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Bumper Cars and Closed Doors

Real Talk About the Beating We Can Take When We’re Trying to Find Direction

 

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We’ve all been there.

Decisions need to be made.  Clarity is elusive.  Discernment is on vacation.

What school should I send my kids too?  Where should I work?  Should I work at all?  Should I start that business?  Should I invest in this relationship anymore?

Sometimes when I’ve got a decision to make and there are  multiple choices in front of me, jumping up and down with hands raised chanting “Pick me!  Pick me!”,  I can feel like I’m in a bumper car.  You know the place where the track is oval shaped and there are people all around driving like crazy.  It’s loud from the antennas screaming across the ceiling.  It’s lonely because I’m in this small car all by myself.  And if I don’t keep moving, I’m a dead man!

THAT’S how I feel sometimes.  Only there’s an exit sign pointing the way out with 2 0r 3 or 4 doors standing there.  I’ve got to figure out which door to push on in order to escape the madness.  I stare down door #1, grab the wheel with both hands, put the pedal to the medal and VROOOOMMMM!  Only to find out that that door was made of hard steel with no give.  I’m thrust back with my shoulder bruised from the seat belt and my head spinning from the impact.

No time to think…there are other cars on the track eying me down.  I grab the wheel, brace myself and head for door #2.  BAMMMMM!  I thrust back AGAIN into the chaos of life.  Feeling discouraged.  Feeling even more bruised and battered.  Feeling a little confused.

Anybody else?

Sometimes it may take ramming into a door or two before remembering that my map is right there in the glove compartment.  Maybe it’s been sitting there since I was a child.  Maybe I just threw it there a few months ago.  Either way, it’s there and the lay of the land has not changed.

THE map.  God’s word.

Before you say “that’s too big of a book, how will that help me make a decision by Friday?”, listen.  That book may not tell us exactly which door to pick, but it does tell us how to make that decision.  It does tell us how to get those other cars that are zooming around us to pull together, using them for leverage as we formulate a plan.  That book tells us who to call on for prayer support and wisdom, how to look over our shoulder and learn from our past and what the peace of God feels like when we’re on the right track with Him.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 

In life, we will get a little beat up from time to time.  We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world surrounded by imperfect friends and family.  We will cycle through times of cruising along, doing the speed limit with the wind blowing through our hair and a smile on our face.  We will also cycle through times where we are white knuckling the steering wheel at a fork in the road, begging God to show us which way we should go.  Sometimes we may knock on a door that won’t open.  Other times, it will open for us before our hand even gets to the handle.

I can’t tell you steps one, two and three to take in order to avoid having a fender bender.  It’s not that simple.

What I can challenge you to do is to stay close to your Heavenly Father.  And trust Him.  The One who designed your road.  The One who drew the map.  The One who holds the keys to all the doors.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6

Surround yourself with people who also look to Him for guidance.  People who recognize who He is and who love Him.  I can challenge you to look for the positives in every situation and to stay in continual conversation with Him.

These are the things that will help us heal from those bruises.  These are the actions we can take that will help us make wise decisions.  These are the real-life VERBS that we can incorporate into our life style.

Life can be hard.  Decision making can be hard.  Let’s stay close to the One who is eager to lead us and has our best interests in mind.  Let’s forgive ourselves as quickly as He is willing to forgive us.

Take a breath and tighten that belt.  I’m sure you’ll be faced with making some decisions before the end of today that will matter.  You’ve got this!!

Reflect & Respond:

**Can you relate?  

**If you’re trying to make a decision right now, get with a trusted friend and ask her to begin helping you to pray for direction.  You’ll be encouraged.

Blessings,

Kellie

 

 

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Featured

We Are Built for Friendship

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If you don’t consider yourself a “runner”, have you ever tried it?  Have you ever laced up your tennis shoes, thrown on a hat and taken off down the street for a jog?  You probably figured out real quick that it’s not as easy as it looks, especially when you’re alone.

