Adventure, Faith, Family, Olivers Go Northwest, Uncategorized

Olivers Go Northwest Continued and Why Dreaming is So Rad

April 19, 2015
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Put the kettle on, cosy up, click here if you missed the last bit and lets get on with the story shall we?

In our last Olivers Go Northwest post, I laid out how the opportunity to move to Edmonds, Washington felt both exciting and terrifying. How Richard got offered his dream job at his company during the same week and how this amazing situation we found ourselves in exposed quite a large area of disconnection and distrust in our marriage.

It was brutal y’all. Seriously. But one thing Richard and I have been good at is honesty and authenticity. We like to do life with people and we like to invite others into our messy, crazy, loving family life because we think that is what life and church and God is all about. So we shared. We shared our fears and thoughts and process with our friends and our small group and in return we received wisdom and prophetic encouragements and support. It was really awesome and in that season there were no words about direction, which thing we should choose, what the right decision was. Not from others and not from the Father. What was being said was, this is about the journey, not the destination. God is going to do things in you during this decision making process that will define you and change you forever. And all the Father was saying to us was, “You can choose. What do you want to do?”

Now at first sight, that sounds awesome right? We get to choose! Fabulous! Right?! Yea not so much for us. How many of y’all know its easier to follow rules than to risk on your dreams? How many know its easier to just follow a well laid out path than to forge ahead into new territory? It wasn’t who we were made to be, these people who just wanted to get it right and have someone choose for us, but its what we had allowed ourselves to become. So we prayed and talked and fought and shared some more and kept asking for direction from God and still He said, “You can choose, what do you want?” I remember saying to God one day how scared I was of making the wrong decision because I would ruin my life or His plans if I got it wrong and I immediately felt Him remind me of the times we are going to the park with our kids. The destination is the park but we often give our kids the option of whether to go left down one street and up another or whether they want to go up the other road and left to the park. Whichever route they choose doesn’t matter one bit because the destination is the same and the point was always about adventuring as a family. I was floored in that moment as I realised that there is something about the nature of God that cannot and will not be seen if we robotically follow orders we have been assigned to perform. This life is a relational journey, not a step by step robotic journey and in this relational journey the Father literally puts Himself at risk by giving us freedom to choose and a promise that we can ask anything (John 14:14). And He puts Himself at risk like this because His dream, God’s dream, is that we would be so filled with a joy that is not contained, restricted or confined (John 16:24, Hebrews 12:2).

As Richard and I processed that word together we realised how much freedom we actually live in with God. As the fear of making a mistake fell away we realised that we were safe, we were being taken care of, we were being guided by a good Father who sent His son to die so that He could have His kids back fully engaged, alive, dreaming and adventuring with Him. We couldn’t “get it wrong” really because in this specific season for us, there wasn’t a request to be obeyed but an invitation to dream. There is something about our dreams and our desires as His kids that, when pursued and realised, are supposed to unveil Him and manifest Him and so our job right now was to dream, to figure out what we desired and longed for and wanted and to make a directional choice out of that place. As Bill Johnson says, “Because God is so good, we are required to dream big,” so Richard and I’s prayers and chats shifted from, “what do you think we should do?” to “what do you want to do?” We started to dream together and it was POWERFUL. The broken trust and disconnection began to heal as we risked vulnerability with each other. As we handed each other our hearts desires and dreams and fears, we began to be knit back together. It was so cool. It was in this place that we realised that although we are so incredibly different, our hearts long for the same things. It was from this place that we realised we wanted to start writing together and it was from this place that we both looked at each other and said, “We really want to do this!!!!!”

Isn’t this a fun story?! Check back next week to hear the last bit! And also don’t forget to click the Olivers Go Northwest link on the sidebar to help our crowdfund practically get us there!

Happy Sunday y’all, we love sharing life with you!

Sarah

Adventure, Creativity, Design love, Dreaming, Simplicity

My Tiny House Dream

March 29, 2015
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About four years ago, Richard and I decided that our house was too small, or rather I decided our house was too small after taking a trip back to the States and realising that I lived in a matchbox compared to the rest of my family. We rented out our small, Victorian terrace and rented a huge plot of land with a gorgeous, albeit very old, farm house. Interestingly, the house itself was not much larger square footage wise. Yet, the layout of the interior and the surrounding outdoor space gave us one of the most enjoyable 18 months we have had as a family. We lived outside in the warm months and bundled up together in our only warm living space in the winter. We would honestly probably still be there if the man who owned it hadn’t decided to sell the land to developers–there are now FOUR large family homes on the plot with postage stamp sized gardens, its a shame really.

