• Debbie Slaughter

Bye Bye January

Hello February!

I've been waiting for you like a long lost friend.

January around here has been very gloomy and rainy and I have to say, I'm not sorry to see it go.

Thank goodness February brought with it a glimmer of hope that Spring was on the way because I could use more sunshine and longer days.

I'm not saying I'm a full-blown summer girl, but seeing the sun bursting through the windows last week, certainly did make me feel happier.

The last week of January also brought me a week of respite that I didn't realize I desperately needed, until a little cold and laryngitis slowed me down.

Isn't it funny how God will take something inconvenient, like a cold, and turn it into exactly what you need?

After months of literally going from one thing to another, with rarely a break in between, I needed some time to catch my breath.

Just this Fall, we've dealt with hurricanes, evacuations, David's mom's health, moving her, the holidays, a wedding, moving Morgan and Collin, and regular household duties and jobs. Oh! and still having a house on the market, not to mention, last Saturday we moved the last of David's mom's stuff and turned out the lights on that chapter...for the meantime.

I felt like I was barely surviving.

I know that sounds dramatic, but I'm just being honest here.

So, after a weekend of keeping the girls and losing my voice, I called an all-out break for myself and declared the next week a holiday from everyone else's needs but my own.

If you know me, this was tough! I love taking care of my family, but I could feel myself slipping into a zone of exhaustion and knew it was time to take care of me.

So, I had a glorious week of going at my own pace. I couldn't talk, so that eliminated all phone calls. It also meant no homeschooling for the week.

I had time to clean, decorate, read, cook, rest, watch tv, work on my book and anything else that I felt like doing. I didn't have to worry that someone would need me, because they all knew I wasn't feeling well.

The nice thing was that by Wednesday, I was feeling much better and my voice was coming back. And, as I started feeling better, the temptation to get out and shop or see the kids was very tempting, but I forced myself to stay home until Saturday, when David and I had to resume our job at his mom's apartment.

Each day that I was home, I could feel the Lord restoring something that I had lost...PEACE.

With each day that I took care of myself, I could feel my strength return - both mentally and physically.

This brought such revelation and sorrow to me, when I really thought about it, because this is how most people operate - in constant "go" mode. No wonder everyone is stressed and anxiety ridden!

As for me, I am a project person and love to keep busy with projects, coffee dates, seeing my kids, and working on things, but as I began to really think about why the last few months had worn me down so much, I realized it wasn't just the circumstances, but rather that the circumstances were caused by things that had nothing to do with me, yet they required my time and energy.

So, I felt like my life had become one big session of David and I handing our lives over to everyone else and having no control over our own time. We were both worn down and stressed.

But, after a week at home and giving myself permission to say "no" to the outside world, I walked into the first week of February feeling rested and hopeful.

Most of those things from Fall 2020 are behind us now, with the exception of our house that is still on the market, so we are breathing a little easier.

Now, if I can just remember to say "no" when I feel I need to and convince my husband that he isn't responsible for keeping the world turning, maybe we can reclaim some time for ourselves.

After all, we've now entered our "empty nest" season of life and I hear it can be fun, if you make the most of it.

I think I'd like to give it a good try! I could use a year of fun!

How about you?

Until Next Time......


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