This weather is for the birds. Amy, I feel for you sister. I hope a good day in the black will make it better. Love you to the moon and back.
Life is just plain hard beloved. And weather like this makes it worse. I know some people like it, but for those of us who fight mental illness it creates problems. I think we are stronger for it, but if you come across someone who is not what you wish they were take the weather into account because you don’t know what they’ve been through. Be extra kind in traffic. Let the lady cut in front of you at Macy’s. Haters on social media need grace too. Don’t respond. Block. Jon Acuff is right. Foes need distance and time. I talked with a customer today about Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People. She thought it might be outdated. It might be, but I totally agree that we never change anything or anyone by calling them out on bad behavior.
I’m not saying we don’t confront wrong doing. That would be wrong, and two wrongs do not make a right. Timing is everything. Many people this time of year are on edge. It’s not just the mentally ill. They have to spend time with others they don’t willingly choose to be with on a “normal” day or evening. Love and kindness in the season of Jesus’ birth are unfortunately missing ingredients when we are busy in the kitchen preparing food for friends and family. It’s supposed to be a season of peace, but in many ways it’s far from it. We rush about with our own expectations, and when they aren’t met we get angry or passive aggressive toward people we’ll cry for at their funeral.
I don’t know the answer except to say that it is Jesus. Scripture is plain about the conflict Jesus had with his own family. It’s not that Jesus expects Christians to be perfect. He knows that’s not going to happen. And don’t go quoting the “Be perfect therefore as I am perfect” passage. I know, I know, I know. This is not a theological post. It’s a lamentation that is reflecting on this void we all feel when anything but God occupies our hearts and minds.
The base of the tree may be filled with a plethora of presents, but our minds and hearts are empty. News flash: presents don’t fill them. Yes, I know some have a love language of gifts, and I do not deny that love language. I try to apply all five to the people I know who need one or all of them. Sometimes that easier said than done.
So what do we do? Well, I’ve recommended it before. Give yourself mercy and grace to start with. If you don’t have it you can’t give it. Be patient with yourself. Slow down. Take a coffee break. Go to a basketball game. Watch a movie. Cut out from work early if your boss says it’s ok. Journal. Blog. Write in your diary. Read a novel. Read non-fiction. Listen to music. Play a game with Alexa. And drink a glass of wine right before bed.
I’ve said it before, but I think it bares repeating. God loves you deeply. He knows what you’ve been through, how you’re trying to cope with it, and He knows where you’re going. Place your trust in that incredible reality.