Out my Window: East coast morning. The moon was large and beautiful with snow glistening in its light this morning. The trees are all coated with snow and ice. The aftermath of a snowstorm is pretty after over a week of rainy, dark days.
Enjoying: Laughing and talking with my family, reading, snuggling in and watching the snow fall, appreciating the imposed day home in spite of errands that need to be run, candles, twinkle lights still up, kindness of church family, extra interaction with soul friends
Listening to: Finished the last two chapters of Steve Martin’s Autobiography, Born Standing Up, A Comic Life. I appreciated his growth and self-awareness. I listened to the two Holy Post Podcasts I had missed. Added more books to my to be read list.
Reading: Still reading Saints: Becoming More than Christians by Addison Bevere. I set it aside half way through the week and picked up Danielle Strickland’s The Ultimate Exodus: Finding Freedom from What Enslaves You. I knew it was a faster read with some nuggets I thought I needed at the moment, and I was right. Our travel time home ended up going all day and then our first day home was a snow day, so I was able to finish. This is a book that I want to get copies to share with many. I underlined quite a bit. It is a simple read, but much to think about and apply. I am thinking it would make a good book discussion or study. She takes the reader on a journey through the Exodus and the Israelites journey to freedom and shares wisdom and light on our bouts with slavery as the enslaved, and at times the enslaver, and learning to live free.
…most Christians have difficulty with boundaries. We think we can change people, we think people can change us. With good, godly boundaries, we start to realize that our choices, decisions, and intentions are ours to own and to work on. Part of that work is to ask people for help, to ask people to journey with us.
The ultimate posture that prepares us for freedom is humility, quite simply coming to the end of ourselves. It’s knowing our limits, recognizing that we are human beings in need of saving. It’s fundamental honesty with ourselves. But until we get that honest, we get nowhere.
What tends to happen, instead of confrontation, is compromise. People tend to buckle under the pressure and make a deal with the enemy, a compromise that leaves them not as oppressed as they once were, though still oppressed.
Pondering: Being fully present. I am pondering a new dimension of this that came to light over the last two weeks. I am pondering how one acknowledges and feels all the feelings that are in each moment without drowning or becoming paralyzed. I am working on a post to tease out this idea as it has been in the forefront of my mind as I walk with my son through a huge life change. Many realities and truths found in this experience for me. Just not sure how it looks to walk it out.
Learning: How to state my needs before I get to the desperation and resentment stage. I usual just push and push, and then get annoyed, or passive aggressive when I have a need that is not being met. I keep giving, there is a place for self sacrifice with a good attitude, but there is also a place for identifying a need, or perceived need, and if it is possible, to meet it. I knew that when I landed at home I needed a day to just rest. It has been months of planning and prepping, making decisions and researching, I was ready for a mental and physical break. So I declared it. This was tested a few times. I would feel guilty because others had different needs, and I felt that I should be helping, or doing all the stuff I need to get done, but I chose to rest. It was a wise choice and allowed me to be refreshed and get stuff done without a bad attitude later. This is something that will continue to take practice for me, first even knowing what my real need is, but then learning how to communicate it well. I am learning slowly, and thinking it is worth the effort, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
Home Life: Came home to beautiful flowers and balloons on my counter, someone had straightened up my kitchen and a remodeled bathroom. (hmm maybe I should leave more often) We have only been home one day, so yesterday was about putting the bathroom back together and unpacking, wash, and the usual post trip regathering of life.
Fitness and Mental Health: Walking all over Seattle and the airports. Did a day of Pilates. Came home and crashed. Mental Health: Taking time to rest before jumping back into all that needs to be taken care of. Plugging in the twinkle lights and lighting candles, processing and praying with friends.
Giving Thanks: For my son’s apartment, that it all came together in such a short time. For Amazon, Target, and Goodwill to get it ready for him, for time as a family in Seattle, for kind, helpful people as we tried to figure stuff out, for laughter and fun, for comfort in the hard, for safe travels, for friends willing to pick us up from airport even though the night got late, for church family that worked hard to renovate our bathroom and added the touches that were extra special, for all the extra generosity and provisions that made this trip possible, for my husband’s ability to figure out logistics and communicate it to my son so he was equipped to maneuver the city, for my younger son’s ability to help me re-focus, for my older son’s desire to follow where God is leading even though it is challenging, for praying friends, for God’s grace and mercies being new every morning.