And then this week dawned. I felt it. I felt a shift. It’s not like the busyness magically dissipated but rather I leant into taking a few moments here and there for me. Call it what you want. Maybe it’s “self love’ which is all the rage. Maybe its just a deep knowing that there are things I unapologetically can’t live without to stay healthy. Maybe I’m just fed up with the busyness that I am creating. Who knows? But I have done some strangely unique things this week.
6 months ago today I was sitting in an ICU ward with my baby girl and the uncontrollable unknown of her health and future was harrowing and dark. I’ve walked a slow and steady road of healing since then, but yet, as Christmas approaches and studies show that family and religious practices contribute more to our happiness than consumerism, seriously how profound, I feel that there is so much we could have lost if Honor was not here
Yesterday as I was driving around trying to navigate my “fix it list”, I literally felt a quiet whisper within myself say. Just do one thing at a time. Now I know right, it seems pretty obvious but it hadn’t occurred to me until that moment that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t have to have everything ‘fixed’ all at once. I would 100% survive a week or so of inconvenience and maybe life would be less frenetic and the pressure would disperse if I just approached one problem at a time and called in the right people to help me with my need.
As I woke up this morning, prepared to speak peace and confidence into my day (insert chant DO NOT WORRY, DO NOT WORRY.) I felt strangely unsettled by the worried thoughts lurking in the corners of my mind. As I looked over my cup of warm water and lemon water into our quaint garden, the future with all of exciting opportunities seemed utterly overwhelming. The day ahead was unbelievably full. And my past seemed inadequate to take me into all that I needed for tomorrow. I felt worried and I hadn’t even stepped out my house. But isn’t this how most of us start and even end the day?
Ask yourself this question, What would you do today if you knew you wouldn't fail? Think about it. Lean into your hearts desires. Then go for it. Most of the time we don't move forward because we are scared of failing. Of getting hurt. Of losing.
Sometimes in life we get to ride along a cut and level path. It's completely care free in every way, it's thought out and the journey is quick and often fun. It may be that someone else had made a path or cut the trail or we have done it in a season past. But other times we are cutting the ones cutting the trail. Going before. Making level paths in the wilderness. Helping make a way for those to follow so that they can be "healed" in a sense.
I don’t want a life that places some moments above others. Where my role as a mother is in competition to my daily outworking of life as a church leader. Where I compartmentalise the things that I think matter more. Where I decide what God gets to be a part of or not. I want the entirety of my life to have meaning. The good and the bad. The pain and the joy. All of it is sacred. It's all spiritual. Because that is WHO I AM. My work, where I spend my breath is spiritual because that is my make up.
Way too often I speak with people who have completely written themselves off from becoming the entirety of who they were predestined to be because of past issues, sin, fear or a combination of all these things. I know I am not the only one who has worked through these real life things. I believe too many people are living in just a fraction of the potential they could be. Some days, honestly, I want to shake myself and shout at people COME ON YOU HAVE IT. YOU HAVE THE GENIUS OF GOD IN YOU. YOU'RE AN IMAGE OF THE MOST CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE GOD- DO SOMETHING PLEASE!!!
So this is where I'm at. Motherhood is hard. It's real life hard work. Most days I feel like I am just flat out failing. The task ahead of me seems enormous. But I need to ask God to help me minister through this. I want to embrace this struggle juggle and watch God use it for greater things. Maybe I can speak into the lives of young girls who have no self worth and are desperate for someone to help them. Maybe I can be a testimony for other mothers. A life that defies the odds and inspires others to love who they are. Now that would be amazing
We strive after what we are jealous of? What we think should be ours. I often think if I lived alone without anyone around me, no social media, no tv, no yummy mummies, nothing; if it was just me what and who would I be? Culture and people are shaping us for good or for bad and it is important to recognise when our emotions, especially envy is driving our behaviour? Because it’s the jealousy that causes the fight.
Hope is a weapon. Our defence. HOPE. HOPE. HOPE. Fight for your marriage. Keep trying with your children. Persevere in your church. Love your frustrating neighbor. Don't give up on your dreams. Choose life. Still want that baby. Sing your heart out. Offer your gift. Trust your community. Learn to love again. Laugh. Worship. Seriously- there is ALWAYS a way because Jesus promises that HE is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. (John 14:6)
I don’t know how you deal with comparison but I like to kill it. Like wipe it out before it can do any damage kind of kill it. I liken comparison to a bush fire. It starts off small and unnoticeable but if a little wind picks up or the dry land allows for it, the fire can cause major devastation. There is this phrase circulating around social media that says "comparison kills." This much is true. But I'd like to spin this around and say kill comparison. Kill it. Stop it quickly before it wreaks devastation on your heart.
A testimony becomes a testimony over time. And thats what’s got me all passionate about this subject. We all have these time weathered stories of overcoming. We all have scars that give proof to our journey and so often we hold these things so tightly. So so tightly. But I have to wonder? What lies on the other side of your story?
Finding perspective is not about comparing pain and feeling "oh yah I'm glad it's not me in that craziness"- it’s about believing, once more, that there is always good to be found. That I actually have it so so good. That I have something powerful and beautiful inside of me and if I choose to- I can leverage what I have to bring great love into the world
Courage doesn’t choose us, we choose it and, as women, we often do this unwittingly — forced to choose to stand even when it’s excruciatingly hard. We stand up, we breathe deep and we embrace hard things because that’s just what we do. And it’s beautiful. It’s painfully beautiful to watch.
As I amble along this journey of parenting three beautiful girls, I find that more and more I want to do EVERYTHING that I can, to embrace in its fullness, the mystery and beauty that is WOMANHOOD. I want to find the full extent of the "woman" me. I want to have the confidence to be "woman" more passionately than ever before.
I don’t have the answers of how to get rid of fear in our hearts but I am on a journey of kicking it to the curb for good. (I hope.) It’s going to take more than just a psych up speech or song to eradicate fear in our lives. A once off "Not today devil" penned under my shoe is not going to give my heart the truth it needs to renew my thinking towards the good and not the bad. That night when I shared with Dylan my fear, he said something that revolutionised my approach. “LEAN INTO LOVE"
Unscripted and unplanned this morning, I found myself on a secluded beach. And with the overwhelming melody of ‘I WILL BUILD MY LIFE’ blaring in my ears I couldn’t help but begin to dance. A dance of faith and hope. A dance that declared to nobody watching that I will build my best life, not upon my own efforts and not out of comparison and competition, but rather upon the unfailing love and grace of God.