Pillow Talk

limit

The alarm sounds, but I’ve been restless for at least thirty minutes by now. It’s 5:30 am. Some people thrive in the morning. Not me. I’m not made for the morning, but I try to forget that as I drag my weary body out of bed, and I remind myself: work is a blessing.

Shower. Breakfast. Make lunches. Are the kids awake? They hate this more than I do some days. I heat my morning tea in the microwave and grab bags as we rush out the door. I’ve checked the clock at least ten times already as we have this whole routine timed down to the last minute. Why do we have to get ready for the sunrise before the sun even wakes up?

We somehow scramble into the car in the nick of time and because the roads are dry and I’m feeling like I don’t want to say goodbye just yet, I drive the extra minutes to drop off my children at school. This feels good as our sleepy bodies start to wake up and finally relax from the morning rush out the door. Plus, they think I’m the best mom in the world because they don’t have to ride the bus today. This is the day that the Lord has made, I remind them. Mostly, I remind myself.

Some people hate their commute. Not me. I’m an INFJ, so I need this time to process. I crave this space and margin to think. Plus, I still need to wake up. I am thankful for these thirty minutes to sit.

Somewhere driving north on I25, I glance towards the mountains to the west and drink in the sunrise. My fear speaks. Can I do this? Can I juggle all these jobs? I feel the weight of my limits. Yes, my mountains feel big, but I give a pep talk to my fickle and fearful heart. God is bigger. And somewhere along this highway, I transform from mommy and wife to ESL teacher. I take a deep breath. Breathe in Holy Spirit. Exhale stress.

Thoughts of lesson plans and classroom management and emails and conversations and meetings and deadlines and delightful students and challenging students and stressful observations flood my mind as I rehearse the day and pull up to the school and into the lot to park my car.

I rush to greet smiley and sleepy children at the bus stop and give high fives to each one. My morning is a whirlwind of brown-faced children in hijabs and black-haired students with smiles and stories and hopes and dreams. We read, we write, we listen, we speak, and in a blink the sun is high noon and it’s time to make my pilgrimage from the bustling city back to the suburbs.

{I wonder on the drive home if I’m a city girl or a country girl. I’m pretty sure I’m one or the other and definitely sure I’m not a suburbs girl.}

The afternoon is filled with errands and laundry. Lunch and dinner prep. A nap to recover. I wonder if I’m really an American girl or if I should move to Mexico where people wouldn’t think  twice about my afternoon siestas.

Round two is the afternoon pickups from school. Sports. Gymnastics. Church. Appointments. I am now taxi mom and where did those two hours just go?

Round three is dinner and homework. Will we ever make it to bedtime, I lament. The emotional tug and pull of the day has me worn thin. How will I do this again tomorrow?

Finally the sun is down and I am done. I cross the finish line to bed. I set my alarm for the next day, and as my head hits the pillow, I remember three more things that didn’t get done. I start to shame myself, put myself down. How could I have forgotten? How could I let these things slip away from me? Why can’t I do more? I am weary from this pillow talk I give myself every night.

And then, I stop myself. I feel the weight of my humanity. I finally embrace it. I make friends and surrender to her limits. I am limited; thankfully, God is not. As I drift off to sleep, the Spirit gently reminds me that I need sleep. {And that’s ok.}

But God doesn’t. I can’t do more because I am not God.

Finally, I can rest in my limits, knowing that God keeps going even when I can’t.

And somehow, this feels good.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

*I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. This week’s word is “limit.”

{Photo source: Zen Bedrooms}

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for you & yours

A prayer & a blessing…

Today, may you have supernatural faith to believe that God is here, that God is good, and that His love is pursuing you, especially when you can’t see or feel Him and it only feels like winter in your soul. May He give you eyes to notice His care for all of creation and, yes, also for your own little world, even when you see no fruit. May He give you the courage to reach out and ask for the faith to believe that He’s in the business of making something from nothing. When you feel like nothing is all you have today, may you rest in this truth, that even God can work with that.

