If you live in the Nashville area, the days lately have been glorious, fall-weather, days. To me, its the epitome of “perfect” because I just returned from the store, where I wore shorts and a long sleeved tee shirt. Those who know me, know I detest coats, gloves, snow, ice and anything else that slightly resembles cold weather. I’d assume it stay summer year round. However, God knew we needed a break from the heat (and, let’s face it, girl’s behinds hanging out of shorts, which is a “trend” I will never, ever understand). The older I get, the more I can appreciate MANY things, one of them being various seasons, both figuratively and literally. If everyday was summer (both in the figurative and literal sense) we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the beauty that is spring. When new life begins and the snow, ice and many reminders of death fade away. If everyday was winter, we’d all end up being depressed, because, seriously? Who can be TRULY happy and joyful when it’s 5 degrees outside, and everything is covered in that horrible white stuff, that I can’t stand to even speak about?!?! Yes, God truly knows best and gives us a taste of every season – which lasts just long enough that we are sad to see it go (well, not me regarding winter, but we’ve already covered that) but yet we are excited at the prospect of that which is to come.
Going back to my opening sentence, it is a really nice day, today. It’s just cool enough outside to appreciate the lack of humidity, but not quite cool enough to need a jacket. As much as I love the heat, I will readily admit it was nice to wake up and feel the cool breeze in the air. It got me in the mood to cook fall-ish food. There is currently Pumpkin Pudding (recipe is available in the recipe section of this website!) in the oven. It has become a very conscientious decision to try and eat as healthy and “clean” as possible, even when having a “treat”. However, the pumpkin pudding is a slight detour from my route of discovering a healthier me. This is important, though. We have to take care of our bodies in many different ways. We can go to the gym everyday, but if we don’t properly know how to work out our muscles, or more importantly, how to stretch before and after, an injury is bound to happen. We can work hard and meet every deadline at the office, but how much sacrificing are we forcing our families to make, so that our work can succeed? Life is totally a balance.
Take me, for example; I have felt poorly off and on for the past couple weeks. I haven’t been sleeping more than a couple hours each night, and as the days seemed to all blend together, and the weeks continued, I felt myself growing more and more weary. It all came to a head a few days ago, when I couldn’t seem to get anything done because of so many frequent “bathroom breaks” (to put it nicely). I finally thought to myself “This is crazy. I’m making myself sicker because I refuse to take a break”. So I laid on my couch for literally, the entire evening. I didn’t do anything else except read, spend some time with God, in His Word, and relax. After going to bed and sleeping 10 hours straight, I woke up this morning feeling perfectly fine, and refreshed. Taking time for yourself is NOT wrong. It’s essential to taking care of everything else we all handle, in life. Just don’t stay there, stagnant and in bed/on the couch. Rest up, feel better, and then get back to leading an active, hopefully healthy, lifestyle. This morning, for me, was spent vacuuming the entire house, vacuuming my stairs (Which, if you’ve ever done with an upright vacuum and no help, you will understand was a workout in and of itself), cleaning bathrooms, mopping, putting every bathroom rug, towel, etc and doing 3 loads of laundry. It’s amazing how fulfilled having a clean house will leave you. After cleaning and showering, I got right to work cooking. It’s relaxing, for me, and is something I thoroughly enjoy. Find something you enjoy, whether its cooking, reading, knitting, painting, etc and make time every week for yourself. No interruptions, no phone, no kids, or whatever else you have in your life. Just allow yourself to be in the moment, and enjoy it. You’ll find yourself able to be much more present for your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, kids, friends, job, etc when you are personally relaxed.
This is something I’ve had to teach myself, over the years. I am naturally a go-getter, determined, schedule oriented person. I often joke that I “plan” to be spontaneous, one day. It’s difficult for me to let go, let GOD, or anyone else be in charge. Submissive, I am not, naturally. It’s something I’m working to teach myself, a little more, everyday. A bible study I just finished last Wednesday taught me more than I realized when beginning it. I discovered so many things about myself, as well as God’s desires for me and my life. I am slowly learning to not allow others opinions, thoughts, actions or words affect me like I always have. It’s a difficult process. Throughout my entire life, decisions I made, thoughts I have had, and things I’ve done have largely been based on what expectations I thought people had of me. It’s often left me disappointed, unhappy and even sometimes sad, largely due to the fact that in trying so hard to make everyone else happy, I was left UN-happy. I can be very outspoken, sometimes too much so (I blame my southern, Tennessee born and raised, feisty Grandmother, but that’s another blog post), and as much of a leader I am, I can be sensitive too. Something else I’m learning to be less of. I credit the forward movement I have had up to this point, to a lot of positive people I have recently had in my life, who have encouraged me to live for ME, and not so much for others (of course, God is most important, but in this instance, I’m speaking of humans).
People are going to have an opinion, no matter what, and nothing I can do will ever please everyone.
Man, those are such easy words to TYPE but have always been difficult for me to do. I am, at my core, a people pleaser. I want everyone to like me, and it used to really upset me if someone didn’t. However, the older I get the less I care. Not in a rude way, but I am unapologetically me and as long as I am pleasing my Savior, other’s opinions do not matter as much. (I do still hope that everyone likes me though! I’m a people pleaser to a fault) 😊 What I’m trying (and probably failing miserably!) to say is that within boundaries of remaining kind, we should not let what others say or think of us determine our attitudes, actions or moods. Please God, and otherwise focus on doing what YOU are good at, what brings you joy and contentment and stop allowing everyone else to dictate your happiness. =)