Oh boy. This is why I try to avoid saying ‘I’ll post more often’ or ‘I’ll be posting more soon’, etc. What a gap.
Life has been very busy. Sometimes good busy, sometimes not so much, but it’s been a good summer and start to Autumn (yes, meteorologically it is Autumn) and I’ve learned and experienced so much and am just so bloody excited that I had to carve out some time to blog a bit.
Mostly, mostly, what I’ve been learning is how to further apply what I’ve already learned. That I need to love myself, how to accept myself, how to continually deal with the interruptions and distractions and discouragements that attempt to dissuade me from loving myself properly, and how to pursue feeding my soul well with consistency. It’s very much an ongoing process. Over the summer, I was extremely inconsistent when it came to doing Bible study, and I know better! But, as was hashed out with a wonderful visit with a friend today, we have to practice this stuff or we fall into old habits. That’s what I’m battling currently – the old habits and the silly thoughts and lies that try to nudge me into indulgence rather than good self care that I genuinely need.
I’ve gotten to share some of what I’ve learned with two very good friends, and learned that we’ve all basically been going through the same thing, albeit at slightly different times and paces. It’s been such an encouragement and we’ve shared resources, and it’s brought even more clarity to my own experience.
I had a lovely visit home in the summer, got to visit with a family member more personally than I’ve ever gotten to before, and it was fantastic. Through this, I got a hold of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUNaZinoH_0 Now, Mark Gungor here is giving a marriage seminar, actually four sessions which is why it’s so freaking long, but! this was so incredibly insightful for a variety of relationships, including my work relationships. And he’s hilarious, this can be watched just for the laughs, honestly. But what I love most is it provided a far better teaching on relationships than I have gotten in church thus far. I love my church, I’ve loved all the churches I’ve gone to/been brought up in, but to be honest a lot of the teaching women in particular receive in the church on relationships is crap. It’s either wrong or not well-balanced and it leads to some issues. Anyways, this. This was awesome. And explained not only some more nuances of my personality (I’m a ‘Peace’ person – that’s session three, I think) but also some of why I stayed so long in the very-not-good-emotionally-abusive relationship a while back, and it gave me some things to work on just on my own outside of any romantic relationships to learn how to just be a better version of myself before I consider entering into anything else. Which makes me just thrilled to bits. I love good teaching. Love it, love it, love it.
The women’s Bible study I started attending last year has started up again, and I’m so excited for the study and to get to be with these women and work through these things together. We’re doing another Priscilla Shirer study, called Breathe, and it’s about having ‘margins’ in your life based on the doctrine of the Sabbath. As with all the other studies, this is so timely.
I’ve begun making some margins in my life; actually began last year with realising boundaries are healthy and necessary for sanity. I’ve been pretty good so far with my work, sticking to a reasonable schedule, revising my policies so they don’t put a lot of undue stress on me, closed a few loopholes and dropped (kindly) some clients who were definitely not acting like the people Mr. Rogers knew we could be. And, best of all, I’ve worked fairly far ahead with my work so that I should be just dealing with a few incidental things outside of my work hours, thus freeing up time for other projects. Like that thesis, which will. get. writ.
Which I won’t get into right now. But what I will get into is that I got to see some family members this summer I haven’t seen in a long time, and it just filled my heart so very, very much. I’m already planning a road trip/tenting trip to visit them and various friends, because I realised I can include some introvert time in my holiday better this way :oD Takes me a while, but I’m learning!
And now, my plans for the year. Work is largely under control; I have a bit more to catch up on soon, and then incidentals, but the bulk of my ‘homework’ is done. My volunteer projects at the church do not feel like work; they are right in my comfort zone in terms of me loving what I get to do, while stretching me in terms of experience; and I get to spend time with people that are extremely good influences and sources of encouragement. I’m going to be careful with doing more, but I’m pretty excited. Bible study is back in play; now it’s about consistency. I’m eating better; now I need to get off my ass and actually be physically active. I also want to read more, and to give myself permission to read more (maybe sounds silly, but this is an issue with me; I am still learning to give myself permission to do the things my soul needs even when there’s a pending ‘to do’ list). My relationships seem to be in pretty good shape, with my family, with friends. I need to be more consistent with prayer, because I need it, not out of obligation. I know this but I get distracted. I am letting chats and messages go when I’m busy, and while I don’t like making people wait, it’s been good. Really, really good. And I return when I know I can respond well and not pass on stress. My house is rather chaotic, so I’m going to deal with some of that (trying to not do the unreasonable to do list thing anymore) today. And piano. Somewhere in there I want to practice piano decently, because I know it de-stresses me and fills me up and brings me joy.
And one weird note before I end this rambling update. I am so loving Autumn this year. Which is strange, because it has been my least favourite season. I loved Spring, because at least the snow would melt and Summer would be on its way. Summer was a favourite because I got to see family and take breaks from things and I love the heat. Winter I love because snow is pretty and Christmas!!!!!!!!! But Autumn was when everything turned brown and died, and the big spiders came into my house, and all these stresses came back with school and such, and I would move away from my family and feel lonely. But this year, maybe I’m not so susceptible to stress because I’m taking care of myself a little better, and my Mom is close so I feel less lonely, and now I think of Autumn as cozy and pretty and a time for pumpkins, cider, sharing all the yummy and soul-filling things we have with people we love, and dressing up. Plus, the rain has returned finally, and I love the rain. I’m remembering how last year the rain made me feel Christmassy because I now associate it with the advent of winter. All of this has me feeling filled up and blessed, and while I know that I have so much to learn and to practice and to grow in, I can see how far God has brought me just since a year ago when I was in a notably dark place. I have a lot of gratitude and awe in my heart right now, and whether it lasts or not I’m enjoying it now ❤