Return to normal

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First off, let me say thank you to those who serve our country to keep us free. My condolences to those who lost loved ones who served in the armed forces. It’s Memorial Day – let’s take a moment to remember.

I thank my God every time I remember you.~ Philippians 1:3 NIV

What are you remembering that you can’t do right now? What are you longing to have returned to your life?

  • Eating out at a restaurant
  • Going to a movie in a theater
  • Seeing live theater
  • Hugging a friend
  • Attending church in person
  • Playing sports
  • Watching sports
  • Grocery shopping without a mask
  • Spending time face to face with people
  • Sitting on the beach
  • And more…

Take a moment to think about what your life was like pre-covid-19 “safer at home.” How busy was your schedule? How often did you have dinner together as a family? How stressed out were you? How much money did you spend on activities? Before we all wish for “normal” to return. I want to encourage you to take time to take a realistic look at pre and post-covid-19.

What do you like about life now?

What do you like about life then?

Before you rush back into life, grab onto the “new normal” benefits of “safer at home” and incorporate those as permanent in your life. Dinner every night as a family may not be realistic when your kids go back to sports practices but requiring it several nights a week is doable. Watching a flick on the couch with popcorn or playing an old fashioned game of Life may be pushed aside once your kids can hang out at the Boba place with friends. Set up a family night (or afternoon) and stick to it. Keep these “new normals” in your life. The events that are enriching your life and deepening connection should stay. Let’s slow down our push to “get back to normal.” Embrace this new pace and allow it to seep into your everyday life. Choose the benefits of “safer at home” and fold them into your “new normal.”

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Unresolved

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Powerful word that describes my life, and probably yours too, right now.

I looked up synonyms for Unresolved. Here a few that resonate with me.

unsettled, undetermined, uncertain, open, unsolved, unanswered, pending, doubtful, in doubt, borderline, moot, up in the air, indefinite, inconclusive, unconfirmed, confused, problematic, vexed, ambiguous, vague, in limbo

Doesn’t life feel a bit unresolved at this time? I didn’t have a word for how I was feeling in this season of “safer at home.” This is the word. However, the audio example my pastor (Albert Tate – http://www.madeforfellowship) used yesterday in his sermon describes it even better. If you have a piano, play a scale. Then play a scale minus the last note. It’s unresolved. Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah ….  Without the last dah, it seems to be hanging in the air. Or sing “doe reh me fah so la ti” don’t do the last “doe” – Unresolved.

Hearing the awkwardness of not resolving the chord is painful for me. I like things to finish. I wrap up one project before I start the next one. Right now, we are all in a state of unresolve – pending – up in the air – vague – in limbo. AHHHHHHH!

When we are in a time like this, we need to hold tightly to the truth that God is with us. He hasn’t left us. He is here in the limbo. He is in the uncertainty. He is comfortable here too. He isn’t in the rush we are in to resolve it for us. He wants us to sit in this awkwardness and become more like Him – patient, aware, compassionate and humble. If you haven’t learned by now, you aren’t in control. The One who is, is comfortable in unresolved. He wants us to be too. Keep on living life. Keep on growing. Keep on sharing Jesus and the hope we have in Him. Keep on keeping on.

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

 

Mom’s Day

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Brunch was still a 2 hour wait even in quarantine. After several failed attempts to order a decent brunch for pickup or delivery, we went to In n Out. Those of you who are mothers know – compromise is our middle name. Honestly, all I wanted yesterday was time with my kids. I have 3 teenagers so time is precious. They are usually so busy and going 1000 different directions. These days, I get them home and I am drinking it all in. I know this season won’t be forever. For me, Mother’s Day wasn’t perfect but it was what I wanted: some good food  (we did get fabulous Greek food for dinner), time with my kids (games and a funny movie) and a day where I didn’t have many responsibilities. How was your Mother’s Day?

For some, Mother’s Day is tough. For women who want to be moms and aren’t yet or may never be. For women who had a bad relationship with their mom or step-mom. For women who lost a child. For women who have lost their mothers. And so on. It can be a very emotionally draining day.

Today I encourage you to reach out to a friend you know who falls in one of those categories. Drop her a note of encouragement – or a text. Send her flowers or a gift card to Starbucks. It’s not to late to lift her spirits if yesterday was a rough day for her.

If you fall in one of those categories, do some self care today. Allow yourself to not be OK for a day or two. Mom issues are tough. If they stem from a disappointing relationship with our mom, seek out a mom figure. I have many women in my life who are like moms to me. I love my mom and am grateful she is still with us as 85. However, we don’t share a spiritual connection. My faith is of utmost importance to me and connecting with women of God who are moms to me, meets a need my mom can’t meet for me. I encourage you to seek out those women. Right now is tough with staying at home orders, but this too shall pass. You can always contact your church and ask if there are any senior women who need help with grocery shopping. You never know, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Lastly, if you aren’t a mom in the traditional sense – examine how you are investing in the lives of children. Do you help in Sunday School or youth group? Are you a girl scout leader? A sports team coach? Do you spend time with your nieces or nephews? Have you prayed for the youth in your church? Everyone man and woman should be investing in our future generation in some way. See how you are and if you aren’t, find a way to do so.

Friends, whatever Mother’s Day held for you, one truth we as women all share – we want to be seen and loved. The best one to meet that need is Jesus. He fully sees us and fully loves us. That is rare.

Hannah felt seen by God when she was mistreated by Sarai (aka Sarah) and ran away. Her heart was so moved by God she called Him the God who sees me. What a powerful way for us to see God! Let’s embrace this name for Him and His love for us.

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” ~ Genesis 16:13 NIV

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. ~ Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

You are seen and loved by the God of the universe.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Is it Monday?

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I have no clue what day it is. The days all meld together. I do know it’s May 4 – “May the Force be with you”. Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo – May 5. Is today Monday? Yes, so that makes Cinco De Mayo on a Tuesday. If you ask me later this week, I won’t know the day of the week again. This is such a strange time. We have never been here before. Except, I do remember being lost in what day it is when my kids were babies. The days melded together in that stage of life. Hmmm, maybe if I go back to my tools to survive those days, I could apply them here.

When my kids were babies, I had a few rules:

  1. Set one goal for the day and accomplish it
  2. Do one thing for self care each day

That was it. Simple and helpful. I am still working full time, just from home. My work schedule is still 40+ hours a week. Some of you may be stay-at-home moms or furloughed or laid off. Whatever your situation (unless you fall under necessary work and still go into the office), you are home 24-7. When the days blend together, the likelihood of accomplishments goes down. So, let’s apply my rules when the kids were babies.

Today set a goal and meet it. The goal could be to clean the bathroom. The goal could be to take a walk. The goal could be to try a new recipe. The goal can be anything that is measurable.

Today, determine an item for self care. You goal could even overlap with your self care. If it doesn’t, set a time for self care. Read for 30 minutes. Paint your own toenails. Watch a sitcom on Hulu. Take a nap.

Once you set a goal and commit to self care, will it fix the days blending together? Probably not. However, you will be productive and cared for. With those 2 things, life is more manageable and hopeful. If you stay in the blahs of blended days, you will begin to lose hope and productivity. So every morning, first thing you do is set a measurable goal and an item for self care. Make it happen. You will be glad you did.

Dream Big! Pray Big!