31 Days of Reclaiming Life: Day 3.

A friend asked me how I was doing this week and I didn't know how to respond. 

Because the truth is that I'm doing fine--I really like my new job, my kids are doing well, my husband and I have a great relationship, and I've got a lot of fun things on the horizon.  We love our church, we love our camp, and we have a good little life.  We can pay the bills, we are all relatively healthy, and we have everything we need (and a lot of what we want).  The heavy stress of the last month has passed our family and we have finally crawled out of the zombie mode we lived in during most of August and September.   

So, on the outside, I seem to be doing very well.  
And on the inside, I seem to be doing very well.  

But it didn't stop me from immediately starting to cry when my friend asked me how I was doing. 

I tried to explain my tears away, because what I have been through was really no big deal in the scope of how much others around me have dealt with recently.  My hurts and trials haven't been nearly as severe as some of those in my circles.  I haven't lost children, no one in my family has been diagnosed with cancer, and we're doing ok.  

But my friend stopped me and made me remember that my load I've been carrying these past months may not have been outwardly as heavy as others'--but it is still pretty heavy for me.  And while it is not ok to wallow in endless self-pity, it is completely natural to feel the effects of the weight of my load.  

It's a world of laughter (and a world of tears)
And it is ok to give myself permission to feel the weight of that load. 

To grieve.  
To cry. 
To feel stressed out. 

And to experience the low end of the "life to the full" spectrum.     

So, today I'm giving you the permission to own your life to the full as well.  I'm encouraging you to own your highs and lows.  I'm reminding you that you've been put in this particular season and you need to own it.  Maybe life is going swell--or maybe life is really putting it to you this morning.  Whatever it is--own it. 

But remember: this season doesn't own you. 

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