Let me start by acknowledging this isn’t a post I thought I would ever write.
I’m typically a glass-half-full, encourager — lover of life and all things sparkly, celebratory and fun.
But not this week.
I’ve found myself slipping into a sadness, and having a hard time even getting out of bed each day. Suffice it to say, it’s been an extremely tough week.
I can see how circumstances have helped lead me to this point. Take 3 out-of-state ministry trips + one nagging, annoying cough + a sick grandmother + end-of-school year schedule + hospice + cancelled birthday party + grandmother’s visitation and funeral (on your birthday) + cancelled 10 K + sad kiddos = one weary and sad mama.
I wonder if you can relate? Have you ever had the “blues” before, friend?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here’s what I’m learning is helping me to get stronger — emotionally, physically, and spiritually — day by day.
You gotta know REST doesn’t come naturally for a Type A, get ‘r done girl like me.
But I am learning, growing, and taking steps towards incorporating blocks of rest into my schedule.
Over the past few weeks, I have taken extra naps, accepted John’s offer to sleep in and let him handle the morning routine, let my “To Do” list go and snuck off to the bookstore by myself, and scheduled extra coffee chats with life-giving friends.
The gift of rest has become a much needed lifesaver to me during this season.
If I can learn to rest, you can too. How do you best experience the gift of rest?
2. Extend Grace.
Like you, my To Do list is long, although lately mine has been borderline overwhelming.
When I’m choosing to rest, things are going undone, emails are left unanswered, FB messages pile up, and people get disappointed.
To beat the blues, I’m learning to extend much grace to myself.
- I talk kindly to myself.
- I remind myself my worth is not based on what I do, how clean the house is, and whether or not we have weeds growing in our flowerbed (whew.)
- I’ve been careful to extend the same grace to myself I would to a close friend. If I wouldn’t say it to a friend, I don’t say it to myself (i.e. I’d never say, “I can’t believe you took a nap today. You’re so lazy!” so I don’t bully myself either.)
- If I’d say it to a friend, I say it to me. (i.e. “Wow, you’ve had a full past few weeks. It makes sense your body is still tired and getting stronger. Why don’t you put your feet up and enjoy some time reading or resting?” Yes, please.)
Let’s sprinkle grace everywhere we go, starting with ourselves.
3. Share Your Feelings
It’s been very helpful to have a small handful of close girlfriends to share how I am really doing. Their words of love and encouragement have helped restore my weary soul.
Most importantly, it’s been great to have a husband to listen and affirm my need to rest and get stronger.
It’s also been helpful to sit with a notebook and ask myself the questions:
- What am I sad about?
- What am I worried about?
- What am I mad about?
- What am I glad about?
Our feelings matter, friend.
(Now we shouldn’t base all our decisions and choices off of our feelings, but we don’t need to stuff and numb them either, right?) My philosophy:
Y’all, mostly this week I want to stay curled up under my blankie and drink an insane amount of Starbucks.
This would not be a healthy, helpful way to deal with my stress and allow God to heal my weary soul.
So even when I don’t want to, I have been getting up and moving. Walking on the treadmill. Walking with a close friend. Doing ab work-outs with my Benj. You get the drift.
To help overcome the blues, we might want to monitor and adjust our fitness routine, but it’s still important to get up, move, and get those endorphins going.
5. Pay Attention
Lastly, I am learning to pay attention to the circumstances and details that helped lead me to this point. Are there changes I need to make in my personal life? Schedule? Family routine?
How is God at work, and where is He leading and guiding? What is helping restore my soul?
In the midst of this challenging season, I have been trying to pay close attention to His lead, and will be making changes whereas to not get this empty again. (More details to come soon. #OperationSummerSabbatical is coming. I cannot wait.)
I’m also paying attention to make sure day by day I’m making progress. If I get stuck in my sadness, or do not see improvement, I will make phone calls and/or appointments, as necessary.
Sweet friend, we do not have to journey alone. Please pay attention to how you are doing, and if you find yourself slipping into sadness, let others help you.
Enough about me, how about YOU?
How are you doing these days, really? Have you ever found yourself faced with the “blues?”
Y’all, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but thankfully we know the One Who does.
And this I know: He gives rest to the weary, and He restores our souls.
How do you stay “filled up” so you don’t “fizzle out” and find yourself extra fatigued? What has worked during seasons you’ve experienced weariness and/or sadness? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles,* sweet friend. I thank God for you!
Thank you for sharing how you’re feeling and what you’re doing to care for yourself. Unfortunately, I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for 25 years now, so I know the drill. Certainly there are times that are better (new church, wonderful husband) and times that are worse (lost my Mom, lost my job) but my “normal” is different from what a lot of other people experience. I want to let everyone know that there is no shame in how you feel. Use your quiet time, use your friends, and use medical professionals if you need. God uses means to heal us, and you should take advantage of all the means of grace that He makes available to you. Lean in, be brave, and pray lots. There is always hope for the future.
Dear Kathy, I am so thankful you left your powerful comment. Thank you! Love your brave words, including “Lean in, be brave, and pray lots.” Amen! You have blessed me today, sweet friend. May God shower His hope and joy all over you and your loved ones today! xo
Cindy thank you for this brave post . I am so proud of you and praying big for your renewal and time of rest !!! I love you and am praying for you !
Cindy, God chooses to use you for others it seems in whatever you’re doing or going through. Wonderful insight and advice. Lifting up a prayer for your rest and refreshing. Also a prayer of praise as God smiles over you for all you allow Him to do through you.