Friday, November 21, 2014

the breathing room :: slow, still, silent

Who knew you could find breathing room in the bathroom at Home Depot?

I was standing with my hand on the top of the stall door, holding it closed.  What should have been a ten minute stop for my mom to look at Christmas trees had turned into a nearly half hour detour.  Both of the kids decided they had to 'go' just as we were getting ready to leave.  The walk to the rear of the store meant countless stops to open drawers in the model kitchens and gaze in wonder at the giant inflatable Yoda Santa {I'm not kidding}.  Once in the bathroom I saw Oliver assume the sitting, rather than standing, position and knew I could go ahead and make myself comfortable...this would take a while.

It was quiet in there.  There were no other customers {lucky for them} in the remaining stalls.  With my hand holding the door closed there was nothing else for me to do but, well, just stand still.  I don't normally stand still very well.  I'm more of a 'moving on to the next thing' kind of girl.  But I've learned that quiet is necessary and
   standing still can sometimes take you further than running ever could.  
So right there in the Home Depot bathroom I took a deep breath {the air quality could have been a little better} and let the slow, still, silent moment settle in and do it's healing work.

After a few minutes his little voice echoed from behind the stall door.
Mommy, do you know why I really like to go to the bathroom?
{Oh boy...that was a loaded question} I don't, honey.  Why do you like to go to the bathroom?
Because I don't have to hurry.  I can just relax.

This poor child of a mile-per-minute-mama finds still and quiet wherever his sweet little spirit can - even if it's on top of a toilet.  It's one of the things I most appreciate about that boy who takes his time the way we all should - nice and slow.

I've found in my own life that the times that seem most confusing and without direction are the times when Hurry is king.  When my schedule is not only dictating my plans but also my posture towards life, something begins to malfunction inside of me.  I find myself desperate for God to turn up the volume on his voice so that I can hear his instruction, but the truth is my life is too loud to be spoken over.
     God doesn't need to turn up the volume of his voice, 
     we need to turn down the volume of our lives.  

In the still, quiet moments we find our breathing room.

There is a pace for peace and it is not hurry.
There is a volume for abundant living and it is no louder than a whisper.

Sometimes we need to experience a complete absence of one thing in order to fully find the presence of another.

In the space we will share on January 25 we will breathe in stories...and also stillness.  In a world of Hurry and Loud we have to be intentional to tuck ourselves away in the Slow and Silent.  With soft candlelight and a simple prompt or two, we hope to protect some time for you to just be.  Cell phones and schedules will be pushed to the side so that something more important might push itself up inside of us.

Leave the hurry behind and come to a place where your only agenda is closing your eyes, stilling your spirit, and breathing in the freedom and grace your soul has been seeking.

The Breathing Room - tickets go on sale in less than two weeks!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

the breathing room :: stories

Last October I reserved this blog space for sharing stories.  In the process I found myself and others beginning to breath strong and deep again.

Sharing our stories gives us breathing room.

On January 25, in a stunningly beautiful dairy barn nestled in the gardens of a 100 year old Victorian homestead Emily and I will show up to share some of our stories with you.  We will speak and sing ours into microphones but other brave souls will tell theirs
on a big screen or
across the dinner table or
in quiet corners.

The Breathing Room will be filled with stories.

There was a time when I wrote the stories of my life in a journal meant for no other eyes than mine.  There was value in writing hidden stories, but over the years I have found greater value in letting others take a peek inside.  Today one of the most valuable uses of my time is in speaking my stories out loud and inviting others to do the same.

This is why I believe stories are so important...

{originally published October 2013}
My story isn't really very interesting.  It's nothing special.
We were two hours into a four hour road trip when we decided to exchange stories...and that was my friend's response.
As it turns out, she misjudged her story.

Not interesting?
Nothing special?

As she unpacked the history of her life, tears came...not just her tears, but mine too.
Uninteresting, 'nothing special' stories don't dip into the wells of our hearts to bring forth the weeping.
I think what my friend may have meant to say was this...
my story is not important.

But she knew I would disagree.

Our friends would never allow us to believe that our stories are unimportant...that our lives don't matter.
But we believe it sometimes, don't we?
We couldn't possibly have anything in our own story that is worth sharing.

Or perhaps she really did believe that her story was dull and common until she actually spoke it all aloud...until she saw it in its entirety.

I have met people who have lived some of the most beautiful stories written - riveting ones.  And yet in nearly every case they initially suggested that they weren't sure if their story was really anything special...anything of interest.

But the truth is this...
every one of their stories has changed me in some way.
Changed the way I see the world.
Changed the way I engage others.
Changed the way I choose to live my own story.

A story that's not worth telling doesn't change a thing.

Your story is important because it has the power to change.

And sometimes the greatest change of all happens in your own heart...when you finally share it.

To learn more about The Breathing Room check out this post and  visit our Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

an invitation to breathe

Have you ever given a gift that was half wrapped, or maybe not wrapped at all?
Maybe you ran out of wrapping paper and the gift was too big to fit in all those reused bags stashed in your closet.
Have you ever just hidden something behind your back, had the other person close their eyes and then shout - surprise! - as you pass it straight from your hands to theirs?

When I speak or write I like to think I have a gift to offer people.  I spend time tying the words up like a bow around my offering.  I want them to be neatly packaged and beautifully presented.  I want the gift to reflect a certain sentiment.  A sentiment that says - you are important to me and I wanted you to have this.

Sunday night I delivered a half wrapped gift to a room full of some of the most influential women in my life.  I just pulled it out from behind my back and held it in my hands for all to see.
   Here - I want to share this with you.

Monday, October 27, 2014

NEW {day 27} :: renew

Over the past several months I have been inundated with ‘re’ words.  
When I read, when I pray, when I take a shower, when I sit in the preschool pick-up line…
're’ words keep coming to mind and I keep jotting them down and taking them in.

Here’s what I know about ‘re'.
It is a prefix indicating
The return to a previous condition
Repetition of an activity

And if we dig a little deeper we find…
word-forming element meaning "back to the original place; again, anew, once more," also with a sense of "undoing" 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NEW {day 23} :: Lucy's diaversary

For you observant ones who have been following these 31 days closely you may have noticed there was no day 22.  So now you know - I'm not perfect.  I hope you enjoy 23...
Today marks one year.

I am terrible at remembering dates.  Actually, anything with numbers gets me all confused.

But I will never forget October 23, 2013.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NEW {day 21} :: the boo bag story

When we arrived home last night Lucy ran to the front porch to retrieve the package.  She had been waiting on it's contents for almost a week.  It wasn't a Halloween treat box from grandparents or something fun we ordered off of Amazon.  It was her new CGM - continuous glucose monitor.

A year ago we had no idea what a CGM was and we definitely wouldn't have seen Lucy bounding out of the car on flying feet to get her excited little hands on one.  A year ago we knew very little about Type 1 Diabetes.  Today we are close to being experts.

Monday, October 20, 2014

NEW {day 20} :: hide and seek

The first recorded incident of 'new gone wrong' took place in a garden.
A man and a woman stood amidst beauty and splendor freshly created.  Every single thing surrounding them was new, never before seen by human eyes.