This weekend was a great weekend for me! The boys and I drove to California with my parents for a long weekend with a lot of family!
It was my Grandad’s 88th birthday (mom’s side)…
…and my Grandma Kay (dad’s side) was putting on an event called the Best Taste of Santa Ana in downtown Santa Ana. Both were so great!
We saw so much family on both sides, and it was great to get out of the heat for a few days!
Most importantly, this weekend was refreshing for my soul.
I’m in a very emotionally raw place lately.
Personally, I have been feeling a little inadequate in a lot of ways. I usually don’t talk about feeling inadequate because most people will be really kind and say nice things to try to convince me otherwise. And it’s really sweet, and I know that they mean every word, but my ability to accept them is often broken. So they don’t end up having the intended effect that people were hoping, and I can end up making them feel as though their opinion doesn’t matter to me, and it’s just not the case.
I’m so blessed to have people who love me and say nice things to me. But the truth is, I’m my own worst enemy sometimes, and it doesn’t really matter what people say, it mostly matters how I’m feeling. No amount of nice words can convince me that I’m worth something if I’m feeling not good enough.
It really takes me quite a while to climb out of the inadequacy pit. The quickest and most proven way for me to pull myself out of that place is time spent with people who are aware of their need for the love, grace, mercy, and acceptance of Jesus, and don’t feel the need to show Jesus how good they are. I get way too wrapped up in trying to prove myself to remember that Jesus doesn’t ask me to prove anything, because that would be playing a losing game. But these people are so grateful that they’ve been rescued and forgiven that they’ve learned that they don’t have try to prove their worth anymore.
They’re the ones that do things for other people in secret because they don’t feel that they need credit. When they do something amazing, they deflect praise to others. They’re the first to show up to help, and the last ones to leave. They aren’t flashy and don’t show off. These are the people who don’t post everything on Facebook for approval. Certainly, these people aren’t perfect, they’re just farther along in the process than I am.
I’m not good at being like those people. I find myself falling all too often into a trap that makes me worried that I’m not being accepted or that I’m not measuring up. But those people refresh my soul and remind me that not only am I adequate, I’m uniquely purposed for this place, this time, and this role.
I got to spend some really good time with some of the best examples of that this weekend – two of my mom’s sisters, Julie and Marcia. Not that my mom is not just as awesome, but getting to see Julie and Marcia was a much more rare treat!
This is my mom (right), my Grandad, Marcia (top left), and Julie (bottom left).
Julie and Marcia know what it’s like to fight battles with grace, dignity, and poise. Julie is humble, but dignified. Gentle, but strong. People are drawn to her because she’s so peaceful and steadfast. She’s very funny, and has such a generous spirit.
Marcia has been knocked down more than once and gotten back up with more strength and love for people than before. Through her fight with breast cancer, she courageously allowed other people into her world, and she inspired me so much when she boldly accepted help from those around her. She’s kind and loving, and has the unique ability to make a person feel known and seen.
My kids’ faces lit up when I told them we were going to see Julie and Marcia this weekend because they both treat my kids like they are real people, and when they play with them, each of them makes my boys feel like they are the most important people to her at that moment.
They’re even a part of my kids’ selfies :).
During this long weekend, I got a big dose of family on both my parents’ sides. It was so wonderful to see everyone, and to spend so much time with people who mean so much to me. I got filled up and I left feeling refreshed.
But Julie and Marcia? They did something special for me this weekend. They reminded me what it’s like to feel like enough. Neither one of them said any specifically encouraging words. They didn’t speak words of wisdom into my life that directly touched my soul. They just loved me for no particular reason. We laughed, we played card games and word games. We ate lots of food, and we stayed up way too late and just enjoyed each other.
I’m so grateful for reminders that just being me is enough. Showing up and doing the things right in front of me when I just can’t do anything else is enough.
Because Jesus has ransomed me.
He is enough for me.
What would it be like if we were this kind of person for other people — refreshing to their souls?
This is my focus for the immediate future: trying to be a refreshing presence for those around me.
I hope that you’ll join me in this new focus!
What kind of people are refreshing to your soul? How do you pull yourself out of the insecurity pit? Who specifically refreshes your soul? Let me know in the comments!