The past few months have been rough to say the least. They have been knock down drag out awful at times. I have struggled in ways that I cannot even begin to explain, and for the sake of a long drawn out story I will not try. I am worn out. I am worn down. I am flat out exhausted.
I have learned lessons in life, and I have learned lessons through life's circumstances. I am not about to beat myself up over things I can't control anymore. I realized long ago that the things that happen to us don't define who we are. The are meant to teach us so that we can grow. While I could wallow in misery and scream I choose to grow. I chose to take these things and turn these lemons into lessons (not lemonade...I am not a fan of that).
November of last year is when things really started to get tough. I questioned so many things in my life. I wanted to do what the younger version of me did...RUN. I learned that running is not the answer. Drinking was not the answer. Hiding under a pile of blankets in my cozy bed was not the answer (tempting, but not the answer). I have learned and learned and learned some more. You would think at this stage in my life all the lessons should be over, but no I am still learning. I think, however, I may pass the test. Not because I know everything I need to know, but because I refuse to give up and I press forward into the storms that life throws my way. I no longer fear failure, because I know God has gone before me and He will make my paths known.
I have made and am currently making some changes in my life. I feel like God is definitely working in my life right now. I though that since I am going to start blogging again regularly I would start off by sharing a few random things I have learned over the past few years!
1) It is OK to take care of yourself.It is not selfish to make sure that you are ok. It is not selfish to stop and focus on some time for you. You cannot serve others with an empty spoon.
2) Forgiveness is important.Forgiveness does not mean a fault or mistake is erased, it simply means you now have peace with the situation. I can assure you that forgiveness can be hard, but trust me when I say it is so worth it!
3) Your past doesn't have to be a hidden secret.When you saw this you instantly thought about all those skeletons in your closet, didn't you? We have all had times we wish didn't happen, but the key is learning from those things. God allows us to go through struggles so we can grow. That is a good thing! Those things become part of our testimony!
4) God's timing is always perfect.I am not a patient person. I have never been. I know that my timing and God's timing aren't always the same, and that's ok. I trust His timing far better than I do my own. His timing is perfect so I will rest secure in that.
5) When you say "I don't have time" it's a lie.I just called you out. I called myself out too, so don't feel bad. When you say "I don't have time" what you are really saying is "it's not a priority". Think about that next time. Think about the next time you need to call a friend, make a deadline, or even read your Bible. I bet a lot would change if you said "I'm sorry I couldn't call you it wasn't a priority" or "I didn't read my Bible because it wasn't a priority. You DO have time. What are you choosing to making time for? This brings me to the next lesson.
6) Your priorities get totally screwed up.We complain that life is busy. We rush and exhaust ourselves doing things that we technically don't even need to do. We keep up with unrealistic expectations that are usually to please someone else. In the meantime we are draining ourselves. We have to step back and look at the things that really matter and focus on those. I will definitely elaborate on this in a future post because there is a lot to be said about this! For now take a break and give yourself some time to think on this one!
7) It is OK of the world doesn't approve.The last time I checked there was a long list of things I did or still do that the world doesn't technically approve of. Guess what... THAT'S OK! We are not on this earth to get everyone's approval. We all do things others don't agree with or even like! God is who's approval I seek! I want to do what He wants me to do. We were not called to fit in, we were called to stand apart!
8) Planning helps you stay on trackI have a small obsession with planners, lists, and various types of stationary. I love making checklists, notes, and planning out my weeks! There is just something awesome about being able to check off that box when a task is finished. Be realistic when you plan and set clear and achievable goals! It definitely makes a huge difference! I have a few posts planned for this lesson too!
9) Naps are my favorite.I feel like this was important enough to be noted! I am all about taking a nap! Sometimes you just need to take time and unwind! Taking naps has a ton of benefits! I can assure you that I am not the happiest person to be around when I'm sleepy! Naps definitely help!
