Today as I was taking some photos for a friend, I came across a photo that really hit home. With all that has gone on in our lives over the last year and three quarters, I think we could all agree that there have many changes. I think some we could say have been good changes; maybe within our thinking and life styles But others have experience very difficult circumstances with illness and isolation and loss. It made me think of all of you out there who may be feeling the same way I did this morning, and I just want to encourage you. Let me start with a question.
If you COULD go anywhere you wanted to go right at this moment, where would you go? It may be far, it may be near, and it may only take you a moment to decide. Where would it be?
My lead photo was taken when I went to Norway in 2017. It was my second time going and I was taking my middle son and grandson with me this time. I had previously gone in 2015 with my youngest son. When I saw this photo, it just reminded me of how much I have missed being able to have the freedom of travel to other places. I did go in 2019 also and I have a strong desire to travel again. That would be my place to go. There are some places you travel to that change your life forever, and this has been one. With all the restrictions going on now, it is a bit discouraging to think I may not being able to travel there in the future. But I am hopeful God will move in this area, and we will get through this to once again to let our hearts travel to places we love.
So what do we do with all these feelings of loss…and it is also a loss of our freedom in many ways. I think it means that we really have to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to look within ourselves for strength for the changes. Is there something we CAN change, so that, we can look at it through a different lens? For example, am I happy enough in myself that I don’t easily get discontent? Do I like or love myself enough to not mind being alone with myself? Do I know how to relax and find ways to entertain and enjoy life without vegging in front of a TV for long lengths of time? If I am able, am I getting out to walk or moved to keep myself active? And most important, am I letting God have my emotions and thoughts so I stay focused on the right things? Am I willing to slow down enough to be ok with being with myself or my family as we go back to more isolation? Did I need the slowing down lifestyle for me to realize what is really important in my life? Do we love our home enough to spend a lot of time there? Is there something you are I can do to make that more comfortable? Do I need to stay away from media and all the chatter so that I don’t get sucked in to all the negativity out there?
In my case, I have learned the art of having a home I love. I don’t mind being here, I have many things I enjoy doing. I practice slow and simple living, and I value it in my life. I have done the work, with God’s help, to be ok with me and how I enjoy my life. I have no desire for drama or giving up on anything. Is my life perfect? Absolutely not. Can I get discouraged? You bet. The only difference is that I know where to take all of that, and I know WHO is in control, ultimately, no matter what it looks like! I love to share photos to help encourage others to do some of the same.
So what did I do when that heart squeeze came today as I saw this picture? I took a picture of the picture with American flag on it, and because I know God cares for me and shows me every day, it’s my goal photo. So I also know that He knows my desires and He knows the end of my life from the beginning, so I just told Him that I trust Him and His timing, and that I know He will open doors for travel at some point.
Is there something else I can do?
- Stay in contact with all those wonderful people there because our hearts can connect in that way too.
- I have to be willing to be content in God’s timing…and I am. That doesn’t mean I don’t give a *sigh* sometimes, but as we know, He hears those too, even a few tears at times, and it never goes un-noticed with God.
- I can be grateful for all that I CAN do…I can enjoy my home, hobbies, a drive in the country with a mocha in hand, stopping to really see and hear nature, talk to a friend, send a snail mail card, take pictures, read, have fun with friends as I can. Try a new recipe. If you find that difficult to imagine for you, ask yourself why? You might be surprised at your answers.
- Everyday, I write a few things on paper hearts and put in my Gratitude Jar and that keeps my focus on the right journey.
So as I look through photos I took while visiting Norway, I have wonderful memories to include in my day and my heart fills with gratitude that before 2015, I had yet to meet these relatives in person. For that, I can be eternally grateful. Don’t be discouraged. Encourage yourself. You know what you like and what brings you joy. Go do it!! Have some fun and make some joy! Not long ago, I bought some bubbles and had some fun photography time! I have always loved bubbles and I guess it brings out the kid in me. My grandson and I did that several times too. I talked to him when we were at the beach about putting his troubles in a bubble and let them float out to sea never to return! I have been known only to myself, of doing the same thing in the back yard with my troubles and giving them over to God. He knows! Please don’t hesitate to leave your destination on the comments. I would love to know where you would go. If at all possible, and yours isn’t so far as Norway is for me, then plan to go! We have things we may have to put up with to go, however, it is totally worth the planning. Maybe a drive in the country with the windows down, or a walk on the beach, or go the mountains, is all you need. How about learning something new! But whatever it is, ask God to help you seek a resolution for how you can go where you want to go and do what you want to do! He is a prayer answering God! However, it doesn’t alway look like we might think. He knows best! Keep looking up! Live! Go forth Adventurer!!
Until next time…