Right now I have my window open, listening to the birds, and feeling the sun come through the window. One of the areas I was truly doubtful was the good old belly laugh. Okay, now, that’s stretching it. There is no space in my life to belly laugh. In fact, a belly laugh, might just seem rude considering the circumstances. Imagine my surprise when I caught myself in a full belly laugh with my therapist. Yes, I’m in therapy, because therapy works people. We both began to laugh, and she recommended that I have a playlist of my favorite comedians to listen to at will. Great idea. Oh, one more thing you’ll learn in the podcast–it’s okay to cry. When you cry, pay more attention to the cleansing act of crying versus ruminating on the actual situation you are crying about. A yoga mat is a great place for crying.
Pray As You Go App
I was listening to a podcast that recommended this app. Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session. Their aim is to help you become more aware of God’s presence in your life, to listen to and reflect on God’s Word, and to grow in your relationship with God. They are usually 12 minutes long with beautiful music and a focused scripture with reflection.
This morning, between my Bible study and this app, God gave me great insight to the question, “Hey, God, what is the future looking like with all of this ______________________?” Let me share a few passages.
I John 3:1-3
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are……….Friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.
The app read this and asked the listener to imagine God holding you as a baby and carrying you all the way through your journey to the glorious time when Christ will be revealed–our homecoming.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians Chapter 5
Glory! Then my Bible study wanted me to respond to this passage!
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
If you took the time to read the passages and reflect, I bet you can see the answer to my question. I’ve read these passages before, but not in this space or situation. I still have questions. I am still worried; however, I’m in the unfolding grace of God, who in His time, and in His way, will reveal the things that last forever. My daddy is on the other side of this journey. Christ has been revealed. Glory!
I hope that wherever you are today, and in this moment, that you can fully comprehend with great assurance that God loves you. I know things are hard right now. I told a good friend this week, “I’ve lost my mind, and I don’t want it back.” We can get to a place of numbness and awaiting for the next foot to fall, so we just decide we are going to practice not feeling. God created our bodies to experience emotion (listen to podcast). It’s okay. Finish the stress cycle. Spend alone time recognizing your lovelies, get vulnerable with a community you can trust, ask God where you need to focus, and be intentional.
You are loved. You are worth it.
Your belly laugh for the day! I LOVE when Victoria sends me videos of her children laughing! I’ll have to add one for memory keeping on my blog. For now, you’ve got to watch this!