Monthly Archives: April 2014

Getting Back in the Groove

Testing. Testing. One, two, three.

Is anyone there?

There’ve been a whole lot of crickets and not very much activity in this space for a long time. I’ve been quiet around here; you’ve been quiet around here, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. There are times we all have to step away from things, people, and places that we love. It’s hard to make the break, but I find that it’s even more challenging sometimes to know how to pick back up.

And that’s where I am: not sure what to do in this little corner of the Internet. Not sure what to do with the lessons I’ve been learning. Do I share them? Or are they meant to be my own personal lessons?

I’m still not sure, so I’m doing the next thing I can think of. I’m going to share some random thoughts and updates as I push through the awkward and try to remember this “writer” part of myself that I’ve grown not quite as acquainted with in recent months.

1. I am continually evaluating what is good and necessary for reading online in my own personal life. Don’t get the wrong impression, my idea of good isn’t always super-spiritual. I think recipes are good, don’t you? Or articles about my favorite TV shows, obviously. 😉  I have a small list of blogs I enjoy reading, most of which belong to women I know and love in real life. I love reading them because they encourage and inspire me while keeping me connected to people I care about.

2. I have a feeling that if you’re anything like me, you’ve grown weary. The demands of living life wear every last one of us out. Then in our down time, we often turn to the Internet to provide entertainment, information, or connection from the world outside our busy-bubbles. And it makes me more tired sometimes to do that. The sheer number of causes, organizations, lifestyles, and groups that my newsfeed beckons me to grow more educated about or join is overwhelming with a capital O.

3. It makes me feel like an official (ahem) “experienced” adult when I see how different the world looks to my kids in comparison to my childhood. It blows my son’s mind to use an old-school paper towel dispenser at a public restroom. “But Mom! Why doesn’t it work when I wave my hand in front of it?!?”

4. A friend and I have been working on getting into healthy routines. That means I’ve been trying to actually pay attention to what I eat as well as work out consistently. First off, it’s a huge blessing to have arrived at a season where I can get up (most mornings) before the kids and work out. I’m not nearly as cranky as I had been feeling and have a ton more energy. A second point I need to make while I’m on the topic is that I was in a gross state of denial about how much sugar I actually ate every day. This does not mean that I will click on that article I keep seeing on Facebook that claims I will never eat sugar again if I read it. Nope. I won’t do it. I still love chocolate too much.

5. I’m thankful for you! Thanks for taking the time to read what I have to say. Thanks for being an encouragement to me with your own life. Would you do me a favor if you have a couple of minutes and send me a message about the kinds of things you enjoy reading when you take time to browse the web? (My email is kwesterf(at)gmail{dot}com) Your time is precious, and I want to add a positive moment to your day should you choose to stop by my blog, so let me know what you enjoy reading.

 

A Look Back on March

I started my “Because of Grace List” in January to be intentional about reflecting over the month’s accomplishments because I tend to believe the lie that all I do is run around in circles and get nothing done.

I’m convinced 3 months into the year that I do spend some time doing just that, but that’s okay. It’s just how life goes sometimes.

I tried formulating a list of things I accomplished last month, and it wasn’t working for me. What I decided to do this month is share a few pictures of my sweet, silly little family as well as a few lessons I’ve been learning.

I’m coming to accept some things about the time right after tragedy, loss, and/or intense trials hit, and they aren’t going to sound very profound, but regardless, I believe it’s important for all of us to remind ourselves of them, because we will all experience such times in our lives, and one of the things that makes the hard times worthwhile are the lessons we learn from them.

Sand box

1. Accept that hard days are allowed, and they are inevitable. We can try to be strong, but no matter what, we are all human, and we need to let go of the notion that we need to wear a brave face 24/7. Ultimately by embracing our weakness, we need to come to a place of finding incredible strength in God, but embracing weakness does require being weak.

Kite

2. Take time to slow down and recover. If you put off doing this, then your body will eventually take the choice away from you. For our family, it came in the form of one illness after the other. We had a lot of sickness in the month of March. I know that part of the reason for this is because viruses were circulating around the town, but I also believe that we were more prone to get the worst of it because our bodies were worn down.

Jedi Daddy & his girls

3. Even if it’s only once, find something to laugh at every day. I will readily admit that I had several days last month that were not great. I was cranky, my kids were cranky, we got sick, it was cloudy and dreary outside – you get the idea. But I can say that there were at least 5 minutes out of each day that included laughter and smiles. That means that I don’t have to consider the whole day a lost cause.

Sibling Silliness

4. There will be a time when you can share the wisdom you’re learning, but sometimes you have to be silent long enough to get wise. I’m learning a great deal of lessons in my life. I work on writing them down at times so that I don’t forget, but at this point, the pieces haven’t all come together yet. I am still waiting for a few “Aha!” moments to come. My tendency is to want to share what I’m learning with others, but God has without a doubt put a silencer on me right now about some topics while He and I sort through things, and I’m growing more comfortable with the arrangement. It requires me to die to myself and let Him renew and rebuild me into who He intends me to be.

Fire Fighters

5. It will get better. Sometimes we all need to hear those four words as a reminder to not give up hope. Difficult seasons are a guarantee, but they are only seasons, which means they aren’t forever. On the especially hard days, even if you internally scoff at the person who utters the reminder, you still need to hear the message of hope that there will be better days ahead.

Happy Spring

6. Don’t mistake “It will get better” with “Everything will return to the way your life was before.” As much as we wish we could go back to that comfortable spot we were in before that phone call, diagnosis, or whatever scenario that rocked your world, sometimes we are meant to be forever changed. Life is all about journeying and persevering until we reach our eternal destination. My prayer is becoming more and more, “LORD, let the person you’re turning me into make an eternal difference in the lives of those who are traveling through life with me.” Just because things will never be the same doesn’t mean we are doomed to a life of misery. Instead, make a positive difference as a result of what you’ve learned through your difficult days.

Catching Bubbles

So what are you learning and accomplishing? It would absolutely thrill me to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

This Post is for You

This post is for you, friend who is overwhelmed by life. You are loved more than you know, and you are stronger than your feelings are leading you to believe in this moment.


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This post is for you who are weary and not seeing a break in sight. Don’t let your exhaustion get the best of your ability to pray for relief. God will give it to you, but it may not look how you think it will. Sometimes that relief means asking for help, so humble yourself and do it.


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This post is for you, sweet one who is trying to keep on smiling and making your life as neat as you pictured it should be. The sooner you accept that nothing about the Christian life is tidy and comfortable for more than brief seasons at a time, the sooner your smile will become genuine and your peace soul-deep.


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This post is for you, lonely comrade, as you fight the lies that you are not loved. The fact is, you. are. loved. You are not forgotten, and God will never, under any circumstances leave you or forsake you. So today, if you can’t reach out and hug anybody because you’re by yourself, then cling to the One who loves you most and has never once left you stranded.


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This post is for you whose patience is done for the day. You don’t think you can keep it together for another second, but actually you can. Think for a minute about all that God has allowed you to do when it seemed impossible. Know your limits, take a few deep breaths, and pray for grace to even go past what you think you’re capable of.


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This post is for you who are having a good day. Don’t let guilt take over and ruin the gift that you’ve been given. Enjoy each quiet moment, laugh at the silly things you see, hug those you love, and don’t start comparing. Comparison can steal the joy right out of your good day, and you’ve been given this day to live freely, so just do it with a grateful heart.