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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Random Beauty – Grace

Into the Deep

We’ve had a lot of rain over the past month here in Southwest Florida. The ground is saturated and consequently when more rain comes, we flood. The odd thing is that most of our street is high and dry, but our yard is a swamp. It’s inconvenient in a lot of ways. We can’t mow certain areas so the wild is overtaking the manicured. Bugs are invading the house more than normal.

If you’ve never visited South Florida, I can tell you that it is an education in strange bugs and arachnids. We have some mega spiders and odd-looking creepy crawlers. Most of these don’t bother us a bit, but I have to admit that spiders the size of my hand appearing in the bedroom (as a general rule) do not inspire happy thoughts in me.

I warn my son daily to be on the lookout for snakes and gators when he’s playing in the yard. Living by a canal, we usually look out for these anyway, but with the extra water, comes extra cottonmouths and you never know when and where a snake will pop up as we learned earlier this year (The Snake in the House).

Despite all of this, I’ve been intrigued by the water. It’s random beauty standing out from the otherwise consistent. The fact that it’s just our yard strikes me as well. It’s like God sending a little beauty just for us, washing us with the water, changing the landscape. Sure, problems sometimes come with the beauty. God never promised us a life of roses and relaxation. The greatest character is built through the storms and the chaos. In the midst of these, we learn to trust him and find the wonder. In that, he is glorified and we are changed a little more into his image.

I pray I always find the wonder in the midst of the flood, that I find the beauty in the chaos, that I look for the ways he’s romancing me and reminding me of his love. Nothing he does is haphazard. ┬áHe paints the skies with us in mind. He plants flowers to amaze us. He smiles at us in the midst of the brokenness, wraps us up in his love and inspires us to be completely his. There is truly nothing better than that.