But that little 18 month stint planted a dream in my heart. A dream of open plan family living on a large plot of mature land. Financially this seemed like a pipe dream until I discovered the tiny house movement about a year ago. I have been chaining shows like George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and Tiny House Nation getting inspiration for and planning my very own small family home. I have dreams of designing and building it ourselves, having creative and innovative storage spaces and multi-functional, designer furniture.

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Fusing design, modernist minimalism, functionality and simplicity all into a space that suits our young family of five, large dog, my husband’s home office/studio, guest bedroom space and room for hosting dinner parties. Being the fearless optimist that I am, and knowing my own design and building experiences have given me ample doses of reality into the world of building and interior design, I am dreaming it up in my head most days. Whilst I do the school run, whilst I do dishes.

It is so fun to dream, and so important!!! (lots more on this topic coming soon as its a huge, HUGE part of our family life and culture)

But suffice to say, one day we will have a tiny (I’m hoping 500-600 square feet) home on a plot of land that we can use to play, grow our own and enjoy the lovely simplicity of living with less and feeling the massive freedom that allows.

To follow my inspiration and dreaming process check out my Pinterest boards, specifically the small spaces and creative ideas boards, check out those TV shows above and watch this awesome TED Talk.

Keep dreaming those crazy, wild dreams!! They are in your heart for a reason!

Happy Sunday!

Sarah

Adventure, Faith, Olivers Go Northwest

Olivers Go Northwest: The First Bit

March 23, 2015
It's happening!!!! SO many more details to come SO soon. I promise!!!! #edmondsorbust #oliversgonorthwest

Hi Y’all. Thanks so much for being patient with us whilst we repopulate the site. We are having to manually re-enter each of my over 300 posts so its a pretty big job!

But today we are taking a break to start sharing the news that has been hinted at on Instagram and lightly mentioned on Facebook. If you do life with us here in Bedford, not much of this news will be new to you, but perhaps some of the heart journey we have been on through this process will be fun to read. For all the rest of you, this is the great reveal.

It is a long and incredible story, so I am going to tell it in parts, a saga, if you will, of how we came to be leaving our life of eleven years in England for a new adventure in the Pacific Northwest. However, I am a big fan of knowing the end of a story at the beginning. I find I enjoy the details of the story more when I’m not in suspense about the end. So, for those of you who love suspense, sorry! I’m going to spoil it for you in a sec…

Our young family of five, including our lovely dog Ozzie, are immigrating to the States at some point this calendar year. We are hoping that it will be July/August time, but US Immigration is being particularly vague and cryptic about timings so we wait for letters through the post and hope that it is sooner, rather than later. We are going because we fancied a big adventure, we are going because we are big believers in family and we want to go and do life with my family for a season, we are going because we feel like we have grown and flourished and become strong and robust and we want to share the love and freedom we have found in the Father, during this past season in Bedford, with others.

We have no desire to leave Bedford or our family here, as in there is nothing we want to leave, we adore our life here. We love the city and love our friends and church family so dearly. It has become home to us in a way I honestly never dreamed possible in those early years as a very young, newly wed American in a strange and far away country. So many dreams have been birthed and come true in this place. I have found myself and built a family here, but we also have such a dream in our hearts to go on this adventure. So we must. We may be coming back here one day, in fact we are certain that this place will always be our family and always be part of us, how that works out practically we will find out on the journey I am sure! But for now, we dream big and love deep here and we will continue to live that way in the Pacific Northwest as soon as we are allowed to go!

And now that you know the end, the story can begin.

About 18 months ago, my sister and brother-in-law contacted us with the exciting news that they would be planting a church in Edmonds, Washington. Kristin and Brian had been building and doing life in Seattle for many years as part of an amazing church family and, over a series of months, many of the leaders there were feeling a real purpose and excitement in their hearts about extending the church family further north to Edmonds. During this process, they got in touch with us and asked us if we fancied joining them in their new adventure, to be a part of the church planting team.

Richard and I were thrilled and daunted by the opportunity. Throughout our eleven year marriage we have always had the dream and option of moving back to the states and had many opportunities over the years but never felt it was the right time or location for us so we have remained in Bedford, building our lives and investing in the city and loving our church family so much. But the dream still remained in our hearts and this opportunity to build a church family with my actual family really hit a sweet spot in our hearts. It also scared the crap out of us!

Moving a family of five, a career and leaving a decade of history, life and friendships–most of whom had become like second family to us–was a huge choice to ponder and process and it exposed quite a few things in our own hearts and in our relationship that we had not realised were there. Disconnection, distrust, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of failure, anxiety over finances and provision for our family, the list could go on. Those first few conversations we had were tough. There were tears and yelling and lots of silence as we realised that we didn’t know how to trust our hearts desires and fears, dreams and worries with each other or God.

