Can We Please Just Be Thankful?

This has been a very, very difficult year. The truth is, unfortunately, I am not altogether sure if it has had to be this difficult. Follow me on this for a second. I am baffled by all the conflicting news reports that have joyfully dwelt on darkness, death and destruction. There I said it, joyfully dwelt on darkness, death and destruction. Media outlets, news pundits, politicians, activists, actors, et cetera, et cetera have worked overtime to scare the living daylights out of us. Anxiety, depression, suicide, domestic violence, increased substance abuse have been the results of all this terror we have been subjected to on a 24/7 basis. To listen to news feeds and the talking heads one would think that we are on the brink of destruction. Are we really? Who profits from all this mass hysteria? I call it hysteria. And after almost a year of it, I call it what it is and I declare that I will not listen to any of it anymore.

Life is way too short; we are all living on borrowed time. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, nor is the next breath promised to anyone.

That sobering thought inspires me to cherish each moment, to cherish each sunrise and sunset that God blesses me with. That sobering thought inspires me to call family and friends I haven’t spoken with in years so that I can reconnect. That sobering thought inspires me to stop and enjoy the cool ocean breezes and the warmth of the sun on my skin. That sobering thought inspires me to live each moment with thankfulness. Any moment could be my last, no matter how socially isolated I am, no matter how safe I am by staying home. And no we are not alone together as the slogan goes that is being touted in my community. Truth is, I hunger for community, in person, not on a virtual screen. Truth is, nothing can stop the inevitableness of life’s ending. Nothing at all.

I am exhausted by the restrictions of 2020. I feel as if something precious from my life has been stolen. I am now trying to regain the ground that I felt I lost. I refuse to enter 2021 with fear and trembling.

I rely completely on the words of my Lord Jesus Christ:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

I refuse to be troubled; I refuse to be afraid.

I place my soul in the comforting and protecting hands of God. He keeps his promises. He never fails.

Romans 15:13 says: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Isaiah 26:3-4 says: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (4) Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”

Perfect peace. Hope. Joy.

Joy. Hope. Perfect peace.

These are guarantees from God.

As I look towards 2021, I encourage you to join me in turning your heart, mind and soul completely over to the loving, unfailing protection of God.

Switch off the media’s hysterical histrionics and enjoy time with family and friends. Enjoy time outdoors in this beautiful world that God has given to us. Enjoy this brief life, make every precious moment count.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, shine his face upon you, and be gracious to you, lift up your countenance, and give you peace (Numbers 6: 24-26).

God’s peace,

Amen.

Copyright 2020 Jenny W. Andrews

Onward to 2020

 

 

 

 

photography of fireworks display
Photo by DreamSky on Pexels.com

2020 is just around the corner and I am inspired to focus on what I can accomplish in those 365 days. In years past, I wasted far too much time looking back at my mistakes and mulling over my regrets. I have come to realize that life is about ups and downs, successes and failures. Sometimes I  win; sometimes I lose. That is just the natural rhythm of life. In this post-modern age we have unrealistic expectations that there is some “perfect” state of being we are supposed to become. It is a taboo to admit that we are sad,  angry, lonely, confused or otherwise not “centered” and “mindful.” We are supposed to be “enlightened,” whatever that is supposed to mean.

The truth is that it is emotionally, spiritually, and physically messy to be human. There is no perfect state of being. I say it is more emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy to just fess up to the hard truth that our lives are not always going to be perfect. There are going to be those inevitable days that we veer off the road and land in the ditch. There are going to be those inevitable days that we just want to sit in the dark and cry. There are going to be those days that we order a large sugary, five-thousand calorie coffee drink from our favorite coffee shop and top it off with a side order of a three thousand calorie chocolate infused pastry. There are going to be those days your mouth opens up and your true thoughts spew out and the sound of your escaping words sound very, very ugly.  Life is very, very messy, indeed.

We all make mistakes. We all have regrets. In this upcoming year, my focus is going to be on the future not the past. I have promised myself that if I do make mistakes (and I will inevitably) I will pick myself up and brush myself off and show grace and forgiveness to myself. Maybe in some circles that attitude would qualify me as “enlightened.” I think it just qualifies me as showing self-compassion.

In 2020, my goals include finishing up my writing projects and publishing my work. 365 days are a lot of days. I promise myself not to procrastinate. What is my passion? Writing is my passion. If I don’t focus on my passion I have no one else to blame but myself, after all I am in charge of my own life. I claim 2020 as my year to succeed in my goals. I set my sights on the future.

The writer George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) wrote “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN.”

Actor John Wayne said “COURAGE IS BEING SCARED TO DEATH-AND SADDLING UP ANYWAY.”

We are all scared in this life. If you are not scared you must not be paying very close attention. It is a very scary world. It is also a beautiful, wonderful world filled with kind people.  Surround yourself with beauty and kindness. Be the change you want to see.

Just as John Wayne said, I plan to saddle up in spite of my fear. Just as Eliot (Evans) wrote, I plan to be who I want to be.

Happy 2020 to everyone! Have a blessed New Year!

Copyright 2019 Jenny W. Andrews

 

Source for quotes:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes