Right where you are

Seasons.  They come and go.  And if we aren’t careful we will be worrying our way to the next one, instead of being right where we are.

You may not want to be where you are health wise…

career wise…

relationship wise…

But you are there for a reason, and to wish it away is to miss the point.

It is easy to be in seasons of wondering, not sure which way to go.  I’d say it is normal sometimes too.

But take up what you have already learned and build with what you have.

Health wise, make a new choice for yourself, a kind choice.  Maybe just a walk with your family.  I wasn’t sure if I’d get good use out of a gym membership right now, and was a little sad that I don’t have one.  Kinda sulky.  So last week, I decided I’d go for a walk with my mom and son while my other two kiddos were at MDO and do some squats, jump rope, and planks.  Pretty simply.  My body didn’t think it was that simple the next day.  But it was a pretty easy choice.  Today I mowed the lawn.

Career wise, some of my friends are going back to work after staying home, some are working part time while they stay at home, and some have worked from the git go.  It’s easy sometimes to sit back and think of all the things we could have if I worked.  Stuff.  Money.  One day, I believe those things will be, but right now it’s not.  Right now, my two youngest need me, and I like to be with them.  Not every day, but that’s not enough to throw in the towel for me.  So, right now I celebrate for my friends, and I work while I’m waiting.  Growing skills, writing, mentoring, leading, organizing.

Man, relationships are hard.  Our families live far away, and it gets harder the older my kids get.  And I could and have sat around saying, “oh we can’t do that because we don’t have family here.”  But we do.  My neighbor is my family, my friends are my family.  And thank the Lord, our parents visit a lot!

So sometimes you are in the transition, and sometimes you are just right where you are.  And it is okay.

Let yourself know that today.

It is okay.

Making room

Talking to mom friends this morning and realized motherhood is just absolute insanity.  We never know what we will get for the day.  It is a little out of our control and sometimes at the whim of our kids moods and behaviors.

It swings back and forth, back and forth.  I’m constantly tempted to follow the lead of my kids for the days, answering all their calls, meeting their needs first.  Sometimes I’m just flat worn.  It’s too much.

There has to be moments that I take to rest, to recharge, to stop.  Stop all the dish drying, towel folding, juice filling, snack getting, picking up the toys, and shoes.  And I have to sit, be still, take a bath, listen to music, sleep, read.

Whatever it is that grounds me that day.

The days I feel most overwhelmed are the days I take my kids lead and set little boundaries for the day.  This is an excuse, but I’m not great at boundaries.  If we fall into two categories: one who sets strong boundaries and one who isn’t even sure what a boundary looks like, I fall into the latter.

Summertime is hard, I want to entertain my cuties.  I want them in activities.  But there has to be a limit at some point.  Because there are little boundaries in summer.  We don’t have school.  But there are a lot of opportunities.  We have vacation, weeks where my husbands gone, camps, church activities.  I get swallowed up into them.

I’m learning ever so slowly people.  How to ground myself.  Grounded for me is standing firm, confident, having worth, and joy.

Today I am fighting the temptation to clean my entire house before we have to leave at four-thirty.  Instead I’m writing, because that is a goal I’ve set.  And I’m taking time to slow down, before I serve others in an attempt to better my attitude and to feel refreshed.

Margin.

Making this room in our lives to check in on ourselves.  To see how our family is doing.  To maybe even sit down to eat, not on the run.

I’m challenging myself with this today.  And if the day is slow, it’s not because I’m not doing anything it is because I’m making room.

Making room for us to live, to breathe, to be.

And that’s okay.

How are you making room today?

Have you boxed God in?

Have you boxed God in?

Have you allowed Him to move freely in some areas of your life and not others?

Me too.

This was easy to do when I first became a Christian.  I let God forgive me for cussing and saying His name in vain.  But then I fell into this deep place of policing my life, which then turned into policing others lives, as well.

I wrestled with this for a while.

My deepest question: Would God really say what He says He will do?

I had hurt.  I had deep pain.  I had wounds that I didn’t know if I could give to Him or not.  Would He be that Good Shepherd I knew in my mind He was?  I had to remove the box from my heart so He could come in.

Then you realize you’ve been protecting yourself from the One you need most.

Boxes.  Walls.  Self-protection.  These have come down.  With the help of dear friends, my husband, my mom, and my counselor, mine are.

