1 Peter 5:7 – Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.
Ever have the feeling that somedays just feel more manageable than others?
Can we just chat for a minute? Pretend you are on one side of my kitchen island and I’m on the other? You have coffee or peach tea; your choice. I have either or both, depending on the time of day.
Somedays, I feel like I can hold it together and be happy with what I accomplished and feel good at the end of the day.
Other days? Not so much.
And when there are a string of those not-so-easy days in a row, well, it’s easy to feel frustrated. Disappointed. Like you’ve let the world and yourself down.
Or you have a day when you know what the highest priority for the day is, but you just don’t feel like this is what you want to do. Sometimes we can get away with procrastinating or delaying whatever feels so important. Other days, we can’t. On those days we delay, what do you choose to do instead? What does your heart yearn to do so it can quiet itself and feel just a bit more settled?
Or if you MUST do what is pressing, what do you dream of doing instead?
There are a few things that are pretty clear to me by this stage of life. One, there are always more things to do than I have time. Two, we aren’t machines. We all need time to restock our hearts and souls and find joy. Three, life is a series of phases, and we will eventually move onto a different phase. Finally, I need more recovery time as I get a little older.
Yep. I said it. Recovery time. Older. All in the same sentence.
Just in case you are feeling a bit stretched or that life has been too much lately, here are a few suggestions for you to restore and restock your heart and soul this weekend. We all need opportunities to take care of ourselves. It’s not being selfish. It’s being realistic. Here are some ways that I find myself giving myself a little break.
Close your eyes and breath deeply. Honestly, this is something we should do every all, all day. But we do not. Too often, we breathe shallowly when we’re anxious or feeling pressed. It’s amazing what even a few seconds of getting more oxygen into your body will do. Believe me on this one.
Get outside. Hubby Rick is so much better at this than I am. When the weather is nice, he is out the door soon after he gets up. I tell myself that I WILL get outside soon, only to go down rabbit holes that keep me from doing this. Running these last few months has forced me to get outside. We talk about endorphins from exercise. For people like me who do not always experience those endorphins, getting outside can be a great way to clear your head.
Do something you really enjoy doing. Friday afternoon, I did some baking. For me, cooking and baking is just as much about time in the kitchen as it is about making something to eat. Being motivated to have food for us to eat does help! But creating things with my hands lowers my blood pressure. I think many people can relate to this. For you, cooking or baking may not be it. What do YOU like to do that makes you feel good as you do it? Find even 30 minutes to do this when life feels too much. Again, another way to add some joy into your life. (Putting out a few fall decorations also filled my soul yesterday afternoon.)
Do a Brain Dump. Set a time for 10 minutes and write down everything that you feel you have in your life right now. Do not spend any time trying to figure out how or when these things will get done. Just get them out of your body and onto a piece of paper. Right now.
Look Over and Pick Out the Must Dos from the Should Dos. This is where I get stuck. I think EVERYTHING on my list is a must do. But they all cannot be. When we only hold the things we think about in our head, everything takes up the same amount of space and mental energy. When we have a place to sort through them, then it becomes a bit easier to separate what must be done very soon from what can wait until later. Develop a way of prioritizing the must dos so you know where to put your energy and time first.
Give Yourself Grace. There are a whole bunch of people who put a lot more pressure on themselves to do things right or perfect or now than other people do. Yes, we do have people who have expectations in our lives. But I also know that I expect more of myself than anyone else.
Are you like this as well?
Giving yourself grace may mean asking for help. Or being more realistic about what we can accomplish in a particular period of time. Yes, a lot of people underestimate how much time something will actually take. Often, I underestimate by about 50-75%. When I have too many things on my to-do list with no established priorities, then my wheels spin and I get less done.
Giving yourself grace may also mean OK is better than perfect, especially when perfect will take a lot more time. Choose which things really need a high degree of attention and what can be OK with less. Doing the best we can in the moment really is OK. Just tell yourself this.
Maybe we need to rehear something that Fred Rogers said: “In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and hearts and to be assured that your questions are just as important as our answers.”
Amen, brother. Just in case you didn’t know, Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian pastor.
Friend, no matter what is going on in your life right now, this phase will pass. There will be a time when you will find it easier to breathe. Rather than being critical of yourself, be kind to yourself. Be a cheerleader for yourself, just like you would for someone else that means a lot to you.
God tenderly cares for YOU. God longs and desire for YOU to come to God and find peace and rest. Let’s give ourselves permission to do so. This weekend.
Have a great weekend!
For the reminder to give myself grace, I am grateful.
P.S. – This summer, I read a book that really helped me think through what is important to me. You might enjoy it as well! It’s called Freely and Lightly by Emily Lex. Not only are Emily’s words beautiful, but you will also enjoy the pretty little watercolors sprinkled throughout the book that Emily painted!
Here’s an affiliate link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/Freely-Lightly-Gracious-Invitation-Confidence/dp/0736980377/ref=sr_1_2?crid=28NPSQ098ANX7&dchild=1&keywords=freely+and+lightly+emily+lex&qid=1632527367&sprefix=freely+and%2Caps%2C374&sr=8-2
Lord God – Some days just feel fuller than others. Some days are more manageable as well. No matter where we are in how we are dealing with life, may I see the grace that You give me. Now, help me extend grace to myself as well. Amen.