10) Clutter causes added stress.Half the time my brain feels cluttered, so when I look around and am forced to face clutter around me I tend to get stressed out. I love organizing. I can't say the rest of my family feels that way, which drives me nuts at times. I have a long list of ways I plan to declutter and organize over the next few months! Taking time and getting rid of the extra mess is a huge help! When you declutter you eliminate the mess! The less mess you have, the less you have to attempt to organize. This also means there is less to clean!
11) Daily Bible reading changes you!We started a 100 day Bible reading with our church the beginning of the month. It is so easy to get distracted, and make excuses not to read. This goes along with lesson five and six from above. It is an amazing thing when you take the time and prioritize your reading! Allow God to speak to you through His word! I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to stay in the Word! I plan to continue this long after our 100 day reading ends!
12) It is OK to say no.This one was hard for me. I always feel guilty for saying no. For years I would take on entirely more than I should because I didn't want to let someone else down. I am not telling you that you should always say no, but you need to evaluate the situation before you blurt out a "yes". Take into consideration the entire situation and what it involves before you make your decision. It is ok to say no and I have finally learned to say it myself!
13) Electronics have become too important.Have you ever looked around at all the phones in peoples hands? Two people could be sitting across from each other, yet oblivious to the other person because they were to engrossed in their phone. Its crazy! Family dinners end up in front of the TV, people rush off to play video games, and facebook is more important than face to face friendships. There has to be boundaries. I am happy to announce we have set boundaries and eliminated a huge chunk of time spent on various electronics. Can you guess what happened? Our family has grown closer together and we are making sure our priorities are on track! This has been a wonderful thing that I think should have happened sooner!
14) Clean while you cook.For years I would pile the dishes up in the sink while I cooked and tell myself I would deal with it when dinner was finished. After dinner I didn't feel like rushing back to wash dishes, so I would usually try to put that off until the last possible minute. It ended up feeling like it was a chore hanging over my head and I couldn't really enjoy my time because I knew there was something I still had to do. Some of you were smart and have always cleaned as you cooked. I was not that person up until recently! Cleaning while I am cooking eliminates extra mess and frees up my time to enjoy other things!
I will admit that some heels are super cute. Ok tons of heels are super cute. The bottom line is I don't care how cute they are, if they hurt my feet I am not wearing them! I'm not saying I don't wear shoes with a heel, but I am telling you that if I can't stand comfortably or walk comfortably I will not even bother! I don't care how cute something is, if it is uncomfortable it's not worth it. End of story!
15) High heels are not worth it.
This is so much more than your diet! What you hear, see, and consume in any way has a major affect on you. You need to be careful what you allow not only into your body, but also into your mind! God tells us to guard our hearts and minds! This is something else we need to make a priority!
16) What you put in your body is important.
17) Quality purses are better than cheap ones.This is not about the cost of a bag! Don't read that and think I am telling you that you should't have a bag from Walmart or Target! Something I have learned through my years and years of handbag purchases is that quality beats quantity! Quality bags may, at times, cost more than a typical bag, but the value is totally worth it! I would rather have one quality bag then ten cheap ones. The quality bags outlast the others and hold their value. They are also more durable, so you won't always need to go buy a replacement! That alone saves money!
18) Camping is a must.I had never gone camping up until a few years ago. It was seriously one of the best vacations I've ever had. When I used to think of vacation I was always concerned with the rating at the hotel, nearby shops, and good restaurants. That has since changed! I still love a great hotel, but I love camping in our tent! There is something amazing and refreshing about getting out in nature (with electric and water hookups lol). I have felt more revived after a camping trip than most of our expensive hotel stays! I plan to make sure our family goes camping at least once a year! I may be working on a trip for my husband and I soon!
I hope you found some of these things helpful! I have several posts planned about quite a bit of these individual lessons. This time I have planned out my ideas! I am actually following my own lessons for once! I can't wait to share all the other life lessons that I have learned along the way and get back to regular posts! For years I have said I wanted to get back to this, but something always got in the way. I didn't make it a priority. I'm excited about the new changes and look forward to sharing my journey along the way!
Love and hugs as always!