Tag Archives: encouragement

Covid Tired

12 Oct

The crevices of my bones are tired.  My spirit is weary.  It’s not the kind of tired a good night’s sleep will fix.   I could sleep a week, I’d still feel this heavy, laden cloak of exhaustion. Like the kind the dentist lays across your chest when they take an x-ray and you struggle to inch beneath it.  Sometimes, I’m so exhausted, I can’t even find sleep.  I chase it around my head, forcing my eyes to close. Only to have them pop back open a few moments later, grabbing my phone to pass the time, and hoping the scrolling will induce slumber.  Sometimes, it does. Most of the time, it doesn’t. 

This level of tired comes from the daily pecking, peeling, away of all the good things that once were.  The news…peck…The politics….peck…arguments over masks and vaccines…peck, peck…The loss of community from working from home…peck…The isolation from quarantine…peck…Covid…. peck…

It’s doing much more than stealing our happiness. It’s stealing pieces of our humanity. It’s creating a further divide where people are arguing over who deserves care and who doesn’t….Let that sink in just for a few minutes.  Where is the empathy, compassion? That behavior, that thought process, doesn’t stay in that one bucket, that one specific topic. It moves and spreads across your daily interactions.  It’s now an “us versus them” conversation…. An, “I’m going to get mine.” society…  The covid battles are what is wearing us out.  The constant bickering, fighting, entitlement. ….peck, peck, peck.  

I have to believe the whole world is tired.  I just do. Because it keeps showing up in the behavior of strangers. Like little toddlers that have gone far beyond their nap time and are now in a total melt down mode because someone won’t let them lick the wall, or drink from the dog’s bowl… or some other random thing that toddlers do.   Like the guy who followed my young adult son home shouting “You don’t know who you are messing with” from the end of my driveway because he was unable to pass him on a short stretch of road into the neighborhood where the speed limit is 25mph….  Or the lady at Aldi that wanted to literally throw down because I said “excuse me” before she was ready to move.   (This is real life, folks.)

I have to believe that people who are well, who are happy, and rested, do not act this way.  People who are bone-tired from Covid act out like this.

I’m not one who likes to look in the rearview mirror often. I like to move in a forward direction…but damn, how do we get back to pre-covid? It wasn’t perfect…but it wasn’t …this.

When I was writing this message, I stumbled upon a blog post I wrote in the early days of Covid. I had so much hope then…and it’s a little sad for me to read it now. But because I don’t have any other words of inspiration to offer to re-right this ship, I’ll share that post with you now…Maybe we can all cling to a little sliver and pull ourselves out of the darkness.

Rewind to March 21,2020:

 
Sometimes I dabble in writing . I honestly don’t pick the topics. They roll around on my heart and stay on repeat in my mind until the only way I can get them out is to put them on paper.  That is the case with the writing below.  I am not a super Christian, nor do I play one on t.v.. Please be kind when you read the message below and if this is not your thing, cool.   

The world is a crazy place right now.  Legit, crazy. We are living in unprecedented times. No one really knows what they are doing… In a matter of just a few weeks, we’ve seen huge layoffs, school closures and a shortage of toilet paper.  If you would have told me at the start of 2020 that a virus would shut down the world, I would have thought that was an impossibility. Yet here we are in the middle of a pandemic, and the Corona Virus is doing just that – shutting down the world.  

It’s a scary time, no doubt.  Worry and anxiety are at its peak. (At least it feels like it is at its peak – but let the chicken nuggets run out at the grocery and I’m at a whole new level of crazy!)  

To deal with it all, I find myself diving deeper into prayer, into scripture, into places that I can latch on to other Christians to find hope before the curtain of darkness (which feels all to close) falls around us.  

In my quest, I landed on a video where our church worship leader said something that just resonated deep within me. He said something to the effect of “We are all social distancing to keep the virus at bay. But social distancing is just unhuman.”  Wow.

Wayyyyy back in Genesis 2:18 it is written 

 ““It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (NIV).  

 We were not meant to be alone. Men, certainly were not meant to be alone. (I kid, I kid…maybe)    

Could it be then that this virus is a spiritual attack meant to divide our relationships? To cause distance between “them” and “us”? I’m not disputing that this is a REAL virus. I’m saying, could there be more to it? If you believe in scripture, this is not to much of a stretch.   

