Then Standing Rock happened.

I gotta tell ya, I’ve been struggling to figure out what the path to abundance looks like in this post election reality.

Having a billionaire nutcase, who wants to destroy darn near everything I see as critical to abundance, become my elected representative to the world, and fill a Cabinet with people like him…. well it’s not been the strongest few weeks on my optimism front!

Not to say I was giving up hope; by the grace of God I just don’t have that capacity most of the time. (Been there once; hoping never to be there again!) And, I’ve definitely seen many pinpoints of good shining through the turmoil.

But let’s just say the hope muscle’s been working overtime with less than stellar results.

Then Standing Rock happened.

Now, no, I am not naïve enough to think that the recent events at Standing Rock change everything. We’re still in a time of great risk.

But they give me a much needed shot of hope.

To have the protestors at Standing Rock go from being dangerously abused in the middle of winter for a peaceful demonstration, to being victorious is a remarkable answer to prayer in itself.

But for me, the pipeline victory, which I realise that Donald Trump’s administration can, and almost certainly will, wipe away as soon as he takes office, is not what renews my hope for my nation.

My hope has grown from the changes these past couple weeks of Standing Rock are working in the people participating in and watching it.

That, effectively, an honour guard of American veterans would kneel before Native American leaders at the Standing Rock protest, repent, to ask for forgiveness for our government’s historical treatment of native people is astounding.

The kind of reconciliation and repentance that symbolizes can’t help but to change the individual hearts of these veterans and the people with whom they served in the Standing Rock effort.

Those involved in the Standing Rock victory can’t possibly go into the rest of their lives seeing each other only as other, as the enemy.

And many of us watching from a distance are changed too.

And our transformed hearts will create people whose lives transform many others with whom we interact.

I’ve also noticed that this action has forced people not only to view the Water Protectors as victors, or those veterans who went to support them as heroes, but to view prayer, and reconciliation, as valuable.

Now obviously a lot of us already saw these as enormous values!

But since the Standing Rock Victory, that has grown. I’ve seen calls for further prayer in one of the most liberal magazines I ever read, and in posts I never would have expected to ponder prayer at all.

Prayer, repentance, reconciliation, these concepts are bigger, more alive, more REAL for people in the United States than they were three weeks ago.

And if you happen to believe in their power, as I do, that is HUGE.

We’re going to go through a lot of damage if, as seems probable, this Trump presidency goes through.

But the interaction of prayer, victory, repentance, and forgiveness played out between two very different sets of warriors transformed into one group of warriors at Standing Rock …

Now THAT gives me hope for us all! 

 

 

Be well. 

Monday holiday survival guide

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Happy Monday!

How you holding up out there?

I know,  it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

But let’s be real: the holidays can dredge up pain, flare up tempers, magnify loss, and drown us in overwhelmed fatigue.

I hope sincerely that is not you! I hope you’re that person harmonising with Bing Crosby while adding touches of tinsel to any last neglected corner!

But on the off chance that some part of your holiday season tends more toward grim than glittering, two reminders:

During the holidays, if at no other time, take good care of yourself!

  • Drink plenty of water! (Yes, coffee may be needed, and vodka considered, but add the water in too. Really.)
  • Exercise. WHAT?!?! you say; has the girl gone mad? I’m not talking about an hour of powerlifting. Stretch decadently for 5 minutes, stroll aimlessly for 10. Dance through White Christmas. (Or White Wedding, if you’re already beyond your carol endurance.) Just anything to move your body. It heals your mind.
  • Be REAL. About who you are, what you like and don’t like, and how much you can handle just now.
  • AND about what you can afford to spend! Debt never lightened anyone’s heart.
  • Say no if you need to! (It’s absolutely fine.)
  • Do one less thing. (If you find that works for you, do it again!)
  • Or perhaps do one MORE thing, but only something that feels like a glorious escape for your soul. (And cancel something draining to make the time! Repeat as needed.)
  • Cut yourself a lot of slack.
  • Cut other folks some slack too, if you can manage it. Perfect people don’t happen, and requiring them just ups your cortisol.
  • Avoid people and things that drain the life out of you. (Yeah, even if they are relatives.)
  • Pause, meditate, pray –  whatever looks like peace to you  – once a day. Even if it’s just 3 minutes.
  • If you need more support than you have, during this season, PLEASE reach out for it! Here are a few options.
  • And if you’ve already hit crisis level darlin’, this is SO not the time for stoic endurance! Save that for late spring or something. Here are some  more immediate options.

AND we are not in this alone:

Be well.