Gratitude Day 319
Sat., Aug. 31, 2019
Matthew 16:25 –If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
Good Saturday Morning Friends –
I have missed you. I have missed being able to sit down and share a few thoughts about life, faith and how the two integrate the last few weeks. Today, I’m going to share Six Things for Saturday, which maybe really a few things I’ve explored and discovered the month of August. Grab a cup of your favorite coffee or a glass of peach iced tea. Let’s reconnect for a few minutes and kick off this holiday weekend together!
Sometimes, life happens. And we just need to let it be. Going into August, I knew it was going to be a busy month. I’ve been working on two significant projects: one affiliated with my part-time job (which is more like full-time during August) as well as a big job that I’ve personally been working towards. The work job is nearly completion. My personal job? I’m making significant progress.
If you are slightly interested in knowing more about this project, I’ll share a bit today. Other times, I’ve mentioned about working on a book. My goal has been to have a rough draft completed by Sept. 1. I have one more chapter to finish up today … and then, I’ll have a completed rough draft! Now, the entire book needs to go through several more revisions and editing and other steps. But achieving this first milestone has taken me awhile. I’m excited about being so close. Yes, there will be a lot more investment on my part in the next few weeks. But I am excited about the progress that I’ve made. Please stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more in the next couple of months.
In light of these big projects, unfortunately some other things had to get set aside, if only for a while. And yes, blogging was one of them. I’ve shared this previously and I am even more convinced of this: Trying to achieve balance in one’s life is impossible. At various periods in our lives, our time and attention will be draw towards some things more than others. This is OK. When this happens, it’s impossible to keep every life ball in the air. Instead of trying to do so and fail miserably at most of them, understand it’s just fine to let some things fall down the priority checking list, if only for a while. This doesn’t mean something is no longer important to us. It just says that it’s a lower priority for the minute. Extending ourselves grace in these situations is SO. IMPORTANT.
If you are in the middle of trying to juggle multiple hats or balls right now, be gracious with yourself. Look at your life and intentionally pick something to just be for a hot minute. You can come back to you later.
When life feels very full, self-care is terribly important. Some days, I make more this more of a priority than others. In some ways, I feel I attended to myself a bit better this past month than I have during other very busy times of my life. I exercised nearly every day. I had a quiet/devotion time about 75% of the time. I prioritized time with Hubby Rick on the weekends. Caring for ourselves, no matter what is going on in our lives, IS IMPORTANT. Why? It helps us keep perspective, understand why we do what we do and allows us to feel good about what we do and ourselves. When I’m run dry and have no more to give, I’m not very effective. Self-care says that we value ourselves and our ability to give back.
Sometimes, it’s easy to let the urgent take priority over our lives. Be intentional about these choices. As a pastor and a person in general, often, my day will be completely changed by a phone call, e-mail or some unexpected event in a day. Suddenly, I find myself letting go of everything I had planned for a particular day and allowing the urgent become the day’s focus.
There are some urgent requests that are truly urgent. In these instances, we need to drop everything else and focus purely on the situation at hand. But do this intentionally. Other times, we let the urgent sidetrack our priorities and goals.
Sometimes, a grandma duty request comes late the day before I am asked to help out. This is an urgent request that becomes an intentional request that I will fulfill. I am finding it a little easier to let some urgent requests wait for a minute until I have time to truly focus on them. It’s OK to let the urgent requests take priority. Just be intentional about this choice.
Looking for a great book to read at the end of summer? I highly recommend the historical fiction book, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. Awhile back, I recommended another book by Kelly, Lost Roses. This book was set during World War I. Lilac Girls was set during World War II and was the first book Kelly wrote. The story is told from the perspective of three women: an American woman named Caroline Ferriday, Herta Oberheuser, a German doctor who was the only female doctor at the all-women Nazi camp called Ravensbruck and Kasia Kuzmericak, a Polish girl who spent several years at Ravensbruck. Caroline and Herta were actual people who lived during World War II. Kasia was one of Polish women who became known as the Rabbits; women on whom the Reich performed experimental treatments.
The story of the Rabbits was completely new to me and one that struck a chord with me. This is a story about forgiveness, redemption and secrets that were hidden for decades. I actually listened to the audio version of this book, which I enjoyed immensely. Each character has a different reader, which made the book so interesting. The story opened my understanding of World War II from a different perspective. It’s a very interesting book to read and one I feel is worth the time.
Life is full of choices. Every choice we say “Yes” to means we say “No” to something else. For years, I’ve tried to say “Yes” to everything. I’m realizing that this is not always the best choice. Just because I say “No” to something does not mean this is unimportant to me. We will often say “No” to very important things. Reality is that we can’t do everything. I find that I don’t have unlimited energy and focus, which means I have to carefully pick where to direct my energy and focus every day. Some days, I do a better job of this than others. What I do hope is that God becomes part of this conversation and choice. It’s still very hard for me to say, “No.” But I know this is what I need to do.
I appreciate every single reader who reads these blogs. I appreciate every “share” and “like” someone gives. I love having a few people who follow along and use this as a daily devotion or way to quiet their soul. Thanks for being patient with me of late. I pray these simple words of faith bring just a bit of sunshine and reflection to your day.
For continued lessons about life, I am grateful.
Holy God – As we journey through these days, thanks for continuing to provide us opportunities to learn more about You, ourselves and our relationship with You and others. Thanks for always being there for us. I pray we find you in our little neck of the woods today. Amen.
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