After just a few minutes the body starts to warm up, the calves start to stiffen, the shins start to burn and the lungs just can’t keep up!  That’s when you slow back to a walk and start asking yourself “what on earth was I thinking?!”

 

On the flip side of that, have you ever gone out as a new runner and taken a friend or two with you?  You meet up at the local track, do some stretches in the parking lot, and start with smiles and a warm up walk.  After a few minutes of that, you’re ready to jog.  You can hear your friends breathing just as loud ( YES Jesus!) as you and you identify with their struggle.  You may be ready to slow down but there’s just something about running with friends that helps keep you going further.  By the end of your time together, you’re high-fiving and proud of your accomplishment, even if it takes a few minutes to catch your breath.

There’s something about doing it together that makes it a little easier.

When I am walking through something hard, my closest friends are a source of encouragement.  They send me texts with just a few words to push me forward and keep a smile on my face.  They let me know when they’ve prayed for me and they make sure I’m not isolating myself and I try to do the same for them.

The flip side is we have fun together!  Human contact is priceless.  We solve a lot of problems when we go antiquing or grab a meal together.  We go back home to our families feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes next.

Friendship.  Camaraderie.  Belonging.  People who “get you”.

This is a gift that is meant for you.  A rich, fluid gift that God uses at times to take care of our needs, to bring us joy and to encourage and lift us up.

God’s word says this…

” And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”

Hebrews 10:24

We were created for relationship.  That whole “hands and feet of Jesus” thing, this is your playground for it.

Jesus himself did life with friends.  He had 12 who walked with him throughout his ministry.  He held 3 of those closer than the rest.  He had one betray him in the end.

Can you relate?

A large circle, a smaller circle within those and one who loses their way.

I relate.  Jesus gets this, He’s been there and I can talk to him about all of it.

I have been reminded this season just how unpredictable our lives can be.  That they can be cut short in an instant.  These relationships, this is where the good stuff is.  This is where our souls can find satisfaction and the thirst we have for deep conversation and authenticity can be quenched.

Can I encourage you to step out?  To send that text or speak to that mom in the carpool line?  Even if with fear and trembling.  We need each other.  We were built to need each other.  But, sometimes, you and I have to take the first step in starting a new friendship.

“By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round-up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (The Message)

 

The enemy would have you isolate yourself.  He’ll use your weaknesses and try to convince you that you should keep your distance. The enemy will also keep you too busy with good things to make the time to spend with others.  He has a big bag of tricks and he’s not afraid to use them.

A friendship that reflects Biblical principles is a dangerous thing in the eyes of your enemy.  You may think that he could care less…that’s another lie.

Be on guard.  You may have to fight to keep some people in your life and they may fight for you to be in theirs if you’re putting up walls.

If I could sit down with you over a coffee and implore you to make the effort to engage and seek out these relationships, I would have my purse in hand already.

Put friendship on your priority list.  Ask the Lord to send those that you need  and to push away the ones that are meant for someone else.

You need this.

They need you.

We are better together.

Blessings,

Kellie

 

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Parenting Pre-Schoolers

We Weren’t Meant To Do It Alone

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“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  James 1:5

“What in the world were you thinking?”

This was a staple of my prayer life when my children were young.  Yes, I questioned God many times.  I feel like He probably got tired of hearing it but I had to be real, right?  I mean, what was He thinking putting me in charge of two live humans?

Scripture tells us that we are all sinners so that includes me, duh, and I know that perfectionism is non-existent on the planet.  I get it.  So when we were given the blessing and responsibility of raising two children, how in the world was I, an imperfect person, expected to “train them in the way they should go” and somehow keep them on the straight path and help them be who God created them to be?

At times the task felt impossible.  At times I thought we would all be on Oprah (I know, I’m dating myself) one day airing our dirty laundry for all the world to see.  I mean, surely I was messing them up somehow.

Ever felt this way?

What I learned over time was that my thinking was prideful.  Pride.  Full.  Full.  Of.  Pride!!

Parenting has a way of humbling us, doesn’t it?

