Day 6 of MISSMas: Covid Changes Everything

On the 6th Day of MISSMas, I gave to me the gift of … The Corona Chronicles.

As I decided to write this post, I realize that COVID truly has changed everything. Here in the United States, many officials and official sources have encouraged us to postpone or cancel all together our holiday gatherings due to the rising COVID-19 cases. Which will affect our holiday plans, no matter who you are.

No one believed that starting 2020, we would be ending it the way that we are. It has been almost 11 months since we have gone into some level of shut down and the things that we took for granted, like going into the grocery store or to the gym, have become foreign to us. No matter what stream of thought you ascribe to, Coronavirus has affected your life in some way. Many people have lost jobs, had to share Wi-Fi with teleworkers and kids doing homeschool, gained weight, lost weight, read a book, wrote a book and many other numerous things that we never had the time to do before March.

As Singles, one thing is clear, COVID has made us hyper aware of our Singleness. We have probably spent more time alone than we have in the past, and it may have been a struggle to really understand being comfortable alone without being overwhelmed with a sense of loneliness.   This is a fine art and not one that is easily mastered. We spend  so much of our time being busy instead of productive that being forced to slow down and spend time with ourselves, either gave us time to be introspective and do some internal work, or it made  us extremely uncomfortable  in our own skin; in our own homes. Hopefully, you are the former and you have used this time to fall more in love with yourself and really hone into your purpose. But if you are in the later and this pandemic has been particularly hard on you, my prayer is that these 12 Days of MISSMas bring you hope and a different outlook. I would love to connect with you more and walk you through the beautiful journey that is Singleness. Please connect with me at lavonia@lavoniartryon.com to book a free coaching call. No one should be Single alone.

As Coronavirus changes the way we view the world and each other, we have choices. We can choose to be defeated and accept that we will be alone forever unless the Amazon delivery person is really cute, or we can turn our focus off of the one thing that we think we are missing and focus on everything that we do have. As Singles, we often rock our own contentment boat by focusing on the wrong things, and not keeping the main thing – the main thing. As a Single, during a global pandemic you have a unique advantage that many people don’t have. No distractions, or at least less than your married counterparts.

For the Singles without children – how are you spending your time? Since the social life has either diminished or at least changed shapes, what productive activities have you added that will cause multiplication in your life? Have you been able to build your savings account? Are you focused on your health and wellness and you’ve finally started to use that home gym that has been collecting dust in your garage? Have you built your career and professional resume? Started a business? Picked up a hobby? Learned a new language? Wrote a book? Read a book? This list isn’t meant to make you feel like you haven’t done enough, in fact it was created for just the opposite. You have a unique opportunity in this time to come out better than you went it. Don’t waste it on Netflix binges.

For the Singles with children – I can only imagine some of the stress that you may be under. Especially if you must homeschool your kid(s), work, take care of the household and have any expectation to bathe that day as well. Although I can’t personally relate to your struggle, I can speak to your strength. You got this, sis. You are making a difference, brother. Your children will rise up and call you blessed. Reach out to your support system. If you have someone that is ‘in your bubble’ – meaning someone that you have either quarantined with or that is in a safe environment who can babysit for a bit, take advantage of it. We are a nation and a generation that has this aversion to asking for help. I want to call you out on that and call that out of you. It’s not strength to struggle when there is help available; it’s pride. Use your village so that you can get some time for yourself to recharge and reconnect with you – the you that is enhanced not hindered by the unique experiences that you have been trusted with as a Single parent. Get creative. Even if you can’t physically get to someone, I had a friend that gave the suggestion of doing a Zoom call with her friend’s kid so that she could go take a long bath. Technology is wonderful, and I’d love to see the LEGO castle that your child has built or to read them a book, so I’m sure that you have someone in your community who would love to as well. Show yourself strong and reach out.

COVID-19 Changes Everything

As I decided to write this book, I realized that COVID truly has changed everything. Here in the United States, many officials and official sources have encouraged us to postpone or cancel all together our holiday gatherings due to the rising COVID-19 cases. This book isn’t a political or health stance, and I offer no opinion or advice about either route, I only plead that whatever you choose to do that you stay safe. And that you think beyond yourself and think about those vulnerable around you as you make the best decisions for you and your family.

