Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lifesaving Things

Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy recently asked her readers "What is saving your life right now?" For those who have been around these parts through the ages, you may remember my response when Sarah Bessey asked the same question [spoiler: it was The Boss. If you had been around In the Warm Hold through the ages, you'd not be the least bit surprised].

[As a sidenote, if you don't follow Anne's blog, you're missing out. It's one of my favorites lately. She has four kids, homeschools, loves personality theory, and is always reading and making lists. It's just an interesting place and a lot resonates.]

Anyway, I always find this an interesting prompt. What is saving me? What is keeping me afloat? What is my sanity these days?

I love to read and write posts about things I'm "into" or little luxurious simple pleasures, but this is different in a way. This is about sustaining things. Lifesaving things.

Here's what I've decided is saving my life in February of 2015:

1. Surrounding myself with good words

I've written about this before, but this is integral to maintaining a peace in my soul. I actually just finished working on a few little quotes to stick in the kitchen. Here's an idea of what I mean:

2. Filling my head (and home) with my good music

I find that this is just so restorative to me. BUT, a balance is key. I'm definitely a Highly Sensitive Person, and as such, too much stimuli can just stress me out. For example, tonight Peyton was playing some music in the study and I was trying to work on this post and read a few things. I enjoy music when I'm doing those things, but it has to be a certain type. I'm trying to be more intentional about playing music when I'm doing mindless things like cleaning and such because it's easier for me to enjoy and appreciate.

I have loved my January playlist (I haven't made February's yet) and we've also been listening to Rain for Roots when we pick up toys and do chores and things. It's clearly a kids' album, but it speaks to my own heart and it's hard to find tunes I love more. Interestingly, I recently realized that the writer's of the songs have shared some of their creative processes on the website as far as how the songs came about. I always LOVE finding out that kind of thing and it's all really beautiful.

3. Corresponding with beloved folks

I'm not a person who is big into talking on the phone and while I enjoy texting to briefly catch up or address some specific quickly, it's sort of draining to me. Over the past year, as we've been living twelve hundred miles from a lot of cherished friends, I've turned to email. And I LOVE it. It's not the same as snail mail (which is also amazing in its own right), but it's really important to me now. It's funny because to me, these days, email feels more like a business form of communication. I just don't know a lot of people who do it to "keep up". But I have several friends I email with super regularly and that's been an amazing source of peace and joy in my life. One thing I love about it is that I'm able to talk with my friends about important things, but I can do it whenever I have the time and I can articulate myself better (I think) than I can with talking (I say "um" and "uh" and my friend Carrie will tell you her favorite is "What was I about to say?" so much and the longer I parent the worse I get with keeping my focus in any meaningful way). Certainly, I don't want it to replace face to face conversations, but it has its benefits. And I really think it's been integral to my being healthy and whole over this past year.

4. The ministering of the Body of Christ

I need to go ahead and clarify that I'm talking about Big 'C' Church and Little 'C' Church here. First, Big C. This month has been trying. I have leaned, from a distance, on some of my friends like never before. Some of these are friends from our old church in Mississippi, some are not. But I have been encouraged, supported, and prayed for. This is such a huge part of our journey in faith and I think for YEARS I missed what an important thing it was. I love this song so much and it articulates my feelings perfectly:
I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through
Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace

As far as Little C, not a day goes by that I don't feel gratitude for the two(!) different body of believers we've found here. We've experienced Grace upon Grace at both places and I've really grown in my understanding of the Gospel. It's absolutely the primary reason I get really choked up when I think about leaving.

That said...

5. Dreaming of home 

I'm a little surprised at this, honestly. Not because I don't miss Mississippi so hard, but just because I didn't expect to really really spend much time envisioning our lives at home before we moved back. But here lately, I've been thinking about our house, our yard, our Summer plans, and our lives there for the next few years very specifically.

6. Cheap Winter boots from Target

This is the more practical part of the list. I have these wonderful boots I ordered from Target last year. They aren't near as nice as my duck boots from L.L. Bean, but they're much more comfortable than my Bean boots. They're cheap and they're already tearing up, but they've gotten me through a Winter and a half here. Today I wore some leather boots (because I underestimated the percentage of our trip that would be on foot and overestimated our bus time) and I was MISERABLE. My toes were freezing and I was pretty anxious because they had exactly zero traction.

7. Riding the city buses

Clearly, I got real stream of consciousness all of a sudden, but here it is. Peyton's been having some foot problems and for the first time ever, I got a monthly pass for the train/bus. I'm really enjoying it. Today in the bus, I just felt my body totally relax. It's SO warm in the buses (probably too warm if you had a really long ride) and I just enjoyed loosing myself in watching parts of Brooklyn pass by out the window. It's something I want to soak up while I have the chance.

Seven lifesaving things. I'm so glad I have them. And I'm glad to focus on them. Especially during trying times, it's so helpful to focus on the Lord's good gifts to me!

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