Sunday, March 1, 2015

Where Did You Go February?

 
....and then it was March.

That is how I feel sitting here on March Eve. Where did you go February? I feel like I hardly knew you...or however that song goes. ;)

February has been HUGE. It started off with a slight panic-pause by me as I ended the most restorative month...Of. My. Life. I didn't have time to worry long as I jumped on a plane to Austin for four days...two days of IF:Gathering...and the rest experiencing Austin with friends. Wow! Austin, as simply as I know how, I love you. That is all. I begrudgingly came home and real life smacked me...Hard. I finished an acquisition at work right as I was closing out January and headed to Austin...plus interviews and interviews and new hires and did I mention interviews...at one point, I lost my religion and had a meltdown over the back-to-back interviewing. I love people, but the choices. Choosing people who will love your little dream as much as you love it is...well, Hard. The next weekend I headed home for the first time since Christmas to celebrate birthdays and love and it was fun and relaxing and perfect. The next week brought my first Ash Wednesday Service experience came mid-week along with a dive into Lent. The next weekend I was in Fayetteville for three days for scholarship review combined with time with friends - old and new. It was perfect. So perfect. The past two weeks have been brutal at work due to sketchy Arkansas winter weather. Somehow we were still able to launch a new website and a new partnership, but there might have been a meltdown (or two) in the midst of it....there was amazing grace in it though, and my business partner and I crossed out of the wilderness and into the Jordan (all of my IF:Gathering readers will get the reference), and I knew it by the confirmation God provided me in full body chills and teary eyes (both of us) as it was happening...and we prayed thanks to God for the giant step...and the many to come. Then this weekend....finally...rest. Me (solo) time. Sleeping in, coffee in bed, and a spa day. Mmmmm....Perfection. It doesn't seem like a month's worth, but on the other hand, I know why I am so tired.:)

I just sat here and re-read that entire last paragraph and said a prayer of thanks to God. That is a lot to shove into 28 days especially when that is the cliff notes version (and incomplete at that).

One of the things that is missing in the above is those things that I carried into February from January #restorationJanuary ;)  I carried in my 90 minutes per day of prayer/mediation/Bible reading. It is still precious time. It is still hard on some days. It is still beautiful and adding tremendous value to my life. Some days I get upset when the alarm goes off signaling time is up...that makes me smile. :) I do have to say that as much as this has added value to my life, it has not come without pain. There are people in my life who have/are finding it challenging to deal with a calmer me. I find it funny the people in my life who enjoy "doing battle" and want me "in it" with them. My new response...Ummmm....No. I have spent a chunk of February renegotiating some relationships. It hasn't been easy, but it has been time well spent. There are five alarm fires and there are one alarm fires...and after 43 years, it is high time I learn the difference. Join me in the land of "not everything is a big deal" because it is glorious here. Nearly spa-like. I joke, but I feel like I am more present for the important people in my life. I know I am laughing more. The main thing is that I no longer worry I am going to fall dead of a heart attack before I turn 50. There. Is. Another. Way.

The main thing I have learned in these past two months of 2015 is that I can't simply say I need to take care of myself....I actually have to Take. Care. Of. Myself.  Like...for real. :) I block out time on my calendars. I no longer sleep with my phone and get anxious with I don't return messages or calls same day (now don't joke, I didn't always return them same day, BUT I did always stress over it. :)), and I am sleeping. Sleep has become a priority, but it is one I have to work at. I have to shut the lights down at bedtime and shut everything off. I guess I am trying to learn to cultivate better habits.

The MOST important thing out of all of this though....Jesus. I am not sure I am ever going to be able to thank my friend Heather for listening to the urge about tithing time, and for also being brave enough to share it with our IF:Tribe that meets weekly at my house. It was exactly what I needed to hear and do, and spending this 90 minutes a day with God has been a game changer for me and my life. By making him my number one priority, all the other craziness seems to fall into place more easily. Sure I am saying no a lot more....not double or triple-booking myself...but besides all of that....I REALLY know who is in control, and it isn't me. As someone who believes they have had a relationship with God their whole life and been saved since they were 13....it is humbling to admit that it is only as an adult these past few years that God and I have truly had a relationship...one that goes both ways with give and take...and this past couple of months feels like we just took our relationship to the next level...and we both seem giddy about the relationship status change. If only they had a button for that on Facebook. *Deep Sigh*

I know this all might seem crazy, but to me this is the best time...the most peaceful, sanest, fulfilling time of my life. There are things I want. Things that make me sad. Things that break my heart, make me angry, etc. I still have dreams and plans. It is just that all of those things don't consume my thoughts All. The. Time. and Every. Day. I have peace that tomorrow will be tomorrow, but today is today. I used to hug...everybody. There was a time in my life that I noticed I stopped doing that. This week I bet I have hugged more people friends and strangers alike than I did during that entire previous hug-drought. It feel SO SO good. I am learning to fall in love with people again. To see their good hearts. To love them without fear or pretense.

So maybe February was and is truly the month of love. I fell deeper in love with my life, and the people in it, this past month. I fell more in love with the God that is restoring me...from the inside out. I found joy in the hard stuff.


Proverbs 4:23 (Photo via Pinterest)
 
The above is not only one of my favorite verses (and one that has come to me again and again this past month), but this is also a tattoo consideration for my own wrist (nobody freak...just thinking about it). What I was reminded this month by God is that sometimes the best way to guard your heart, is to give it completely to him.

What big a-ha moments have you had in February? Was it all you wanted? More? Less? What are you dreaming about for March?

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

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