Word of the Week

Can you remember the last time the gas in your emotional tank just felt empty? You were dreading something you'd normally look forward to? You were struggling to get out of bed (when you are a morning person)? You weren't depressed, per se, just not like yourself.

You were in need of this week's word: oxygen. Oxygen: something that sustains or fuels.

We normally associate "oxygen" in the scientific realm as a chemical element essential for human life on planet earth, but in fact it can be a wonderfully spiritual word.

By this I mean, when is the last time you breathed something in that sustained or fueled you?

In my work, I often hear people voicing concerns about how they are "running on fumes" or are struggling to "keep their head above water." Sometimes uncontrollable situations keep people down (an illness, a death, or a situation requiring much care of a loved one). Other times It's about self-imposed love of busyness, fear of not having enough and all-consuming worries-- things that could change if life patterns were turned around differently. No matter the reasons why you know when you see weariness painted on someone's face. It just is.

When we find ourselves like this, it's so easy to be so close yet so far from anything restorative.

Let me tell you this: recently, I had what I'll call a "mom vacation." I went away for a couple of days by myself without responsibilities of parenting, work, or house chores. It sat in a pretty place with time to think and be. While I was away, the word oxygen kept coming back to my lips. What I was doing wasn't self-indulgent. It wasn't frivolous. It wasn't even what I normally would call "self care." It was oxygen. It was pure oxygen.

Oxygen gave me fuel to come back the next week and do the things I needed to do.

Did you know that oxygen is the most abundant element in the earth's crust? Did you know that oxygen is the 3rd most abundant element in the entire universe?

Learning this all over again, reminded me of oxygen's abundant proximity. What you need is available. What you need is close. What you need is essential. You just have to connect to it.

You just have to breathe it in-- both literally of course and spiritually too.

Now, I know, you might not feel like you are in an oxygen rich bubble right now. Something going on in your life may just feel too heavy. Resources for help might seem out of reach. But I'm hoping that this email will be a nudge to you to remember all over again what fuels you. Then you might be encouraged you to take one step in that direction of that.

And you know what? That is where God is.



Can you remember the last time something big happened to you?

Maybe it was a time when you started a new relationship that surprised you with its joy.

Maybe it was a time when you got a new job and were busy learning all of the things.

Maybe it was a time when you got some medical news that rocked you to your core.

Whatever it was the only response to "take it all in" was this week's word: pause.

Pause, a word that means a temporary stop.

To invite a moment of pause is to show respect for whatever news you've heard or whatever life event has transpired.

To pause is to give your soul the space it needs so that it can catch up to where your body has found itself.

To pause is an act of trust, the belief that what you are temporarily not doing will be there when you get back!

Most of all it's an act of kindness both for yourself and those around you. You do the work that is yours to do at the time.

As for me, my latest pause has come because of a BABY!

Thanks to the wonder of adoption, my husband and I are now parents of not just one but two precious ones. Two weeks ago this morning, Andrew joined our family and we are all overflowing with delight in his coming to us!

These days everything about my life schedule and routines have been overturned. I'm waking up every couple of hours at night for feedings. I'm washing more laundry than I have in years. And I'm doing a lot of starring at a beautiful little face and precious little toes that have been entrusted to our family. I'm practicing saying that I have 4 people living in my home now. (How crazy is that after all we've been through!) Andrew's coming into our lives was truly a gift of grace.

With that said and in celebration of this news, I want to "practice what I preach." So, I'm going to hit the pause button on Word of the Week until the fall. I'll look forward then to being back in this forum then.

But in the meantime, know I'm thinking of you with fondness-- for your willingness to be a on a spiritual journey, for your hope in all good things, and for your work in your corner of the world to bring light and hope to others.

In the meantime, I'm trusting that the Spirit is planting beautiful things in your story even if you can't see it or believe it quite yet. If my journey has taught me anything it's this: you just never know what lovely things can happen if you keep showing up. Wonderful surprises truly are possible for us all. Keep the faith!



P.S. Love from our family to yours!