No one believed that starting 2020, we would be ending it the way that we are. It has been almost 10 months since we have gone into some level of shut down and the things that we took for granted, like going into the grocery store or to the gym, have become foreign to us. No matter what stream of thought you ascribe to, Coronavirus has affected your life in some way. Many people have lost jobs, had to share Wi-Fi with teleworkers and kids doing homeschool, gained weight, lost weight, read a book, wrote a book and many other numerous things that we never had the time to do before March.

As Singles, one thing is clear, COVID has made us hyper aware of our Singleness. We have probably spent more time alone than we have in the past, and it may have been a struggle to really understand being comfortable alone without being overwhelmed with a sense of loneliness.   This is a fine art and not one that is easily mastered. We spend  so much of our time being busy instead of productive that being forced to slow down and spend time with ourselves, either gave us time to be introspective and do some internal work, or it made  us extremely uncomfortable  in our own skin; in our own homes. Hopefully, you are the former and you have used this time to fall more in love with yourself and really hone into your purpose. But if you are in the later and this pandemic has been particularly hard on you, my prayer is that this mini-book brings you hope and a different outlook. I would love to connect with you more and walk you through the beautiful journey that is Singleness. Please connect with me at lavonia@lavoniartryon.com to book a free coaching call. No one should be Single alone.

As Coronavirus changes the way we view the world and each other, we have choices. We can choose to be defeated and accept that we will be alone forever unless the Amazon delivery person is really cute, or we can turn our focus off of the one thing that we think we are missing and focus on everything that we do have. As Singles, we often rock our own contentment boat by focusing on the wrong things, and not keeping the main thing – the main thing. As a Single, during a global pandemic you have a unique advantage that many people don’t have. No distractions, or at least less than your married counterparts.

For the Singles without children – how are you spending your time? Since the social life has either diminished or at least changed shapes, what productive activities have you added that will cause multiplication in your life? Have you been able to build your savings account? Are you focused on your health and wellness and you’ve finally started to use that home gym that has been collecting dust in your garage? Have you built your career and professional resume? Started a business? Picked up a hobby? Learned a new language? Wrote a book? Read a book? This list isn’t meant to make you feel like you haven’t done enough, in fact it was created for just the opposite. You have a unique opportunity in this time to come out better than you went it. Don’t waste it on Netflix binges.

For the Singles with children – I can only imagine some of the stress that you may be under. Especially if you must homeschool your kid(s), work, take care of the household and have any expectation to bathe that day as well. Although I can’t personally relate to your struggle, I can speak to your strength. You got this, sis. You are making a difference, brother. Your children will rise up and call you blessed. Reach out to your support system. If you have someone that is ‘in your bubble’ – meaning someone that you have either quarantined with or that is in a safe environment who can babysit for a bit, take advantage of it. We are a nation and a generation that has this aversion to asking for help. I want to call you out on that and call that out of you. It’s not strength to struggle when there is help available; it’s pride. Use your village so that you can get some time for yourself to recharge and reconnect with you – the you that is enhanced not hindered by the unique experiences that you have been trusted with as a Single parent. Get creative. Even if you can’t physically get to someone, I had a friend that gave the suggestion of doing a Zoom call with her friend’s kid so that she could go take a long bath. Technology is wonderful, and I’d love to see the LEGO castle that your child has built or to read them a book, so I’m sure that you have someone in your community who would love to as well. Show yourself strong and reach out.

12 Days of MISSMas: Day 5 Blessed Wounds

On the 5th Day of MissMas, I give to Me the gift of … Wounds of a Friend.

“You can trust a friend who wounds you with his honesty, but your enemy’s pretended flattery comes from insincerity.” Proverbs 27:6 TPT

Today’s gift is a bit of a harder one to swallow, but one that is so necessary if we are really and truly going to become the best version of ourselves. When I would read the above verse, I always agreed. I would rather you tell me the truth, than for you to flatter me with empty words. I’ve even told people not to ascribe characteristics or ‘pet names’ to me until I’ve actually earned them, like they have actually seen me portray these so that I know that when they are said; I can trust that they are true reflections of me and not just something that is said on autopilot to everyone.

