If we can be honest with each other for a moment, I don’t think any of us need to be reminded to be grateful for something. I think many of us know that already. Yet, we don’t want to be THAT person who seems ungrateful for the things we should be grateful for, so we go along with every post, blog, vlog, and email that unintentionally makes us feel guilty for feeling bad about the tough moments we’ve encountered. (Hmmm….maybe it’s just me 🙂 )
Yes, yes, and yes! We do have things to be grateful for. I’m 100% onboard with gratitude, but sometimes—again, if we’re being honest—in the middle of a storm, it’s just difficult. And you want to know why? It’s because of one small thing. Are you ready for it? Here it is. It’s because…you’re human!
Instead of approaching this last blog of 2020 about what we should be grateful for (I already know you’re grateful for something), I’m reflecting on my personal lessons learned (in no particular order). Lessons are meant to teach us something. My lessons may not be your lessons, but I pray you find encouragement to examine your own.
How valuable my health really is.
If there’s one thing COVID has shown us is that it does not discriminate. Young, old, black, white, Christian, agnostic, healthy, unhealthy. In some instances, it really has been the roll of the dice of who gets it, who gets it severely, who has no symptoms, and who recovers (and then how long it takes them). All the more reason I have learned to value my health even more.
God REALLY does look out for me when I put Him first.
I’ve truly learned the meaning of coming to the end of myself. Somedays I have to be intentional about it, but He meets me there every time.
A teenager who actually likes to hang with me is pretty awesome!
Anyone who has ever had or been a teenager knows this is worthy of a ‘hallelujah!’
Things CAN be replaced AND it’s okay to miss them.
I heard my fair share of “things can be replaced” comments when my house caught on fire. It’s a very true statement. Yet, I’ve learned that missing your things is absolutely okay too. I think we try to be “honorable” and not make it about “the things” when you lose them, but you can miss your things without making life about them. The box of “mom” gifts that I had from Jadyn since she started preschool, that “perfect” outfit, that blanket, and that sweatshirt. At the end of the day, I simply miss them.
Therapy is invaluable.
Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a huge advocate for counseling. Counseling does not make you weak. Leave that myth behind in 2020.
Plan but with flexibility.
I have learned that allowing God to be in control of my life means I should write down my plans in pencil. I have to do my part with plans and goals for my life, but I’ve learned to be ready to use that eraser every now and again with a few (awesome) rewrites.
What you do with your time is on you.
I don’t mean that to sound harsh in tone but it’s absolutely true. There’s been days where when I’m not working, I’m writing or brainstorming ideas for my next book. Other moments I’m binging on Hulu or playing that mindless game on my phone. Each is needed in my world but if I spend too much time on one and not the other, that’s no one’s fault but my own. Use your time wisely and don’t blame others.
You can be cautious without being fearful.
You can be discerning and cautious, without living in fear. (I promise it’s doable!)
God can and will strip you in order to build you back up stronger.
I’ve been stripped of possessions, people, and property this year. At times, it has left me feeling vulnerable, depleted, and flat out stressed. But I’ve quickly learned that having things removed isn’t always as bad as we may think. Especially if it’s leads to something better.
Learn to love you!
Lessons 1-9 have led me to this final lesson. When you’re stripped, when you come to the end of yourself, when you allow God to fully be Lord over your life, you come to a place that’s truly invaluable of learning to love who God made you.
(And for the record, yes, for each of these, I’m grateful 🙂 )
I pray God’s blessing over you for a better 2021! Happy New Year!