you know that feeling you get at the end of something, and the confusing bits in the middle make sense when you look back? that’s how I’ve been feeling this last week or so. I feel like I’m closing a chapter of my life, and beginning a new one. questions answered, days full of lightbulb moments, and so much peace that it feels like I was thrown into a pool of it.
however, I know that this feeling will not last – I will embark on different challenges and troubles (and knowing me, probably soon!), and the things I know now I may forget.
but I don’t want to forget.
so, here is a list of some things I learned. if I had known some of them sooner, it would have changed my life.
NOTE TO SELF:
1. when you feel depressed, sleep. you don’t do well with lack of sleep. when you’re angry and you don’t know why, or you feel like crying and the whole world looks bleak, go to bed. everything always looks half-full when you wake up in the morning after 9 hours of sleep, I promise.
2. pray loud, pray often. when you pray out loud, it affects you more deeply. I don’t know why it does, but take the time to pray out loud when you’re alone, whenever possible.
3. listen to worship music in the car. especially Steven Curtis Chapman. it makes a huge impact on your entire day.
4. watch the sunset. even if you’re overwhelmed with how much you need to do, get in the car and drive to the park and watch the sun tip over the horizon. it fills you with awe and thankfulness of God’s goodness, and thankfulness can’t co-exist with fear.
5. spend time with people who refresh you. the people who you invest in are planted in your life by God on purpose as well, but you will NOT thrive if you don’t spend time with those people who feel like an oasis in the desert. you know who those people are. make time for them, because they want to spend time with you, but also because you need them.
6. less computer, more journaling. don’t stay up so late on the computer so that you’re so tired, you can’t journal before you go to bed. you need to process through your day, you don’t need facebook.
7. seek out Christian non-fiction. remember Cold Tangerines? One Thousand Gifts? Bittersweet? those books changed you in huge ways. be intentional about finding Christian authors that model the life of a contemporary Christian.
8. eating food that is bad for you doesn’t make you feel better. the phrase “you are what you eat” would be more accurate if it said “you FEEL what you eat”. if you eat bad food, you aren’t gonna feel great.
9. spend as much time outdoors as possible. yes, I know it’s cold in the winter and yes, I know you have school during the year. but bundle up, go for a walk with the dog or a short bike ride. exercise makes your outlook on life that much brighter.
10. sometimes prayer is enough. there are some things that you just can’t change. that’s okay, because it’s God’s job to heal and fix and transform, not yours. it’s okay to just pray for them, all the time, every minute you think of them, because God hears your words and God gives us the desires of our hearts when we find our delight in Him.
dear self: remember these few things. memorize them so you never forget.