The kids were quiet in record time this evening–a sure sign of a summer day, unsuccessful napping and lots of fun in the pool tonight. There’s a lot to be said for access to a pool on a 90º day when you’re pregnant. It was our first time out this summer with the whole family, and it does my heart good to see Jason in the water with the kiddos. He is definitely far more able to accommodate jumping and catching and shenanigans this pool season, and they had a blast. I’m so grateful (for many reasons) that Eloise’s leg is healing from last week’s break far better than we could have imagined. I was honestly so sad about the idea of missing 3-4 weeks of summertime activities (while trying to figure out getting her around in a cast with my belly growing by the day), but mostly, I was bummed for her to have to stay out of the pool. With only 1.5 weeks under her belt since the incident (and no cast at all), she was back in the water tonight and doing better than ever. Such a joy to watch!
Baby is certainly busy these days…constantly moving and filling up the space my body has created so far–we are talking one round basketball of tiny human in there! I don’t remember not being able to bend over this early with the other two, but, as each pregnancy is different, I’m trying to adjust to the idea that I might have different limitations each time, too. At least I can still see my toes for a while longer!
I went to yoga this morning and was so thankful to be there. More than the workout, my soul needed the time of refreshment in worship, and it was good for my heart to see and visit with friends afterward, too. There are some weeks I’ve just plain felt too tired to head out on a Saturday morning in time for class, but there are others where I wake up just knowing I need to get myself there, no matter how I’m feeling. Today was one of those. It never works out poorly when I trust the nudging of my spirit.
In that same vein, I am working more diligently these days to listen more closely, to press more deeply into the whispers that God has for my heart. This is never easy to begin in the midst of young motherhood or busy schedules, family life, or any other thing that can crowd up our time and days. I definitely go through seasons where I feel more pressed to focus on listening for God, and in a way, I wish I could say I was always so careful to steward my relationship with Him. Like any other muscle, the practices of getting quiet, going to God, offering up confession, journaling prayers–each one gets stronger the more I do it, and weaker the more I ignore it.
I just don’t feel like I have the luxury of ignoring these areas when there’s so much to pray about and so many different avenues in my life that would benefit from the guidance of the Father, who knows me best.
When I am feeling desperate in any way, I know I need to get back to God first. I don’t always do this well, but I am trying to flex my God-dependent muscles more than my self-sufficient ones. The truth of the matter is, I’m not all that effective when I’m relying on my own strength to be a great wife, mom, homemaker, daughter, sister, friend. I want to be, always, but I miss the mark more than necessary when I don’t go to God for help.
Yesterday, I spent some time praying, not knowing I was pouring into another part of the day that would come later. The nudging within me to pray specifically in certain ways has proven accurate more than once in the past 24 hours, and I can feel the difference between when I ask for help and exercise intention, and when I don’t. It seems so simple, but there will be days to come when I forget this and rely again on my own self and my own ideas to manage relationships, conversations, plans for the day, plans for the future. I hope my memory is growing stronger, too, as I continue to realize the value of taking time to press in to a Holy Father, who desires to commune with me and to be invited into relationship with me on a daily basis.
Where do all of these things connect? The pool and Eloise’s leg, a growing belly, yoga and taking time out to put the most important things first? They meet up where my awareness and intentionality either guide me in and out of days or sit on the sidelines waiting for me to drop the ball.
When I’m not plugging in to God with my whole self, my life starts to feel disconnected and unplugged, too–sometimes without me even realizing it.
The heart behind what I’m sharing is that none of the good of my days would be so easy to see if my judgment and thinking were shrouded with self-pity, a lack of self-awareness, or a general discontent in the absence of the kind of joy that only God and the Holy Spirit can infuse into my life.
The heat today at 26.5 weeks pregnant, Eloise having a broken bone to heal from, my inability to be as physically flexible as I’d like to in yoga class…they could have all been sources of frustration, irritation, negativity. Instead, they were spots of joy and gratitude that I absolutely can’t take credit for, but yet, ones that certainly allow me to be a better person to the rest of the world as God nudges me. When I am trusting God with the big and small things in my days, He points me in the direction of a glass-half-full attitude and a grateful heart.
Life is plenty tricky, and the temptation to wallow or to hang our hats on the hard things is great–there is an enemy raging after our souls every single day.
But the armor of God is far greater no matter what, and the enemy can’t light a candle to the joy awaiting us when we offer ourselves and our lives to the One God who has created us, who restores us, and who redeems our brokenness for good and for His glory.
praying that you sense God’s peace wherever you are tonight, and praying that it stays with you as you lean into the type of joy that only He can provide for our human hearts,