Release Yourself

As I was having some quiet time this morning, my heart was just aching for other mommas and parents and ministers and friends that I know need a change in their lives, but just haven’t done it yet.

 I’ve heard too many mommas talk about just needing an hour, or a get-away with their husbands because it’s been years of focusing all on the kids. 

I’ve heard ministers speak about their exhaustion in ministry and need for refreshment. 

Parents who know they’re neglecting their health, but feel too stuck to change. 

I hear these confessions and hear a lot of them, friends, and as I was sitting this morning and thinking of those faces who do so much for others, but feel guilty to invest in themselves – be it a massage, or supplements to support their stressed body, or an hour in a morning for quiet moments – my heart just ached

I had 4 minutes left in my “personal study” time, so I opened up Hands Free Life and within a page, this stuck out to me. The author Rachel had painted a picture of a young bride whom she spied at a hair salon. The pained, overwhelmed look on this lady’s face brought her right back to her younger years and what she wishes she could tell her 27-year-old-self, as a 40-year-old-woman. 

You are going to feel a lot of pressure in your lifetime- pressure to do things at one-hundred-and-ten-percent performance level, pressure to look and act a certain way, pressure to be all things to all people. You’re going to think  that the pressure is coming at you from all directions, but in most cases, it’s not. That unrelenting pressure is going to come from one place: you. So do yourself a favor, dear one. Take the pressure off. Take the pressure off now- don’t wait until you’re forty. In fact, don’t wait another day. 

Ahhh. Do you feel that sigh in your soul? That longing to free yourself from the intense pressure? The ache to actually allow yourself to do the thing for YOU that you know your spirit and body need for refreshment? I bet the people who care about you would agree. 

I bet your best friend would say, “Yes! Do something for your health!” 

I bet your spouse would say, “Absolutely! When are we going on that adventure?”

Because they know your heart and have its best in mind, just like you’ve been having their best in mind for so long. 

A perk of not living in America is I get to watch her from a removed difference. I get to feel her racing pulse without living in the over stressed, run-down, exhausted, but I-can-do-more attitude. (Yes, I’m not utterly immune to her lure, nor do I claim perfection, friends. You know how broken and real I am!) Sure. I’m seeing a lot of her through emails, Facebook messages, and IG posts, but I see what you’re sharing, America. I hear your tired parts, your exhausted selves, your ragged bodies poorly fueled by Coke & cookies ( In my most stressed, self-imposed-pressure days, I lived on fast food & lean pockets & creamer-laden coffee!). And I just want to remind you – that you, my sweet and precious soul will do more for this world when you’re rested. You can serve longer, give deeper, make greater change when you’re fueled well, rested properly and when you’ve said NO to more. 

I don’t have the answer for your situation. Ok, I actually do. It’s called Jesus and rhymes with “Hod” because I have only found how to rest from believing the truths He’s said about me. What I mean, is I don’t know what your rest needs to be. 

But I know you need to release yourself from the pressure. It’ll feel really awful and awkward at first, but it’ll get so rich and full that you’ll look at yourself a year from now and wonder, “How in the heck was I living like that?” 

And until you do take that brave step, I’ll keep listening and holding your stories and praying for the courage for you to take the pressure off, dear one. Don’t wait until your forty or sixty. There’s a whole lot of life to be enjoyed. 

Categories: just for fun, Kingdom Coming Related, Public Confession | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

To the Girl Whose Marriage is Hard

Dear you, 

So you think your marriage is hard? You’re feeling hopeless? You’re struggling? You don’t feel as loved as you need? You don’t respect him as much he needs?

Well. You’ve got it. Marriage IS hard. It may the the hardest thing you do in this life. In what other relationship, realm or job do you open yourself up so wholly, get hurt, be brave, then try once more over and over and over again? Because you do. You know you made a promise. You know you committed to forever, but right now just seems … so… tough! 

Marriage is so hard because it takes two broken people and wraps them all up in each others’ space and business, dreams and toothbrush ing time for heaven’s sake! He’s broken. You certainly are broken. You’re both in need of radical grace, forgiveness and love. But seriously?! If you can’t muster that for him, can you expect him to muster it for you? 

Don’t forget the key. The final puzzle piece. Or maybe it’s the first one. God. Without the Lord all wrapped up in yall, all wrapped up in each others’ toothbrushes and dreams, you. Ain’t. Going. Nowhere. As much as you long to be in the business of fixing yourself, fixing him – cuz I know you have ideas of how to fix him up – and making you guys awesome, you are not the Restorer. 