Your infant pees on you during a diaper change.  Your toddler comes to wake you in the night with an upset stomach only to vomit in your hair while they’re beckoning for help.  Your preschooler points to someone in the grocery store and asks you why they look like they do.  You begin to lose your temper with your elementary age child and they begin to tell you about the character trait of self-control that they are learning in school.

These are just a few of the physical challenges that come with being a parent.  Just wait until they become young adults!  The physical challenges diminish greatly but the emotional pull that comes with watching your children launch out can be just as great.

Now that I’m on the other side of having small children, here are a few things I learned:

Mothering preschoolers, at times, was lonely.  I was isolated.  I was schedule driven.  Sometimes, I was limited financially aka broke!

*Find a community.  I found mine through my local church.  I deliberately surrounded myself with women who were in my shoes and with those who had already walked out of them and were on to parenting older children.  Both have value.  I attended some play dates, library readings and gym sessions for moms and toddlers but I found that authentic relationships were built in the security of other christian women.

I felt unequipped.  After reading all the books and those wonderful magazine articles found at the pediatrician’s office, every family is unique in its own way and while I found some good tips through those avenues, there was only one solid source for teaching me how to parent MY children.

*This time in my life is when I got more serious about my faith.  I had to ask myself if I really believed in Christ or was I just riding the coat tails of my upbringing.  I had to choose if I was only going to use Him when I needed answers or was I ALL IN on placing my faith in Him.  He created the institution of family, the first mom and dad, the first set of children…He is the designer of it all and He is the deepest, widest and most rock solid source of how to parent.  He proved this to me over and over as I walked through these years.

I am blessed.  I’m acutely aware that there are some out there who long to be a mom and are just not able to be at this time.  Not all get this privilege to parent and we shouldn’t take it lightly that we were chosen to guide these little human beings for 18+ years.  To be the place where they launch off into adulthood and return to when they need to steady their footing again.

*God chose us to do this task.  Being hand picked by God..now that is a blessing!

God chose you!  Rest in that friend.  You are your child’s parent on purpose.

Do what you can to prepare.  Do what you can to just simply do your best.  But know this, this journey of parenting isn’t just about those babies.  It is about you and your relationship with your Creator too. This is a time to lean into Him, trust what He says about finding community.  Trust what He says when He tells you He will never leave nor foresake you.  Trust His instructions in the Bible about parenting.

We can get so wrapped up in our children.  We’ve all been there or been tempted to do so.  But, everything that we experience in this life is about strengthening our relationship with Christ and inviting others to do the same.  All of it.

So keep your focus on Him.  Keep Him at the center.

We are lonely at times because He longs to spend time with us.

We feel unequipped at times because He longs to equip us.

We are blessed always because He is just waiting to give us whatever we need and it’s all for our good, the good of our children and to bring glory to Him.

So, lean in.  Lean hard.  Beware of the trap of thinking you can do it all on your own.  We are designed to need Him and when we give in to that, well that is where we will find freedom.

Blessings,

Kellie

 

 

Turn The Page

FeaturedTurn The Page

Choosing to Trust the Author of Our Stories in the Midst of Hard Chapters

I recently took a day to put the top down and take some back roads.  I love taking in the sights of small town America and imagining how those towns first came to be.  Who settled there first, and who keeps the livelihood going.  I love old buildings and dirt roads and sunflower fields…all of it.  It fills me up spiritually and I’m able to reflect on those moments and noticings for a while and draw inspiration from those places.

I imagine those first generations that came in and settled had a hard time.  They had to endure financial barriers and sickness, planting and harvesting on new soil and just flat-out fatigue.  I wonder if they were ever tempted to just close the book on their lives and be done.  I wonder what kept them going and inspired them to keep turning the pages and moving on in the stories that they were a part of.

 

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These people were working for something better.  They were building a future for their children and their children’s children.  They were creating changes on their own and having to endure changes that just came with the wind.

Change.

It’s inevitable and it’s annoying and it’s beautiful and inconvenient, it’s stressful and it’s welcoming and it’s unwelcome and it’s scary.

