Do you ever take the expectations of those around you–family, friends, foes, colleagues, and beat yourself up with them? Let your own assumptions sneak up into your emotionally tender spots and bite you? Paralyze you with the fear that you don’t measure up? Me too. Keep reading.
On any given day, the stack of hats we wear can be staggering. The list of the roles we manage 24/7 is a long one, no matter our age and stage in life. On top of that…the list of tasks and inevitable interruptions stream-live most every day. No wonder we get overwhelmed, grow claws and fangs and bark like a beast of burden. Oh, maybe that’s just me? Maybe not. There’s hope! Let’s chat about 10 Liberating Soul Care Practices.
Turns out I grew up surrounded by a treasure trove and didn’t know it. The gift of having girls and women older than me in my life. Women who, whether they knew it or not, poured into me out of their life experience and faith in God. In my 30’s and 40’s, while in the throes of momming two tween-into-teenage girls, serving a husband who had suffered a physical disability and the loss of his career, and losing my dad and walking through my fifty-six-year-old mother’s grief with her, I discovered the value of hanging out with older women who could speak life and shine light on my dizzying days.
While reading Magnolia Journal on December 29, 2021, I gazed to the page of an article, “let delight reign,” written by Joanna Gaines. That’s when I laid eyes on the right word for me. Yes, I knew at first sight my word for 2022 was delight! A word I normally associate with a child. I pictured a wide-eyed, jaw dropping reaction to something that inspired wonder and awe in a little one.
Some mornings it feels like I’m walking side by side with Jesus on dusty roads or sitting on grassy hillsides listening to His teachings. This was one of those mornings. As I read through chapter 10, I could hear the confusion and disbelief in the Pharisees’ voices. And the confident, compassionate clarity in voice of The Good Shepherd.
Friend, even with some states, cities, business, and medical services starting to open up some, life is far from normal. And all of that on top of the usual stresses of everyday life. While you and I can find much to be grateful for in every season, the stress of change and uncertainty are real. I’m in this chaotic and wonderful life with you, and I have five strategies that can help you lighten your load.
You can’t tell me you’ve never blundered; never embarrassed yourself with a mistaken word or a committed or omitted action. Can you? Please tell me you have a similar story. I hate to think I’m the only one out there perpetuating mess-ups. Laughter is good for the soul, and a foolproof checklist is good for the heart.
If we live long enough you and I will stare down many harbors of heartache. The burial of a loved one. Betrayal. The loss of a career. A chronic illness. Financial disaster. The list is long. Right now you might feel stuck in a season of sorrow. Or have a friend who is camped in a hurting place. This resource is for you.