It was pretty sobering to see this chasm in our relationship and to see how self-reliant we had become and how little we trusted the goodness and fatherhood of God. To intensify matters even further, in the same week that we had the conversation with Kristin and Brian, Richard was offered a chance to pursue his dream job role within his design firm and set up a department doing strategic planning. In one week, two longstanding dreams of ours were offered to us on silver platters and they were both–it seemed–completely incompatible.

There was so much we couldn’t see. The Father had signed us up for an adventure, much like Gandalf signs Bilbo Baggins up for an adventure in, The Hobbit, we were reluctant from fear and anxiety of the unknown, He was peacefully determined. As it turns out, there was a lot more in in us than we guessed, and a deal more than we had any idea about ourselves.

Check back soon for the second bit, the part when we realised that this process was all about the journey and not about the final destination.

Happy Monday!

Sarah

 

 

Adventure, Creativity, Family

We’re back!!!

March 1, 2015
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Y’all!!

After a very long break to reconfigure, rebrand and regroup, Staying Awake Blog is back!!! Even the kids are super excited!! Check out our about page for all the past years details and thanks for being patient with us as we update the archives and pages. We were going to wait until the site was all singing all dancing but actually, we just wanted to get going and take y’all all on the journey/process with us. You guys are the best!

Happy Sunday, Richard and Sarah

 

Family

lessons from my kids: identity

February 1, 2015
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i just had one of those moments. you know, the ones where you hear yourself coaching your kid about something and you think, ‘i need to listen to my own words.’

sam was being crazy and whacking rae’s ‘happy birthday’ balloon with the handle of the broom (don’t ask….) and all the sudden the handle ripped through the balloon and it quickly deflated. he looked at me with such sad eyes and said, “i feel really bad about myself.” ahhhh!!!

(i mean just quickly, that immediate awareness he had hurt someone. what a sweet heart!! what five year old boy responds like that?! this is one of the myriad reasons i love this kid. his heart is HUGE.)

this is what came out of my mouth, “oh bud, you don’t need to feel bad about yourself. you made a bad choice but that doesn’t change who you are! you are awesome, such a good boy and such a good brother. when mommy makes a mistake and yells at you guys she doesn’t think, ‘oh I’m such a bad mommy’……..(insert very dramatic sound of record scratching to a halt)…….oh wait i TOTALLY do say that to myself. i paused and carried on anyway……. “mommy’s a good mommy, she just makes mistakes and you are a good boy, you just made a mistake.”

i led him outside, and he apologised, and rae was ridiculously sweet and gracious and they are now watching a show together to chill while i, twenty minutes later, am still trying to recover.

i totally react to my mistakes the way sam did. i do not separate the action from my identity, i totally slam myself for my mistakes and i very often, if not the majority of the time, let them define my perception of myself. and honestly, i feel justified in doing this because it almost feels like my penance for my mistake.

but i got a window into the heart of god this afternoon. watching sam immediately feel bad about himself as a result of an innocent, albeit careless, mistake, brought such sadness to my mothers heart. of course he should have been a bit more thoughtful about his sister’s balloon, but he is a five-year-old boy! i honestly wouldn’t expect much else and of course he is still awesome and the best big brother i know. it was really sad to see him lose sight of all that because of a small mistake. and my number one priority in that situation was to speak to his identity. when i saw it at risk, of course i swooped in to speak truth.

holy cow, how much more compassion and grace must god have on me in my mistakes, and how sad must he feel when i beat myself up time and time again for losing my rag with the kids and richard. how much more is he standing there waiting to swoop in and speak truth into my identity! i would have been absolutely heart broken had sam run away from me in that moment and ignored me and said i was wrong and that he actually was just awful. i mean really i would have freaked out in sadness if that had been his response. and yet that is exactly how i respond most times to god! i ignore him or don’t even come to him to ask or listen to his perspective. i just beat and beat and beat myself down until i feel gutted and defeated and ready to fail the next day.

tomorrow. actually scratch that, TODAY, i am going to try to stop and have the courage to ask him, “ok god, i feel pretty bad about myself right now, what do you think? will you encourage me and help me clean up my mess?” if i, being a human, jumped at the chance to encourage sam, how much more will our good and loving father god swoop in to speak truth into our identities?!

let’s try that together today. and the next day. and the next day. i have a feeling things will get pretty awesome! please leave a comment if you want to do this too and we can support each other! mom’s or not, women or not, this is for everyone. lets not let the world or the enemy or our own twisted views of ourselves hijack our identities anymore!

happy tuesday y’all, sarah

Uncategorized

life, renovation and a rebrand

October 1, 2014
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things have been super quiet around here, for a long time. adding a third child to our family, or rather specifically adding max to our family, was a game changer on so many levels. i have written about the challenges a few times over the past year and a half (you can read about them here and here) and have planned to write about all the positives several times but time in front of the computer to write and process has become a very illusive activity!

