By: Jennifer McClellan, MA, NCC, APC
On a recent short trip to the beach with family, we rushed out to the beach each evening to catch the sunset. It’s always a brilliant pink even after the sun comes down behind the trees. We stay til every bit of sunlight is gone. If a boat had been readily available – being on the water chasing the sunset each night would have been on the agenda. Settling on the beach view, I watched people set up small campfires, take family photos, create social media posts. You know what seemed missing? Folks enjoying the actual sunset.
Don’t get me wrong, our family took photos and enjoyed being silly. But then we sat down in the cool sand, toes and all. We enjoyed God’s display of nature, listened to the waves hit the shore, and enjoyed the hoodie worthy ocean breeze. Savoring some silence at that point, I reflected on the day and planned on some downtime for the next couple of days instead of doing “all the things” expected on vacations.
So now I’m wondering if we are enjoying our vacations, birthdays, graduations, weddings, holidays or are we checking off more to do lists?
I encourage us all to spend some time reflecting…
What needs to change, stay the same, or can we look at a situation from a different point of view. Instead of looking for perfection, enjoy the moment the way it is – Just Be. Be in the moment, chasing the sunset, enjoying the view.
“When the sun goes down you shall surely return the pledge to him, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you; and it will be righteousness for you before the Lord your God.”
By: Jennifer McClellan, MA, NCC, APC, Therapist
A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to be part of a small Christian group. Our group met once a month for weekend trainings for nearly a year. Sunday mornings we worshiped together before the training began. We ended our worship by giving our instructor a number from 1-10. (10 being the highest and 1 being lowest). I loved this activity because we repeated it at the end of the day. Our numbers had increased by the late afternoon even if we were tired, hungry, and had long travel times back home to our families to start the new week.
During our time together the group went through many events such as weddings, deaths, marital separations, engagements, moving, job changes, college workloads, travel, and much more. One Sunday morning, one of the members stated she was a 10! One who had just experienced a great loss unexpectedly while going through another difficult life event. We all inquired about her number – and she simply stated it was because of US – she was GRATEFUL to spend one weekend a month with a group that was using gratitude to change difficult situations into opportunities to build better attitudes!
A moment of realization for us all – even during tough or sad times, we can shift our perspectives.
I ask…what are You GRATEFUL for each day? Not just here in the Fall when the weather cools and we begin planning our holiday meals, travel plans, and shopping lists – but this season of life for you.
I am sure you have heard, “Start each day with a grateful heart.”
Give it some thought and ask yourself:
Beautiful things happen when you can let go of the negative and allow gratefulness and gratitude to take hold.
“As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy
A prayer for you from a member of my group:
Lord we are so very thankful that you are full of mercy and grace.
Help us to see and understand the depth of your love for us.
May this knowledge spark gratefulness in our hearts and fullness in our lives. ~ A.C.
By: Jennifer McClellan, MA, NCC, APC
You’ve made it through the school year during a global pandemic! Kudos to you – Be PROUD of yourself! Regardless of the platform you utilized during the school year – you did it – you are here at the heart of a new beginning – SUMMER!
Instead of focusing on what you gave up in 2020 (and some of 2021) – Ask yourself – WHAT DID I GAIN? Do I want to return to something I miss? What am I ‘ok’ leaving out?
Try reflecting on your EXPERIENCES this past year…
REFLECTION is a great way to learn something about yourself…
You might find you have gained resiliency, patience, or how you adapted to stay connected to what matters most to your heart…whatever it is what did you LEARN about yourself?
Notice what feelings came up and what was difficult, what was easy? Want to change something? Maybe you want to try something different…
Here’s what I noticed – it was difficult to stay on a schedule – adapting to changes I was not ready for – some unsavory habits were created (and some good ones I will keep).
Now try reflecting on what you want to see different – where can I create new and more fulfilling habits?
Here’s some fun and simple ways to CREATE your summer and stay connected to what matters most to your heart:
Look at summer as relaxation, renewal, rest, and maybe a RESET to CREATE what sings to your heart.
What are YOU looking forward to this SUMMER?
Proverbs 27:19 NIV, As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.
Legacy strategy Blog
Legacy Strategy, Inc. is a private counseling practice in Kennesaw, Georgia.