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a note from Jana
This one's from the heart
November/December 2020; January 2021

In this issue:

- A personal note (and, I hope, some inspiration)



Dear reader:

In this note, I'm going to talk about what's going on with me, but I think/hope you'll still find some self-care inspiration for you woven throughout....

In my previous note to you, I included this prayer:

Lord, remind me when I'm feeling unmotivated... that this is probably a sign I need to take better care of myself.... Help me find the best ways to do that. And thank You for Your tender grace that remains with me, no matter how I am.

You know the prayer I share with you is one I pray for myself as well, right? And as God answered that prayer for me -- help me find the best ways to take better care of myself -- an answer emerged.

Stop putting

so much pressure on

yourself to produce.


Winter months are especially hard for me. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, which means that when sunlight is scarce, so is my serotonin, making it hard for me to think as clearly or be as productive as usual. (Learn more here.)

I've posted this image before, and often preached this message:

image: You can't pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.

I'm not going to have anything worth sharing if I'm an empty cup. So I'm practicing what I preach!

Plants and trees may be fruitless above ground in the winter, but underground, their roots are digging deeper. This is where I am now. (Maybe you too?) I'm resting from my self-imposed expectations for producing outward fruit. 

But that doesn't mean doing nothing at all: my roots need feeding, and that requires some thoughtful choices.

image: pink winter sunset

So I've intentionally let some things go, and given more attention to those activities that feed my soul.

One of the things I'm letting go is putting pressure on myself to send this letter out every month. (That pressure, I've realized, came from nothing but my own self-imposed agenda, based on what the "experts" say writers should do.) Instead, I'm going to send you a note when my cup is full and I have something worth saying. 

This change makes me feel like this is a note to a friend -- which I want it to be -- rather than a checkbox on my to-do list.

Well, this has been a lot of talk about me, but I hope it still contains some self-care inspiration for you. Here are a couple questions to start you thinking...



Questions for you:

Are there some things 2020 forced you to give up or reshape that might need to become a permanent or seasonal change in your life rhythm?

Where might you need to give yourself permission to turn loose of some expectations that no one is putting on you but you?


And remember, friend: His tender grace remains with you no matter how/where you are.

I'd love to have a conversation with you, if you have something to ask or share. I read every email.

Happy trails!

[image: Jana's signature]

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