Oftentimes changes will take place in our lives that we have no control over.  The flip side is that there are sometimes changes that need to come into our lives in which we have a choice about.

This is where it can get sticky.

We may not always like the choices that lie before us.  Sometimes we don’t even know what choices we have as we have to close a door behind us before we can turn to look at the other doors before us.  Does that make sense?

I believe oftentimes a choice stands before us, one we may not even see yet, and God is waiting for us to simply wet our fingers, reach out, even if with eyes closed, and turn the page.

In Philippians, Paul tells us this…

 “…By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

The Message

No one is an expert, just move onward.  Run…no turning back!

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A sweet friend of mine says frequently “God is writing my story”.

Think of your life as a book.  It’s unique and beautiful on its own.  Like any good story there is joy and sadness.  Suspense and intrigue.  New characters are introduced and old ones leave. There are stories within the story.  Battles fought, some wins, some losses, always a lesson learned.

But the ending.  This is where turning the page will get you.  You have to turn the page to get to the ending.

 The ending is where the good stuff is.  Where the author takes all of the pieces of our story and ties them together for a finish that we could never have imagined.

That doesn’t mean it always appears to be a happy ending in our eyes.  But, it does mean that the Author is pleased with the finished product.  That the masterpiece that He created which is YOU (and me) is complete.

Our lives, our stories, aren’t to be tucked away on a shelf to collect dust and stay hidden from the world.  They’re a testament to the Author.  They are a word of mouth endorsement for others to take interest in and see the work of God and the hope that living a life for Him brings.  Even during the moments of the unknown, suspense and sadness, if it’s too much to read that chapter out loud as it’s being written, share it with others once the page has been turned and you have the gift of hindsight to go along with that part of your story.

God can stun you in hindsight when you discover the careful orchestration of events in your life.”

-Priscilla Shirer

Remember, those hard times are only a part of you, not the whole.  Every story intertwines the good with the bad.  You are no exception.  But you and I get to choose whether we are going to park ourselves on the negative or just glance there and set our gaze on the positive.

I’ve seen what this Author can do with a willing participant.  I’ve read His other works that are scattered throughout history (HIS-story).  I’ve seen friends and family make hard decisions that they NEVER regretted.  But ask them about the choosing, and they’ll tell you that in the flesh, it wasn’t always easy.

Some days I’m still learning to keep moving and trust.  To turn the page even when I’m afraid of what may be on the other side.  If you feel this way, you are not alone.  This has been going on from generation to generation.

I imagine the people who settled on these lands first had to make hard choices and they had to make them quick.  They didn’t always have the luxury to watch a fever for a few days before making the trek to the doctor’s office.  They couldn’t watch their crops be swarmed by locust and spend a few weeks contemplating on whether they should burn or just stand by and wait and see.  They didn’t have choices in their homes on counter tops, flooring and paint colors to peruse from as they built.  They had to move quickly, making split second decisions, not always knowing what the outcome would be for their families as they flipped the pages in their lives.

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Look around at how far these little towns have come.  You’re living in one now.  We have the people who were here first to thank for that.  They kept turning the pages in their lives, moving forward, building something for the rest of us to reflect on and be thankful for and continue building from.

When we are given choices, it’s a gift.

Even though making a choice can be excruciating, if we stand by paralyzed with fear, like any good book, we will grow stiff.  Cold.  Our stories can become uninviting for others who want to be a part of our lives.

Where are you at today?  Is there a choice staring back at you that has to be made and you are crippled with fear?  Your fingers feel stricken with arthritis and you are unable to move towards that top right corner of the page to move it over?

You’ve been given a choice.  Stay on the page you are sitting where dust will collect and the beauty of the words will soon fade, or perhaps reach out with your other hand to do the turning.  Maybe you need a friend to come alongside and help you turn your page.  Perhaps you need to pick up the book, shake it out and attack that page turning like you never have before.

God is writing your story.

It’s not over yet.  The momentum is building and there may be people around you just biting their lip to see what the next chapter of your life holds.  They aren’t fixated on YOU, they’re looking to the author.  They’ve read His stories before and they know that He never disappoints.  Never.

