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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Priorities and Time

Today I was a little melancholy.

I'm not sure why, exactly, except that the weekend goes by so quickly.

And the fall foliage was beautiful on Pine Mountain, but the leaves were falling quickly, which led me to think of how soon winter is here.

And I have an almost 16 year old who was sitting in the front seat.

Almost 16.

I found myself thinking this weekend how quickly time really does fly. It seems the older I get, the faster it goes.

I guess that can be a good thing and a bad thing... good because if you're dreading something, it won't last for long. Bad because you blink and your baby is 16.

So, in my melancholy mood, I found myself ruminating on lots of different things.

How hard I find it to make friends and how lonely I feel sometimes.

I've been clinging to the belief that you have to fight for joy, but sometimes the battle is long and we get weary, even though our blessings are staring us right in the face.

Joy in the moment is something we must fight for, because as I said, time goes by so quickly and if you're not joyful, you're wasting the time you've got.

I preach that to myself probably ten times a day, and most days I preach sense into myself... but then other days it feels good to wallow.

As bad as I hate to admit it, I'm a wallower sometimes.

God gets it, though. We know that because one of the best stories Jesus told to illustrate salvation and mercy and grace had a young man spending his time and his resources unwisely (hello, procrastinators and those who dwell on the difficulties...) only to end up wallowing in a pigsty.

I'm so thankful He's not put off by the smell of mud, because I sure stink of it sometimes.

Wasting time... in whatever form you choose... is a joy killer.

Today I looked at my calendar and was shocked to see that there's only one more month in the year. I mean, I knew it... but it just doesn't seem real.

Every month my planner gives me the opportunity to appraise my previous month. I've not always filled out the pages, but this morning I paused to review the month of October and found that I honestly didn't remember much of it.

I then found myself looking at my priorities... or what I believe to be my priorities. My time doesn't reflect what I think are my priorities. Too often I get bogged down by stuff that doesn't even matter to me.

So today we drove to Letcher Co. to see the fall foliage on Pine Mountain. Brilliant oranges and yellows and reds...

And I forced myself to walk, enjoying the cool breeze as the sunset (at 530 PM.  I will not complain about the time change. I will not...)

And I ate a cupcake and loved every morsel of the strawberry flavor, even though it probably defeated the purpose of my walk.

I read my Kindle for a few minutes and soaked in the bathtub and read Jeremiah and Ezekiel because I'm months behind on my Chronological Bible reading.

Tomorrow I'll make time for family and laugh with them and celebrate my boy's birthday at his party and try not to dramatize the fact that on Tuesday he'll be 16... and then I'll blink and he'll be 40 and I'll be near dead.

Ok... so melancholy AND dramatic are kind of my forte...


Thursday, November 1, 2018

#Last90Days

So I made it through the month of October and only missed three days writing, which deserves a great big pat on the back. I'm learning to be my own cheerleader...

At the beginning of last month I joined a challenge focusing on living intentionally the last 90 days of the year. The premise is that if you start the year with a bang, you should end the year with the same excitement. If you've read this blog at all, you know I was pretty excited to see 2018 get started...

mainly because I wasn't in a good place emotionally, spiritually, physically... I was a little (or a lot) mad at God for some things that aren't even worth discussing now, but was too stubborn to admit it. Because of that, I was feeling a little lost and alone... so what better to do than focus on changing things myself??? (Because we all know how that works out! The best laid plans of mice and men... A man purposes in his heart, but God...)

So fast forward to hear and now. I'm in a better place but it's not anything that I DID. It's because I finally realized that I really can't do anything without Him... but I do love a good social media challenge. And living intentionally doesn't mean I'm going to change the world. No huge resolutions... because they don't work. Just setting some goals, working on some steps to reach those goals, and STOP THE LYING to myself.

It focuses on five components. The first one I just said up front I wasn't going to do, because I've tried it and it doesn't work. When I was a baby, I liked to sit up all night. My Mom and Dad talk about having to drive me in the car. I'd be perfectly content to sit up until 2 AM if I could sleep until 11... so getting up earlier just isn't an option for me. I swear my best sleep is in the 20 minutes I get when I snooze my alarm two times (ok, 18 minutes, but who's counting). As much as I love the IDEA of getting up and hitting the treadmill and reading my Bible and collecting my thoughts, I just don't see it happening. I'm convinced God made my circadian rhythm the way He did, so I'll settle for reading my Bible at night and getting in exercise when I can.

The second component is moving... and I have done better with that. Not great, not perfect, but it's something I know I need to do. The colder, rainy weather has slowed my running down, but I'm not punishing myself for it, nor have I completely quit, which is what I have done in the past. And I've bought lots of stickers for my planner, so when I put a shoe and a "killer ab" workout in there I have to actually do it because we all know planners are binding.

Third was to eliminate one food. I had started a love affair with Little Debbie donuts... so we've not bought anymore. Sweets are my downfall, but I've not let a chocolate donut pass my lips. (I have indulged in a blueberry donut... but not a dozen, which is what usually happened. Y'all, I'm so bad. So, so bad...)

Fourth is drinking 1/2 your body weight in water. I've struggled with this one, too. Like today... I only drank one bottle...but I am downsizing my Diet Coke option, and am at least drinking SOME water, which is better than nothing.

Lastly, writing down 10 things you are grateful for every day. Yes, ten. And honestly, sometimes that is a daunting task. Sometimes I write the same things over and over... but I've found myself looking for things through the day.

It takes 30 days, supposedly, to start a habit. I'm not sure I buy into that, because I'm not consistent, but I do know that my last 30 days were some of the better days of 2018. I'm not convinced it was because of this challenge... but I think that being intentional had something to do with it.

But I'm thinking that the biggest part of it is I finally opened my heart back up... to God and to love and to being vulnerable and to admitting that it's ok not to be ok...

And to worship Him through it all.

Here's to the last 61 days of 2018... and the rest of our lives. One day, one minute, one hour at a time...