I’ve somehow bought into this Instagram life, this alternate version of reality, but I just don’t have the energy for it. I’ve never kept up with fads and trends like that. I’ve never had any interest in it. But somehow we buy into this ideal whether we live it or not and have a tendency to beat ourselves up if we’re not living according to some predetermined standard. We’re told who we’re supposed to be, before we ever have a chance to figure it out.
When is life ever what we’ve thought it would be? My guess is, fairly rarely. Nothing turns out the way we hoped it would. Some things fall flat on their face, other things work out far better than we could have imagined. So why do we buy into this ideal? Why do we live to impress others, when we lose ourselves in the process?
Isn’t that what it means to be real? To be whole, to be genuine, to be ourselves. To be in tune with the world and the people around us. To be present in that moment. There are children starving. People sold as slaves, beaten and poverty stricken. And we escape into our idyllic world pretending that our pretty things are all that exist. We turn away to a fabricated world and convince ourselves that it is real. Because what’s in front of us hurts too much to see.
I don’t want to buy into the world’s version of reality. It looks enticing and draws us it, but underneath it’s hollow; a flimsy paper mask that melts in the rain as we desperately try to hold it together.
I choose a different real. I am not a picture or a stereotype. I’m a human. And being human has value. All humans have value. My life is not just about me. It’s about everyone around me, every person I can impact for good. It’s looking into that homeless person’s eyes and seeing someone just as real and valuable as yourself. That moment. That connection. It’s not how our lives look online, but the things we do and who we are while we’re actually living. That is what makes us real.
Rain is one of my favorite things. It’s so calming and peaceful. I love how the bounces off leaves and the sound as it splashes to the ground. It fills me with so much hope. Hope for the future, hope for a tomorrow, hope in the moment, knowing that all I have to do is trust.
God is so present, so real. I truly believe that rain is one of His greatest gifts to us. It reaches in a way not much else can, it touches deeply without even a word. Sometimes it’s how God speaks to us.
I can’t really say much more than that. It’s just pure and overwhelming peace, and I am so thankful for that.
It’s a beautiful sunny day. I have the windows open and listen to the sounds of birds outside, and chimes from one of the nearby houses. It doesn’t fee like a Saturday, my Saturdays are usually fairly hectic. But this feels calm and peaceful.
I know I’m somewhat deceiving myself, I have a lot of work to get done, but at the same time, I need to take some time to relax. I started my morning with a lovely walk outside. It feels so good to get out in the fresh air and sunshine. Sometimes I don’t think we realize just how much our bodies need that when we’ve been sitting inside all week. Why do we wait to notice until things are right there in front of us, and sometimes not even then?
I’ve gone through phases and seasons that I’ve been more mindful of myself and my surroundings, but this past week has been like taking a ride through the spin cycle of a washing machine and I have to admit, I’m a bit disoriented.
Even those moments can be taken in stride if we see them as an opportunity to grow. Our light can’t shine as bright in day as it does in darkness. There’s beauty all around us. I want to soak it in. I don’t want to let my life pass by only to realize I never really lived it.
I’m hopeful for the week ahead, the weather is supposed to be warmer, so even that should help. I’m hoping to get outside for more walks in nature, they’re so refreshing to the soul. But right now, I’m just thankful for this beautiful, peaceful day.
It’s another cold and rainy day today. I’m thinking about making some soup to eat while I write. A few birds chirp outside; they add to the calming music I have playing in the background and filling my home. I sit on my couch with a blanket and a cup of tea and soak it all in.
I love cozy days like this. The rest of the world just melts away and I rest in the peace and solitude. These are some of the things I love in life. Some of the things that bring comfort and joy to me. They’re simple, yes, but they add so much.
What things are you thankful for today?
There isn’t much I love more than a hot cup of tea on a cold and rainy day. It’s so soothing, so relaxing, and all my fears wash away. I love calm moments like this when I’m warmed from the inside out; sometimes that can make all the difference.
I think we often underestimate the power of our thoughts. They take us where they will, and we so often follow their lead. But what if he harnessed their power in a purposeful and more directed way. What if we controlled our thoughts rather than letting our thoughts control us.
Whether we are empowered or disempowered depends heavily on whether we’re strong on the inside. If we are secure, we cannot be shaken. I don’t say this is of our own doing. In fact, sometimes we’re completely powerless against them. But God calls us to take every thought captive, and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It wouldn’t have been said like that if our thoughts and our minds weren’t such a powerful force in directing our lives.
The amazing thing is that we get to choose. We can give into all the thoughts and negativity, or we can resist it. This is something I’ve battled for years now… Something I continue to battle. I find it so easy to forget that I don’t have to be swallowed up by my thoughts, so hard to remember that I can have a say.
Depression and anxiety have no quick or easy fix. But I’ve found that keeping my eyes on things above has helped. Even when I’m deep in that pit, or wandering a path of shame and confusion. When I faithfully turn my thoughts above, those things I want no part of begin to fade away. Their grip weakens. He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
Sometimes we can’t find solid ground, but we can usually find something solid to hold onto, even if it is just a cup of tea that warms our souls when we watch the rain pour down.
Warm, spring days, then a sudden cold. Snow drifts in and paints the world in white. Sometimes it’s easy to let our hearts do the same. We’re warm one moment, cold the next. But what type of love or kindness is that if it only stands in the good? When others are warm and genuine to us. Aren’t most people kind to those who are kind to them? What about those who aren’t?
What about the people whose hearts are so cold and frozen that that’s what they bring into a relationship, or even an interaction? Is it possible that if we show them warmth and love that it could melt away the fear, the hurt, the anger. That maybe by showing love and kindness we could melt away those walls that create distance, rather than leaving them alone, cold and frozen, shivering in the dark. Maybe our warmth could drive out that chill.
Maybe our light could make a difference. Maybe our kindness to them is the only time it’s ever been shown. Maybe it’s been years since they’ve received a smile, maybe this world has beaten them down until they’re tired and weary, unable to trust anyone around them, unable to trust even themselves.
What if instead of judgment and acting from our own impulsive feelings, what if we reached out a loving hand, a helping hand to lift them up, rather than ignoring or pushing them away?
What if, instead of throwing their coldness back at them, we showed them the warmth that we desire?
Each one of us can make a difference. We have no idea how much a simple, positive interaction could mean. What is a small thing to us, could be a huge thing to someone else.