My job as a mentor/coach is to help my client-friend make choices. Some of us are certainly better than others at saying yes to one thing and no to the other. I love being able to ask the questions and shed light on necessary and not-so necessary decisions. Here are some of my own choices in 2020. None of these are rocket science – but we have to act on the choice before we can see any growth.
I said YES: For my husband and I (in the pre-pandemic world) 2020 started with such JOY. We spent time in January in Nashville with our YoungLife Africa friends. We laughed and cried and caught up on each other’s’ lives. I was asked to get on stage for a skit – and I am NOT the funny one in this family. However, I chose to go ahead and not be that girl who demurely said “Who me?” I jumped in and said YES – to making a fool of myself, to praying out loud, to leading a team. This YES has brought me the joy that only working with others for a common cause can bring. While all the world around you is talking about "self-care" which sounds a lot like no to lots of good things - sometimes it is the YES that truly brings the little shoots of growth.
Bash Bitterness Birthday: No one else really knew about this birthday gift that I gave myself. Proverbs says that each heart knows its own bitterness and wow, was I “knowing” mine. Let me tell you – I needed to bash that sucker. It was strangling me. My soul was dying. The previous year was such a surprising struggle leaving me with a deep bitter sadness. So, I chose to give the gift of bashing bitterness to myself. I highly recommend you gift yourself in the same way. Bash the bitterness! BTW, I can probably help walk you through that.
Pay attention to my body! After years in seminary along with leading a mission’s ministry I had been paying loads of attention to my soul. But ignoring my poor aging body was keeping me from thriving in every area of my life. So, with the help of the Skinny Rules by Bob Harper – and the Trinity River Trails my body began to heal. I did all the things we know to do. Drank my water. Got enough sleep. Ate loads of vegetables. And gave myself a treat meal every week! Most days I get out on the trail and walk my 9.000 steps. It has worked – but it has not been overnight. Here’s the honest truth – no growth happens overnight. It is the proverbial marathon, not the sprint. It is worth it, though.
I caught up with old friends – and checked on new friends – I always spend time alone in silence first thing in the morning. Typically, after whining to God about my own circumstances I would ask him: “Who needs to hear an encouraging word today?” So, as I thought of people – near and far who were battling the pandemic blues – I texted and sent cards. I shared articles and podcasts that I thought they might enjoy. Don’t give me a blue ribbon yet – this was for me! I needed to connect with my people! My Marco Polo gals – the Bu Crew – gave me such delight! Their wisdom got me through some dark days! When your harmful hermit-self starts creeping in – reach out instead. It is the absolute best medicine for that dark hole we have all been battling since March.
I have to get through more of December before I share my longings for 2021. Looking back is easier today.