Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The World Is Scary So Let's Wrangle Some Joy

So the world is a scary place right now.

There are many many reasons for this.

Threats of nuclear war

Death and injuries dues to Charlottesville white nationalist rally

So much racism.

So much sexism.

So much violence.

So much bigotry.

The refugee crisis.

Break-ins and burglary in our neighborhood on the regular. (pretty mild all things considering amiright?)

Oh and there are some crazy creepy white supremacy blogs out there. (free advice: sometimes it's best to forget research and go outside so you can avoid losing your mind)

And there is the usually downpour called every day life. Scott got sick with the flu. We ran out of Nyquill, Advil, toilet paper and paper towels all around the same time. The car didn't pass the smog check. Leonard threw up. We spaced paying car registration. We ran out of quarters to do laundry etc...

Besides that; Scott and I have been going through a tough season  (outside of the normal mundane type stuff). The details are private right now but I can tell you this WE ALL NEED A LITTLE BIT OF GOOD NEWS.

So I just finished Jen Hatmaker's new book, Of Mess and Moxie and if you haven't yet, stop whatever you are doing and go buy it!

It made me laugh so hard you guys (and I can't even relate to her content on having teenagers but it was so funny all the same!)

I really needed to laugh. Jen talks about wrangling joy and delight out of life. I love the idea of wrangling something like joy. Because right now? We have to wrangle it. I don't find that joy and happiness is going to just waltz on in without a bit of request or wrangle if you will.

We have to wrestle it in. We have to dig down deep into the gusto and guts and grit of our soul and find the ability to make something of what we have. You remember Jacob and how he had to wrestle a bit to be blessed? (Genesis 32:26) I'm imagining something like that for us.

So here's what I did: I created a little acronym called HOPE* to help wrangle a bit of joy into my every day life. In the mornings I am walking through this practice to pray, set an intention, embrace my values and yes pull joy in like a kite that wants to fly away in this strong and chaotic windstorm called the world.

HOPE: What Is Bringing Me Hope Today About The Future?

Look you guys, it can be ANYTHING. Don't try to be fancy or philosophical about this. Here's my list:
  • Fall is coming. (There are already pumpkins at Marshalls and I cannot be sad knowing this)
  • My sister is due Sunday (YAY for being an auntie!!!)
  • I COULD win the lottery. (don't analyze this. think big you guys!)
GOOD NEWS: Who Can I Bring Good News To Today? (P.S. I know that my "O" is a stretch here but work with me...)

We all need some happy news. We desperately do. Who can you advocate for today? Who can you encourage? What can you do practically? Maybe it is buying backpacks for your local elementary school. Maybe it's signing up to bring dinner for the neighbors whose house just burned down and are still recovering from the after shock. Maybe it's donating to the STARS program for teen girls involved with CSEC. (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children). Maybe it's volunteering your time to help walk some dogs. You can become a foster family. You can help fund kids to go to a Young Life camp. And keep calling your senators! 

Again, it doesn't have to be a huge life altering decision either. It can be sending a letter encouraging your friend who is going through cancer treatments. It can be telling your spouse you love them. It can be buying the person in line behind you a coffee. (actually forget everything else I told you: THIS IS THE TRUE GOOD NEWS). You can text them and tell them you are really praying for them. Or Amazon Prime them a prize. It's simple. It's a couple clicks and now you are seeing good news via the mail! Host a girls night and drink lots of Sangria. Make your friends a home cooked dinner. This IS always and always and forever amen good news. Good news comes in all shapes and sizes. Find someone and show them God's love. 

Here are mine:
  • Bringing good news to husband via gatorade and medicine and driving him to Urgent Care. 
  • Bringing good news to my clients by reminding them they have hope and they are rock stars. 
  • Bringing birthday presents to nephews + nieces. 
POSITIVE: What Is One Positive Thing In My Day? 

Think of something you're especially grateful for or thankful for today!
ENERGY: Where Do I Want To Put My Energy Today?

YOU GUYS. I'll lose it for real if I put all my energy on Trump lump okay? I cannot put all my energy into social media and battling the crazy trolls out there. We gotta forget that noise. I'm trying to put my energy into people I can see and touch and feel today. The people who live in my home, my neighborhood and my community. It's not that I don't care about what is going on "out there" but if I spend all day online trying to educate people on racism I will shit my pants (well wait... it's more likely I'll constipate my pants from gritting my teeth but this isn't really a saying so I digress) Also silver lining: Scott and I will become homeless if I spend all my energy and time fighting online instead of working and being present with my surroundings. 

So for today my energy is on:
  • Scotty and helping him recover from his flu virus.
  • My clients.
  • My puppy Lenny because feeding and walking him is the best use of my energy sometimes. 
So do you want to join me and practice HOPE on the daily? I feel like at the best we will feel a spark of joy and happiness and at the worst, maybe we will have given someone else a tiny ray of hope. 

* I also created a super neat acronym called POOP. It is to help you feel the opposite of hope and joy. Works in a jiffy.
P: Poop your pants (now that is a hope stealer if I have anything to say)
O: Get online. Stay online as long as humanely possible. You will quickly feel like poop in no time!
O: Offer to stand in line at the DMV for a friend. It's a nice thing to do.
P: Politics. Try to think about politics every second of every minute of every hour. You will feeling stunningly shitty in a matter of mili-seconds! But don't let that detour you! Keep thinking about politics.

For best results: Do not go outside, see the sun or smell fresh air. Stay inside where it's warm and cozy and stale and near your computer and phone and charger. And don't be silly, keep those blinds closed for heavens sake! 

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