Last night I spent two hours talking to a woman who has known me since birth, who loves Jesus and people well. We talked about marriage, the wedding day, relationships, family, life changes; a little bit of anything that came to mind. I left feeling at rest, encouraged + inspired, soul facing the Lord, refreshed. Reminds me once again of the wonder of shutting out all the noise and trading heart stories with someone. Gaining wisdom, help in processing, a new perspective.
11 days to marriage. That’s where we’re at. I told someone this the other day, that if asked I probably wouldn’t be able to describe all of the thoughts, emotions, processing, growing, learning going on inside me during this season. The things that have touched my heart, the fear then through prayer turned into faith, the conversations I’ve had, the way I’ve grown, the things I’ve learned. The beginning of summer to where I am now.. in just two months I feel like a new person in some regards. Not only preparing to be a wife, but working full-time, learning about relationship changes, graduating from college. This summer has been a rich one.
So here’s a heart, soul, mind spill….
Boundaries are important.
“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where i end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options. Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. We must own our own thoughts and clarify distorted thinking.” Henry Cloud
A wedding day holds a great deal of emotion. Keep it in perspective.
A few days ago I had a small shock about this particular reality about that day. I realized a small fear had developed: fear of the sadness that comes with that day. It is expected, for tears to be present, on my dad’s face and on my face, on my mom’s face… it’s a bittersweet reality, giving your daughter away. But, I was prompted by my friend to keep it in perspective. Yes, both my parents will cry, but I need to remember that they are happy for me and that they want this for me! Also, I have reason for so much gratitude since I’ll only be minutes away from them. It’ll be easy to get swept up in the emotion of the day, but I want to be aware that it’s the right emotion — thanksgiving to the Lord, joy over John, humility because of the people who come to witness us get married — not anxiety over whether my parents are okay. They will be, because God’s got us. And I fully believe this is His plan for me, and for them. The joining of these wonderful families, my parents gaining a great son-in-law, and future grandchildren. :) I have been challenged not to allow the Enemy a chance to steal my joy in this time, but planting fears or false thinking. “Chelsea, change your thinking. These next two weeks, change your thinking. Take those hindering and negative things off your plate.”
Guard your time. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it.
I instagram’d this the other day, with these words attached: “Growing up means being honest about what matters to you, what you love, what you’re living for, and how all of those are connected.” I think this is so true. I never would’ve thought this, but growing up is really a lot about honesty. We can’t read people’s minds, so communication is key. I can’t always worry about what other people think; if it’s important to them, they’ll share it with me. Relationships are a two-way street. Being wise and intentional about time is something this engagement season has brought to light for me. It’s okay to guard your mental, emotional, spiritual, physical health by saying ‘no.’ If I’m always stretched super thin to attend everything, or please everyone, I’ll crumble. And I won’t have energy for things in life that God has entrusted to me: my job, my future marriage, my family, etc. Sometimes I may not want to say no to something, like an early morning gym class. But if it makes me tired earlier in the day, and enhances a flustered attitude, maybe it’s not the best thing for right now.
God created me with my own specific, unique genetic makeup… and in Genesis it says that everything He made was good.
“God designed a world where we all live “within” ourselves; that is, we inhabit our own souls, and we are responsible for the things that make up “us.” Henry Cloud
He has given me responsibility for myself, no one else (although J would jokingly add, “except me”). There’s something freeing in knowing that I have a responsibility to protect myself, to engage in things that help me thrive, that I enjoy. I think it makes God smile when I’m being myself, because He designed me the way He did. He wants me to own it, to embrace it, to treasure my individuality, to share my heart and soul with others. Exactly how I am, how He made me and designed me — there’s no one else on this Earth exactly like me — is GOOD. So why do I put limitations on myself based on others’ opinions? Why do I not express myself, or share my heart + life with others, for fear of rejection? Another’s rejection is not a sign that I’m wrong; it may have nothing to do with me, but with them. God has given me this body, this heart, this soul, this mind…. this specific one! I think my Heavenly Father delights in me when I’m my truest self, plain before Him, desiring to be more like Him, interacting with other people and enjoying life. And be thankful for how you are. Last night, my friend said this, “You have a lot of wisdom for your age, especially for this season of life – be thankful for that. Ask Him to continue to reveal Himself to you, and be aware of how you can reflect Him with that.”
PS – We received our engagement photos back the other day, and I can hardly get enough. Love laughing and spending time with him. Rarely being in front of the camera, I also think they are special and sweet to have.