Every day this year I am learning resiliency. To snap back into place like so much worn out elastic, always pulled and stretched in so many conflicting directions, and my spring is gone.
So often I live a stretched life of threadbare weariness, sagging at the seams where all the parts of me connect.
I need the deep inhale of God each morning and then all day long as my days tread heavily and sway in a rhythm of the mundane, feeding children, teaching them, cleaning up, sneaking glances on Facebook, skimming a chapter of a good book while I stir onions and chicken on the stove, and grocery lines, and budgets that never stretch quite wide enough.
Sometimes I have nothing left when my normal day volleys back and forth between algebraic equations, phonics, multiplication, and read alouds read slow, our bodies tucked into the couch and overlapping. Sometimes when the dinner dishes are done and kids are bathed and tucked and retucked and threatened one last time to stay in bed, I wish this could be enough. Just these quiet moments dragging my body in close to my husband’s side and stacking the pillows around me, pulling the covers up high and feeling small and held.
But I think my need will be filled with long pauses or grand adventure, moments when I jump with both arms flung open wide and let God catch me in faith.
I think of imaginative ways to do more and be more and the only time I feel wide awake is when I think of everything I could be doing that is not my life. Not this life.
But mostly I think I need more sleep and money and time. A prettier face and a quicker wit. A sound mind instead of my tangled and unraveling thoughts.
I find myself ravenous, aching with need all of November and December.
I am so tired.
I begin to believe I just need more beauty and breath. I am gulping down deep and wishing for Sabbath to reclaim me and extinguish the burn in my soul. Smooth over the parts worth too thin and chaffing against my ordinary life, my ordinary self. I want to learn how to Sabbath right, and even this adds to my list of dos. I don’t know how to find rest.
I make lists and start projects I’m all too tired to complete.
I paint everything in my living room. I buy pillows. I hang colorful patterned curtains sewed in contrast to my dark nights.
I arrived at January with such a tangible hunger I wondered if I haven’t been famished my whole life. Filled with every wrong thing. The ribs of my desire encircling me sharp like a caged thing.
I am spending myself slowly at first, handing out no’s and setting boundaries. I must learn to keep Sabbath. I am rolled up sleeves fresh with zeal and passion and I burn fast and hard. But all too soon I am scorched, razed to the ground singed and scourged good for thinking I could pull this off.
If I’m honest I’ve passed through a thousand moods on my way here. I ride the steady rolling wave of depression every winter.
I don’t want to live a life devoted to crushing despair. To managing moods and curating my days into an accordion of highs and lows and always looking for an escape.
I ask God to teach me to rest, and He brings January like an invitation. I am being filled day by day. He gives me a word to hold onto. My one word for this year. Nourish.
I taste and am filled.
A lot has happened in January. This month of being filled, finding rest, and leaning into the meaning of being nourished by God. But I had to start here. I had to start with my hunger. I have a lot I want to share with you guys but I didn’t want to write a book. More on that later. So this is the start.
I’m unpacking my one word a little at a time so expect more next week. Also, my newsletter is going out early next week with more insider stuff I probably won’t share here including some of my ideas for this space. It’s more of a one on one conversation, an email from a friend, so if you want to be part of that, make sure to sign up here.