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Be Easy On Yourself

 

I was recently talking with a friend and she said something that resonated deeply with me.

 

We were talking about goals and dreams and what may be out in front of us that we want to attain.  We were talking about how to get to those places and how sometimes we have to muddle through other things, let other things go, clear a path etc. before we can reach those goals.  It was wonderful conversation soaked with truth.

I thought we were going to keep talking about big, personal goals and encourage each other to keep pursuing them.  I thought we were going to go big picture.  I was wrong.

 

She said something that rang a bell deep in my heart…

“I’m learning to give myself grace in the small, every day things.  To celebrate those accomplishments, even if they’re small”.

 

Isn’t that good??

Don’t we wait until the BIG thing is checked off of our list before we cut ourselves a break and celebrate?  Before we acknowledge that we’ve accomplished anything at all?  Aren’t women known for being their own worst critics?  For being so focused on the big, giant goals that we push aside the small steps that had to be accomplished before reaching that destination?

 

Here’s what I’m learning the older I get and the more that I make relationships with other women a priority…we are too hard on ourselves.  Way too hard.

 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

If you struggle simply getting out of bed some mornings because of anxiety or depression, and you actually get up…cut yourself a break.  Acknowledge that you just accomplished something.  It doesn’t matter if it is a “hard” thing to anyone else.  If it is “hard” for you, and you pushed through…give yourself some grace.

 

If you are fighting with your spouse 5 or 6 times a day and you have a day where you only fuss 4…don’t linger over the 4, celebrate the absence of the others.  It’s a small thing that can lead to bigger things.

 

Mothers of young children, I hear many of you voice your desire to have your quiet time in the morning and get in your work-out, shower and start breakfast all before that baby wakes up.  Some of you are drowning with guilt because you haven’t had your child’s 30 day pictures taken like everyone else has (bahahaha..ask me how many times I had my children’s pictures taken when they were babies) and now your child will grow up with low self-esteem because you didn’t document every inch that they grew!  Stop!!! There are more of you than you think only getting a shower every other day and barely managing to feed your husband a bowl of cereal after coming in from a long days work.

 

If you’re that mom and you got out of bed and loved on your children today, celebrate that you took care of what was most important.  If at the end of the day only 1 out of 8 things is ticked off of your to-do list, celebrate the 1 thing and start fresh tomorrow.

 

It’s important to set goals.  To reach for the stars and move forward with vision and purpose.  But, while you move forward, give yourselves some grace and acknowledge that even the small accomplishments are still accomplishments.  It takes plowing through the small things before the big things can be attained.

 

God is in the small things and it’s in those achievements that sometimes our intimacy with Him is more tangible than others.  It’s those small tasks that when achieved, draw out a quiet “yesssssss” and will draw our gaze to our Father, who is so pleased and just tickled, when we include Him in those mini celebrations.

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He sees when we struggle to get out of bed but we do it anyway.  He sees when we are unhappy with our jobs but we go and give it our best anyway.  He sees when our anxiety tells us to stay home but we push through and call that friend anyway.  He sees when we push away the cake in an attempt to care for our bodies.  He sees when that baby has kept you up all night and it’s all that you can do the next day to simply brush your teeth.

 

“…my power is made perfect in weakness…”

 

In our weak moments, let’s let Him in and share that.  We have a tendency to beat ourselves up and assume that God is disappointed when we struggle.  That He is somehow never satisfied with our small steps.  Not so.  It is in our weakness that He has room to work.  It is here that He shines through.  It’s this place that we realize our need for His power and comfort and He delivers.

 

Every.  Single.  Time.

 

Let’s lean in.  Be more like my friend and celebrate the small things.  Celebrate with Him.  He’s right there lending His power to help us push through.  Then, let’s throw a little praise party as we accept the grace that He is handing us!

 

Praying that we give ourselves even a portion of the grace that He longs to give us.  I believe we’d be blown away if we realized the grace He’s made available for you and me.  Blown.  Away.