Like an addict to a drug, it is very easy to return to this place of self-protection.  It feels safe.  And in a past where I wasn’t sure I was safe, I craved that.  But as believers our safest place is in the hands of our Savior who places beautiful people around us, so we can slowly step out of this place of self-protection and into those pastures with beautiful flowers and sunshine.

It’s breathable outside of our walls.  There’s life.  There’s freedom.  There’s healing.  There’s hope.

So seek someone out today.  Allow them to speak truth or just to listen to your deepest questions about God.  Place your hand on your heart.  It’s okay to have questions.  He wants to answer them.  I bet who you are talking to has had similar questions too.

Know this:

He is good.

He is kind.

He will do it.

Writing

I’m off this week.  A little jostled.  Like my tiny world shifted a little too much this week.

So today I’m still writing.  I don’t want to write only when I feel awesome or when I feel I have the most amazing word for someone.  But I want to write, and do it on days that I don’t feel like it too.  Because I feel called to it.  To write.

The one thing I hear over and over if you want to write is to keep your butt in the chair and write.  Today is that day for me.

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I want to write not just to feel better, but to see change and growth.  To see this craft turn into something beautiful, an art work.

If you told me a year ago, I would thoroughly enjoy writing, I’d laugh.  My claim over myself for years was I’m not a writer, I like math.  I was really saying um, I’m only good at math not english.  Which is a pretty broad statement to put over yourself.  I like to do that, box myself in.  Anyone else?

So this year, I’m stepping out.  Writing.  I have things to say and words to speak.  Words that I feel are important.  I have a story to tell, and I want to be the one to tell it.  So I’m writing.

So, I guess I’m writing today to tell you don’t box yourself in.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but take whatever next step you need to move in what God is calling you to.

Sometimes, I like looking too far into the future, but the only step we need to take is today.

We have dreams, true dreams, that have been placed on our hearts.  It’s our job to awaken and do those dreams.  They are there for a reason.

I have so many friends that spur me on who are pursuing dreams and making things happen in their lives and their families.

Like my friend, who is a missionary pursuing prenatal fitness certifications because she is so passionate about mom’s and their health.  If she can do it in Africa, we can here.  Or like my friend and her husband, who are pursuing rental properties so they can live their dreams together.  Or another friend who is teaching at five am in the morning before her babies are up to help their family, but mostly because she’s an amazing teacher and it will always be in her heart.  Another friend who is pursuing a degree to be a nurse anesthetist, she’s dreamed about it, kept pursuing, and now has the opportunity to go and do that dream.  I could go on and on.

Maybe the the key is to let others inspire you, instead of making you jealous.  I like this option better.  So, instead of jealousy I can let someone else’s passion pour into my life and inspire me towards my passions, whatever they are.

Be inspired even when you don’t feel like it.  I’m working on it.

You are not alone

My husband’s favorite band, Emery, released an album called “You were never alone.”  My husband got a poster with this album cover on it and I can remember the very day I opened it those words washed over me.

You were never alone.  Alone.

Yuck.  I hate that word and honestly avoid it most days.  However, I’m on a new journey of inviting others in.  Like letting a handful of ladies in to read my blog before I post it.  Because I know for sure I cannot do this alone.

You know those people in your life you can ask anything of and they’ll help you.  The ones you fight for and the ones that fight for you.  The people who make you feel better after you are around them.  They challenge you, but also love you.  Those are the people we need to let speak over us.

God created us to be together, in unity.  Sin broke that, but Jesus restored it.  And He wants to continue to restore that unity through us.  For us to be a part of His restoration.

I’m pretty selfish, especially as a mom.  I feel like my time is already so split that I withhold from friends sometimes because I’m not sure I’ll have the energy to be with them.  Anyone else?

Yesterday, I’m cleaning for our connect group buzzing around picking up toys and wiping down tables.  My first reaction is to immediately think this is too hard.  Cleaning is a tough job.  Taking care of my kids is enough to do.  Which most days it is.  But when Wednesdays roll around, it’s time to spread myself and allow God to use me.  A clean house makes my husband more at ease.  I can love on people instead of thinking about the things I should have gotten done.  So I clean.  Hopefully, next week I’ll remind myself of this.

See it takes work to be with people.  But that joy at the end of the night when we are all sitting around eating dessert and laughing and listening to each others stories is enough.  That’s what I clean for.  To be heard.  To be seen.  To be known by a group of college age students that mean so much to us.

Who are you letting in today?

I was reading through Thomas Merton “No Man is an Island” and I love this quote he gives by John Donne, “No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”  We need each other.  So we can say to ourselves and others “You were never alone.”