I’m praying for us all to keep moving forward.  To view turning pages as a privilege and highly anticipate what God is going to reveal next.  I would love to pray for you if your next page seems too heavy to lift.  You’re invited to private message me.  It would be a privilege to be that friend that helps pray you through your next hard choice.

Kellie

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Finding Purpose in Our Scars

“Well, that will leave a mark!!”

Have you ever injured yourself and thought or said those words to yourself immediately following?  It’s no fun.  Pain that has been inflicted on us, whether intentionally or not, leaves a mark.

Here’s what Merriam Webster says about it:

MARK

-an impression (as a scratch, scar, or stain) made on something :  a distinguishing trait or quality

We all know what a scratch or scar is.  We’ve had them.  We have them now.  Everyone has experienced something in their life that has left a scar.  Whether emotional or physical.  But Merriam calls them a “distinguishing trait” or “quality”.

They are unique to who we are.  We are the only person who has the exact scar that we have.  No one else has what we do and it’s part of what makes us who we are up to this point.  Like it or not.  Would you agree?

 

Scars appear after we’ve been wounded.  Time has passed allowing us to heal all that we can.

The location of that injury will always look a little different.  It may feel a little different.  It may react to sunlight or other outside influences a little different.  But nevertheless, you carry it with you.  Though it may fade, it never goes away.  You will never look the same in that place as you did before your injury.

 

Whether emotional scars, or physical scars…

“He heals the brokenhearted

    and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 147:3

He heals and He binds.  He doesn’t heal and wave a magic wand to make the mark disappear.  He holds it together.  He holds you together, and me, right in that very spot.

 

Ponder these things about scars:

  1.  They indicate survival.  Whatever it is that caused that wound, whether deep or shallow, you have survived the source of that wound.
  2. They make your story unique.  No one has the exact scar that you carry.  Your experience was YOUR experience, not someone else’s to tell.
  3. They spark conversation.  When you recognize someone else who is carrying a similar wound, it’s oftentimes a safe place to share stories.  To encourage.  To laugh at the past.  To cry together.  To be thankful for survival.

Perhaps the most significant truth about our scars is this…

4.  They are something we have in common with our perfect savior.

Jesus has scars.

Physical scars in his hands and feet that came with tremendous emotional and mental anguish.  Your scars give you a connection to Him.  A very personal connection.

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And although Jesus suffered on the cross and bears the physical scars of His horrific earthly death, He suffered at other times too:

*He was distressed when He announced at the last supper that one of his disciples was going to betray him (John 13:21)

*Jesus’ soul is troubled when he predicts his own death (John 12:27)

*His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:38)

*Jesus was troubled and wept when Lazarus died (John 11:33-35)

These experiences brought pain and anguish to Him.  They left a mark.

Take note that despite the fact that Jesus led a perfect, sinless life, He still endured troubling times.  Although our scars are sometimes an indicator of consequences from our own decisions, they aren’t always.  Sometimes, they are just souvenirs we’ve picked up from our life journey.

I can’t help but think that in searching for some purpose in our scars, we are brought closer to Him.  They create common ground with Him.  They help us identify with His humanity.

What are the scars that you carry?

*Hurtful words that left a mark when spoken to you earlier in your life…

*Relationships broken and crumbled that once held great strength…

*Decisions made in your past that had consequences leading you down an unwanted path…

*Ever been physically abused?  Ever been the abusive one?

What is it that ripped through you at one point but has healed since?  What is it that is now healing but still feels fresh when bumped or when you run your hand across it?

The markings on your life, those distinguishing traits, use them as conversation starters with Jesus.  Use them to explore how Jesus may want to use your life to draw others closer to Him.  Use them to foster a sense of thanksgiving every time they are bumped or exposed unexpectantly.

They make up the fabric of who you are and God loves you no matter how or when you acquired those scars.

All scars carry purpose…that is truth…ask the Lord what that may be when you talk to Him.

