As everyone does, I guess, I go through phases where I feel like things are swirling around me and I'm not really grounded. Yeah, it happens. I feel like a balloon with no string, like I'm floating and can't quite grab on. Even when I'm not in a phase like that, though, I still feel that there are parts of my life (circumstances, people, realities, etc.) from which I almost always feel disengaged. It's not a fun place. I'm the type of person who wants to hold on to life and really live it. But when I still have areas of disengagement or areas where things just aren't "clicking", it's uncomfortable for me. It bothers me, even to the point where I feel physically ill. Not sure why.
I wish I could avoid feeling this way. I really do. I wish I could avoid a lot of painful things, I guess. My mom spoke at church not long ago and she talked about how many Christians think that Christianity is about how much pain and discomfort you can avoid...like somehow if you have nothing going wrong that means you are a better Christian. Actually, though, it's about learning that God helps you through the bad things to bring you out the other side a better person--a stronger, wiser person with more depth of character.
While I don't like the "going through difficult things" part, I do like knowing that in the end I'm going to be better for it if I choose to hold on to the things I've learned from each circumstance and not get bitter. Everyone goes through bad times, but we all have a choice to make in each circumstance. We can get BITTER or we can get BETTER. "Bitter" is easier. "Better" is hard.
I'm working on not getting bitter. SOOOO hard for me, though. So hard. I'm not sure why, but I have the tendency to stuff things in and keep the garbage in my heart festering. I keep subconscious (or conscious) lists of wrongs done to me. I still have things from last year and even 10 years ago (and probably longer) that are fresh in my heart. It's easier to hold on to the bad than it is to let go of it. I'm not a "letter go-er", I guess. That's one of my biggest flaws...and I have many, believe me.
I wish I knew HOW to let go. I know it's something I should do. It's even something I want to do. I know all the benefits of it. So I'm asking God to teach me how to do it. I know that he's faithful. If you think of me in the next while, pray for me or even give me words of advice, if you are so inclined. I feel that to truly be present in my life, I have to be able to let go of the bad and hold on to the good.
I'm grateful for...
90+ degree weather. Yeah, I know...but at least it's not snowing, right? Last week was INSANELY gorgeous. The whole week it was in the 70's and 80's and sunny. I loved it. I am a mild weather person. But the way I get through the hottest weeks on record (like this one) is to remember the Winter. It snowed like crazy last winter. It was cold. It was icy. It was nasty. It's not Winter and that's something for which I can be supremely grateful.
Sunshine. I don't care who you are, sunshine is a pick-me-up. Waking up in the morning and seeing the yellow glow on my window shades gives me a good feeling.
Work. I like working and having something to focus on. I am still learning how to balance my time working on my photo stuff and my time with my kids...I'm thinking an egg timer will help me. But I'm grateful that I have found a creative outlet that I love. I tried so many different things over the years--all the crafty things you can imagine. None of them made me feel as good as photography does. I'm still learning and growing in it and I hope I always will be. I wish everyone could find something creative that they love to do.
Weddings. They're a good thing.
Summer food. I love all the fruits and veggies and BBQ-ing I can handle. I'm grateful that summer has so many lovely things about it.
My family. 'Nuff said.
Waking up to hear "I Wuv You, Mama" in my ear. There is no better phrase coming from a child. I hope he always says it that way. My kids make me laugh on a daily basis, but there is truly nothing more heartwarming than an unsolicited "I love you" from my boys.
Myself. While I'm supremely flawed, I have love in my life and I've learned to focus some of that love on myself. God has been so good to me and he loves me despite my flaws. That's a good feeling.
My hope is that you learn to hold on to the good and let go of the bad...you'll probably be better at it than I am. :) I hope you learn that there is balance in life. I hope you know that being who you are is of the utmost importance. I'm so grateful that the older I get, the more "myself" I am becoming. I like who I am, for the most part, and the things I don't like about my character will change eventually. I won't hurry God.