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