Thursday, August 5, 2010

breathe

i have been learning.
a LOT.
over the last few months i have spent a lot fewer early morning hours running a lot more on my bed reading and praying.
it's been sweet.
SO so sweet.
and He has been teaching me.
gently guiding.
i want to share.
because when i share, i process.
and i want to process.
i haven't finished learning.
will i ever?
i hope not.
but i'm ready to share.

it's nothing earth-shattering.
yet it has been earth-shattering to me.

my whole being is different.
my outlook is brighter.
and calmer.

{i took my kids to a park tuesday morning. it was so fun. and the pictures will keep you entertained as i process my thoughts...}


if i think back, God really started working on me back in the spring.
He's kinda been challenging all the things i thought i knew and showing me His heart {which is very different from the things i thought i knew}.
i thought i understood grace.
and how to trust.
and how to know Him.
i didn't.
and i'm still learning.
but, wow, i've learned SO much just in these few months...and i'm quite literally BLOWN AWAY by it all!

these quotes seem all very un-related to each other.
and they are.
yet they are all EXACTLY what i have been needing...

“Kites fly highest against the wind.” Winston Churchill
{things won't always be easy...and that's ok...maybe even good!}

"Dull women have immaculate homes.” Author unknown
{my priorities need to be checked...}

“Few things on earth are as alarming as approaching the gates of a foreign orphanage, knowing that inside awaits a child who is going to call you Mama.” Melissa Fay Greene
{God is getting me ready for a new stage in my life...and it's terrifying}

"There are some serious skunks in this flower bed of motherhood." from another adoptive mom
{motherhood isn't easy...or pretty...and i don't need to try to pretend that it is.}

Rest in my presence when you need refreshment. Resting is not necessary idleness, as people often perceive it. When you relax in My company, you are demonstrating trust in me. TRUST is a rich word, laden with meaning and direction for you life. I want you to lean on, TRUST, and be confident in Me. When you lean on me for support, I delight in your trusting confidence.....JESUS CALLING
{"resting" is not a bad word :-) and you WILL live if you can't run for 4 weeks...}

as far as i can think back...even back to high school...i have had EVERY DAY (and almost every HOUR) of my life planned out. i've always had a list. i knew what i was going to accomplish that day. in college i sometimes planned down to the MINUTE. kind of makes me sick to think about it, actually. i'm not sure how or why it happened. maybe it's just my personality. and i never wanted to be lazy...i'm a hard worker and i somehow got the {incorrect} idea in my head that if i was ever still or stopped, that i was lazy. i've gotten a LOT done in all those years. a LOT. but i've also missed a lot of things...sweet moments...deeper conversations...beautiful sunsets...stopping to feel the wind on my face. and i don't say those things in a "la-la head in the clouds" way. you know when you talk to someone and they REALLY look you in the eyes and you can tell they are WITH you? like, REALLY with you? listening with their eyes, ears and HEART?? well, i just haven't been listening to God with my eyes, ears and heart. maybe my eyes...sometimes my ears...sometimes even my heart...but not very often with all 3. the last couple months i can tell i'm listening with my eyes, ears and heart and it's SO sweet...brutal sometimes...challenging a lot of the time...but ALWAYS sweet. how can it not be?? i'm listening to the Father that made me. that loves me. that DIED for me.

"For where your treasure is, there Your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

"The most persistent choice you face is whether to trust Me or to worry. You will never run out of things to worry about, but you can choose to trust Me no matter what." Sarah Young


"I will trust and not be afraid..." Isaiah 12:2

"The path I have created you to travel is exquisitely right for You. To follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your desire to please other people." Sarah Young

"in quietness and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

there is a lie going around. it's told to moms with small children.
it's goes something like this:
"it's ok for you to not spend time praying and reading the Bible. i mean, you probably didn't get very much sleep and it's just a stage and once your kids are older you can come back to it."
i don't buy it.
actually, i bought it for WAY TOO LONG.
no, i don't think we HAVE to have a set amount of time praying and reading the Bible.
not in a legalistic way.
BUT...if we want our hearts to beat for the things His heart beat for??
then we have to know Him.
and to know Him we have to spend time with Him.
and that means quiet time listening to Him, talking to Him and reading about Him.
it just does.
it really is that simple.

and, unfortunately, it's not always easy.
it might mean a few minutes less sleep.
it WILL involve some kind of sacrifice.
but isn't that the case with any relationship??

