A recycled candle jar.
A recycled candle jar.
I had to set my alarm for the first time in nine months.
I left my home in the cold cover of darkness to pick you up after five whole months of being apart.
I spent my whole entire day “getting your room ready” (since it had become where we “store” everything).
Our grocery bill is going to be quite a bit higher for the next three weeks.
We both had to quarantine to the best of our ability for the last bunch of days.
I had to fill my pantry with all your favorites and drove back out to the store because I forgot something.
There will be more dirty dishes and meals I haven’t made in months.
ALL of that just doesn’t matter. Seriously.
WHAT DOES MATTER IS ALL OF THIS:
I watched you embrace the dad you have had wrapped around your finger since you burst forth on the scene in that sterile hospital room.
I heard your particular footsteps scampering to the bathroom this morning.
I soaked in the smell of your perfume you’ve been wearing since you were 13.
You sat with me eating your favorite cereal and we just had time to talk face-to-face.
The puzzle board is back out with pieces scattered in very neatly arranged areas.
We are going to decorate the Christmas tree together.
I am hearing your laughter right now as you chat with your brother.
We went on a walk today in the freshly fallen snow.
You are here if I want to see your face, be in the same room with you, and hold your hand on the couch while we binge watch our favorite mom/daughter show.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS IS THAT YOU ARE HOME.
Best mom present ever.
Life is noisy. Everywhere. There are televisions in elevators shouting the latest news-worthy crisis. There are horns blaring from impatient people in the cars behind us. There are children throwing tantrums in grocery stores (I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying that with my grandson just this week). And then there is the constant noise inside our own heads.
There’s something about getting away from the hustle and bustle, the noisy world we live in, to a place of respite and refreshment. Maybe it’s the silence that allows our minds to breathe. Maybe it’s slowing down to hear God’s gentle whisper of love and care for us, placing our burdens only meant for His shoulders. Maybe it’s the surrounding simple beauty that soothes our hurried souls and draws us to Beauty Himself. Maybe it’s the intangible peace we receive and feel in our very bodies when we give room and space for quiet.
Constant. Noise. Drains. The. Life. Out. Of. Us. Jesus invites us to something very different. He rarely tells us to hurry up. He often spoke the opposite to his friends when He was living in this “speed-it-up” world. He knew (for them and for us) that we humans desperately need self-care and replenishment, restoration and renewal, places that GIVE LIFE.
“Come away to a quiet place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)
This place of withdrawal is a gift Jesus so longs to give us, not another “should” on our endless list. He wants LIFE for me and for you, for us in our collective humanity, the most full and abundant life that we are designed for. He knows what we need to be WHOLE and WELL. Rest is not selfish, lazy, or impractical. It is truly freeing and life-giving, a present straight from the tender heart of God for us to unwrap.
Where is this place of restoration for you? Is it a simple walk around the block listening to your favorite music? Is it laying down for a much-needed nap on a Sunday afternoon? Is it sitting alone in your car watching the sunset from your favorite overlook? Is it putting your phone on “do not disturb” mode for a few hours, giving yourself a break from the constant buzzing and dinging? Whatever it is, do it often and regularly. Make it a part of the rhythm of your day, your week, your month, even your year. In the hustle and bustle of ordinary life, give yourself permission to retreat, withdraw and rest.
The noisy world will be calling to you soon enough.
From my heart to yours.
P.S. I am heading horizontal this afternoon.
For other posts about my journey toward rest, check these out by clicking HERE.
And that’s when I heard it, “Hold space for them.”
“Hold space for them? What does that mean?” I asked God.
I sat there in my car in the parking lot of the addiction rehab I taught at and knew God was calling me to embark on a journey with these women. As I hung up the phone, I was caught by a sweep of His presence, as I felt the answer to my question settle in my spirit…Just show up every week and be there for them. Be present to their pain.
It’s been almost a year since I heard those words, “Hold space.” I’ve learned to stay present without a response. Without turning away from the pain of others. Loving without saying a word, giving each other space to feel. I’ve learned “holding space” is a beautiful way to sit with them in their pain. It’s finding the depth of love necessary to allow them to feel without judgment, without rushing in to clean it up or fix it. It’s standing beside one another offering hope without saying a word.
A few months ago, the Holy Spirit sweetly asked, “Yeah, but do you know how to hold space for yourself?”
Hold space for me? There’s no time for that.
I’m learning what this means. In a season of five active kids, a dad fighting for his life, and a husband with a demanding job I’m finding I need more time for me. Often times our own self takes a back seat during busy seasons. The thing is, we can’t afford not to take care of our own soul. This is why David spoke to his soul, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone” (Ps. 62:1,5). We live unawakened lives when we neglect our souls.
Join as I’m a guest on The Dolly Mama and the Millennials podcast where we talk about ways to hold space for ourselves and why it’s important. Laugh and cry with us for thirty minutes as we explore the need for soul-care and how to do that during this busy journey of motherhood.
Thank you for taking the time to listen! Please share this with anyone and everyone you know who has someone in their lives called children 🙂
“There are two days in a year where nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to love, do, believe and live.” (The Dalai Lama)
It’s 1:51 am and I am awake. Thinking about starting this blog. Laying in bed, saying to myself, “Just get up and make one post.” What to write? Where to start? I need to start now. Live and do today.
Why the blog name, “The Dolly Mama”? A few days ago, I was on the phone with my adult married daughter and teacher, Sarah. I said to her, as I usually do, when we are getting off the phone, “Love you, Dolly.” She quickly asked, “Do you call us all ‘Dolly,'” referring to her other siblings – two younger brothers and a younger sister. “Yes. Yes, I do.” “Then your new nickname will be the “Dolly Mama.” We both pretty much belly-laughed, Sarah being so proud of her humor, and within about a minute and a half, I was sharing this joke and this new nickname with anyone that would listen.
I do have individual nicknames for my husband (“Bunny,” “Sweetheart”) and my kids (“Peanut” and “Sarah Doodle” for Sarah, “the J-Man” for Jared, “Bean” for Josh and “Rachie Bug,” “Squachel” and “the Scratcher” for Rachel). These nicknames came about for so many reasons. They morphed from one thing into another over time, so that sometimes I don’t even remember how I got to this final destination and name.
A name is what we use to identify ourselves and others. A nickname brings us to a whole different level, one more familiar and personal, expressing love and relationship with another. As I think about each one of these nicknames I have for my kids and even the nicknames they have been given by others, memories flood my mind, recalling when and why each one was given.
My favorite nickname is the one Sarah has for Jared. When he was born, she was only 18 months old, and she combined the words, “brother” and “Jared” and tried to call him “Bread.” But she wasn’t quite good at it yet, so she ended up, in her cute voice, morphing the word and calling him “Riddid.” It’s 23 years later, and many times, she still calls him that. And my heart smiles as I recall the love they share and that special memory that only a few of us understand and know.
So, here I am, “The Dolly Mama,” something given to me in Spring of 2017, and which I hope lasts a life time.
I would love you to comment and tell me your nicknames, ones you are called and ones you are given and the memories that go along with them. And to my precious subscribers, thank you…we can encourage each other to live in the daily…