Let me start by saying I hope you can really hear my heart in this entry. I have felt rather discouraged lately. Disappointed in myself for a variety of reasons. Frustrated with a few current aspects of my life. Let down by people I love. This came to a bit of a head this weekend after cancelling my 'girls weekend' trip I was so excited about because I had a rather large, unexpected expense. This put me having the whole weekend open, last minute.
I sat down on Thursday night and really thought about my weekend. About this funk I've been in lately and of just how I was planning on kicking my butt back into gear. Unfortunately, it was kind of a wimpy failure SO...Friday night I was plopped in front of the TV, watching a movie and doing a bit of wallowing when I had one of those 'come to Jesus' moments with myself where I said, I'm not doing this. I'm not going to mop around this house another minute. I showered, got dressed, and headed to celebrate a friend's birthday. I ended up having a great time, staying out past my bedtime, and thinking 'why did I ever want to mop on my couch to begin with?'.
Saturday morning I woke up with the urge to purge and by 2:00 I had cleaned up the garage, cleaned out my closet, dropped donations at Goodwill, sold a dish set on Craiglist (and met the woman at Target to exchange), and stopped by the consignment shop I use here in Tampa. Whew. Time to get out some old - simplify, streamline, and focus in on 'needs' v. 'wants' on a few new levels.
I had lunch with Aubs and we talked about some of the same things. We both agree frustration is a perfect way to word our current state - on several levels. I'm so blessed by having her as my sounding board. But what I told her over fro yo is this - 'I think I have to take more ownership. This is the life I've made for myself. The good and the bad. I made it, I can change it. Maybe not as fast as I want - but I can. I think I need to really start seeing it that way'.
I agreed to babysit both Saturday and Sunday nights to help pay for said 'expense' that kept me home this weekend. I spent the night watching movies, reading books,and writing a few encouraging cards to friends while the kiddos slept. Then I pulled out my notebook and I started writing. What am I grateful for? What's going right? What are 3 things I'm doing well - right now? What can I improve on? What can be cut out? What do I want out of the rest of 2011?
I was suddenly feeling inspired, motivated, and most of all...encouraged. I not only have so much to be thankful for and so many opportunities to improve the areas I feel frustrated with - but I'm ahead of where I thought I would be at 25! As for the people I'm feeling a little put off with I tried something I'm sure I've never done before...I sat down after I got home that night and I prayed for them. For each and every one of them by name and by situation. And in case you know me pretty well - I should assure you I didn't pray anything bad on them OR pray that they'd magically see the light and do things my way. If you're laughing now, you've probably been my friend for more than a day and you know how I am.
I prayed for the Lord to show me my side of things. Am I meeting their expectations? Have I apologized for my wrong doings, my shortcomings, and my selfishness in areas of those same relationships? I prayed for what the Lord is doing in their lives. For what they have on their plate. For what the future holds for each of them. And most of all I prayed the Lord would bless them.
I don't know if those people felt my prayers this weekend but I can assure you I woke up Sunday morning feeling really differently. Feeling positive. Feeling excited. Peaceful. Blessed. And really feeling like so much of what I carried into the weekend as sadness, bitterness, or disappointment was gone, replaced by a renewed desire to be diligent in my relationships.
Sunday morning with a sweet friend, Kayla, I baked over 200 pancakes for the middle schoolers of my church. Former 5th graders made the more up to 6th grade yesterday morning and I hope they felt welcomed by our pancakes.
Serving in big and small ways really gets me out of my funks. And I was blessed to get to share my new found love of the kitchen with others this weekend.
I lunched with Kayla and Aubs after church and had great conversation over great food (dilla explosion salad - yes please). Followed by hours at the pool with Kayla and my favorite neighbors. And I came away from that time feeling refreshed and renewed.
This Saturday of inspiration was followed by the following 2 notes of encouragements from sweet friends:
via facebook message: Just want you to know that you inspire and encourage me. love you and think you are an amazing creation of the Father!!..
What a timely little note of encouragement from a faraway friend. I AM a creation of the Father, aren't I? Guess I should be owning that a little more regularly.
Followed by an e-mail from a sweet friend and a woman I admire more than you know:
I just love you I want you to know and you inspire me:) You have more wisdom than your years and I pray that when my girls grow up they have the desire and thirst for wisdom and knowledge like you have. So give your mom a hug for me and remind her what a great job she did in raising you:)
One of my precious guy friends has been such a blessing as an encourager in my life lately as well. I was in a frenzy last week to get to work (it was Monday of course) when I got his text and all it said was 'Man you are stunning'. Now this is a guy friend who doesn't live in Florida, so I knew he hadn't seen me lately (obviously) but after I wrote back like wha? - he said he was just looking at the picture from my sister baby shower and thinking how beautiful I am, inside and out. I was overwelmed. Truly.
What the world values as beautiful, may be fleeting - but what girl doesn't need the occasional reminder from a guy friend that he thinks she's stunning? I'm thankful for his friendship for many reasons that go beyond him thinking I'm pretty, but I have to say - it was a timely message for a frenzied girl in a funk.
I have to say I'm not sure I deserve the title of inspiring anyone, especially lately, not to mention stunning. But I'm thankful. Oh so thankful for the encouragers in my life. For their answering the Lords call to speak those into my life 'at random' perfectly planned by God times when I need it the most.
To report back - this year has definitely reached a new level for me in my learning to faithfully encourage others (as I talked about in that December blog post). I'm glad the Lord showed me that I was doing a poor job of saying what I was feeling about others and has taught me to share just how fabulous I think these people are. I hope they feel encouraged by me - because I sure have felt the encouragement of others this year, and especially this week.