Loveys, how are you? I've been tired this week. And it's only Wednesday! This morning I woke up feeling weary of a lot of things. I'm thinking the constant onslaught of all things political on the news and online and through social media is starting to drain me emotionally. Do you feel that?
(Don't worry, loveys, I'm in no way going to bash one candidate over another or attempt to make people feel stupid for choosing a different candidate than I'm choosing or basically judge everyone for not thinking exactly as I do--good grief, I'm exhausted of feeling that everywhere I turn.)
I've avoided talking politics online and in my relationships (other than with a few close friends who I know to be the kind of people you can talk with, without breaking a friendship over differences). Though the other day, I did have a good email exchange with a high-profile, best-selling author regarding politics (I've read so many of her books, and seen the movies based on her books, but have never met her before now!), and it was refreshing to be able to go back and forth with opinions respectfully. That was a surprising and super cool experience. I emailed her after reading something she said about wanting to discuss opinions and how she couldn't understand how people could vote for the opposite of who she's voting for. When I read that, I felt sad. Because shouldn't we try to understand the other side? Are we unable to hear a different perspective and understand it? She and I had a really good conversation.
Anyway, when I checked Facebook this morning though, I just stared blankly at the many articles posted again, and I felt tired and just clicked off of it. November is still a little ways away, I don't think I can read more daily articles. I check the online news sites every day (I get my news way more from the internet than television) and I'm so tired of seeing so many articles (mostly negative). It's political overload, loveys. Sometimes we need a break. I know who I'm voting for by this point. So reading another article isn't going to do much except rile me up, and that doesn't benefit me or my family at all.
After clicking off of Facebook this morning, I needed to focus on something else. Like dinner. :) I peeled potatoes and carrots and browned beef tips and put all of that together in my crockpot for beef stew tonight. Now my house smells comforting and fallish. And when you're weary, comfort food helps. I pulled out some of my favorite fall-themed magazines for recipe and décor ideas. Over a late breakfast of oatmeal and toast, I thought about fall and our family schedule.
I've been slowly cleaning up post-party this weekend. And still feeling so grateful for such a special time with wonderful friends. To be honest, finding friends as adults (with kids) can be hard. I was thinking about the fact that some of the couples at the party were from the first church small group we ever joined--way back before we had kids. In fact, those were some of the people who brought meals when Ashtyn was born. And here they were, celebrating with us years later. Still friends. That's a blessing. Friends come and go during every season of our lives, and that's okay. I believe God brings some people into our lives at specific times--sometimes for us to help them or for them to help us--and even if those relationships don't last forever, they were meaningful and important and part of our journey and I'm thankful. For new friends and old who were here with us Saturday, and for friends who live far away but we love them and they love us--friendship takes effort and I'm grateful for all those people.
This is the season of thanks, isn't it, loveys? For little things and big things. For the fact that I can make warm beef stew for my family. For our friends who surrounded us on Saturday night to celebrate the Jeffster. I'm thankful that I live in a country where I can freely vote for who I choose. I can choose. I don't need anyone else telling me what to do. That kind of freedom is a true gift. I love this country. What are you thankful for, lovey?
Sometimes gratitude keeps us going. For me (and this is just my experience, lovey), during moments when my marriage has been rocky, gratitude has reminded me of what I have in Jeff and our children, and how much that's worth to me. What a blessing it is to have someone to sleep next to and to take care of me when I'm sick and to share in raising children (that counts the most for me, to be honest). Love is a gift as well, and I'm forever thankful for it. Faith is a gift too. I've been open about the fact that I struggle with faith and belief. I have questions that have no answers, and I struggle with the realities of suffering here and everywhere. But still, when we lose people, or when there is nowhere else to turn, or when we have a moment of absolute clarity about something--in those moments, isn't it faith that gives us strength? It is for me. And so I hold on to it, and I pass it on to my children.
So if you're weary, like me, from a busy schedule and the deluge of political opinions, take a breath. It's still fall and what a fabulous season. Pumpkin everything, everywhere. Lily learned a word today. Santa. Good heavens, of all the words to learn. The kids were so tickled by this. (You can guess what they were talking about on the way to school!) There are all kinds of books coming out that I want to read. Poldark is back on PBS. Hallelujah! Loveys, it's soooo good. There are movies coming out near Thanksgiving that I can't wait to see. On top of that, we've got school--meaning kids coming home with colds. Homework. Soccer practice. Marriage. Dinner. Work projects. It's a lot. Take a breath. One day at a time. One mission at a time. One step at a time.
Sometimes you need a cup of coffee and to flip through fall-themed magazines. Then you'll tackle cleaning up and everything else. We know our own capacity. I was noticing the other day--when Lily drops her milk (and everything else) all over the floor, or when she again grabs the remote and changes the channel, or when she grabs my phone and pushes so many buttons that it's locked for fifteen minutes, or when she digs stuff out of the trash--oh so many things--I say, "Grrrr!" and clean it up or whatever I need to do. Well, sweet Lily has started saying, "Grrrr!" to me all the time. I now have a baby who growls a lot. I have a feeling this means her mother growls a lot.
One moment at a time.