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How are we all doing?  I can feel the pressure just in my own life here.

You may think I have it easy this week because my husband is out of town on business for part of the time.  But really it is harder for me.  Partly because I am kind of doing it all by myself.  I have been a single mom too so I do know the difference.  Partly because as things come up and circumstances change at home sometimes I slack on what he said to the kids, or how we have agreed (collectively) to handle certain things. I will overwrite things and be too laxed, or too harsh depending on my mood.  I know my husband is very easy going.  He doesn’t care about most of it and knows it is hard to deal with things as they arise.  He knows that things are going to come up and change and he trusts me and my judgement.  But if I am totally honest with myself, especially since I am being challenged, I am not always considering to respect first.  It is super easy for me to then fall to the “I have to figure this out for myself, nobody is going to do it for me” – when the reality is my husband offered me support and protection before he left provided all of that.  It requires my respect to let it work for me.  When I don’t take him up on his offer to lead so I don’t have to figure it all out by myself, then the beauty of who I am, is not available for those around me to be experienced.  The beauty that God has for them through me fades away.   Ugliness!  There is nothing reflecting beauty in that place for me or anyone else.  Once I even entertain that temptation I can end up having the worst attitude.  Shortly after that I fall to resentment as well.  I spiral out of control inside of my control mode and everyone is diving for cover.  No one can do anything right when I am in that space no matter how hard they try.  It is because I am not able to be reasonable during that time.  He trusts me as Captain of our ship and I can sink a boat in a matter of minutes.

When I let him, my husband many times comes in like Jesus with a rescue.  He will ask one simple, calm and reasonable question, “so where are you with your heart right now? ~or~ Where did you go?”  I don’t about you but when you are in an unreasonable mode and someone who is sane and reasonable, calmly asks you a deep question that and makes you have to stop and look at what you are doing…..it really makes me angry.  At least at first.  Like I said, it is hard to stop once I have gained momentum.  It gives the illusion that I need to keep going in this mode in order to get everything done, because I have too much on my plate and no one will come through for me so I have to do it all by myself.  Ugh!

The reality is that when I stop to let myself be asked that question(s) I find that my answers are super lame, unreasonable and missing the bigger picture.  I have to remember what Eve went through and what God said.  This is going to be my battle.  If my heart is not present and I have withdrawn it from those relationships around me and taken it into my own hands, then I am not fully trusting God.  Part of the beauty we possess as women is our ability to be at peace with our God fully trusting Him with everything.  In that place we bring a nurturing, tender and fierce mercy through offering our hearts and who we really are.  Do you feel like those around you are experiencing who you really are?  Are they experiencing the beauty and peace of who you have been called to be in their lives?  Whether you are at home or the groccery store are people experiencing the beauty of a woman at peace?  Sometimes mercy is tender and sometimes it is fierce.  You can totally have peace while keeping order as long as your need for order does not sacrifice the hearts of anyone including your own.

I think that is enough hard encouragements for the day.  Be on the look out for the different ways you will be tempted to take your heart into your own hands and withdraw it from those around you and God.  Begin to recognize patterns and triggers that you notice set you off in that direction.  Write them down and keep track like you would finances that seem to go astray so you can account for where it all goes.  We were called for so much more and many of us are living out a much smaller story than we were created for.  See you tomorrow.

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