When was the last time you resurrected the dead? Or even baked a perfect cupcake? You cannot fix yourselves. But the Lord can. And He’s really, really skilled at it. He wants to restore you both. He wants to heal you from childhood pains, sexual sin, cycles of shame, rhythms of neglecting, wounding words, fearful doubts and distrusting spirits. He wants to make all things new. In your heart. And in YOUR HEARTS. 

But, girl, it might get ugly before it gets pretty. You might cry messy tears. Yall might fight some nasty battles. Remember the Enemy you’re fighting is not the man standing infront of you, but the Evil One sneaking about. Remember you and this groom of yours are on the same team. You have children to raise and bless with peace. You have a happy, real, supporting, loving home to foster. You have sushi to eat and beaches to surf. You have guests to hosts and cheesy popcorn to devour while snuggling under blankets. You have decades of pillow talk … and sex. You’ve got weekends away, anniversaries, weddings to attend, graduations to celebrate and dreams to celebrate. You have gardens to grow and children to nourish. But first. 

You have this man you live with. Who’s working. Who’s trying. Who’s aware of his flaws and asking for your patience. It’s only getting a bit ugly because there’s a whole heck of pretty coming. You’ve made such progress. Yall have grown. Remember 6 months ago? Two years ago? Imagine how things can be in 2 more months. Go on. Hold your breath for a moment. Savor these sweet growing pains. But exhale. And inhale. And write down all you’re grateful for. Meditate over that. And God’s promises. 

Because, Girl, your marriage is tough, but you guys are, too. And it’s so, so worth it. 

Trust me. 

Categories: Family Life, Kingdom Coming Related | Tags: | 3 Comments

Letting Go


For the longest time, I wouldn’t do yoga unless I had a quiet corner to myself. Then I gloriously became a mom and my mat sat in the corner more because I refused to let go of my expectations of yoga. I wanted it to look and feel and be a certain things it had been in my past. I wanted long, sweaty sessions that pushed my mind and stilled my body. I wanted to be lead through a class, not lead myself.

 When you’re working on a standing balance, arm balance or a pose that challenges you, the moment when you start to celebrate too much, worship the end (having it perfect) too much or forget to breathe in the pose, YOU LOSE IT. You’ll fall short. You’ll weaken. But when you loosely hold the idea, the dream, or the pose; you picture it in your mind, but it’s held loose with open, easy hands. THAT is when you’ll stick it and have a great chance to being present for longer. When your focus is steady, yet calm and undesperate, you’re able to weather wobbles, slight adjustments, or quivering muscles. When your focus is calm, your balance follows. With a furrowed, intense brow; or a wandering eye, you. Will. Fall. You will come out of the pose. Of course, that’s fine. We like falling and trying once more in yoga. But it’s also liberating when you hit that sweet spot, that moment when you’re calm, focused, balanced and the stars align in your body for the pose that feels so right. 

I love that my daughter comes to climb and crawl and pull and move with me when I do yoga once I finally let go of who yoga was “supposed” to be or do for me. I still love yoga in my own time, alone. However, I’m more and more happy to share 15 minutes of a practice with her. There is something silly, special and then sacred as I move through poses and she “chases” me. In plank, I hover over her as she crawls from under my head to under my feet. I open to side plank and she rolls over into the ground to gaze up at me and giggle. In forward fold, she peeks her head in between my legs from behind to spy on me breathing upside down. Child’s pose is her favorite I think, because with my shins under thighs, my torso resting on my thighs, and all that plus my forehead collapsing in a fetal-like position as the ground holds me, I hold her. She crawls into my back. Giggles. Falls off. Practices standing on me. Surfs. Giggles. Falls off. Her toes and fingers knead my lower back in a massage. Her 20 some pounds adds the right touch of pressure to help me really relax and sink deeper to the ground. We both love it. 

While I did this pose, the view from INSIDE my body was beautiful. I felt radiant, glorious, strong, balanced, graceful, like I could hold it forever. I loved having her with me. I love the symbols of strength and incorporating all parts of what I love together. I love yoga in our new room. I love moving my 19-week pregnant body. I love that I could find my calm focus amidst the minion on my leg. 

And then I looked at this photo & chuckled because my form isn’t great. I’m not standing as tall as I thought. My hair is kind of a wreck. There’s a lot someone could photoshop. But I won’t. I didn’t. Because even if it looks different on the outside, from the inside, the pose felt perfect and glorious. And I’ll choose to hold on to that memory and let go of any others. 


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