Christmas Season Begins

child-1867394_640The Christmas season has officially begun.🙂 I think this was exactly what I needed after an absolutely crazy November. There’s something so calming about this time of year. It’s a time we can just sit back, relax, reflect on our lives over the course of the past year, and look ahead to the future for all that it might be.

There’s that warm, cozy feeling in the air (okay, not in the air… That’s freezing, but you can imagine it is), and it feels like all the cares and worries can be washed away as we’re wrapped in the warmth and light of the season. Cozy sweaters, deep reds and creams, blankets, tea and hot cocoa. The soft glow of lights on the tree.

We can capture the feeling of being a kid again. Where everything is magical. Everywhere we look, we find new things to be excited about.

Everything is beautiful. Blissful. Simple. And yet it’s in that pure and simple calm, that we find the strength that we’ve been needing. The light that makes all things right. The security and safety being cozy with the ones we love. Where we can count our blessings, even if just the soft glow of streetlamps through a cold and lonely night.

Hope rises up again, as the beginning of a new year nearly dawns. New chances, new beginnings, and we wonder what the future will hold, and yet, this moment, this pure and simple moment, is still everything we could ask for. The peace and safety. A calm with no end.

What do you enjoy most about this time of year?

Lazy Rainy Days

round-leaved-bellflower-1576107_640Sometimes after a long, busy holiday weekend you just need a day to unwind and reset. Today has been the perfect day for that. It’s been raining all day and I’ve just had the chance to sit, and read, warm drinks, a little writing, and starting Christmas.

I love the holidays, and the whole season. It’s such a cozy time of year. But it can also be exhausting. I’m so thankful for the days like this in between. This is where all the magic happens anyway. It’s about the anticipation, the quiet moments, where you can just sit back and soak it all in.

I don’t dislike being an introvert, but the thing that makes it difficult is that I get so drained while interacting with people, even when it’s people I love. I have a tendency to withdraw, and I don’t mean it against anyone, it’s just what I need in order to take care of myself and my own mental and emotional stability.

There’s so much peace in the rain. I feel like there should be snow for the Christmas season. But the rain is just perfect for today and exactly what I needed.

If you’re an introvert, what are your favorite ways to recover from the holidays?

Where Your Burdens Fade

sheep-1328505_640All I want is something safe. I want a world of my own where I can step in and everything else will slip away. Where burdens and heartache are no more, where love and light guide everything we do. We may not have that life now, not yet, not here. But we can use those concepts to guide us, even when we know it won’t be perfect.

Perfection is a funny thing. It steals out joy, yet somehow convinces us that what we’re striving for is best. But while we’re pursuing perfection, we’re missing the life that’s around us right now, in the present. It isn’t about the future or the past. Sometimes we make a choice for right now. A choice that for now, in this moment, keeps us safe. Sometimes it helps us forget, sometimes it forces us to remember. But where are our hearts? Where are our eyes? Are we looking to ourselves and our own feelings to guide us, or are we looking to the Creator of us all? The only one who holds true perfection in His hands, while also holding us.

We don’t always understand the paths we take in life, but through them all, there is a plan. We have hope for a greater future, not because of us, but because of Him. He died, we live.

What a sacrifice that is. And it is one that we’re called to make. Not at all times or in all situations, but where God calls us, He leads, will we follow?

He doesn’t promise that this life will be easy, but He does promise to lead and guide us, to help take on the weight of the world that it might not crush us, to give us the strength and ability to trust and endure.

Where God is, there is hope. Where God is, there is healing. Where God is, is where we ought to be. That is where our burdens become light, where we no longer have to take things into our own hands, but where we can let go and trust, knowing that the Author and Creator of life itself, will always be there to help us when we fall.

He has formed a path for us, we just need to take that step of faith in agreement with Him. “Speak Lord, for I am listening.” “The sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.”

Who Am I?

black-1175218_1280As an INFJ I’m always asking “who am I?” Maybe not specifically out loud, or to other people, but internally this question is constantly running through my head. Then the imposter syndrome sneaks in and anything I am, or claim to be, comes under attack. It’s like my own worst enemy lives inside my own mind. Maybe that’s true for all of us.

I’m not perfect. I’m not exactly who, or what, or where I want to be. But that’s okay. Because right now, I am exactly where I’m supposed to be and where I need to be for this moment.

This past year has been insane for me. There have been so many storms and changes, and yet, I’ve seen God bring me through it all. He has shown Himself to be faithful in all of it. God has grown my trust so much in the past year, and if only for that, I am thankful. I am thankful for everything that has brought me where I am. Even through the pains, and trials, and struggles, because it has taught me who God wants me to be. It’s shown me who I am in Him. I am His. And that’s all that really matters.

I can ask myself all kinds of questions. Whys, hows. But ultimately the only thing I need to know and trust and believe is that Jesus Christ is my Savior, He died that I may live, He rose again to restore hope. And here I am.

There are times I’m broken, times I’m bleeding. And yet, somehow I’m still safe. My value doesn’t come from a label or a title I claim or someone else places on me, my value comes from being a daughter of the King.

Self-Care, Calming Down

tray-984042_640I sit here on the couch, snuggled in a blanket with a warm cup of tea nearby. The last bit of sleepiness from a restless night has yet to wear off and I find myself comforted and more at peace than I’ve been in a while.

Yesterday was a long day, this whole week has been long. It hasn’t been bad, just busy. I’ve been out a lot, around a lot of people, and I’m just finding myself completely drained. Last night I was worn down enough that I decided I just needed some time to be an INFJ. And so I did. I went upstairs, sat in a bungee chair, had some tea, and just wrote. Then I read a little, which I haven’t made time for in quite a while.

It was so calming and relaxing. I need more of that. It’s so easy to get caught up in the business of life and not make time for the things that make us who we are. It’s easy to neglect ourselves. We say that we don’t need it, or that we shouldn’t, but self-care is hugely important. And it affects all those around us too.

I’m learning, slowly, to honor my own needs. It’s a challenge at times, and sometimes when things start piling up (sometimes literally) and my to-do list starts to grow into an unmanageable seeming length, I feel like I can’t afford to take the time for myself, but that’s exactly when I can’t afford NOT to.

What is something small you can do today to take care of yourself? What things do you find calming and relaxing?

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday.🙂

Thankful For Friendship – November 1

girls-1209321_640I realize I’ve been quite detached lately. But then I logged back on, I saw all the lovely comments, and read some blogs, I miss this community. I’m sorry I’ve been away.

My mind feels flooded with thoughts and ideas of things to write and things I could say. Yet words don’t often feel good enough. They can only say so much.

I got to spend some time with a very treasured friend today. Her friendship means so much to me. I’ve found love, encouragement, and wisdom. Never judgement, though the truth spoken in love, even if that truth isn’t what I’ve most wanted to hear.

I love finding people like that. People we can feel safe with, people we can expose our true selves to. And yet, I realize that it’s incredibly rare. When we find a gem, we must hold onto it. We must treasure it, we must keep it safe. Nurturing and tending. This isn’t work, it’s a pleasure and a joy.

I’m so thankful for her. For our friendship. For the ability to freely share without concern.

It’s November first. What are you thankful for today?