We all want to be special. We all want to be different. We all want to be authentic. But sometimes, our view of ourselves gets cloudy and tainted by so much of the gunk of the world that gets inflicted on us and some of the trash that we willingly ingest. So, that’s where this verse comes in. We all need that friend that values our character more than our comfort. Who loves us enough to be real with us, even when that realness is a bit offensive. A friend willing to make you uncomfortable to address an area of your character or life choices that could be improved.

Let’s call these friends ‘fly watchers’, because this name makes me smile, and writing this is a bit vulnerable and painful, so I’d rather smile through the self-reflection – so humor me. Have you ever had a time when you were walking around with spinach in your teeth, a stray in your nose or the absolute worst – your fly open – and you have encountered 15 other people, but then you get to one person and they discreetly wiggle their eyebrows and glance down at your pants to alert you to your goodies on display? What everyone feels in this moment is pretty universal – first, relief that someone was willing to risk slightly embarrassing me to alert me of the issue as to prevent further public embarrassment and then secondly – we instantly start to question the loyalty, ethics and moral human existence (ok maybe not that far, but you get my point), of the numerous other people that we have encountered since we went to the restroom, or ate lunch or blew our nose – and their failure to alert us.

I’m a fly watcher. And I pride myself on that. And up until a recent encounter, I would proudly say that I loved my fellow fly watchers too, like I want you to tell me if my fly is down too. But such an encounter of a deeper measure made me do a double take and the wound of one friend revealed a hurt that hadn’t properly being dealt with. And my initial response was to lash out at the person for their delivery of the blow – which was albeit harsh and inappropriate, and trust I had no qualms with letting them know that, but after a little talk with Jesus, I realized that this person was a very rough around the edges reflection of Proverbs 27:6. A wound hurts, y’all. God used the correct terminology in this verse. I truly believe it was strategic, because wounds heal – and they become scars, and if we allow The Lord to do the healing then this area in our lives will become a beauty mark, an honor badge of an area that hurt but is now an intricate part of our stories in becoming who we were meant to be.

So on today, I wanna watch your fly too. What harsh truth has been revealed to you that was easier to dismantle the messenger than it is to decipher the message?  Because you didn’t like the way it was said, you found it easier to dismiss WHAT was actually said? I want to implore you sisters, today is the day that we can take an honest look at ourselves, our character, our choices and use those wounds to our advantage. Here’s the challenge – ‘eat the meat, spit out the bones’. This means that I take a statement that might sting, and I look for the truth in it, no matter how it was delivered. I ‘spit out the bones’ of how it was said or even why it was said, and I ‘eat the meat’ by evaluating what in my character or interactions gave this perception. Then I do the hard work of changing it, if it truly is something that I don’t want to be associated with.

And even if you are never brave enough to actually thank the friend, or if the delivery wasn’t done in love or a way that you would like to reconcile the relationship and that’s your choice – in the end, you’ve still grown and that wound is now a beauty mark on your beautiful journey, not just a bleeding wound that another fly watcher will have to point out.

Let’s grow sisters, through the weeds, through the things that we have dismissively charged as attacks on our character but have actually been God-sent wounds from a friend. Thank You, Lord for loving us enough to show us a reflection of who we are, so we can become the reflection of Who You created us to be. I’ll cherish every wound and thank every friend from this day forward.

Eventually…lol. Hey, it’s a process. 😊  Let’s journey together.

12 Days of MISSMas: Day 4 Recharge

On the 4th Day of MISSMas I give to Me the gift of…A ‘Recharge’ Day.

We take life way too seriously. Like for real. I’m not saying that things aren’t going on in the world that are very serious and very heartwrenching, what I am saying is that we need to learn to slow down and rest in the happy moments. Stop in our busy day and acknowledge the things that make us happy. Then do some of those things.