Good Things

It’s too good to keep to myself. Here’s what I’m loving these days…

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// A Prayer for the Beginner by Emily Freeman
{start here & then link over to inCourage} //

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// Rend Collective’s As Family We Go tour….count me in! //

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// got 7 minutes? It’s the 7 Minute Workout App…my family loves it! //

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Comfort Food for Thought

What brings you comfort?

Confession #1: When I think of comfort, I usually think of food. {Could this be why my pants are a little snug these days? *Wink*}

photo credit

And if it’s not cake, it’s cookies or carbs or something crazy bad for me. Relate?

Recently I was reminded that God has something to say about comfort.

In fact, He has a lot to say. I just don’t take time to listen, often, or I haven’t slowed down to let it sink in. Really sink in.

I’m excited about slowing down this month and taking a time out to read Romans 1-8 during the month of March. I’ve sent out a shameless invitation for others to join me…and I’m thrilled that I’ve heard from a handful of you wonderful ladies that want to read along and chime in! There is a companion book I’ll also be reading by Elyse Fitzpatrick called Comforts from Romans, and we are all invited to share our thoughts, questions, and encouragement on the Crossway blog where Elyse will be writing each Monday of March. How cool is that?

Confession #2: I’m not quite sure how this is going to work. {Sorry if you are an ESFJ…this is my P coming out!} I’ve laid out some sketchy details in an earlier post. I’d love others to join us too…even if you’re late in the game. {Which you are not since we haven’t even started!} For now, we’ll begin reading the first two chapters starting the week of Sunday, March 3rd, and read two chapters a week until Easter. I’ve wanted to host something like this before, but this is a first for me so if anyone has any creative ideas for the month, let me know. We are all in this together! {cue cheesy High School Musical soundtrack…sorry, couldn’t resist!} Otherwise we’ll just meet up here daily and share thoughts and prayers in the comment section.

I’m excited! I’m praying for God to do great things in our hearts and minds this coming month as He gives us true and lasting comfort in Him. Calorie-free!

Grace Transforming: A Review

Years ago I attended a smaller liberal arts Christian college where I attended chapel services each day. While I grew spiritually there, I honestly remember very few chapel talks. Had I heard the chapel messages given by Wheaton College President Phil Ryken to his student body adapted in this short book titled Grace Transforming, I can almost guarantee that I would not have forgotten them.

This book is brief, to the point, biblically solid, easy to understand, and entirely practical. Ryken explores grace as the heart of the gospel, the high cost of grace, and the depths of what it means to be justified and sanctified. He reminds readers of the power of grace and God’s unlimited supply of grace. He persuades that grace is precious and infinitely kind because the Gospel is endlessly gracious. Ryken backs up each chapter with scripture and then ends with practical application and soul searching questions. He does not preach about grace in an abstract, heady way, but applies the truths of grace personally so that it is truly life changing.

If you read one book this year about grace, this is it. Set your heart free and grow in the Gospel of grace; read Grace Transforming by Phil Ryken.

Note: I am reviewing for Crossway. I love this book.

Big News

My days of denial are over.

Okay.

Here goes.

We’re moving to Colorado this summer.

There. I said it.

Whew.

I’m scared. I’m relieved.

I’m sad. I’m thrilled.

I’m convinced. I’m confused.

Mostly, I’m surprised at how much the idea of change was exciting, but the reality of change is completely overwhelming and brings me to my knees daily.

And most days, I’m a mess.

Loosing my grip on security and control and comfort has been quite unnerving. And yet it’s all really just an illusion anyway, isn’t it? I’ve never really been in control in the first place.

And yet I know that this is where God is meeting me.

And He is good.

He is good.

He is good.

Ian & Larissa’s Story

All’s been quiet on the blog front lately. There’s a reason for that, and I’ll get back to that soon.

For now, I’m captured by a recent story of a young couple who are choosing to walk by faith and not by sight. They are resting in God’s promises for them and trusting God to meet their needs. Their story will wow you. It’s already challenging me.

Read more about it at Desiring God, and watch below.