October 14

The one thing I get told a lot is that people don't know how I do it all.  Good news!  I don't do it all!  I have two weeks of missed blog posts and 27 days of missed Bible study readings to prove it!! 

I have had some high highs and some low lows the past 14 days, but I am still moving forward.  I guess that means I'm winning at life! :)  In this photo review, we'll cover how well I did it all.

One of the most important (and often hardest) choices I make each day is to intentionally step away from my to-do list and step into relationship with my kiddos.  Coralynn is often the hardest to find time for because she is 8, and I have to admit that 8 is a tough age for me.  She's just old enough to be vocally opinionated but just young enough to not be capable of completely reasonable conversations.  8-year-olds (like 4-7 year-olds) exhaust me.  But, on this Friday night, everything was clicking well, and we got to have some fun time together.  (Verdict:  Successful at doing it all)

The same day Coralynn and I were hanging out, Carson was getting these handsome braces.  Fortunately for his pain level, he only had to get top braces this time.  In a few months, he will get the rest of them.  Even though I gave him medicine before he left for the appointment, he was in much pain and didn't feel like eating.  Unfortunately, his mother is an idiot and still had him meet with his running coach at 6:00 am the next morning.  He fainted.  (Verdict: Not doing it all)

This is yogurt.  That is not my hand.  It's the guy who buys our groceries.  Because I have a person who buys my groceries. (Verdict: Insider trick to making it look like you do it all)

Every Monday, we host Salad Night at our house.  It's the weekly event that started several years back.  It's just a way for me to love on people who are far away from their families.  Monday, October 1st, I found out that, in honor of my birthday, others were going to bring the salad ingredients.  What I didn't realize was that was simply the cover story.  Instead, they were making me a full Mediterranean meal since responsible me (hate her) cancelled our cruise of the Greek Islands!  They even decorated the dining room table!  I was so touched by their kindness, and it started an amazing birthday week.  (Verdict: Others not making me do it all for the win.)

My birthday was Friday, but Thursday night, I was struggling.  I'd worked very intentionally for the past 12 months to make sure that turning 40 was not going to send me to a negative mental place.  I'm claiming victory that those 12 months were a success.  But they weren't perfect, and the evening of October the 4th was not good.  I hugged the girls for the last time in my 30's, and everything inside me got all upset.  So, I had two choices.  Give in to it.  Or run it off.  I went with the latter.  I went to the gym and ran my fastest mile in 5 years.  I prayed and cried and grieved and dreamed and made promises to myself.  And, I came home and puked and was fairly confident I was going to have a heart attack because you just can't push yourself that hard on the treadmill without working up to it.  But, I'm glad I did.  I ran into my 40's.  Fear doesn't do that.  Courage does.  (Verdict:  Successfully do it all- with some puke on my shoes.)

I turned 40!!!  It was the most fun!  I felt loved and valued.  I got sweet cards and sweet treats.  I got this sash that I'm going to wear everywhere I go to see if I can get more birthday wishes!! (Verdict: Spent the entire day celebrating.  Sort of taught my classes.  We're counting that a success)

Tony was sweet and sent me balloons and roses.  My friend got me the unicorn hat I wanted.  My office exuded birthday fun and happiness.  (Verdict:  You think I'm going to say successful, but since I just had to google how to spell exude, it's a do-it-all fail.)

This is the inside of the card that the little girls made me. (Yes, they're going to be 40, and I'm still going to refer to the two of them as the little girls.)  It was over the top, and that is apparently my love language.  (Verdict: Absolute success.)

This past week was hard.  I found out Sunday morning that a friend from Georgia passed away suddenly in her sleep.  About three hours later, my family came back from running their best ever half marathons.  The next day, Tony found out his coworker died suddenly while on a run.  Wednesday, I had the most impactful meeting of my teaching career.  Friday, Student Council and I  had what I thought was the most successful Basketball Night ever.  I got home to Carson being injured, and Chloe feeling wounded.  This morning, I ran my fastest 5k in years.  Today, at church, my child had an anxiety attack. 

Life just goes like that.  Ups and downs with no warning.  It all takes your breath away.

By the time I got back in the service this morning, it was over.  We were singing the closing hymn.  I  was ready to go home and curl up and just not.  There was an alter call for those who wanted prayer with our special speaker.  Tony was up front helping with the prayer time.  I chatted with friends.  It was lovely- but I was still reeling from the anxiety episode.  Carson came up and asked if I would go up with him for prayer. (Yesterday, he had an appointment with the PT, and I knew Friday night's injury was still bothering him.)  I said sure, and we waited his turn.

Praise Jesus that Carson did receive marked healing.  His pain went from a 7 (on a 1-10 scale) to a 3 to just sore.  We all clapped.  He walked away amazed.  Since I was standing there already, I decided I might as well get prayed over.  I just told the guy I wanted a fresh dose of  Jesus.  (As a quick aside- I've been struggling in my faith.  A couple of times over the last year or so, I've told Tony that I no longer believe in Jesus.  Tony has assured me that it's Christians that I've lost faith in- not Jesus.)  Expecting zero because I was spent, I put out my hands and the gentleman began praying.

His meek spirit touched me first.  Sometimes, the people who pray at the end of special services are too much for me.  They're trying too hard to reach you in emotional places instead of God places, but this gentleman was different.  He prayed softly, and I just leaned in to listen.

He told me that God loved me.  That God saw me.  That God was using me to love like Jesus loves.  He told me that my purpose on this planet was to love the unlovable.  Those people who the church or Christians or authorities or families or teenagers or internal dialogue have deemed not worth God's love?  Those are my people.  He told me I was going to be a spiritual mother to a nation.  (That phrase was used 6 years ago in a word of prophecy over me.  That exact phrase- spiritual mother to a nation.)  He told me to focus on intimacy with people and with God.

And, I wept.

It's the vision I've always wanted to claim for my life.

Satan has always told me that I'm too harsh to be loving.  That I'm too impatient.  The enemy has told me to let the sweet, caring, mushy people be the lovers.

But, this fall, God has been setting me up to reclaim my calling.

He's been deepening my desire for relationship.  He's been emboldening me to try.  He's been giving me people who need to be loved.  He's removing obstacles from my path.

So much in my life is broken.  I haven't had the mental energy or the freedom to post it all here.  I am certainly not doing it all well, and I'm not actually doing it all.

But God sees me.  He's purifying me to welcome me into my calling.

And, I'm saying yes.  I'll do all of it.

To 40 being the decade of yes and amen,


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