For those of you who purchased the book “Inspiration for Girlfriends…” by Miller, you know that we are on a journey to find uncommon joy. That joy that exists even when we are at our worst. Miller has told us how she copes and I have related some stories about my life. We have been learning about “Cocooning”, a period of time of retreat in which we step back and evaluate our lives, finding out what is important and that which is not. We have even been challenged to dream in away we have not done since that time in our childhood when everything was possible.
I have made a committment to my spiritual growth and development. I know that repetition breeds habit. I want to be the best wife/mother/daughter/friend that I can be. I guess I want to be the best person I can be. In the words of Nichole Nordeman, “I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me? Did I choose to love?” I never want the people that know me, to not know how I feel about them. I know that this seems fake to some people (who don’t know me) but for the better part of my life, I have been honest. Compliments flow freely from me but they are always honest and true. I whole heartedly feel that we don’t tell the people around us, even the most important, how we feel about them and just how special they are. Everyone has something that makes them shine. You just have to find it.
God is good. He has blessed my life with so much. It can be difficult at times to remember that when the worldly things tend to drag us down, but there is a reason for it. I don’t have time to take a couple of days to cocoon or unplug. I have too many important commitments like my husband, my children and my parents. I do have a few hours to give to myself. Maybe it is getting my nails done or sitting at a coffee shop and reading. It is a committment that I have not been faithful to and my spiritual life suffers for it. I am rededicating myself. I am taking time for me. I will say no to one thing this week and instead do something for myself. I am trying to teach myself that in doing this, I will be a better person for everyone around me.
What is one thing that you have done for yourself in the past week?
When was the last time you dreamed? Not a nighttime dream but a wide awake, if-I-could-have-anything-in-the-world kind of dream? I know for me it has been so long. My dreams are of simple things like paying off all our bills and the kids making decent grades. These are all valid things to want but they really aren’t pie in the sky dreams or as Miller puts it, “Big Honkin’ Barbie-pink Dreams.”
Miller goes on to say, “I think women get so busy with the nits and nats of life that we fail to be still and allow God to fill our minds with possibilities.” I know I can relate to this. Constantly going from here to there and trying to balance work and family life can be stressful and exhausting. When I know I should get up and work out I crawl under the covers for just a few more minutes of sleep. I always say that life gets in the way of everything we plan. The funny thing is, it isn’t even our plan! If you think about it, when you are still, when you quit your worrying, that is when things fall into a natural balance. Not to sound to Forrest Gump but my momma always said, if you don’t follow the instruction manual, the parts are going to break down and there can’t be a guarantee.
This week I am going to make a list of three things that are big dreams for me. Things that I want to do but never get around to doing or think I can never do in the first place. I challenge you to do the same. What is just one dream that you would like to see come to fruition?
Heaven knows I do too much. Even after I have cut back and said no to so many things, I find my self at times, overwhelmed. Everyone says, “Take time for yourself” but it seems like if I ever get the chance it quickly fills with, “I really need your help”. In “Inspiration for Girlfriends” Miller gives us a guideline to help save our sanity. It is pretty simple in theory and there are only three things: Rest, Renewal, Rededication. Today we will address resting.
Miller calls her period of rest, which she takes every year and for a lengthy time, Cocooning. Miller says it is, ” an absolute requirement to renewing one’s mind, body and soul.” She suggests that we take a week to up to a month to unplug and focus ourselves but even she finds it hard to rest. I can relate. The minute I find time at home I fill it with cleaning or organizing something. I recently had surgery and they told me to rest and it was so difficult for me to just sit.
I am going to take some time for my own sanity’s sake. My life is dedicated, by choice, to helping others but when my tank is empty, then I can’t give anything to anyone. I can only be effective if I take the time to fill up spiritually. When I am totally rested and focused, I am amazed not only by what I can achieve, but about how effective I can be. Everything falls apart when I am depleted. Knowing this is half the battle and I know it is easier said than done. (There are so many other clichés I could use here!) I know I am not alone in this. We spread ourselves so thin that the least little thing will break us. I am going to challenge myself to take at least 1 hour this week only for myself: no phone, no computer, no plug.
Wish me luck.