Missing Myself

It’s all been a whirlwind. I’m sure you’ve been there, when life creeps in and steals…well, the life right out of you. Then suddenly I realize in the midst of the grind, the day to day, the chaos, that I don’t have to allow it all to get the best of me. I can choose to stop even when the madness doesn’t. I get the privilege of deciding what warrants immediate attention and what can wait. I get to decide that I’m important too.

I think mothers are so easily susceptible to what I’ll call the squishing. The systematic pressing down of oneself in favor of those you love and/or those who scream the loudest. Then suddenly, the music stops, the writing ceases in lieu of more pressing priorities. All that was placed in you by the creator is shelved for another time…a seemingly mythic day when there’s quiet, though you know the heart will cry when quiet comes because they have grown and you may have missed something.

I think at the end of the day, we can have it all. We can treasure the moments of motherhood, maintain some measure of order and cleanliness, actually shower, and still be us. I know, I know, sounds too good to be true. I still believe that God placed treasure in earthen vessels and that He never gives us a load too difficult for us to bear. We may need to exercise our faith muscles. We may need to work diligently to find balance. We may need to learn to say no or ask for help but it may be worth it.

Today, I’m making a resolution that I will make myself make time. I will read. I will write. I will sing. I will play. Yes, I’ll still clean and nurse and nurture and teach but I will make the time to be me. The world will be a better place and I will be a better version of myself. Today, I’m determined.

Though I’ve been missing in action for a while, I’m coming back to life, one decision at a time and I shouldn’t have to miss me much longer.



Father Time boasts precision but I’m beginning to wonder. This morning he seems to be all thumbs. It cannot possibly be time to wake up and start another day. It cannot be that my stepson graduates from college tomorrow. It can’t be right that baby man will be turning one and I need to plan a family gathering and smash cake. It cannot be only one year left until my precious daughter finishes high school and chooses a college.
Perhaps his fingers swell at night when we aren’t looking and push the minute hand up, faster than we anticipate. Maybe he’s playing tricks on us to see if we are paying attention. He’s watching to see if we will look up and live or fumble, head down, persistent into out to do lists and/or smart phones. I don’t know.
This morning I’m watching. I’m aware that it’s a flash and a blur this life. And we hang on and try to enjoy the ride, often forgetting to pause and laugh or smile. Often forgetting WHY we do day to day.
Sometimes we miss our moments because we are too tired, too busy, too distracted. We abandon life for tv screens and media. In all our doing we forget to live.
Time isn’t waiting for us. It’s moving, changing, ticking on. Steady or fumbled and jumbled, I don’t know. Though we can’t control the clock, we can redeem the day.

Labor Day

Once a year, we get to cease from our “manic Monday” lives, and be celebrated for the impact our working has had on our society. We mark the end of the summer with this hiatus. We light our grills, don our shopping garb and hit the sales, relax with friends and family. We get to rest. But do we really?

What about our souls? Deep within where no one can see, do you feel yourself striving? Are you striving to be more, to do more, to be a better person, to be more diligent…to be seen? We hide these inner longings with stuff. The busy trappings of a life fully lived. Work, school, kids, chores, laundry, diapers, christian service, community service, hospitality, good works. I’m not denying the value of any of these things. They are all good and should be done. But do they drive us? When our tired heads crash into the fluff of our pillows at night, do they consume us still? Are we able to rest or are we thinking about all of our stuff? Do we feel full with overflow…ready to pour out again tomorrow not of necessity, but rather abundance? Why are we striving at all?

We all know labor. The toil and motion of our days. The drive to accomplish more or be a little better. So we reach and stretch like ace bandage around the wounds of our lives, hiding the inner longing from the masses. Gaining momentum so we can do more tomorrow. We know the ache of muscles overused. The dull of a mind overspent. The fog of lack of slumber and heavy heart. We may not labor everyday. We may even enjoy it. We, hopefully, take time out to laugh and enjoy the moments of greatness. We rest a bit now and then, but is rest a lifestyle?

I contend that every day should be labor day. Jesus said this in the book of Matthew: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.  

The answer to our striving is always found in our following. Jesus didn’t ask us to be better. Jesus took our ‘bad’ upon himself, bore our sorrows and took our shame. Jesus provided freedom for our souls. Freedom from the burden of striving. When we come to him, we are free to be. In him we find rest. He joins us in the yoke of life, strapped in together with us and carries the burden for us. We simply walk with him.

There will always be hustle and bustle circling overhead. There will always be things to do and commotion to tame. But there will always be Jesus soothing our souls with the balm of his peace. He washes our hearts with his spirit, quiets us with his love and calls us righteous. None of this is based on what we can do or have done. Though our righteousness was as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), he clothes us with his righteousness (Romans 3).

Today, I encourage you to rest in him. Enjoy this labor day, knowing that you were created for his good pleasure, that he delights in you and that you are loved more than you can ever imagine. Happy Labor Day!


My Own Private Jungle


It’s been a whirlwind of a week. School’s back in session. The big kids started last Monday while the littlest guy comes to work everyday with me. I’ve been back at work for several weeks now since having the baby. Honestly, I didn’t really take a maternity leave at all. I stayed away from the office for about a week and a half, all the while answering calls and questions from home, then packed baby man up and headed in. I’m so thankful that having the baby with me at work is an option. I realize that I am blessed abundantly!

Still, I’d cut back on my hours of actual office time. I’ve been working from home a little more and also reminding myself that the world will not end if I don’t accomplish everything in one day. For some reason when school started on Monday, it felt like my (imagined) maternity leave was over. My hectic schedule is back in full swing. I’m busy with backpacks and lunch boxes and drop off and pick up. Now I’ve got diaper bags and feeding schedules and an infant screaming in car-rider line added to the mix. I know many of you can relate to this.

Let’s face it, life can get a bit chaotic from time to time. Yet, somehow in the midst of this, we are expected to dig deep and pull out the gifts within us and do something great with them. For years, I shelved most of my writing. I didn’t bother sharing many of my original songs because I knew I wouldn’t have time to invest in finishing them and performing them. I allowed the chaos to overtake me.

Thankfully I’ve learned that the only way I can truly live is to dig deep. All those things I shelved for later are the very things that bring me peace today. A life of order and balance includes our passions. If we don’t allow our passions the fuel and air they need, we will suffocate beneath the weight of the mundane.

This week, in the midst of the hectic, I took a few seconds to breathe, to write, to pray, to snap a picture or two in the yard. I am alive and free. Don’t let the jungle swallow your soul. Let your soul be the soil for beauty to flourish.

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