- First a little random praise sesh, because God has really blessed me (in general, but this week especially). Some of those blessings would seem small to some people, but they mean the world to me. I'm especially thankful that somebody took the time this week to offer some kind words and encouragement after I'd been feeling pretty insecure. (Ever have those moments when you just look around and think, "EVERYBODY IS SMARTER THAN ME!!!"? Me, too!) And sometimes it's nice when you get affirmation that it's okay to be still growing, still "in progress". I think kind words are just about the greatest gift we can possibly give each other.
- I'm sort of hesitant to put this out there, because my experience in the past has been that when I've shared struggles with my faith community, the response (often/especially from leaders in that community) has been to immediately try to "fix" it, when what I needed/wanted was to know that it was okay to be in that uncomfortable place for awhile, that it's good/okay to question different aspects of your faith and let God reveal Himself in His own time through prayer and scripture as you seek Him. I've been in a bit of a spiritual desert lately. God is good, but sometimes His people aren't, and there have been a lot of actions over the past year or so that have left me discouraged, even brokenhearted. Earlier this summer I realized that I was really craving some spiritual space, a new perspective, a place to rediscover God. It's really hard to worship when you feel like you need to protect yourself from getting hurt, or when you feel like you have to advocate for things you believe in deeply, when that also separates you from the community that you're supposed to be a part of. It's complicated and messy and I know that not everyone will agree with this, but I just felt a need to be separate for awhile and let some things heal before I could rejoin my faith family. As selfish as this sounds, I need to be ministered to right now, by God and by His people, and there just wasn't an opportunity for this to happen where I was.
So... this past Sunday I visited a small church close to my home, a tiny, historic building with stained glass and antique pews and a congregation that welcomed me into their presence and then respected my need to worship without pressing their own agenda onto me. It was an incredible experience; there were times I got very emotional (read: tearful lol) and everything - the lyrics to the music, the message, the few interactions I did have with the people - ministered to my soul in a deep, precious way. I left feeling renewed. I am so thankful.
- Maggie and I have been spending the past couple Saturday mornings holed up at our favorite coffee shop, drinking coffee and playing Bananagrams and people watching. I've enjoyed it immensely and hope the tradition continues! :)
- Today has been an "accomplish things" kind of day. I've been cleaning the place, working in the yard, doing laundry, and trying to knock off little tasks that have been on my to-do list forever (like FINALLY getting the succulent I bought BACK IN APRIL into the little orange pot I bought for it BACK IN MAY.
After working in the yard I was totally covered in dirt, and I jumped in the pool, fully dressed, to wash off, but I have more work to do outside and I don't want to get any more clothes dirty, so now I'm puttering around in damp clothes. ;)
Between the triplets, Abigail, and swim (and not even counting any swimming I do for pleasure!) I'm pretty sure I spend at least half of my life damp.
- Is it me, or is summer just slipping through my fingers faster than I can keep up? It's already halfway over. :( I've never been a huge summer lover (I don't love the heat or the humidity) but this one has been pretty amazing. I've enjoyed just about every second of it, from the long hours spent in the water with Abby or the triplets, to the random spontaneous adventures that have been happening a lot - I've even made peace with it being so much lighter out in the evenings (although, I am so low on sleep... my body wants Fall back lol). But, almost most of all I think, I've been foinf the fact that I've gotten to be in the water with the swim kids all summer, either coaching my own class or helping my coaches with difficult kids or large classes. I forget something that THIS is what I love - not writing rosters and keeping tabs on station promotions and interfacing with parents (HA!), but getting to work with the kids. Watching their faces light up when they finally get it. Cheering them on as they try over and over again. This is the "worth it" for me.
- Some visuals from my life lately: