May felt like a bit of a disaster. I made a lot of commitments and goals that ended up wiping me out. And because of that, I don't feel like I really lived up to my Simple May goals of being more intentional with my relationships. That is why for the month of June, I'm focusing on rest. Specifically, I'm going to try to rest in three areas of my life.
We have already set some commitments for June, like helping with vacation Bible school, but I'm going to try to avoid taking on any more projects or committees this month. I'm an introvert and most of the time, I like just being at home, so making commitments outside of the house wears me down. Does this mean I'm saying no to dinner with family and friends? No. Does this mean that I don't plan on completing any projects? No. What I really mean is that I'm not going to put the pressure on myself of making any public declarations of projects and I probably won't schedule dinner weeks in advance. I'm going to try to just do my best each day.
Last month when I went to see Hayley Morgan and Jess Connolly talk about their book, Wild and Free, one of the things that they had us do was stand up and declare what "should" we were letting go of. Should holds us back from being free. Should is comparison. Should makes us feel guilty. Should makes us commit to more than we can handle. Should is fear and insecurity; fear of not being accepted or feeling like we aren't good enough or that we are too much to handle. And as Hayley wrote, "A free woman [...] doesn't feel so insecure that others are judging her. She rests, breathes, lives and loves in His promises and truth."
3. Grace and Mercy
My pastor once summarized grace and mercy like this, "Grace is getting more than you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve." This month I'm going to work on showing grace and mercy to myself and in turn to my family and friends. I have been blessed beyond what I deserve already, but there are days that I won't think that I "deserve" that glass of wine and time to read a good book after the kids go to bed. But you know what? I'm going to try to give myself more than that anyway. There will be times that I don't think that I should forgive myself for losing it with the kids, but I'm going to try to forgive myself anyway. Tomorrow is a new day. Because what we really deserve, everyday, is to die and go to hell for our sins, but because of Christ we don't have to. We can ask for forgiveness and do our best tomorrow to be more like Him.
I urge you to take time to rest this month and not just physically rest. Take time to rest your soul. If you struggle with Instagram envy, like I do sometimes, then stay off of it for a day or two. If you're an introvert, take time to be alone. Take a walk and pray. And let go of "should." The only thing we really should do is try to be more like Christ, but when we don't measure up, we need to show ourselves grace and mercy and then move on.