March has been a really fun month for us so far – lots of celebrating, lots of family time – and with spring break officially started, there are some really special days ahead for us.
But we haven’t checked in for a few weeks, and I thought it was time we grabbed some coffee to catch up before we’re all hosting family for Easter. How are you? I hope spring has brought some good days for you too…
At the end of last month I was able to steal away to an overnight women’s event, and it was exactly what I needed times a thousand. With Mike’s surgery in December – and hello winter – I feel like leaving the house has been a luxury. The boys and I were due for some time apart, and one of my dearest friends needed some time away too, so she came to the conference with me, AND invited me to join her overnight – hello sleep!
If all of that weren’t incredible enough by itself, I was able to be part of the worship team for the weekend and share an essay I wrote during one of the sessions. You guys, it’s been like ten years since I shared anything from a church platform – six since I’ve sung – and I have missed it. These are things God has created me to do as much as He’s called me to mother my three boys, and I felt like myself in a way I haven’t in a long, long time. Yes, I was rusty and nervous, and flubbed my lines and cues on more than one occasion, but I was exercising a muscle I didn’t know when I’d use again. One I have needed to use again. One I am so grateful to use again.
Again, all of that would have completely been enough, but God is just too good to me. The speaker, Alli Worthington, was phenomenal, and her message was so on point with things He’s been working with me on. Here are three of my favorites:
Honoring my capacity.
Alli used this incredible illustration of an iPhone to talk about honoring your God given capacity. When my iPhone’s battery runs low, I don’t yell at it or belittle it – I honor it’s capacity to do it’s job and plug it in. When I’m running low – mentally, spiritually, physically – I just keep pushing myself to get that last thing done, take on one more project, fulfill another tiny favor, and then I wonder why I am such a hot mess sometimes.
I have always known it’s ok to not be able to do everything everyone else does – but knowing didn’t make me feel less obligated to keep up, or less guilty that I couldn’t. Reality says I can only function with the battery I’ve got, and when it runs low I have to honor where I am, in the season I’m in, and plug into things that replenish me.
This has never been easy for me, but now when I start feeling those familiar pangs of guilt or longing to keep up with everyone else (real or imagined), I stop and think about where my battery is. Have I been sleeping, or has Micah been up a lot? Is this something I want to do, or is this something I feel obligated to do? Is this a no today, or a no for forever?
Such a simple truth that has made such a huge difference in my everyday life.
Jesus never sinned, but He did disappoint people.
This one so naturally progresses from the last takeaway for me. Being a people-pleaser is exhausting, and I have spent far too many days, and way too many tears, trying to do things for people God never asked me to do because I don’t want to disappoint them.
It is inevitable that honoring my capacity will disappoint someone – and that’s ok. As long as I am walking in obedience to God, loving the people He’s called me to love, doing the work He’s given me to do – it’s ok to say no.
Again, this is something I’ve always known (and something in the last year I’ve gotten so much better at saying) but I feel like I’ve been given permission to not feel guilty about it. As a result, there are a few things I’m working my way out of for this year – commitments that I really can’t manage, and that are not part of my gift mix or calling. I can’t begin to tell you how freeing that is!
Your calling doesn’t need to be paid.
Whew. This was a big one for me. I have always been pretty clear on what I’m called to do, but I have always felt “less than” by my own standards, because at this point in my life, those things don’t do much in the way of finances. I left this particular session so encouraged because I know that I am right now living in my calling, and I realized that this is a gift not everyone is able to enjoy – even if they draw an income from the work they do every day.
What I’m Reading
I love to read, so it pains me that I have read so few books so far this year, but the one I’m working my way through now (on the recommendation of my hubby) has been wrecking me. I’m about ten years too late to the Mark Batterson party, but The Circle Maker* has been waking something up inside my spirit, challenging my faith more than any book has in a long, long time. We are in an only-God kind of season where we really need Him to show up on some issues. This book has been encouraging me to believe for God’s absolute best and changing the way I pray. Life-changing.
Everyone, I mean EVERYONE has been talking about When God Made You.* Because I could not get away from all the posts on Facebook and Instagram, I bought it as a gift, and then loved it so much I bought it for my boys. This is a message every child needs to hear, and it’s written so poetically, so creatively, it’s just about the most beautiful Christian children’s book I’ve read ever.
Alright I’m totally changing gears here, but between all the really good spiritual and emotional connections that have been going on over the last several weeks, I’ve also been doing some behind-the-scenes work on this site, giving it a face-lift of sorts.
In January 2014, I did a huge redesign reveal which included A WHOLE LOT OF WORK. Since then the site has basically stayed the same, with only a few minor tweaks here and there, but blogging is a real live thing that changes over time and a website’s gotta keep up.
So I’ve got a new header and a new tagline, new landing pages, and a new structure I hope will be much easier to navigate. If websites are your thing (and by your thing, I mean that you visit them and appreciate the experience) I WOULD LOVE your feedback. Is it easier to navigate? Does it make sense to you? Can it be better? Please let me know!
All the other things
Man, I feel like there is so much more I could tell you. I started Weight Watchers again. We celebrated our anniversary with a night out (thanks Mom and Dad!). We took a day trip with the boys to Milwaukee (thanks Uncle Art!). We’re gearing up for a two week spring break (thank you JESUS, hallelujah!).
But I need to know what’s going on with you!
How are you doing? What are you most excited about for spring? Where are you celebrating Easter?
Talk to me! I’m all ears….
*Denotes an affiliate link. Questions read my disclosure page :).