One of my intentions for July is to find the gift each day offers to me. On my birthday that was easy. My sweet granddaughter brought me a crate full of carefully chosen presents and a card that made me cry. My daughter arrived later in the day with a bag full of gifts perfectly suited to me. What a delight!
It wasn't so easy to follow this intention the next day. I got caught in the crossfire of a dog-and-cat fight and was the recipient of several puncture wounds on my toes from the cat. While sitting in the walk-in care, I pondered my intentions. Only six months previously, I was on crutches for a bruised heel, followed by a fierce cold, followed by surgery. In between these things I've tried to get to the gym to walk and my plan was to eventually run, preparing for a 5K in November. Two weeks ago, I got another cold and cough. And now I'm soaking my foot, taking an antibiotic and limping again. Once again I cancelled tomorrow's trip to the gym.
I have to admit that I'm discouraged. In all of the other events, I managed to find the gift. This time I can't shake the shadow hovering over me. The day this all happened, I had fallen into the trap of complaining and that whole morning found me irritable and on edge. Somehow I felt I opened a door to this attack. When I think about grace, I know God doesn't bless me because I deserve it. But I can't seem to move out from under the feeling that I deserved this.
Another intention this month is to identify patterns and rhythms of my life. This is a pattern of thinking and I need to find a way to turn this around. Usually I like to wait until I am on the other end of the trial so I can give you the good news. Tonight I am in the middle of the process and sharing the struggle.
What are the practices that I can use to move through the fog of the voices in my head, accusing and condemning? Those things which were said to me in the past that carry shadows haunt me when I get into this space.
It's critical to have good spiritual practices in place for times like these.
I'm going to get into my jammies, crawl into bed and put pen to journal. I'm going to look back over this past week of vacation and write a gratitude list. I will read the daily entry in my new book from my daughter. I'm going to pull off the shelf a few of my go-to reads when I really need something. It's a start.
What are your go-to helps when discouragement hovers? Sharing with each other can be added to the list. I am certain things will look differently in the morning. There's another practice to add to the list - a good night's sleep. Sweet Dreams.