So what do we do? How can we prevent the darkness from taking hold, from gaining ground?  

  1. Dive deep into your Bible.  Spend time with the Lord. Let him lead you; calm you. My prayer is that you hear his voice.  There are so many resources out there if you are not a reader or find the Bible difficult to navigate. (I was there too – a good study Bible is everything!)  I love watching Joyce Meyer, or Pastor TD Jakes.  Find something that brings you closer to God. Pray on your walks around your neighborhood.  Look for his beauty – and you will find it.  Those are some of my sweetest moments….when I’m just walking outside,  and God sends a special moment or ah-ha thought.  Try it.   
  1. Be kind. Look for ways to help others. Don’t allow ‘me versus them’ mentality to take root. During a crisis, we will see the worst and the best of humanity.  Be part of the latter. If you have a few extra bucks, donate to a blessing box or food pantry. Offer to pick up groceries for someone who is high risk.  Protect yourself but do what you can. 
  1. Spend time with your family and friends. The ones that live in your house.  Call or face time the people who don’t! Stay connected!  

My grand-precious and I have a routine that she calls “relaxing”.  It’s where I decide I’ve had enough of the day and of my crazy family – and I go upstairs to the quiet of my room.  I turn on the tv and scroll through social media, but essentially all my mom, work, and wife duties are over. I’ve clocked out.  At some point during her five years on the planet, she has decided that she should join me in “relaxing”.  This means that I’m not officially off the clock, but it does provide one-on-one time with my girl, and that is not lost on me.   

Last night I said, “I think I’m going upstairs.” Her green eyes widened, and she said “I want to go with you! To relax! I can relax with you!”  

Before long she was snuggled under the covers on her Popa’s side of the bed.  She loves to learn (a child after my own heart), and we buy her these big learning books. She already sailed through the K5 book so we are onto the first grade book. This makes her sit up a little taller, as she says, “I can do first grade, Gigi!”. She has her blue crayon in her right hand, and she is giving it her all.  Sounding out the letters “kkk aaa ttt …Cat!” and learning new words.  At some point, ten-ish minutes in or so, she says

“I looove you Gigi”.   

That’s it. That’s all it took to fill up my heart and wash away the day.  We are created for relationship.

We need it. I need it. Baby girl needs it. Hold on to your people and to God during this crazy time.   

Xoxo,

Lady Chatsalot

Love well

9 Oct

I caught myself breathing deeply and letting out a sigh, more than a few times this morning. I heard my husband do the same. Today will be difficult.

In an attempt to clear the anxiety thumping between my ears and running down my neck, I laced up my sneakers and headed outside . Just a few minutes in, my feet glide over this leaf. Turning around to look closer, I snapped the photo.

I whispered a thank you to God for reminding me, he is here too. In the little places. In the big places. In the need to escape places.

We are headed to the funeral of a good, good man. One who loved well, and who was loved well.

We’ve already stuffed our pockets with tissue. We’ve already blinked back the tears …so many times. We won’t be able to contain them much longer. We know this.

Today we will love on his family. The heartbroken. Those left behind with no answers, but with great faith. They hold tight to belief that they will reunite with him again on the streets of Heaven.

Light rain has begun to fall. The skies are gray and cloudy. It’s as if the earth knows… and is mourning with us.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” ~ Psalms 34:18

Love well,

Lady Chats a lot

Xoxo

Put me in coach

3 Oct

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I don’t like sitting on the side lines. I’m an “ALL IN” or “nothing” kind of girl.

I want to be on the team and I want to participate in EVERY game.

….or I want to go home and put on my pajamas.

IN or OUT

Piece by piece, I devour the play book..over and over… I study until I find gaps. Then I work to fill them…My appetite for dissecting strategy never wanes. Every nugget feeding my passion to learn.

I want on the team but my ego isn’t comfortable being center stage. In fact, I’m a bit skittish to be the pitcher. All eyes focused on his windup. A collective gasp from the stands, releasing only when the ball meets the catcher’s glove.  His choice of pitches are constantly questioned by those not wearing a uniform.  Their voice loud as it drifts through the stands and onto the diamond.

