The scene felt oddly familiar to me. Peering through our window, no one would have known we’d just had a three month respite from academia. It was mid-afternoon in late August at our kitchen table, and I was hovering watchfully over my whining child, trying to convince her six-year-old brain that homework is good for us. “Charlotte, work is good for you. You can do hard things. Let’s finish this so you can rest or play.” She couldn’t or wouldn’t get there, and I backed away, rolling my eyes,… Continue reading A Picture of Self-Care
A few weeks ago, I read an article about my generation. I stumbled upon it while scrolling Facebook, the beloved news source option of my generation. When I’d finished, and put the paper (ahem, iPad screen) down, I felt so understood, so vindicated. I had been named. According to the author, my peers and I belong to a unique group; we’re called “xennials,” and we are “the microgeneration between Gen X and Millennials.” We were born between 1977 and 1983, and we are not as tech savvy as the millennials,… Continue reading Overstimulated Cynic?
Last week I had a chance to get in with a massage therapist. I’d had a massage scheduled for several weeks prior that had been cancelled, much to my chagrin. I love this type of therapy, though I do spend most of my time on the table fighting my compulsion to ask the therapist questions about herself. If I can generally abstain for an hour from my ‘care-taking’ neuroses, I am able to be still and feel my muscles give way to kind touch. I told my therapist I thought… Continue reading Grace is Weightless
Last week, my community gathered to talk about lamenting. I had the gift of being able to teach some, joined by two dear friends, who generously shared their own walk with Jesus through the valley of the shadow. It was all the regular prep, but so very different than any other time I have taught. I sat in my home and wrote, prayed and thought. My friends did too, and we talked. They shared with me; we laughed and shuddered at how dark the dark had been. We cried, and… Continue reading On Receiving Help
I will never forget where I was sitting the first time I heard the following quote: “Our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions, and we become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it.” I had rushed into a support meeting after a day of “forcing solutions.” I had crammed four errands into an hour, the one hour I had between counseling and picking my child up from school. I had not asked for help with so many tasks that day, when people would have gladly helped. I had followed… Continue reading Forcing Solutions?
“Do not be in dread, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 How do we pick up and begin again? This annual dance in which we participate, marked with seasons, school calendars, anticipated beach trips, families gathered, and carols offered up? We willingly engage Advent, or try to, on whatever level we can summon. Whether distracted or happy, grieving or… Continue reading Receiving Winter
Rescue often does not come as quickly as we want it to. Seldom does it take the shape we want it to take. So much sturdiness and stubbornness grows up in us when rescue is delayed, when we listen to the lie that Help is not on the way. This weekend, in warm weather characteristic of this past year, my daughter and I put my ancient plastic and glass candles in the windows of our house. “Why do we put candles in our window, Mom? Why are the flames white… Continue reading Candles in the Window
“For the good that I want, I do not do. Instead I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. Who will save me from this body of death?” Romans 7:19, 24 NASB “First the man takes the drink. Then the drink takes the drink. Then the drink takes the man.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald I have a dear friend who has spent the last five years of her life practicing nursing in a halfway house in Washington D.C. She has spent her days talking… Continue reading Resurrection
I gratefully participate in an intentional community. We who meet together do so to remind ourselves that we are actually the same size, with the same limits and powerlessness as everyone else. To remind ourselves that God alone is sovereign and able to change hearts. And to remember that fearful living is not sane living. Most of us are trying to repent of telling others the truth from broken places inside of us; places of self-deceit and fear. We’re trying to “mind our own business” but still love people who… Continue reading Lighthearted Confrontation
Today I received the gift of a few hours of uninterrupted time for myself, amidst a whole lot of summer parenting. I have come to firmly believe that parenting is an extroverted calling. For me to be present and enjoy my child requires that I make (what feels like) constant choices to say “no” to my penchant for producing, and for heavy internal processing. So, when I realized I would have a little time to myself, I began to dream of all the ways I could rest. It was a… Continue reading Learning to Rest