And thank Him for your survival while you’re at it.

Praying for us all to embrace every part of who we are,

Kellie

 

 

 

 

 

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Be Easy On Yourself

 

I was recently talking with a friend and she said something that resonated deeply with me.

 

We were talking about goals and dreams and what may be out in front of us that we want to attain.  We were talking about how to get to those places and how sometimes we have to muddle through other things, let other things go, clear a path etc. before we can reach those goals.  It was wonderful conversation soaked with truth.

I thought we were going to keep talking about big, personal goals and encourage each other to keep pursuing them.  I thought we were going to go big picture.  I was wrong.

 

She said something that rang a bell deep in my heart…

“I’m learning to give myself grace in the small, every day things.  To celebrate those accomplishments, even if they’re small”.

 

Isn’t that good??

Don’t we wait until the BIG thing is checked off of our list before we cut ourselves a break and celebrate?  Before we acknowledge that we’ve accomplished anything at all?  Aren’t women known for being their own worst critics?  For being so focused on the big, giant goals that we push aside the small steps that had to be accomplished before reaching that destination?

 

Here’s what I’m learning the older I get and the more that I make relationships with other women a priority…we are too hard on ourselves.  Way too hard.

 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

If you struggle simply getting out of bed some mornings because of anxiety or depression, and you actually get up…cut yourself a break.  Acknowledge that you just accomplished something.  It doesn’t matter if it is a “hard” thing to anyone else.  If it is “hard” for you, and you pushed through…give yourself some grace.

 

If you are fighting with your spouse 5 or 6 times a day and you have a day where you only fuss 4…don’t linger over the 4, celebrate the absence of the others.  It’s a small thing that can lead to bigger things.

 

Mothers of young children, I hear many of you voice your desire to have your quiet time in the morning and get in your work-out, shower and start breakfast all before that baby wakes up.  Some of you are drowning with guilt because you haven’t had your child’s 30 day pictures taken like everyone else has (bahahaha..ask me how many times I had my children’s pictures taken when they were babies) and now your child will grow up with low self-esteem because you didn’t document every inch that they grew!  Stop!!! There are more of you than you think only getting a shower every other day and barely managing to feed your husband a bowl of cereal after coming in from a long days work.

 

If you’re that mom and you got out of bed and loved on your children today, celebrate that you took care of what was most important.  If at the end of the day only 1 out of 8 things is ticked off of your to-do list, celebrate the 1 thing and start fresh tomorrow.

 

It’s important to set goals.  To reach for the stars and move forward with vision and purpose.  But, while you move forward, give yourselves some grace and acknowledge that even the small accomplishments are still accomplishments.  It takes plowing through the small things before the big things can be attained.

 

God is in the small things and it’s in those achievements that sometimes our intimacy with Him is more tangible than others.  It’s those small tasks that when achieved, draw out a quiet “yesssssss” and will draw our gaze to our Father, who is so pleased and just tickled, when we include Him in those mini celebrations.

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He sees when we struggle to get out of bed but we do it anyway.  He sees when we are unhappy with our jobs but we go and give it our best anyway.  He sees when our anxiety tells us to stay home but we push through and call that friend anyway.  He sees when we push away the cake in an attempt to care for our bodies.  He sees when that baby has kept you up all night and it’s all that you can do the next day to simply brush your teeth.

 

“…my power is made perfect in weakness…”

 

In our weak moments, let’s let Him in and share that.  We have a tendency to beat ourselves up and assume that God is disappointed when we struggle.  That He is somehow never satisfied with our small steps.  Not so.  It is in our weakness that He has room to work.  It is here that He shines through.  It’s this place that we realize our need for His power and comfort and He delivers.

 

Every.  Single.  Time.

 

Let’s lean in.  Be more like my friend and celebrate the small things.  Celebrate with Him.  He’s right there lending His power to help us push through.  Then, let’s throw a little praise party as we accept the grace that He is handing us!

 

Praying that we give ourselves even a portion of the grace that He longs to give us.  I believe we’d be blown away if we realized the grace He’s made available for you and me.  Blown.  Away.

