One of the blogs I enjoy shared her What I learned in September participating with her sister (over here) and I like it. Life is all about what we are learning, right? Even though sometimes we learn the same lessons over and over again (or is that just me?). Lately I feel a bit like I cannot accomplish anything and as though my life is messy. Sitting down for a couple minutes and talking about what I’ve learned makes it feel less wasted somehow. In September I learned:
1. I am really bad at self care. Okay yes, I’ve come to this realization before, but September reinforced how incredibly bad I am at it and made me think that I should do something about it. We moved our office at the very end of August, which meant I worked long days to prep for it (on top of the usual work) and I worked the entire weekend of the move (long day Friday, all day Saturday, part of Sunday, and another long day Monday). Part of the move was a major purge of our records and everything that was long overdue, but man, a LOT of work, especially since I took the brunt of it. I’m glad we did it, but the effort and amount of work really took it out of me for a couple weeks. A week later, after being overly busy and over committed for two solid weeks surrounding the move, I started getting a cold — which virtually only happens when I am super run down. And it made me pause for a moment and realize just how bad I am at self care and decide to do something differently. I should have built in more time to recover from the move, from the busy season at work, from a few awful relational encounters that really took the wind out of my sails… Dear Reenie, MAKE SOME ROOM TO BE HUMAN IN YOUR LIFE. You know it is bad when being sick feels a bit like a “break” (okay fine, it only freed up two evenings since I didn’t want to infect other people). The takeaway: Take care of yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.
2. Boundaries are important. Again, this is a recurring theme in my life. I’ve made such huge strides since first learning about boundaries and how critical they are for healthy relationships, and yet, there is always room to grow. This is particularly funny because someone told me that I have too many boundaries. Right. Clearly not the case. Once again, I am learning how critically important boundaries are. I struggle with knowing when to say something or when to let it go, but mostly I am intensely aware that I am part of the problem – people cannot walk on you if you stop laying down and allowing it, even with the best of intentions. Healthy boundaries make for healthy relationships.
3. I love the end of summer / beginning of fall weather. Seriously. Here in southeastern Michigan, September was a month of perfect weather! It began with hot summery weather and has tempered to sunny, cool sweatshirt weather, and it has all been truly glorious. It is good sleeping weather, good bonfire weather, good sipping sangria on the porch weather, good making all the stuff in the kitchen weather, good baking weather.
4. True friends that really get you and love you are an incomparable gift. As I mentioned, September was kind of bumpy for me. And there’s nothing like feeling tired, inadequate, and attacked to make you so very thankful for the amazing friends that truly love you. I am blessed with some wonderful people in my life and they make it possible to get through the rest of it. This month included an amazing tapas party with friends, game night with one crowd, a munchkin sleepover, Labor day BBQ with friends, a Jurassic Thursday gathering, book club, a wedding weekend out of town with my brother and sister in law and darling nephew, visiting a dear friend at Law School, sitting on the couch with another friend, a DIY workshop thing with a friend, a girls night, another game night with a different crowd, brunch, dinner, ice cream date with my grandpa… SO MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE. There is something immensely comforting and uplifting about being known, understood, wanted, and loved. I am very blessed and so thankful for the gift of a wonderful community of friends.
A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter:
he that has found one has found a treasure.
There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend,
and no scales can measure his excellence.
A faithful friend is an elixir of life;
and those who fear the Lord will find him.
5. Puppies suck. They really do. And somehow at the same time they are the greatest invention ever. Daisy is my biggest productivity drag and the one that makes me laugh the most. She is good clean (while not clean at all) fun. Relentless fun, but definitely fun. Sweet, snuggly, crazy, running around like a nut job, trying to sit on your lap fun. I am so thankful she is part of my life — even if it is the crazy part. And I am noting a few subtle changes that make life feel just a bit more manageable. For example, in the morning I let the dogs out, feed them, and then they tool around (either inside or out) while I get ready for the day. When Daisy sees me pouring coffee into my mason jar, she runs and gets into her crate. She has figured out that this is what we do. I put my shoes on and then pour coffee into a jar and leave for work and she has connected the dots and actually goes into her crate for me, knowing that is the next thing. I LOVE IT. Of course she does it because she knows she gets a treat when she goes into her crate, but I don’t care. Just this little thing makes me feel like we are making progress in this game of integrating the puppy into our household and our routines (and not just contending with the chaos).
6. Paint is magical. ‘Nuff said.
7. Jesus. Above all, I need Jesus. There is nothing like grappling with human frailty and limitations and sin to make me realize just how much I need a Savior. I am so very grateful that He carries us in the storm and that He continually calls us forward into His Heart and His Love. This journey we are on is all about Jesus. This journey is worth the ups and downs, the joys and the struggles because ultimately the One who calls us to eternity with Him is worth it. Come Lord Jesus.
Phil. 4: 8-9
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.