It's a gorgeous September day.
... And I have allergies.
So do my kids.
Ugh. Gorgeous weather but sniffles all around.
It is what it is, I suppose. I'll air out my house, breathe in a chocolate chip biscotti candle, drink some coffee, and take it easy today.
Last week was a heavy one. I told you about the loss of Ash's P.E. teacher. Also, I've told you about a friend of ours who's fighting cancer. We saw her last week and her pain has been on my heart. Plus, all the heaviness in the news lately. Plus, other stuff that's on my mind.
Sometimes you need sunshine on a September day. And fresh air. And a cup of coffee. And a nap, come to think of it, but I don't think I'm going to get one. Anyway. I'll take what I can get.
How are you, lovey? How's your September going? What's in your heart right now? What are you feeling?
Here's what I'm thinking. Even in the midst of heavy weeks, light shines through. Life keeps happening. Just during this blog post! I've stopped because my mom called. Then Linc wanted to watch Curious George. Then I needed to move the towels from the washer to the dryer. Then Lily woke up and needed lunch. Then I had to hunt for allergy medicine. Now I sat back down. It's 11:24.
Life keeps happening. Light spills over. You know those moments. Maybe you're sick and feeling awful, then your kids do something that spreads a smile on your face. Or you're bogged down by finances, then your spouse does something to remind you that you're loved. Or your house is a mess, but your four-year-old says something hilarious that makes you laugh till you cry. We keep going.
People disappoint us.
We make bad decisions. They make bad decisions.
We're too tired to get anything done.
Things haven't worked out like we'd hoped.
Sometimes we feel worn.
Sometimes we feel great.
Life. Breath after breath until it's done.
Lovey, we all feel these things. Good days. Hard days. This past week I was thinking of how it feels when people hurt our feelings. Exclude us. (Trust me, these things still happen. Some aspects of high school never end!) When we feel like we're not cool enough. Not smart enough. Not Christian enough. Not good enough. Not likeable enough.
None of those things are ever true.
Because every one of us has value.
And every one of us has shortcomings. We fail all the time. We want people to give us grace, but it's hard to give it to them.
I know it's hard. For me too.
Life is a process. Sometimes you have to choose healthy relationships and let others fly away. Sometimes you have to set boundaries around your heart. Sometimes you have to just be alone and do laundry. Sometimes you have to give a little more than you thought you could.
I told you I want to focus on gratitude for myself this fall. (Confession: I'm already realizing that's harder than it sounds.)
So this past weekend, I was struggling a bit emotionally. Things weren't going my way. I felt extremely heavy hearted from all that had happened around us. I'd run out of patience.
We went to church even though I wasn't feeling it. And a really cool thing happened. Our church was doing a collaboration Sunday with an Anglican church in town. So we walked in and stumbled right into this parade of people in robes walking around the church auditorium. We took our seats and experienced a different kind of worship. I've experienced that kind of worship before, but it's not what we're used to and not what I was expecting.
Still. My soul responded to it.
God reminded me that He only requires two things of me. Love Him. Love the people around me (specifically the people I live with, the ones I lose patience with!). And more importantly, He reminded me that He loves me. It's going to be okay. I love when He does that.
We start there, lovey. Then we can do the rest.