thanks to a friend challenging me the day after i injured my hip and couldn't get up early to run, i've been spending more time praying and listening and reading.
and, i can honestly say that i just want more and more and more.
it's not a chore.
it's also not always easy to do.
but it's always a blessing.

i hope someone can relate to this.
i hope someone is challenged by this.
i wish that i had been challenged in these areas ages ago.

things just seem simpler now.
i'm learning to have grace with myself
{i really have a hard time with that! like, REALLY}

it's hard to figure out how the "God loves you and accepts you just as you are" idea meets the "glorify Him in ALL that you do...and never stop DOING" idea. and the only way they DO meet in a way that we humans can understand is AT HIS FEET. He guides us through it and shows us moment by moment what He has for us...one moment it's soaking Him in and saying, "NO" to something else...another moment it's working our TAILS off for someone else to show them His love.




my goal right now is to create space in my life to breathe...
space to stop and laugh
space to listen to one of my children
space to HOLD a child that needs to be held
space to just sit and read
space to say "yes! i can help with that right now!" when a friend needs me
space to act on my love for my husband...in little and big ways

i want to take deep breaths.
breathe in the blessings around me.
breathe in the pain of loved ones.
breathe in His grace.
breathe in His power.

how am i going to do that?
i don't know exactly.
i do know it will involve saying "no" to more things
{i already feel like i say "no" a lot...}
it might involve disappointing people...or at least confusing them.

but i trust that He will show me.
day by day.
i'm not making a "plan".
my plan is to follow His plan for my days.

i will fail.
i will have days where i let those butterflies of anxiety come back into my stomach
{i haven't felt them since JUNE!}

but i hope i will be able to have grace with myself.

so...to sum it up:

grace
trust
rest
space
BREATHE

10 comments:

Tisha said...

There have been a few times over these years of being blog friends that my heart just aches wishing I had the chance to know you in person and could talk to you face to face. This is one of those times.
I loved this.

Christy said...

Oh wow...

I needed to hear that. That was so beautiful and encouraging and TRUE...what a perfect way to explain the journey you've been on lately. Its so amazing. And its always amazing to me the whole letting go---how it hurts or is confusing but how that peace that knows no understanding is just what I need. I can never hear that enough cause I ALWAYS take it back into my own hands----ugh!! But thank you for those words...amazing :)

XOXOXO

Jenn said...

wow.

loved this.

thank you.

Julie said...

love love love this post.
hugs to you dear friend
it has been an honor to walk with you in this
and to pray for you
I agree with spending time in his word
it is the ONLY thing that can transform us
and it isn't easy, but it is important
so important
love you!

beckley said...

big stuff.

yeah, i decided last week that i have to drop my work schedule to 3 weeks a month, for the health of everyone in our family.

that's a 25% pay cut for the year. That's gonna be huge. I don't know how it will all shake down, because my business is calculated on how much income we NEED me to bring in.

So, who knows. But I know I have to work less. Rest more. Resonate with Nouwen whether people like me or not. And do a better job returning to my true self.

i'm hoping to get to write it through soon. too much frenzy around here. it's been a tough summer.

grace and peace be with you.
much love-
r

Holly said...

I have a post similar to this rattling around in my heart somewhere..it'll come out soon I'm sure

I loved this one though. A. LOT.

I don't buy 'that' lie either - it's a horrible one

I have to say 'no' to something THIS week that is huge and hard and out of my comfort zone - but it will provide my space

...yeah...basically, I'm there, I see it.

Ali said...

I am definitely encouraged and challenged by you all the time. I can't wait to see where God takes you.

The Faircloth Five said...

Cunnigham Falls State Park??? :)

Courtney, thank you for your honesty. I love it. I'm praying for you and Pat.

Tammy said...

I LOVE THIS POST!! I want to print it out and hang it on my mirror so I read it every day. It is so challenging. My hardest part is staying awake while I am stopping and taking time to listen to Him early in the morning...but you are right...it is a sacrifice, but it is NEEDED and it is a BLESSING and HONOR to sit at His feet. Love you..thank you for sharing your heart.

Robbins' Nest said...

thank you for sharing, I've so enjoyed getting to "know" you through your blog the past month. I just know we'd be good friends if we ever met! Praying for you and your sweet family and those precious boys.