Rest is the mind-body-spirit stage of cocooning. During the first couple of weeks of cocooning, I needed to rest my mind from thinking and I had to begin filling it with new perspectives by reading my Bible, spiritual books, and other edifying materials. I also found that meditating on what I’d read and writing out my takeaways helped me to strengthen me and to settle me. As a matter of fact, it was during this stage that I created my very first prayer journal/binder; I use it daily and it has helped me tremendously to become more strategic and thorough in my devotional and prayer time.
(Stay tuned for a new blog and walk-through video about my prayer journal/binder).
Once my foggy state of mind began to clear and my hormones began to stabilize, I knew that it was time to move on to the more formal (and harder) process of cocooning. The “heart work” came next; it was time to RENEW!
The Renewal Stage
Quiet time is a requirement for renewing one’s mind, body, and soul. And I realized that I need to plan my rest just as I plan anything else that is important to me.
Renewal. During the renewal stage, I began reflecting on what is working in my life vs. what is not. And after thinking back over the last 12 months, I began considering things that worked in my marriage, in my family, in my finances, and in my businesses; know I know what actions I want to repeat. I also found several areas that needed improvement in every aspect of my life. Ultimately, this assessment has allowed me to consider the things that didn’t work so that I can, with the help of the Lord, take the necessary steps to work toward correcting and strengthening those areas. Along the way, though, I’ve had to remind myself of the importance of owning up to the places I fall short and constantly rededicating myself to actually doing the work! Whatever is necessary to strengthening my life, I know that I cannot fear and I cannot allow pride to deceive me into believing that I’m not part of the problem or that I don’t need to make any changes. In a nutshell, you can probably dub this the “woman-up/man-up” stage of cocooning. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but IT IS NECESSARY!
During this stage in the cocooning process, I’ve also been given the opportunity to really consider the only two things I can control: my thoughts and my actions. And this part of the renewal process was especially hard because it caused me to realize that I don’t always live a life of grace. Sometimes, especially when I’m spread too thin, I become short-tempered and even judgemental.
When renewing my heart, I know that I cannot be too hard on myself, but I have to be completely honest with myself in order to make positive changes and in order to avoid repeating mistakes. Something as simple (the hardest simple thing ever) as acknowledging an unhealthy pattern or reaction can be a powerful tool in helping me not to repeat my mistakes.
Life assessment is critical my (and your) intentionally living the life that God has called me (us) to live! When I’m so overwhelmed that I can no longer extend grace to others, it’s time to take a break and make some hard, but necessary, considerations!
So meditate on this:
And thinkest thou this, oh man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgement of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forebearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Things to consider:
- Are you constantly disappointed by others? If so, why?
- Are your expectations so high that, when people fail, you judge them harshly?
- If you’re slow to forgive and move on, you might need to disappear for a few days to reflect on the grace that has been extended to YOU.
Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
*Inspired by “The One Year Book of Inspiration for Girlfriends” by Ellen Miller.