Change And Chapters

autumn-194834_640It’s a season of new change and new chapters. We can’t always predict what will happen in life, and sometimes that’s a scary thing, sometimes it’s a beautiful thing. Either way, it’s probably for the best. I know that I wouldn’t always make the right choices if I knew where the choices would lead. I say that because I don’t like pain. I don’t like walking through seasons of struggle and trials, but each and every one of those teaches us something about ourselves and about others, and of the God we serve.

Sometimes we have to venture into that forest of the unknowns. Through the doubts and through the fears. Life doesn’t slow down for us. But God is faithful. Even hardships are used to help us grow. We don’t often see it as we’re going through it, but the looking back can help us see how far we’ve come from where we’ve been.

I think I tend to look forward so much that the looking back is hard. That’s why I so often feel like I haven’t gone anywhere or done anything. Not because I truly haven’t, but because when I’m just looking at my feet or the sky it seems I’m standing still, that nothing really changes.

Of course there are times that we see the moon and the stars, and time we see the glaring sun, but we still feel like we’re standing still. It’s not always as true as we believe it to be. And thank goodness that we’re not in control of that!

God has already written our stories, even if we don’t know the ending, or the middle, even if we feel like we’ve scarcely seen the beginning. Sometimes our stories don’t start with an inciting incident, at least not one that we notice. But we were born and brought into this world, and that in itself is a miracle. You are a miracle. Whether you see it right now or not.

God works all things together for our good. But His timing isn’t always ours. Can we stand and say that we find Him in the seeking, we find Him even in our doubt. We have hope in Him. Because nothing can surpass the love and goodness of our God.

Perfectionist Isolation

storm-1169895_640Will I ever learn to extend the same grace to myself that I so readily extend to others? Will I ever learn to let things go and forgive myself for all the ways I haven’t measured up? I tend to be really hard on myself. I have really high standards, and I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t measure up to them. This is something I’m working on, very slowly, but it’s still a flaw. (See the perfectionism there? haha)

I like to think I’m a positive person, but this isn’t always the case. I have my days and my struggles just like anyone. And sometimes, I even like to point it out. I guess I figure that if someone else can extend grace and understanding to me, then they validate my worth and maybe I can extend a little of that to myself.

I know this is unhealthy. It’s completely unhealthy, yet I do it anyway.

Sometimes it’s hard to know the line between being honest and vulnerably sharing the face behind the mask, and when we’re just complaining or looking for attention.

I have a love hate relationship with that… I HATE being the center of attention, like absolutely despise it, it makes me super uncomfortable and I do anything I can to divert it from myself. This can be especially bad if I’m having a rough time and am talking with a friend who’s in a good place. I don’t want to bring them down, so I shut down and say that I’m okay and then throw the conversation back to them. I don’t want to answer questions about myself. I don’t want people to know that I’m struggling, and I don’t want to be “that person” who brings everyone down, always having some sort of sob story.

clouds-1031416_640Yet I know that the isolation only makes it worse. I do it to myself. I recognize this. It doesn’t have to be this way. I have a whole group of people who are ready and willing to support me and love me through any storm I face. So why do I continue to hide? I don’t have to hide.

There’s a crack in the sky. Through the clouds there comes a light. I’ve hidden in the darkness, and I’ve stood firm in the light of the truth. Depression thrives in isolation. Sometimes it’s a heavy burden and for many, many complicated reasons, it tends to want to keep us there. Sometimes we even take on its identity as our own. That’s when the true damage comes. We’re not ourselves and we know it. Then the guilt of being a fake, of not being who I say I am, the imposter syndrome, not feeling like I have a place or that I belong.

seaside-1149834_640It’s so easy to be caught up in low self-worth. But God doesn’t intend for us to live that way. We need to reach out. We need to stand above the clouds. We do not need to stay trapped by this thing forever. It has no hold on us, it just feels that way sometimes. We don’t need to hide anymore. We are free. We are not our mental issues. We are our hearts, we are our souls. And our souls are washed clean.

September

leaves-449622_640Ah, September. It’s my favorite month. I don’t know why really, I just love everything about it. the beginning of autumn, the late summer that slowly slips peacefully away. The beginnings of fall colors, fresh starts, new beginnings. I welcome it wholeheartedly.

There’s such a feeling of peace, hope, and contentment. Nothing can compare with it. Autumn’s my favorite season. Then again, maybe I just like changes. At the turn of each new season I seem to claim that this one is my favorite, but there’s something special about fall. It’s a magical time where anything can happen.

We step into other worlds, into celebrations of life and thankfulness for all that God has given us. We savor those last few summer days knowing that it will be a whole year until we see them again. They carry a sweetness unlike the earlier ones.

Autumn is a time of remembrance, of taking a deep breath and peacefully staying in that moment. Because for just a second, we realize that this moment is all we have.

forest-63275_640I love the colors, the smells, the tastes of the seasons. Deep, rich and warm colors, everything turns to a yellow, red, or orange, maybe some brown or golden yellow mixed in. The air relinquishes its humidity and gains that crisp scent. Pumpkin flavored everything. The beginning of soup season, and warm tea once again sounds comforting and satisfying. Cozy sweaters, warm blankets, boots and bonfires. I love it all.

I enter into this month with such a feeling of peace and hope and gratitude for all I have and all I’ve been given. I look forward to the coming months and the changes they will bring, yes, there’s still some fear and apprehension, but I’m ready to jump in.

What are your favorite things about fall?

Morning Tea And Morning Pages

teacup-1252115_640This morning was such a beautiful one. It’s a bit cooler out today, so I started by opening the windows. The breeze felt so nice. There’s something so refreshing about having the outside air float into my home.

Lately I’ve been doing morning pages when I first get up. But today I made a cup of tea first. Just that little bit of time made quite the difference in what I was able to say. I find my mind is streaming with thoughts first thing in the morning, when I’m still caught somewhere between dreams and reality, but give it a little bit of time, and it calms down. I still got two pages, but lesson learned. Do it first thing, no delays.

One thing I love about the pages is how much it teaches me about myself, and how it centers and prepares me for the rest of the day. I can write all those thoughts down and leave them there rather than having them subconsciously bouncing around in my head.

That being said, the tea was pretty good and was a relaxing part of my morning. This summer I’ve not been as regular with my tea drinking because of the heat, I’m thankful to have it back.🙂

What are your morning routines? Have you ever done morning pages? I’d love to hear your experience with them.🙂

Washed Clean

crayons-933521_640Who am I when the world turns black? When the world I’ve known has fallen to pieces, what is left of me? I’m not always living according to who I am. I want to, but I don’t. I suppose it’s like Paul said, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

I want to be more than this. I believe we were designed to be more than this. Sin entered the world and things fell apart, but we’re still here. God didn’t leave us alone or abandoned. He still let us live, even if the world is less than what He designed it to be.

We can take an expensive painting and scribble all over it with crayon. That doesn’t change what the painting is underneath. That’s kind of how we are. Maybe a little messier than we could have been, but still there, buried beneath the pain and our mistakes in life.

The good news is that God can heal. He carefully takes us in and washes all those marks away until we’re restored and made whole again. I am so thankful for God’s grace filled love.

Ups and downs will come and go, but God’s love will never change. How wonderful it is to rest in that knowledge, even when it doesn’t match exactly how I feel.

What are you thankful for today?