Slow…

It’s hard to be grateful when you’re going 90 to nothing. Exhaustion. Bitterness. Fear. They all flow freely. I tend not to slow down because I don’t want to feel these things.

But as I slow down, the feelings leave and gratitude is left. That deep sense of worth, unending worth no matter what you’ve done. And the truth surfaces and you realize you are not the one keeping the world moving.

Whether it’s watching your kiddos slowly drift to sleep or listening to birds chirp outside. Or even in the chaos of kiddos screaming and laughing in the pool. Joy.

A pause. Sabbath. Rest. When we trust in the commandment of Sabbath, we know and believe Who is really in control, God himself. Freedom. Deep. Unending freedom from a God who is so good. Kind. Loving. Gracias.

The lie is that we can’t rest. That we do not possess the ability to slow so we say things like “it’s just who I am,” I’ve said that before. But it’s a lie. I was made for rest, to be restored. So I could know and believe God is for me and not against me.

I think this is essential for life, for actually living.

So how are you resting today?

To be a daughter

Oh my sweet girl. She’s a delight. I enjoy sitting and looking at her. It’s a delight just to be in her presence.

Even when she’s ornery I still delight in her. All sides of her are wonderful because they make her, her.

When she smiles it’s from ear to ear. When she talks she has something to say. She’s strong. She’s sassy. She’s kind. She loves helping.

I’m in awe most days we get to have her and raise her.

Today I’m reading Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray and she’s talking about God naming us.

My name is Tara and it means a crag in a tower. I don’t know what that means. But it sounds cool. It makes me think of how I’ve tried to be a tower for so many people, strong, steady, keeping it all together. I didn’t know they really didn’t need me to do that, but I found significant worth in doing everything for everyone.

Then slowly a couple of years ago, God started to call me by a new name. Daughter. A name that made me feel vulnerable. Uncertain. Delighted in. Loved. Cherished.

Similar to how I feel about my daughter.

And it’s been a process to let myself sit there a little longer each day. To sit and be loved. To sit and be cared for even when I don’t deserve it. To lay and have peace because His love for me has nothing to do with what I do but what He’s done for me.

So what’s your name mean? Is God whispering a new name? Let Him, it’s a good one.

We all can be brave

“We all can be brave.”-my five year old.

Last night I was scrolling through instagram and read a little blurb about Kate Spade committing suicide, how sad and lost she must have felt.  And the person quoted from an article stating that we tell girls to be perfect and not brave.  I thought “oh man, I can’t wait to tell Elle tomorrow she is brave.”

So we wake up, I’m doting on my daughter telling her how brave she is as I put in her pink bow and a shirt that says “girls run the world.”  Wow, might have come on a little strong.  I was really feeling it this morning!

And my five year old chimes up and says, “yeah, mom we all are brave because we are humans.”  I mean this kid.  He is insightful without knowing it, which makes it the best.  I’m learning this balance between speaking life over all my kids and not just one.

The truth is we all can be brave.

We all can ask for help.

We all can speak up.

We all can show love.

We all can forgive.

Men, women, boys and girls.

There’s this inclusiveness that we can begin to breathe over our people.  I want my boys to be okay with their feelings, but I also want them to be brave and courageous.  I want my daughter to be brave and stand up for whats right, but I also want her to be kind and loving.

We can have both.  It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

What are you speaking over your people today?

 

Letting fear lead

Most of my life, fear has lead.

Even after becoming a Christian in the seventh grade, I have journals of asking God to make me brave, to relieve my fears.

To no avail.

It was a way of life before I was a Christian and continued.  I wasn’t sure I was “saved” because this struggle seemed so deep. And a lot of my prayers and faith depended upon God answering these desperate pleas for freedom from fear.  I was asking God to take something away, but it was something that needed tended.

Maybe some of you are like me, I want all of the “how to-s” to do it the same way as so and so and be free of fear.  Because what I’ve always wanted most was that exact thing, freedom from fear, the end result, perfection, Heaven really.

With the help of my counselor, I can sit with my fears a little longer.  I can let them settle so I can see clearer.  Fear was a defense, a way of protection.  That is a correct connection.

There were areas of my life that needed defending.  Needed a voice.  A person to stand up and say I got this!

And His name is Jesus Christ.  When I listen to my greatest fears and hurts, I treat myself with kindness.  And then that kindness can flow out to others.  But the truth is if I sit just a second longer, Jesus, the Holy Spirit is able to come up and the whirlwind clears.

God is a whisperer, not a screamer.  If something within you is screaming by all means give notice, but you don’t have to respond immediately, unless your arm is falling off or something.  If there’s no blood, you got a few minutes to breath and see something different.

I read an article recently, and thought oh crap this is me right?, I have to fix this right now.  I can’t live this way.  (An old response.)  But once I sat a few minutes longer, I realized there was something for me to learn.  A piece for me to take away.

I can sit back and think.  Things are changing, slowly.  Progress is happening.

Fear might always be my knee jerk response, but my guess is it will become less and less my immediate response.  As long as I give it enough attention to listen, let it speak, and choose wisely.

Fear is a means of protection.  We shouldn’t go running into a fire, the fear of it hurting should be enough to stop us.  Fear is purposeful.  But sometimes it has grown so loud, it has drowned out all the other voices, like God’s.

This isn’t easy.  I still fail in this.  But in the failing is where I grow the deepest.  The “oh-yeah I forgot this doesn’t work anymore.”

So don’t let fear lead, not by ignoring it, but by giving it a seat at the table so it no longer has to yell like a toddler in your ear until you listen.

Let a trusted mentor/counselor walk through some of those fears.  Pray that God would show you something knew as you sit just a little while longer until the calm comes.