If I were to sit down with you today for a cup of coffee, I’d dive right in and ask how your life is going. We’d talk about your job, family, and how that big event ended up going. I’d ask how your dreams are coming along, and what goals you are setting for future. Oh, and what are you doing this weekend? Then, I’d ask you how you’re doing.

You’d probably give me the easy, “Oh fine! How are you?” But I’d counter with, “No no, how are you doing?” We’d go back and forth like this until I finally wore you down. From there, the conversation would take its course. By the end of our talk, I’d want you to realize that how you’re doing matters. You are not in this life alone, and I never want you to believe for a second that you are.

Since I’m unable to be with you in person today and hear your story, I have a few things that I’d love to share. Just a few thoughts I’ve had over the past week that I hope will encourage you.

The first is this: Allow yourself some time each day to breathe easy and relax. Go outside and play (ultimate Frisbee anyone?) Sit on your patio, read a novel, or hang out with friends. Do something you enjoy. I know we all want to be perfect, but let’s try to let that go. Honestly, we will never be perfect. There will always be more laundry, and unless you use nothing but plastic ware, there will always be more dishes. Maybe it’s time we stop trying to do it all, and start allowing ourselves some freedom to live.

Second: Let’s face it, days rarely go the way we planned. I think that is simply because we are living with hundreds of other human beings in our community. Someone might be running late and in a panic this morning, so they cause a car accident and back up traffic. Another person might have been frazzled when she left the house, so she has no idea where her cash is and needs to dig for a bit while in the check out line. Instead of getting mad at these complete strangers, let’s give them a little grace. We don’t know what kind of day they are having, or what kind of crisis they may be facing. So if we can, let’s just smile if we happen to catch their eye. A smile goes a long way.

The third is this: Never take for granted how much God loves you. There is a Psalm I absolutely love that says this: My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Ps 27:8). Through trial or pain, remember that he is with you. Take time to be alone with him. Morning or night, the time doesn’t matter. Simply let your heart cry out to God and be comforted. He says not to worry, and to cast your cares upon him. Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (Matt. 6:26-27). Let the truth of that passage sink in. He calls us to a relationship that is deep and intimate.

Fourth and last: There are seasons in life where our faith is built up to the point where we feel like it will never waver. And then there are seasons where we don’t have the faith to put one foot in front of the other. I’ve found in the places where we falter, it’s not wrong to ask for help. We need ladies who have gone before us to tell us to keep walking, even when we can’t see. We need someone to tell us to continue trusting in God. And on that note, trust isn’t a feeling – it’s a choice that is warranted and based off of past experiences. He did not fail you in the past, and he will not fail you now. I’ve even repeated this over and over to myself: God, I trust you will take care of this. I trust you. As I say those words out loud, they travel from my head to my heart. So if you are in that place today, seek out a friend’s council, and choose to trust God.

To wrap it up, I’d tell you that I’m always here to listen and offer help where I am able. And you know what? Keep living. Keep going. Every stage of life has its own set of struggles and blessings; let’s just keep helping each other out, and I think we’ll all be ok. Better yet, I think we’ll enjoy the journey.

I’m glad we had this time together.

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