In baseball, there is no possible way to win the game with an inadequate pitcher. If they are having an ‘off‘ night, they get pulled. Often in the middle of the inning, forcing a walk of shame back to the dug out. Not before, however, a seemingly supportive one-on-one with the coach.  Backs turned to on lookers, I often wonder what they are saying….How do you publicly tell one of your premiere players it is time to sit down now….. As a player, how do you handle that with grace?

It is a tough position to play.

I would not sign up for the whole world to witness that. In fact, I’ve spent most of my life avoiding the walk of shame… like the plague….

The catcher is required to wear so much protective equipment, he barely can move.  Leg guards, knee savers, a heavily padded leather glove the size of a dinner plate, vision limited by a cage protecting his face. Which is no doubt further limited by the sweat dripping from his brow. They are outfitted for a fight…. Some would say that I rarely back down…they could be right. However, I never go looking for it.  No, this position doesn’t sound appealing to me.

I’m happiest on first base. It calls my name.

First base has a foot hold in the action but also has a bit of distance from the voices in the stands. He doesn’t rest idly waiting for a play. He is in the game, with every swing of the bat.  Multitasking is a must, monitoring all of the bases for movement with each and every hit.  Thinking instantaneously,  maneuvering nimbly and with out hesitation, he eagerly awaits the ball in play.

As my cleats hit the clay, I realize I’m also desperate to not miss my opportunity at bat.

In the batting cages, I’m perfecting my swing, my stance.  Striking out is not an option. I’m simply not patient enough to wait for the bating order to come around to me again….That is a whole lot of sitting and a whole lot of waiting.

I wasn’t made to be a bench warmer.

With diligence and the right amount of preparation, I’ll be ready when the pitch rolls down the plate.  Hearing my bat kiss the face of the ball, splitting the air like the sharpest of knives, I’ll shoot my  hands in the air for the victory lap.

When the inning turns over, I’ll resume my spot on first base.  Scanning the field every few seconds to analyze the players of game, mindful of the ever changing strategy.

When it is quiet, and honesty rises to the surface, I want in the game.

ALL IN.

Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.

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Dream Weaver

15 Sep

Intricately spun with precision. Moving diligently with perfection and grace as it crosses, then descends.  It is an unequaled masterpiece.  I stop to gaze; amazed by the ability of such a small creature to weave so beautifully.  Elegantly trapping her dinner…the Martha Stewart of nature.  Perched high on my toes, I tilt my head to the left, and then the right, analyzing the design nestled between two trees. All while keeping watch on the moving spider inside.

Twice this week, while walking through trails, I’ve passed two colossal banana spiders. Often painted with brightly colored bodies, stripped leggings, and spanning the width of my palm, they are quite the sight.  Scary because of their size, they command attention. I willingly give it to them, watching with childlike curiosity.

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Both weavers ironically were in the same predicament. Working feverishly, you could see the anticipation as the web bounced with movement.  Wrapping, spinning, scurrying up and down the silk lines they drew the day before. No doubt, salivating over the meal they were so hungry to devour.

As I watched from a distance, a twinge of sorrow swept over me.  For all their effort, they deserved a meal made for a queen. But it wasn’t there. It wasn’t in their web.

No.  A fallen brown leaf, had become tangled. Twisting in the wind, it gave the impression of life.  She worked as if it were true.

Both times I thought, “I wonder if they know they are working on a leaf” Surely not.

Shrugging, realizing I was unable to assist…If I tried, the potential of damaging the web was high. Pulling her farther from her only goal, satisfying hunger. She would have to rebuild, spending even more energy…No, that wasn’t fair. I could only watch with the hope she realized her mistake quickly.

With nothing more for me to do, I continued my walk wondering how many times in our lives,   —-  read here  < In my life > —  , are we working so hard to accomplish the things we think we need? What we think we want?  Putting in long hours, wearing ourselves out, spending time fruitlessly, going into spiritual debt….working….spinning….

Only for someone, with the clarity of distance to say, “I wonder if she knows that is just a ….leaf?” Having the same realization that we must do this alone. Forced to watch as we flounder, expending unnecessary energy in an area that will not serve us. Prayerfully they are hoping we “get” it sooner than later.

