It’s Back to the Basics

I went to a party last night and since it’s customary to take your shoes off when you go into a home here in Sweden I did…and my immediate reaction was “I’m so sorry my feet look terrible and unkept” (sorry mom…)

It’s not that I am a princess who must get manicures and pedicures all the time but quite honestly there are a few things in life that I enjoy doing to make my somewhat hectic life more centred. Admittedly some of these things are very first-world and I could get some flack for calling them basics. So here is your warning: these may not all be basics for everyone but hear my heart and know that life is definitely not “all about me”…

You know those moments where you just want to go crawl into bed and hide for days? Or maybe it is the days that nothing you put on fits right or feels good? Maybe yesterday every time someone even tried to say hello you got overly frustrated and irritated? Maybe just because your boyfriend didn’t call, you cried? Or when the baby just would not fall asleep at 3am, for  2 hours and you felt like you don’t even know why you decided to become a mother or a father. Maybe you feel like your wife hasn’t stopped nagging you for days? Or has your roommate NEVER cleaned up?

These are just a few of what I feel like are evidence of a mind and body that is not taking care of itself. Let’s face it, most of the time when things are not going right around us it’s because of what is happening IN us. I have an amazing friend who often gets my rants when any of the applicable above have happened to me. She is one of the people I have allowed to speak completely freely into my life…and knows everything about me. My favourite reminder from her is always her first question after I have finished my rant, “Chelles, so are you keeping up the basics?”

And…after a momentary pause and a quick evaluation the answer is usually a quite, soft “no”.

When we think of the basics we usually think food and water. Yes, these are the very basics but everyone has their own basics which need to be sorted in order to live a full and healthy life. I have figured out what mine are…some of them are must-must basics and others are every few weeks rather than weekly (like manicures/pedicures) or even hourly but these things in my life mean that I can be the best I can be and fulfil the purpose I have here for others.

So here are mine…and in no particularly order of importance…all have their own place

  • read my bible, listen to worship music, pray: connect to God constantly
  • exercise regularly
  • get a lot of fresh air
  • coffee
  • drink lots and lots of water
  • limit the amount of sugar I ingest (which is almost zero now)
  • eat regularly and unprocessed
  • get my nails and hair done
  • keep warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot (this affects me)
  • get enough, proper sleep (so it doesn’t just mean time but I always make sure my bed is clean, with lots of pillows and blankets. It’s my oasis)
  • talk to my friends regularly
  • connect with my family regularly

These are my basics…you’ll have your own (although a lot of these will overlap). We’re all different and I encourage you to find out your strengths and weaknesses (for example; I’m an extrovert, so I get energy from being around people, HOWEVER, I am also an only child and very much know my limitations when it comes to how much alone time I need (it’s more than most think))

Take some time and remember that you need to be the best you can be so it’s okay to understand how you tick. You’ll be better off to your friends, roommates, husbands, wives, kids, boss…we want to live strong and excellent lives so please, invest in the basics.

And if you need a few suggestions for a busy season I found this blog which will give you 55 ways to maintain your sanity…

xxM

 

Goodbye can bring a brand new hello

Happy one month!!! Yes, it’s true…one month ago I got on a plane and left my life in London for a new life in Stockholm.

Admittedly it’s not always easy and I spent a good chunk of last week in a daze but mostly it’s pretty amazing…I really don’t have much to say except that saying goodbye to a part of your life can be really scary but I have, in one month, seen how many hellos can come from one goodbye and it’s exciting…

xx michelle

Wounded part two…

When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward. 

…this includes yourself…

There’s a point where you just need to let go.  A very wise person told me that one day you’ll look back and see how far you have come but there may always be moments where you feel so broken…and that is okay. I had felt broken lately. It’s probably the moving to a new place, new language, new friends, new church etc…etc…but part of it, I know that this is a season of healing that is taking place…

I wrote an email a few months ago which I never sent and I will never send. This email allowed me to say everything I wanted to say, everything that needed to be said but that I was never given the chance to do. With no filter I wrote and wrote and wrote until I had forgiven…and a few days ago it was time to write another email.

This time I wrote the email to me…and I want to share a bit here…

But most of all…

 I forgive me. I forgive me for blaming myself for falling in love. I forgive me for not showing wisdom in the situation and not listening to the Holy Spirit when I knew there was something wrong. I forgive me for every second that I blamed myself for the end and for not being good enough. I forgive the nights that I looked at myself and hated myself for not being everything you needed. I can’t be. I’m not. I could only love like I knew how and to the best of my ability. I forgive myself for thinking that because you didn’t talk to me it meant that I had done something wrong. I forgive myself for all the thoughts I had in anger, in regret, in disappointment, in fear.  

I forgive myself for the energy I spent wanting you back the way things were, for now I see that in fact, the way things were was great but wasn’t completely you. I forgive myself for the times I didn’t explain to you that I was upset not at you but at me. I forgive myself for hating my body, my emotions, my entire being. I forgive myself for the fact that I didn’t love myself enough to tell you how I really felt or love myself enough to understand that just because you didn’t want me enough to fight that i’m still MORE than enough. I forgive myself for telling myself I could not cry. I forgive myself for all the years of not trusting people. I forgive myself for hating who I am in moments where I felt tired, or sick or anxious. 

I forgive me. 

