Two days after I shared my fear at The Grove last week, I heard a crash from my kids’ bedroom. The kind of crash that makes you sprint towards it. I found my three-year-old son on the floor. I picked him up to find blood gushing, and I mean gushing, from the back of his head. I’m not a screamer, but I screamed like I’ve never screamed before.
That makes for the second time in a month that I thought my kid was dying.
We finally got the bleeding to stop, but not before our home looked like a murder scene. A trip to the hospital and a few staples later, and he happily went back to playing with his toys.
But I went to my room, closed the door, curled up in bed and said to myself, “I’m not sure how much more I can handle.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve whispered or muttered that to myself. Over the years and especially in life overseas, I get to the point where the extremes of life push me to the edges of myself. Or the daily grind weighs so heavy and full, I feel like a twig trying to hold it all up.
I remember in the training we did before we left to move to China, they told us this:
“You have to figure out what is life-giving to you. You must commit to giving rest to your soul, or you won’t survive life overseas.”
Living in a foreign place is like having a hole in your reserve energy tank. At first the hole is gaping. Time and experience can make the hole smaller, but still it’s always there. If we don’t intentionally pump life into our tanks, we’ll all be left sputtering.
I’ve learned what is life-giving to me, what makes my soul breathe. So I thought I would share my list with you. And honestly, I need to write it out for me. To remind myself what I need, because I’m running on low. I can keep pressing on, or I can stop and do that which I know will renew me.
I breathe when…
1. I read. Nothing is quite as relaxing or refueling to me as losing myself (or perhaps finding myself) in a good book.
2. I write. I write to know what I think. My thoughts swirl jumbled until I can straighten them out on paper. And then, then my mind can rest. It’s how I best pray, how I best hear what He has to say to me.
3. I’m outside. You can take the girl out of Colorado, but you can’t take the Colorado out of a girl. Nature renews me. That’s why I loved Kimberly’s post yesterday. There are ways to do it even in a monstrous city like Beijing. But also, I’ve realized we need to schedule intentional time in our calendar year away from city. Because my soul needs to connect with God in nature.
4. I have time with my husband. This year, for the first time in our marriage since kids, we have thrown all the excuses out the window, and have just made it happen. We’re having a weekly time away from kids, just for us. And wow. Just wow.
5. I have weekly time to connect with other women. I don’t mean the casual, “Hey, how’s it going?” five minutes before a meeting. I’m talking about a weekly time to share, really share my heart, my life, and to hear other women do the same. This is incredibly life-giving to me. There are times and seasons when this happens for me, and there are times when for a variety of reasons, it just hasn’t been possible. And I’ve noticed a huge difference in my overall well being when it IS a part of my life.
I know #5 can be a tough one for ladies like us. We’re hungry for that kind of connection, but our lives, our isolation, make it so, so hard.
So we’ve been dreaming behind the scenes at Velvet Ashes for a way to make it possible. Because we believe in what God does when women meet together. And I think there’s a way to do this without us having to leave our homes.
Would you be interested in being a part of a Connection Group with ladies from Velvet Ashes that meets via skype conference call once a week? And then connects further in a private Facebook group? The idea is for there to be two co-mentors leading a group of 4 (ish) women. We’re trying to make a plan for a six week Spring session to happen, but we need you to do something.
Would you fill out this quick and simple survey?
This is not to register for a group, it’s to help us gage interest and plan accordingly. Because we want to make this happen for those that are wanting this kind of life-giving connection.
And now I turn it over to you. I want to hear your stories, your thoughts on our prompt “Breathe.” And artists? I think this one has your name on it.
Here’s how to share:
- You can share with us in the comments, if you don’t have a blog of your own. We have the amazing ability to post images in our comments! So post images of your art and/or share your words there.
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- If you have a blog, write or make art based on the prompt and join the link-up!
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- Click on the blue “Add your link” button below to add your blog post to this page.
- It will walk you through selecting which image you want to show up in the linky.
- Then your picture and link will show up below!
- Then be sure to go visit other’s sites and share some comment love! It’s the rule. We applaud brave hearts!
photo credit WanderingtheWorld (www.ChrisFord.com) via Compfight cc