Yesterday I had lunch with two amazing foster parents. We talked about the challenges of transition times. It’s just plain hard to be rational and calm when a case plan change catches you off guard. It’s a bizarre emotional journey that you don’t understand until you’ve been through it.
In some ways, it feels a lot like navigating a dense, dark forest. You have a compass to guide you, but there is a deep, unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach. Maybe it’s a longing for light or a well worn path. Either way, it’s a tricky trek.
My grandma used to say, “We’re not out of the woods yet” when a situation seemed to improve but there were still risks ahead. Parenting in all it’s forms is a risky endeavor. Life, for that matter is risky.
Follow the compass. It’s your only hope in the woods of life. Truth is the compass. Our imaginations can be our own worst enemy. Fear and impulsive thinking can easily overwhelm us when we take our eyes off what we know. With truth as the compass, we can steadily make the journey one step at a time.
Try jotting down everything you know to be true. Let the truth guide you.
Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
I’m on light duty letting my body heal. As difficult as it is for this go-getter girl to slow down, I’m following the doctor’s orders. My mind is a bit fuzzy as the anesthesia is slowly working it’s way out of my body, but I’ve been contemplating healing. We live and get hurt. But too often we ignore the healing process.
1. You can’t hurry healing. Sure there are miracles that inspire us. Instantaneous healings happen, but often healing is a process. Through the process of healing we have a unique chance to grow and come back stronger. Did you know that when a bone breaks, it heals stronger that it was before? But only if you don’t rush the healing process.
2. Healing is unpredictable. You just don’t know exactly how the process will happen. It might be messy and down right awkward. I’ll spare y’all the details. Be thankful.
3. It hurts. I had a moment last night where I began to question whether or not the surgery was worth all the pain. Would it really help me feel better? Healing can hurt, but it’s a sign we are alive and moving towards wholeness.
4. Gratitude goes a long way. As I think about the skilled and compassionate medical professionals, my supportive friends and my amazing family, I’m so thankful. Without them it would be hard to get better. But they’ve made this journey a little sweeter.
I’m trying to lean into this healing process, maybe for the first time ever. I think there are a lot of people like me who would prefer to avoid it all together. But in this broken world, healing is available. We need to be wise and receive it.
Whether physical, emotional, spiritual or social I pray that the healing process would be at work in you too.
Yesterday, I finished reading Listful Thinking by Paula Rizzo. It inspired me by the sheer variety of list making possibilities. I have to admit, I’m an avid list maker. That’s probably why I got this book. Who doesn’t like reading books that affirm what they already love?
Last night, I sat in my car in the dark church parking lot waiting for my kids to get out of youth group. Rizzo’s ideas were floating around in my head so I decided to grab a notebook and make a list- actually two lists:
things that annoy me but are beyond my control and things that annoy me that I have dominion and power over.
A curious thing happened as I compiled the lists. First I began to let go of anxiety about things I can’t change- serenity prayer flashback. I realized my emotional efforts in this area doesn’t change anything, but it does cost me precious energy.
Secondly, I realized I can change many of the things that annoy me that I have dominion and power over. By shifting my focus, emotions and energy away from what I can’t control, I felt energized to tackle things I can control- like my messy coat closet. (Which I tackled this morning for anyone who cares.)
This is one point Paula touches on in her book. A list can be much more than a to-do checklist. A list can be a brain dump. A list can bring clarity. A list can help you organize your thinking and make progress.
How might making a list help you work through difficult situations on your parenting journey?