grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

On the Hard Days: Coffee for Your Heart

on February 5, 2014

The alarm didn’t go off.
Or maybe it did, but in my exhaustion, I didn’t hear it and it gave up on waking me.
There goes my quiet time and my journaling and my 10-minute meditation…again.
My To-Do List is about a mile too long – but it is MY handwriting…what was I thinking?!
I race from one appointment to the next, never fully present and not even able to catch my breath.

I’ve done it to myself again…spread myself too thin…overbooked my schedule…and I have no one to blame but myself.
So, on top of my exhaustion, I’ll heap some shame and some guilt: Why do I always do this? Why can’t I just get it together? Why can’t I stay on top of everything?

Unfortunately, for the people who share my address, it’s days like this that tend to be filled with much flailing and gnashing of teeth…MY limbs and MY teeth.
My movements are filled with tension, my responses come out sideways, and feelings are hurt…THEIR feelings and MY feelings.

On days like these, there are a few things I need to hear…

‘Be gentle with yourself.’
I need to know that my Default Settings when things are crazy – Shame, Guilt, and Lashing Out – are not helpful to my heart or my soul (not to mention the poor souls closest to me). I need to know that what IS helpful is finding and offering myself grace…grace to slow my pace and breathe deeply, grace to create some margin in my schedule, grace to pencil in some rest, grace to reach out and ask for help. When I am gentle with myself, I am able to give my heart the calming words and actions I would offer to a harried friend. I’ve learned that there are times when I am the best person to minister to me.

‘It’s not a competition.’
…or a race or a contest. There are some situations (and even people) that trigger in me a need to ‘prove’ my worth, to ‘earn’ my value. If I find that I have filled my list with things that don’t fill my soul, I need to check my motives. It is so easy to fall into the Comparison Trap…and so disorienting to find myself in a crumpled heap at the bottom of that pit. For me, the rope ladder up and out of that Crazy is to repeat ‘It’s not a competition’ over and over and over…until my heart absorbs it.

‘Think on the Truth.’
Sometimes when I am having One of Those Days, it’s because I’ve forgotten who I am and Whose I am. I’ve lost sight of the Truth. And the Truth is, I am an unrepeatable miracle, deeply loved, tenderly cared for, passionately pursued, and divinely created to be a Human BEING, not a Human DOING. (pssst…so are YOU!) I belong to a King. I am His beloved daughter. He is my faithful Father. (pssst…He is YOURS and YOU are His, too!) There is peace that passes my limited understanding when I grasp these Truths like the Lifelines they are…and that peace produces in me hope for tomorrow.

I am more and more convinced of the power of the Discipline of Remembering. When I am living through a day that seems trouble-filled and never-ending, I can change it – and myself – from a hot mess just by exercising my memory. The word ‘remember’ is found 166 times in the Bible (NIV)…and I’m certain it’s because we humans are so quick to forget. Remembering is key for me in properly framing events, interactions, situations that tend to cause my blood pressure to rise and my spirit to fall. Remembering the specific ways God has shown up for me (in the changing room just before the mammogram that discovered cancer cells in my breast, whispering to my heart, ‘They are going to find something, but you’re going to be okay.’), provided for me (when the doorbell rang and the only thing there was an envelope filled with the exact amount of money we needed at a time when finances were a struggle), comforted me (through various channels – friends, books, music – when I thought all hope was gone) works like nothing else in calming my clamoring thoughts, slowing my racing heart, and lifting my downcast soul. I just need to be reminded to remember sometimes.

The next time you’re in the middle of a hard day, friend, be gentle with yourself, repeat ‘It’s not a competition.’, think on the Truth, and remember.

Your mile-long To-Do List may not get any shorter, but it is my prayer that your heart will be buoyed and your spirit bolstered.


{Installment #5 in Holley Gerth‘s Encouragement for Your Heart Challenge!! Remember to click through for even more encouragement On the Hard Days.}

{Also, feeling brave and linking up at #TellHisStory…even if I’m not sure how to center the #TellHisStory badge.} *nervous smile*

Coffee for Your Heart 150


14 responses to “On the Hard Days: Coffee for Your Heart

  1. I LOVE the “it’s not a competition” one. So often, I get caught in the mindset of “I must be better! I must have more!” … and, like you said, I MUST check my motives. Often. Thank you for the gentle reminder. So glad I found you through Holley. ~Jenna

  2. I need to remember it’s not the schedule I love- it is who is in the schedule that I love:)

  3. I just need to be reminded to remember sometimes. Thank You!
    Now, if someone would design that cup!

  4. Oh there is just so much good here! I am visiting, with coffee in hand, from Holleys’ place today and I am so glad I did!

  5. kendraroehl says:

    I love the be gentle with yourself! This is so true, especially for women. We’ll not only find ourselves behind,but then we beat ourselves up in our own minds, spilling our emotions over on those around us. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. June says:

    This is excellent, Laura! Such an encouragement! I’m so happy to have found you through the #TellHisStory link up – have a blessed week!

    • LauraK says:

      How exciting that you found me through that link up!
      It’s taken me several weeks to work up the courage to do so, and I am so grateful for your kind words!

  7. Mel says:

    Such good reminders for me today…especially the one about competition. Sometimes I get so caught up in what others are doing, instead of focusing on me, how He’s created me, and the gifts He’s given me. Thank you for these words. 🙂 Blessings!

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