Kellie

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Sometimes Tears Are Necessary

                            Image result for Psalm 126:5-6 green

Years ago, my husband was doing some contracting work on a home and he fell off of the roof landing on his head.  He was working alone (which we had a long talk about later).  After he woke up,  I got a phone call from him telling me that “something has happened” and “I don’t know where I am” and again repeating “I think something has happened”.  Before he spit out his second sentence I already had my shoes on and both my children were being shuffled out the door so that we could get to him quickly.  I feared he would wander off and get lost!  I calmly told him to sit down and stay put so I could call 911.
After that call, I burst into tears for about 30 seconds, took a few breaths, and sucked it back up like a big girl does.
Have you ever had your mind reeling with fresh news but you know that you can’t cry just yet?  Ever gotten a middle of the night call that a loved one is on the way to the hospital but you’ve got to get the details before you can have a mini break down?  Ever taken a call at work which would require you to tie up lose ends before exiting to sit with a loved one?  I got one of those calls lately.
What do we do in those times?  We hold it together until we scoot behind the wheel of our cars, punch in our GPS where we need to go so that we can let it do the work for us, and belt out a good cry!  We may whale and sob and keep our eyes open just enough to see the road for about a minute but then it’s time to take a few breaths and suck it back up.  Am I right?
Those moments where we have to get the stuff done before the cry, do you get a headache holding it in?  Boy I do!!  I can only hold it for so long before I NEED to have a good cry.  And sometimes, a good cry isn’t a long, drawn out thing, sometimes it’s just allowing it to come through for a brief moment to release pressure and then all is good!
Also, do you ever get mad at yourself because a cry just came out of nowhere?  Like you thought you had held it all together just fine until you have to talk to someone about what you’re having for dinner and suddenly you feel it just well up in your throat and burst through your eyes and nose?  Almost like a mini explosion just under the surface of your face has occurred and you have absolutely no control when it comes to holding it back.
UGGHHHHHH!!
The older I get, the more I realize how freeing it can be to just go with it.  To realize that even if I am in a good place mentally and emotionally that sometimes my physical body is still going to react to whatever it is I am going through.
It’s good.
If you are ever looking for at least one thing to be thankful for in this life, be thankful for this…God knit our bodies together so intricately that He put things in place to help us when we need to release.  When we need to de-stress.  When we need to blow.
Tears.
I did a little research on tears.
Studies have been done and tears were tested and compared between those who cried because of emotional stress and those that cried while slicing an onion.  The people who cried over some type of sadness or stress had much higher levels of stress inducing hormones in their tears than those who were with the vegetables.  As our stress increases, certain hormone levels increase and having a cry can be our bodies natural way of disposing of that overload of hormonal yuck.
Also, did you know that tears contain a natural painkiller called leucine enkephalin?  That when this is released, it can actually ease pain and work to improve our moods?  It gives a whole new perspective on why we may feel better after a good cry.
It’s things like this that make me in awe of God all over again.  That He would construct our bodies in such a way as to feel such deep emotion, to have the ability to compartmentalize if necessary, and then to supply our need of having a release from it all.
What about you?
Were you raised to think that it’s not lady-like to cry when you’re upset?  Or when someone has hurt you?  Were you taught that if you cry you are simply weak or that “tough girls don’t cry”?
It’s ok friends.  Male AND female.  Our bodies were designed with a pressure guage and sometimes no matter how hard we try to hold on to that handle and keep in the steam, we need to let it go.  It’s healthy.  It’s a natural healer.  It’s cleansing.
Let’s agree that if we need to take a moment to open the valve and let the stress stream out of us for even a minute or two, we will not apologize.  If we have to do it in the car or in a bathroom stall or even with our head buried in a pillow, it’s ok.  It’s ok!  The key is to listen to our bodies and give in to it.
Tears are a gift.  And sometimes they are necessary to our well-being.  We were built that way…on purpose.

Praying for those who have held it in way too long, it’s time to let it go.

Kellie