Today’s post is a follow up to How to Go From Surviving to Thriving from last week. Many of us have the ability to cut unnecessary things out of our lives, learn to prioritize, and plan better to take us to thriving. There are people, though, who have said no to everything that they can, plan and prioritize perfectly and still find themselves surviving. Barely surviving even. I have so much to learn from people in that situation and hope you find yourself encouraged and challenged by this post no matter which situation you find yourself in.
The vast majority of people I see have so much control over their circumstances, hence the ability to learn to plan, prioritize, say no, etc. With a little effort, their lives can be vastly different.
However, there are many times I see people in the most horrible life situations, and they are such an inspiration. What is it about them that makes them different from others going through the exact same things?
How can one person be inspirational and even upbeat while the other is downtrodden and miserable? They CANNOT change any of their circumstances. They can ONLY change themselves and the way they look at life.
What have they found in their soul and spirit? I want to be like that.
What happens when your season of “just surviving” goes on and on and on. There were years when I felt that survive was all I could do. “I just need the strength to get through today” was my prayer every morning. Thriving seemed to be a very dim light at the end of a very long tunnel.
I know there are others out there in the same situation – single moms, moms of a handicapped child, severely allergic child, or a chronically ill child, a mom with a husband who never helps or is never home, a mom whose husband is deployed overseas, or a mom who has a debilitating disease or cancer.
When will their season of “just surviving” ever end? Is there any hope for them?
I used to pray that I only had to be “on duty” 23 hours and 50 minutes a day. Just 10 minutes of “me time” a day. That wasn’t too much to ask, was it? I looked forward to my 10 minutes, and if I didn’t get it, I was so disappointed and frustrated. I felt sad – life had let me down. It began to steal the joy from my life.
Then, one day I was reading a very old Bible study book. Something jumped out at me and gave me a slap in the face. I was to commit 100% of my life to my family. Not 95%, not 99% – but 100%. Seriously!?!? Was I really willing to do that?
I was convicted that day and began my journey of giving 100%. I couldn’t change my circumstances. I had already cut out all of the unnecessary things that devoured my time and energy. The only thing left to change was my heart and my attitude. I determined that, for whatever reason, God had designed my days to be challenging. I was up to the task. I was in 100%.
My days continued to be exactly like they had been – no sleep, messes to clean, diapers to change, meals to cook, homeschooling, disciplining feisty kids. All of this by myself while my husband was on the road. Just like the previous week, I found myself with exactly zero minutes of “me time”. But, now I wasn’t disappointed. How could I be disappointed when I got exactly what I expected? After all, my part of the bargain was 100% of me. Was I tired? Absolutely. More that you will ever know. But I found my joy was still there. It was not being stolen anymore.
And then, the best thing began to happen. Occasionally, I got ten minutes of “me time,” and I was so excited! I was given a gift that day, and I saw those few precious minutes as a blessing. A few days earlier when I got those ten minutes, I deserved them (or so I thought), so I never appreciated them or saw them as a blessing.
The same life. The same ten minutes. But with a different heart attitude.
Life hadn’t changed. I changed.
Are you in a long season of “just surviving” or do you know someone who is? What kinds of things have others done or what things could others do that could give you a few minutes of desperately needed “me time”? I would love if you would comment and let me know how to be a blessing to you!
Linking up to Mommy Brain Mixer, Let’s Get Real, Thrifty Thursday, Fellowship Fridays, Essential Friday, Faith Filled Friday, The Weekend ReTreat, Let’s Get Real, Show Stopper Saturday, Strut Your Stuff, Weekend Wind Down, Link Party Palooza, Happiness is Homemade, Mindful Mommy Monday, Pin It Monday, Motivation Monday, Mama Moments Monday, Living Proverbs 31, TGIM, Natural Living Monday, Good Tips Tuesday, Share Your Stuff Tuesday, Babies and Beyond, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tending Home Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Lovely Ladies Linkym Welcome Home Wednesday, Homemaking Link Up, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, All Things Thursday, Pin It Thursday, Thriving Thursday, Proverbs 31 Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursday