Here is the name of my new wordpress blog, I am transitioning and want to create a totally new blog, maybe even with a new host, but for now I’m on wordpress, follow this link janaisimmons.worpdress.com
What do you think will happen if you took one day out of the week to rest? No, I mean seriously take one day out of the week to take a break? And I’m not talking about a day off of work where you are doing more work at home than you do at work, but a real day off. For the past couple of weeks I have been going through a bible study called Breathe. The purpose of study is to break down the importance of keeping the Sabbath. You know, that one day that God commanded us to keep holy. Honestly, when I first heard about doing this study, I was more into the church involvement, than I was to actually carry out the practice. I thought to myself it is impossible to take a whole 24 hours off, I have too much to do as it is!
Fast forward a few weeks later, and I’m noticing changes in my life. I’m focused, I have been prioritizing my time, I am actually completing task. Without getting deep into the benefits, I want you to ask yourself, do you find it hard to take a break? Does the idea of stopping make you feel anxious? Here’s an idea, it is ok to stop. It is ok to take a day to not do your to do list. It is ok to pause from your normal schedule, it is ok to have time to yourself. We work ourselves so hard and don’t realize we are exhausted until we become ill or our body forces us to sleep. Most times even then we still try to push ourselves further, not realizing we are overworked. The thing you need to ask yourself is why are you working yourself so hard?
The first day I set aside time to take a break, I didn’t do any work, but I was consumed with making plans for the future. I found it hard to really pause because I needed to find out how I was going to “make that money”. I have bills, I have student loans, I have places I want to go that include moving out of my parents house! I spent most of my time anxious about my future, that I only had a few hours left to take a real break. I’m serious. I had a financial class that day, but I spent 80% of my break time planning on how to make money. There were several other reasons I found it hard to break; one being I didn’t have any rules to follow, so I didn’t know what was acceptable or not acceptable. The truth is I made it complicated because it is as simple as resting.
Taking the Sabbath is more about what you are taking a break from, than what you do during that time. Be it planning, doing your to do list, or making that money, it is about stopping that, pausing, and taking time to breathe. It may feel like it’s impossible to take a break because you don’t have enough time already. Well I’m here to say that not only is it possible, but it is necessary, important even. Taking a break is helping me to prioritize activities and to say no to task that may seem good, but not essential to my growth. I’m letting go of my need to be busy and embracing the idea of rest. I’m starting to feel less stress and less anxious and my money situation, which God has been working out. As you go through your week, consider the Sabbath, consider pressing the pause button on your regular routine, taking a break from doing work, and set aside a day to just Breathe.
My birthday was this past Sunday and I know this is going to sound weird, but for the first time, I asked for exactly what I wanted. It’s not that I never got what I wanted, it’s just that as a kid, my mom planned birthday parties, so it was expected, as a teen, I didn’t care, I just wanted money, clothes, or chocolate cake; and as an adult, I was always fasting, so I didn’t celebrate until afterwards. So by no means am I saying that I had miserable birthdays in the past. It’s just that this year I opened my mouth and told my family that I wanted to spend time with them.
I don’t socialize much, but I enjoy spending quality time with family and friends and I like food. So in addition to spending time with family, I wanted to eat at a Hibachi style restaurant, where the food is cooked in front of you. I usually compromise what I want because I’m always thinking about other people, thinking about what others would like so they would come and enjoy themselves. This year was different, I wanted to go to a Hibachi restaurant, so that is where I ask to go. We went to Nagoya in Arlington, the place was nice, and the food was good. My favorite was the fried rice. It’s just something about rice that is cooked perfectly, not too soggy, not too hard, but just the right firmness. I’m not a rice lover, but I love perfectly cooked rice. My birthday was simple, but special to me.
What was more special is that it was exactly how I imagined. I always feel weird asking for simple things because I feel like I will get laughed at and they will ask “that’s all”, but I’m pretty easy to please.I had a great time and I’m happy I asked for what I wanted. It felt good to see my come to past.
Yesterday was my 1 year anniversary of having a car! It’s my first car and it’s paid for and running smooth. You know how happy I am that I don’t have a monthly car note? Very. Thinking back to before I bought my car, I was so worried about getting a lemon. I worried about not picking the right car and worried about having car trouble later down the line. I worried about all these things way before I even had a car. I was so worried about everything, but all those worries turned out to be nothing. My car, a ‘99 Civic, works and besides regular maintenance hasn’t giving me any of the problems I worried about. God provides.
I notice a pattern in my life, I get really anxious when I don’t know the outcome. What will I do if ________ happens, what if they say no, what if they don’t think I’m qualified, what if…what if…what if…. So many what if’s that I don’t know what to do with myself. I use to worry so much that I took everything personally. I thought that an unplanned or undesired outcome meant I needed to change something about me. I understand now that life happens; I make mistakes, people reject me, and sometimes I can’t get what I want. Sometimes all these things happen at once. The real issue is not the outcome, but the fact that I can not control the outcome. I worry because if I don’t get what I want, I take it personally, feeling like I need to change something about me. Even though I know this is not true, the feeling is still real. So every time a situation is out of my hands, I feel like I did something wrong. No wonder why I get so anxious.
Sometimes, in your life, there is not another person to call, there isn’t any extra tips you can get from the internet, and there is not one more thing you can do, but wait and believe that God will provide. You have dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s and now all you can do is wait. This time of waiting is what causes me to freak out because there are so many unknowns. I feel like Jesus looks down on me shaking his head like “Oh you of little faith”. And it is not that I do not believe God will provide. I remember all the ways God has provided thus far. I lack faith in the area of knowing that I’m ok and a “no” or rejection does not reflect who I am. I must believe that every no is not personal. Everything gone wrong is not my mistake. Sometimes people will say no because they ate no for breakfast and sometimes things go wrong because life happens. I must understand that either way I’m taking care of, I’m learning, I’m growing, and that’s all that matters. Paul says it best in Romans 8:28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
It’s Saturday night and guess what I’m doing, blogging! I really wanted to write about my visit home last week, but didn’t get a chance to post anything, not even this week. I have the opportunities that I wanted, I am a substitute for Cedar Hill and I worked part-time at Kohls, but I realize these jobs will not be sufficient for meeting my needs. I have new opportunities underway and all I can think about is being settled. Having a set schedule so I can plan my time accordingly. But I could not let another week slip by without me writing anything.
I could come up with an encouraging message about progress or tell a story about the progress I have made in the past couple of weeks, but the truth is, I just wanted to post photos of my bush. So that is what I will do. I hope everyone had a lovely week and wish for the best in the coming week!
On Christmas Day I posted my 100th post. Yay! Then, December 31, 2014 was my 1 year anniversary (patting myself on the back). When I started this blog my mind was all over the place and I didn’t have my life figured out. I just knew that I wanted to start and I didn’t want to waste time “brainstorming” that I didn’t start at all. Looking back over the past year, I am so glad I made that decision and while I feel like I have a lot of growing to do, I have reached a milestone. I blogged for a whole year!
I had this great idea three weeks ago, I thought to myself “I should read my past articles to do a recap of all the post I wrote”. It was a great idea, but I decided to not force myself to do something I knew I wouldn’t do. Instead, I decided to share a few valuable lessons I learned in 2014.
1. One day at a time.
This is something I constantly have to tell myself, remember this post. I’m less anxious when I experience life, instead of trying to reach a destination.
2. Believe in yourself.
I know, I know, how Disney of me, but hear me out. Based on my thoughts and habits I came to the conclusion that I didn’t believe in myself. I mentioned here how I hated applying to jobs. The biggest reason I didn’t want to be a teacher is because I was afraid to fail, but I believe in myself now.
3. Accept yourself instead of criticizing yourself.
When I take a look at myself, I see my flaws, I remember my mistakes, but I don’t beat myself down for them.
4. Stop being the victim
I learned to take responsibility for my actions and my emotions. Bottom Line.
5. Be decisive.
I know what I like and don’t like, can’t let the less important aspects keep you from doing what’s important to you.
6. Try something you’re not good at.
This helped me to practice loving myself.
2014 was a bumpy road. But the end of a year doesn’t mean the end. 2015 is here and I still have breath in my body, which means I still have an opportunity to be my best self. Happy New Year everyone and Happy Friday!
I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Hope everyone enjoys their family and this cheery time of year because after this it’s back to normal everyday life! Yay! My church put on a production this past Sunday and I did not enjoy it. I had high expectations and was disappointed, I could give a detailed review, but I’ll spare you. I feel like I can not criticize someone else’s work that they put thought into (or did they) because I understand the struggle of creativity, but I find comfort in saying that it just wasn’t my cup of tea. And that’s ok isn’t it? And that means it’s ok if I get criticized for my work right? Ok I’m talking to myself. But the question I want to ask is when is it ok to be critical? What is the difference between being a Debbie Downer or someone with an honest opinion?
Anyway, I came up with some instructions for you for the rest of the year,
1. Eat up, but don’t over do it.
2. Enjoy yourself, but if you are suffering loss, it is ok to grieve.
3. Be present because tomorrow isn’t promise.
I wish I had more to say, but that is all for the time being. I have been hiding out in my room and I need to socialize with my family. Happy Holidays Everyone!