Kellie

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Sometimes Tears Are Necessary

                            Image result for Psalm 126:5-6 green

Years ago, my husband was doing some contracting work on a home and he fell off of the roof landing on his head.  He was working alone (which we had a long talk about later).  After he woke up,  I got a phone call from him telling me that “something has happened” and “I don’t know where I am” and again repeating “I think something has happened”.  Before he spit out his second sentence I already had my shoes on and both my children were being shuffled out the door so that we could get to him quickly.  I feared he would wander off and get lost!  I calmly told him to sit down and stay put so I could call 911.
After that call, I burst into tears for about 30 seconds, took a few breaths, and sucked it back up like a big girl does.
Have you ever had your mind reeling with fresh news but you know that you can’t cry just yet?  Ever gotten a middle of the night call that a loved one is on the way to the hospital but you’ve got to get the details before you can have a mini break down?  Ever taken a call at work which would require you to tie up lose ends before exiting to sit with a loved one?  I got one of those calls lately.
What do we do in those times?  We hold it together until we scoot behind the wheel of our cars, punch in our GPS where we need to go so that we can let it do the work for us, and belt out a good cry!  We may whale and sob and keep our eyes open just enough to see the road for about a minute but then it’s time to take a few breaths and suck it back up.  Am I right?
Those moments where we have to get the stuff done before the cry, do you get a headache holding it in?  Boy I do!!  I can only hold it for so long before I NEED to have a good cry.  And sometimes, a good cry isn’t a long, drawn out thing, sometimes it’s just allowing it to come through for a brief moment to release pressure and then all is good!
Also, do you ever get mad at yourself because a cry just came out of nowhere?  Like you thought you had held it all together just fine until you have to talk to someone about what you’re having for dinner and suddenly you feel it just well up in your throat and burst through your eyes and nose?  Almost like a mini explosion just under the surface of your face has occurred and you have absolutely no control when it comes to holding it back.
UGGHHHHHH!!
The older I get, the more I realize how freeing it can be to just go with it.  To realize that even if I am in a good place mentally and emotionally that sometimes my physical body is still going to react to whatever it is I am going through.
It’s good.
If you are ever looking for at least one thing to be thankful for in this life, be thankful for this…God knit our bodies together so intricately that He put things in place to help us when we need to release.  When we need to de-stress.  When we need to blow.
Tears.
I did a little research on tears.
Studies have been done and tears were tested and compared between those who cried because of emotional stress and those that cried while slicing an onion.  The people who cried over some type of sadness or stress had much higher levels of stress inducing hormones in their tears than those who were with the vegetables.  As our stress increases, certain hormone levels increase and having a cry can be our bodies natural way of disposing of that overload of hormonal yuck.
Also, did you know that tears contain a natural painkiller called leucine enkephalin?  That when this is released, it can actually ease pain and work to improve our moods?  It gives a whole new perspective on why we may feel better after a good cry.
It’s things like this that make me in awe of God all over again.  That He would construct our bodies in such a way as to feel such deep emotion, to have the ability to compartmentalize if necessary, and then to supply our need of having a release from it all.
What about you?
Were you raised to think that it’s not lady-like to cry when you’re upset?  Or when someone has hurt you?  Were you taught that if you cry you are simply weak or that “tough girls don’t cry”?
It’s ok friends.  Male AND female.  Our bodies were designed with a pressure guage and sometimes no matter how hard we try to hold on to that handle and keep in the steam, we need to let it go.  It’s healthy.  It’s a natural healer.  It’s cleansing.
Let’s agree that if we need to take a moment to open the valve and let the stress stream out of us for even a minute or two, we will not apologize.  If we have to do it in the car or in a bathroom stall or even with our head buried in a pillow, it’s ok.  It’s ok!  The key is to listen to our bodies and give in to it.
Tears are a gift.  And sometimes they are necessary to our well-being.  We were built that way…on purpose.

Praying for those who have held it in way too long, it’s time to let it go.

Kellie