Simultaneously I was aware that I’ve felt this way many times watching my children…If only I could make their path straighter, clear of debris…easy…Yet I know…I know… it doesn’t work that way. They are better equipped for their next bump when they muscle through today’s struggle.

I wonder how many times God looks down at our choices and responds the same way?

“It is only a leaf dear girl…move along. I have greater things planned for you.” 

Letter to Ashley

12 Jul

Dear sweet beautiful Ashley,

I saw it in your big brown eyes. Heard it in the tremble of your voice.  The residual pain lingered on the surface  from when someone unknowingly spewed judgement over your life.  Those words that insinuated that your choices didn’t line up with their view.  At that moment the world stopped for me. The air evaporated from the room. My stomach twisted and was tense…I didn’t respond the way I wanted to.  I have a hard time processing hate on the fly.

It has been on my heart and on my mind ever since.

I don’t want ANY young lady, who chooses to give life, to feel like she doesn’t live up to some invisible standard. Especially one whom I adore and love.

I believe with all my heart that God blesses those who make hard choices that line up with his word.  I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it.

When I look back at all those people who insisted they were doing it “right”, I shake my head.  I wouldn’t want their shoes for anything in the world.

I’ve watched you with the princess.  You are going to be amazing at this mom thing!  Don’t let anyone tarnish your sparkle.  Shut out that judgmental nonsense.  “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”  – Job 23:10.

You have so much love to give.  I promise you,  God doesn’t make mistakes!

With all my heart I shout to the world that we are so proud of you! I pray abundant blessings over your life.  I can’t wait to watch you grow and watch God work in your life.

Good things are coming! Hold on tight! This is going to be a beautiful bumpy road.

He Knows Where I'm Going - Job 23:10 - Bible Verse - Blank Notecard - Encouragement - Graduation - Blank Inside - Gold. $4.00, via Etsy.

Rolla’ Coasta of love

9 Jul

This rolla’ coasta  I’m on feels pretty damn good right about now.  When I’m at the tip top, I can see for miles. Smiling as wide as my mouth will allow, eyes ablaze. I feel alive, invincible, capable of virtually anything .  I seriously can’t get much higher. My soul wants to leap out of my chest. Surely I have happiness dripping out of my pores.  Someone really should find a way to bottle this stuff and sell it. It would be worth a fortune. Roller Coaster, Magelibanen, Norway. What a beautiful view from the roller coaster! I'm in! :) Because before you know it, here comes a dip…or a drop…a big dip / drop… valley.

Since I boarded this thrill ride  last week, I’ve had lots of  “opportunities”  to be offended.   Each threatening to end my rolla’ coaster of happiness way to soon.

Just this weekend after a seriously BIG opportunity,  I said to my husband in my high pitched, yet stern tone, “HONEYYYY! My redneck side is about to come out!”

His response?  “Tuck it back in, babe.”

I rolled laughing. Literally.  Rolled laughing.

It was the BEST thing he has EVER said to me.

That laughter was enough to allow my car to coast out of the dip and soar to yet another high, unbelievably higher than the last…  Once again I was at the peak, swinging my dangling legs , relishing my new found height.   I summoned up the courage to open one eye and look around. I really didn’t want to though…Fear was riding shotgun.

(One eye always helps when fear has taken hold of your heart.  Two eyes are just to much to handle in times like these.)

This place, this peak, felt so good. Like crazy, head over heels, exquisitely deliciously good.  I was afraid to lose it.  Afraid to let even an ounce slip through my fingers. I was desperately holding on for dear life with all that I had. More than anything, I wanted to be here…forever.  To make this peak my new home.

Now with both eyes open, sadly, I  knew it just wasn’t  possible.

Why? Because life is about the peaks AND the valleys. If it were not for the valleys, we would never know how awesome it feels when to hit the peak! Roller coaster face- this made me laugh. Poor baby Really…

Really, it is about OUR (read here -> MY) attitude in the valley.

Choosing to keep your redneck tucked in until you can coast to the next peak.  Using your opportunities to grow to new heights instead of allowing them to bring you down deeper into the valley.

Don’t let a thief steal your joy. We all know they are not worth it.

Half the time THEY know they aren’t worth it.

Poor pitiful souls. Relationship Quotes--Become a Love Magnet with "52 Romantic Things To Do" LOVE  LIGHT 2 YOUR SOULS

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