Taking a Breath

January was an eye opening month for me.  I used to dread it, with the dreary days and post-holiday letdown.  That was of course before two boys kept me running like a madwoman, and I committed myself to so many things that I love but drain me.  Now I see it as a time of refresh, a little bit slower, and a time to re-prioritize and reorganize.  As I take a breath, I’m better able to hear God it seems, and better able to reassess.

So back to those eye opening moments that led to these thoughts.

1.  Just because I’m doing good things, doesn’t mean I’m doing the right things, or even doing things for the right reasons.  Drop decisions through the filter of what I believe I should be doing, and things become a bit more clear.  Drop things through the filter of the attitude with which I’m doing them, and well…. you just see that I may just need to change my attitude.  Often true.

2.  God loves me and that’s crazy.  This isn’t exactly a new revelation, but I was blown away by it recently.  With all He is, and all He does, and all He could find fault with in me, He loves me anyway.  And when you have that type of love, you have to do crazy things for Him in return.  Trying to figure out what those crazy things are though keeping in mind #1.

3.  God is preparing me for many things- they may all be small.  Or they could be huge.  I should be ready regardless, because He is using me here and now no matter what.  And I’m not taking care of myself nearly as well as He is.  So last week I committed to daily exercise to improve my health.  And I’m loving the daily time alone with Him.  I don’t love waking up early to do it while the boys are in bed, but each morning is a reminder to be thankful for so much, including that I can wake up.

It’s all a work in progress, I don’t think any of us will ever be anything else.  Isn’t it crazy that God loves us no matter where we are in that work?

p.s.  The slower pace is already changing from when I first wrote this two days ago.  Glad I organized my thoughts to help me as the pace quickens! 

Letter to Myself

A few days ago I saw an old photo of a group of my friends from high school. We were young and more beautiful than we knew, so full of potential and ready to take on the world. I commented that we were really something, and was reminded that we’re really something now too. Years later, these are now women that I respect and admire. Both for things they’ve accomplished and the way they live their lives.

I looked at myself and wondered what I’d have said if I knew what the next 15 years or so would hold. I probably would have been scared and excited all at once, and in some disbelief of it all. But here are some things I would say to that girl.

Be courageous, you have nothing to fear.

College will teach you so much more than you’ll learn in class. Get out there and experience it. A little more studying wouldn’t hurt you either.

You’re not fat.

You’ll meet many guys, and you’ll learn from them what you want and don’t want in a spouse. Heartbreak will help you find the right one.

Fight for what’s right as soon as you know its right. But don’t worry, you’ll soon get pushed into it and you’ll be fine.

Enjoy that time before kids a bit more, quiet doesn’t come again for many years.

You’ll learn a lot about medicine and advocating for good care by being thrown into the fire. Toughen up- it’s hard but worth it.

Ask more questions, invade personal space a bit more, and open up yourself. Fear of rejection is no way to live. The phone won’t kill you.

Stop. Breathe. Enjoy.

Go home at 5 sometimes.

Hug your Dad more. You don’t have to agree on anything but loving each other. That’s enough.

Push Austin. It might not have helped, but don’t give up. You’ll have less regret and guilt, and you already have enough.

Enjoy that last movie with Austin, and don’t drive straight home. Find a way to spend a few more minutes.

Just keep trusting God, He won’t let you fall.

Look around at your friends. Some will be gone, some will become close again one day, some will come later and become family, while some will seemingly disappear once Austin does. You’ll learn from them all.

You’re stronger than you think. You’ll survive more than you think you can handle, and you’ll do more than just survive.

….. Now that I think about it, I should probably remind grown me of these same things…..funny how our younger self and our older self are so much the same, maybe just a stronger version. At least I hope so.

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