How to navigate life with the cards we’re dealt can be challenging, finding grace in it all may sound nuts. Yet, grace is a big player when it comes to winning. No matter what the situation is, we will get through it if we believe we can. I try to remind myself of that every time a ‘crisis’ rises. But why are we so hard on ourselves when trials surface? Check out these three tricks to playing our cards.
The Hand We’re Dealt: to fold or play?
A few years ago I was talking with my husband about my physical ailments. You see as a kid, my deep desire was to achieve optimal health. I exercised, I ate well, and I wanted to run a marathon. Then the disease kicked in. As a kid I got sick numerous times a year, as a young adult I fracture my hip which has left me ‘run-less’, and later in life, my immune system attacked my digestive health; among other unforeseen troubles, my dream was turning into dust or was it?
As I was going through my list of hurts, my husband said something I’ve heard many times but for some reason, it struck a chord in me that day. He said, “You gotta play the cards you’re dealt.” It was a way of reminding me that I’m not in control, yet to trust the One who is; and that I have a choice to fold my cards or to keep on playing them.
Right now in this post, I’m probably supposed to tell you to not “fold your hand”; but it’s in the folding of our hands where we learn how to play. When we ask God for help in our hardships, He helps us find the right path to run down…if we’re willing to step in that direction. So yes, fold when you have to, not to get out of the game, but to study the game and learn a better strategy.
First: Be good to yourself
Part of the reason challenges are challenges is because we are experiencing uncharted territory in our lives. If we knew how to do EVERYTHING we would have no stress, there would be little pain, and there would be zero challenges. Sounds like a boring life. Problems in life or challenges are a good thing if you look at them with a teaching spirit. Playing the cards we’re dealt involves us looking at life with fresh eyes…our eyes, not the world’s, nor the eyes of your close friends, but our eyes. the eyes God gave us.
Comparing, perfectionism and impatience can throw us way off track. Anger comes to play, then before you know it we blow up we lose sight of how to get through it. God put us on this planet to teach us, to love us, and to get us ready for eternity. One of the ways He demonstrates His confidence in us is through grace. Finding grace may just be what we need to fully see with our eyes the core of our being and to know how to move forward.
What needs to happen: finding grace
There are times when we need to be our own advocates. When it came to my health, our only vessel that gets us around on this planet, I made it my mission to get healthy. With this quest, I tried a lot of things and failed, yet I learned. Today, I’m not where I want to be but I’m not giving up. This is where grace gets dealt into the game. When we’re in a swirl of emotions and super hard on ourselves, it’s critical to get some space to find grace. And it’s there in which all becomes clearer and we get wiser with our decisions.
What ‘grace’ am I talking about? The grace of civility towards ourselves; when we’re going through a rough season, remember to love yourself, not to punish or blame yourself. Be good to yourself, respect your well-being, and understand where you are and where you want to go; because it’s in those moments of grace, where the untangling begins, and where we see what cards to play next. Simply talking to yourself kindly, getting creative, treating yourself to a hobby, taking care of your body, mind, and spirit, and reducing stress will help you experience grace in such a good way.
Secondly: Get in the right mindset in finding grace
One late August I rediscovered how to wrap myself with a little grace. To transition from a busy summer to the starting of the school year, my family and I went camping. We hooked up the RV (don’t judge me, we got our tent badge years ago) and settled in a wooded campsite. Faint smells of last night’s campfires drifted under my nose, and the quaking leaves and distance boat motors rested on my shoulders. And the canopy of trees comforted my busy head. That weekend I made it a point to go for a walk at least twice a day, not for exercise, but for rest.
As I walked through the sun-beamed shadows my mind went back to my roots. As a child, I played in the woods for hours on end. My imagination soared between the branches. And my energy and creativity flowed with every step I took. It was there where I felt like I could accomplish anything, where I felt strong and confident, and where I felt healthy. And here I was once again in the mindset I needed to continue to take on.
Thirdly: have a place of refuge
My childhood goal for optimum health gave me a run for my money. My body has confused me over and over; funny how that works. If God wants me to have good health, He’s not going to give it to me on a silver platter. He knows I’m smart. He knows that if I want it bad enough, I’m going to use the abilities He gave me to figure it out. A challenge indeed, but also a way to build character. There must be something He wants me to learn in all this.
With that said, when I face a new challenge with my health, I head to the woods and fold my hands. I can’t stress enough how many times I’ve heard Him speak and direct my path of who I need to talk to next, what to try, or even getting a last-minute appointment. It’s been in my special sanctuary where I get instructions on what cards to play next.
God puts our special place of refuge in each of our hearts. My special place is in the outdoors, walking down a lined path of trees. Yours may be the beach, the mountains, the lake, the prairie, the park, the farm, or the river. Think of where you feel your best in nature, then go there for a dose of grace. You just may find your card strategy in reaching your goals and get a rekindle under your feet.
All in all
The grace you give yourself is what will help you have a winning hand no matter what cards you hold. Don’t underestimate yourself, you have gears you’re not even aware of. Just remember that whatever you’re facing it’s important in finding grace to be good to yourself, Get in the right mindset and have a place of refuge. Most of the time, you just need to look at the cards differently and be creative. All in all, finding grace is all you need to succeed.
Before you go, check out these other great posts:
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- Gluten-Free No-bake Cookies with Coconut!
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- Kid Activities at Home: 10 Things You Can Do Right Now!
By CT Copyright © 2022 Simplify Firefly, All Rights Reserved.