I’ve realized that I have a lot on my plate, and I love my life this way. I love productivity, I love tangible results, I love checking things off on my to do list – these things feed me. But I also love 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles, and adult coloring books and watching Marvel movies and cheesy Hallmark Christmas stories – these things refresh me. It took me a long time to realize that it’s ok to just relax. To actually enjoy the things that make me happy without feeling guilty about not being ‘productive’. I realized that my productivity was heightened when I took a step back and recharged with the things that didn’t fit in my to do list, but they sure felt good in the moment. I enjoyed the activities, so therefore while engaging in them, the stress of my day and the mounting things that I still needed to do, didn’t matter in that moment. This was what unplugging felt like. And then the next day, when I got back to productivity, I forced myself not to feel guilt or like I was lazy or any negative emotion for my very positive encounters.

I’ve learned to allow myself to be free enough to accept a recharge day, or hour or 6. I’ve learned the unforced rhythms of grace and life, realizing as Brene Brown says, sometimes to dig deep means we have to step away, reset and come back refreshed. This works, y’all. Take a moment out of your day – today whether it’s 15 minutes or 2 hours but do something that doesn’t have a productivity measure attached to it, but it simply makes you feel good. What is it? Leave a comment below and tell me how you recharge.

Do you read? Play Candy Crush? Go for a very slow walk? Do a puzzle? Cook something totally unhealthy and then share it (we’re not trying to sabotage here, ladies 😊)? How do you unplug to recharge? If you haven’t perfected this art yet, I challenge you to spend this holiday season finding that one thing that recharges you – that doesn’t check something off your list, but simply refuels your happy. Then make a plan to do it in the next week, and when the shame or guilt rises up within you for not being productive, remind yourself that recharging is some of the best productivity that you can give yourself. If it makes you feel better, you can even schedule it in your planner. There! You got this. Let’s journey together.

12 Days Of MISSMas: Day 3 Letting Go

On the 3rd Day of MissMas I gave to Me the gift of…Letting Go.

Letting Go can be hard. Whether it’s a situation that we find it difficult to move on from, a hurt or a pain that was caused by someone else, or letting go of a relationship, romantic or otherwise. We have become masters of justifying giving just one more chance. We often will fight tooth and nail to not let go of something that is no longer serving us because it’s comfortable, (spoiler: this will be one of our days). We as women, sometimes are creatures of habits and we will continue in a well-worn path simply because it’s the way that it’s always been.

Why is letting go hard? Because sometimes it feels like we are giving up when we let go. Like we failed, even if the very thing that we are holding on to is actually failing us. To let go means we have to admit that something is dead, over, beyond repair – that we couldn’t fix it. And that hearts more than actually letting go, admitting that we couldn’t make it work no matter how hard we tried.

We have to understand that many things in our life come for a reason, a season and/or a time. We end up causing ourselves and others more pain than necessary when we allow something in our life to stay longer than its expiration date. Trying to force something into a lifetime role when it was only meant to be present for a season makes almost as much sense as wearing a winter jacket in Texas heat. You will pass out, literally in the heat and emotionally from the baggage. We must take personal inventory of our personal, spiritual, vocational, physical and emotional relationships periodically and do a bit of a self check.

Is this still serving me? Does this add to my life? Is it subtracting from my purpose? Am I still attached to ‘it’ or just the idea of it?

If you are like me, there are so many things that I held on to simply because the idea of being without it was more painful than truly evaluating the value it was no longer adding. I remember when I was struggling to let go of a particularly bad relationship I had a God-sent friend that asked me, ‘Vonnie are you fighting so hard for it because it’s what you still want, or are you just fighting for it because you’re afraid of going through the pain of letting it go?’ That hit me hard. I didn’t still want to be with him, truth be told-I barely liked him, but I just dreaded the idea of being alone again and having to start all over. So I was willing to sacrifice more time, energy and emotions on a relationship that still ended. Don’t do that to yourself, sis.

Take a deep breath. Have a funeral. Bury it. Burn it. Throw it away. Write a letter to them telling them all the things you wish you could have said. Sit an empty chair in the middle of the room, imagine them there and yell, scream, cry…get it all out. Block the number. Delete the messages. Whatever you need to do to get to your freedom, be willing to do it. You need room for the enlarged territory that God wants to give you.

Say it with me… Today… I let it go…