Unforgiveness can destroy a person. I think we often forget “us” in the equation. I have had to forgive a lot of people in my life and I have definitely had to be forgiven way too many times to count, but what I have realised most recently is that there are things in life that I had to forgive myself for. There were moments, thoughts and actions (or lack of action) that I needed to put in the past and say to me “It’s okay, you have moved on.”

This journey of healing is not easy but it’s so worth it.

Maybe you haven’t forgiven yourself for something you did in the past, or perhaps it wasn’t something you did but something that you thought. Maybe you hate your body and have told it lies. Maybe you didn’t think you had value…whatever it is…maybe it’s time to write yourself a letter or stand in front of the mirror and say “I forgive you.”

Remember there is no condemnation in Christ…whatever your past was, you are free from it. Let’s move forward together.

with love

M

*no images used in this post are my own, I claim no ownership.

wounded

“You’re going to go through a season of healing. You have wounds that need tending to”

Great, I thought to myself, hadn’t I just spent the last 6 months healing. Hadn’t I experienced enough random moments where I broke down crying? Hadn’t I had enough days where getting up was hard enough, let alone functioning? Wasn’t I whole? Wasn’t this past year hard enough?

My friend, even thousands of miles away and over Skype, could tell that this scared me. She looked at me through her computer screen and told me that I would be okay, that in order to move to the next season in my life, to do all that I was meant to do, I would need to go through this season…sure it would be tough, but it was necessary.

Sometimes we have physical wounds and sometimes they’re emotional or psychological. When we have a physical wound it is evident to those around us. We can see it disappear as it heals, the scab growing across it and eventually disappearing. Wounds that are inside, psychological and emotional, often take longer to heal or even worse, completely ignored because we don’t take the time to stop and see where we are at. Or, sometimes we don’t deal with the wounds because it hurts to much to deal with them completely.

Sy Rogers once spoke to our leadership team in London about bringing up wounds of the past. He warned us against digging up wounds from the past at the wrong time, instead to let them come out when they’re meant to.

On Saturday night, a very wise friend of mine said that it might be scary to deal with your wounds, but the Lord will love you, fight for you and protect you no matter what because He would never put you through something you could not handle.

The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain in rest. 

Here in Stockholm I rest a lot more than I did in London. This probably has to do with the fact that although I’m in school and running my own business I still have heaps of time…and in that rest I’m letting the Lord fight for me. I know that in Him my wounds will be healed, so that I may be whole to do all He wants for my life. It could be scary and it might hurt a bit, but I know it’s for the best.

Can I encourage you to let your wounds heal. Talk to a friend, a counsellor, a pastor. Get the right care. Journal, take time out to be with yourself. I pray that in all of this you will find wholeness in Him.

Don’t look back

You know those conversations, the ones that smack you right in the face? Some are simply truth you need to hear and others prophetic  words from the One who knows you better than you know yourself.

I had a long, overdue catch up with one of my dearest friends a few nights ago. Spread across the carpet of my flat in Stockholm I lay there crying and laughing in a general state of thankfulness to God who has always blessed me with incredible friends.

There are currently so many thoughts in my head that I hope that this makes sense…I read an article a few days ago by Helen Burns on living the life that you’re meant to. She wrote about how she was a wife, a mother and life was going well but she felt like she had been living in a cloud, in a shadow of the life that was meant to be hers. It was not that the choices she had made were wrong, but that she wasn’t doing all she could.

Just before I left London I admit that I had a good old wake up call of a similar nature. To those on the outside life was good and I can’t complain. In fact, I dare not be anything but thankful for the life I have lead so far, good and bad…as it has made me who I am. However there were aspects of life that weren’t quite right. It was certainly like a fog was surrounding me. There were areas of my life that I needed to take control of, change, heal from wounds and in some respects get a good old kick in the butt because I had not been living a life of excellence in certain areas.

It’s not going to be the same for some, but for me, moving away was probably exactly what I needed to do and the following was just one lesson I needed to learn…

I once wrote a post about how it was time to say goodbye. How people were in your life for a reason, a season, or a life time. Some come back in your life, others never return…all leave an imprint on your heart.

This week I was reminded of the kind of person I am. I don’t give up on people. While this is an admirable quality, it’s not always particularly beneficial. I think about how Paul talks about how everything in life is permissible but not always beneficial. I wonder how many times I have tried to keep people in my life when, for the good of one, or both of us, they probably need to not be there any more. I don’t like giving up on people, I want to see the best in them, I don’t want to lose them in my life, even if sometimes that means losing a part of me.

I have lost people in my life, and actually ,through those losses my life has moved forward. Frankly and very honestly, it sucked to lose them. I didn’t want to lose them…I liked them, even loved some of them and they are good people. However, some times it was just not the right time. Ever heard the quote “Right love, wrong time?” this applies to both friendships and romance. There are seasons in life where, if a person or people try to be beside you during that season, you just won’t live out the life that you were meant to live.

I find that really difficult to grasp, mainly because I want everyone around me. I love people. However, what I have learned is that just because someone is no longer in my life or I in theirs, it does not mean that either of us are less than valuable. It just simply means, that in this time, circumstance, stage in life, we’re not the best for each other.

I never want to hold someone back from the life that they are meant to lead, nor do I want to live a life that doesn’t have the most positive impact I could possibly have in the time I have here.

so…maybe for you it’s time to let go of some people or maybe, like me, simply the guilt or hurt that comes with having already let that person go. Remember peacefully and step into today knowing that it will all work out…