although it may seem that this space has been abandoned and left dormant, it has not. i have been thinking and dreaming and planning and writing thousands of posts in my head as i do the dishes or clean up at the end of the day. i have asked god several times about this space and its future–whether it was worth keeping or whether i needed to leave this season behind me and pursue other things. this blog was a catalyst, a vehicle for my own journey of deliberate living, it was a journal and a place to be accountable as i chased my dreams and explored interests. as an external processor i find it so helpful to get thoughts and ideas out of myself. often times i do not even know what i think about something until i either say it or write it. it is a testing process, and through this blog i have been able to test and explore so many different interests as well as being able to process a lot of life.

what is so amazing is that over the past year and a bit i have really settled on some specific areas of life that keep my heart alive and keep my soul awake. the beauty of a chaotic and demanding season is the clarity and focus it brings. in this time of being pressed and stretched, i have learned so much about the importance of thriving, dreaming, being present and pursuing connection. these are the things i want to write about, these are the keys to living life to the full. i will totally still be sharing personal journeys and fun stories, but this space will also be used to inspire and resource others in their own journeys of staying awake.

things are still a while in the making: practicalities of websites and brands, as well as the beautiful chaos of home life that i am sure will not slow down while i renovate and add on to this space. we are still a few months off from the full relaunch of staying awake blog, but i wanted to let y’all know! in the midst of seeming inactivity, there has been a lot of strategising and dreaming with god and i am so happy to say that you will soon get to see the fruit and growth of this dormant time. life is brewing under the surface, i have fresh vision and i am really excited to share everything with you all!

in the meantime, you are welcome to keep up with our daily lives on instagram (@stayingawake) where i post regularly.

lots of love and happy saturday!!

sarah

credits | the beautiful image above is one of my favourite f scott fitzgerald quotes and was designed by marilyn nimz at brewedtogether.com

Crafts

DIY: Cross Stitch Canvas Wall Art

June 8, 2013
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This past weekend we celebrated our sweet daughter’s third birthday. Ever since we found out that Max was going to be a boy (and would therefore be sharing a room with Sam) I started planning and designing Rae’s big girl room and felt that her birthday would be a perfect time to bring it all together. It meant I had a good few months during pregnancy to plan and create mood boards, a few months after pregnancy to just get used to our new crazy life, whilst also meaning I could enlist the present buying of the Grandparents to help fund some of it. It was the first time I have ever redesigned a room all in one go and I loved the process. I usually like to live in a space and design as I go, making the whole process quite drawn out, but very organic. And yet, planning and preparation of an entire space in one go really does make a huge and immediate impact. It also ended up being cheaper as I adapted and/or reused quite a lot of our own stuff to create some of the looks I had in the mood board instead of making a lot of purchases. I may be converted to a new way of doing things!

One of the projects I was most excited to tackle in this process was a giant cross stitched canvas. I first saw the idea on pinterest almost a year ago. The pin linked back to a sweet swedish blog (that I have actually since started following as it is so happy and creative!) but for the life of me I could not find the original post that the photo came from so had no idea how to replicate it. Not one to be discouraged, I decided to try and figure it out myself. It was a huge risk (especially considering I’ve only cross stitched one other time before) but I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.

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I started out with a 3 x 4 foot canvas, a huge ball of hot pink yarn, wool and yarn needles, a lovely shade of grey paint (admittedly it was a tester pot of emulsion for walls that was lying around the house, but, mixed with a bit of water it worked a treat) and a very large sheet of grid paper to make the pattern.

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Making the pattern was actually a lot easier than I thought. I basically blew up the image on my computer, counted the ‘stitches’ and copied the image onto my grid paper. This would work with any cross stitch pattern you find on the internet and I think there are even apps and websites that you can upload images into that will create cross stitch patterns for you. But you will still need to transfer them to the huge grid paper in order to get the stitches big enough for the canvas.

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The trickiest bit for me was then working out how in the world to get the grid onto the canvas so I could actually stitch it, as it needed to go onto the canvas post-painting but in a way that meant we couldn’t see it once it was all finished. I considered several different options and then it dawned on me to lay the grid on top of the painted canvas and punch holes through the canvas at every point that I needed to make a stitch. To do this I used the needle that I would be stitching with so I knew the holes would be the right size.

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When I was done, I pulled the grid paper away and had a perfect grid on my canvas for all my stitches. I kept hold of my grid paper and still counted the stitches as I went to make sure I got it all right. I’m so glad I did this as I had missed a few holes whilst transferring the pattern.

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From then on it was just a simple counted cross stitch super-sized. It took about five evenings from start to finish and although I find cross stitching to be a bit of a tedious process in and of itself, this project was so much fun as it felt like a massive puzzle to work out and the effect was truly incredible.

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It makes a great, personalised statement piece for her new room and best of all Rae loved it. I hope it will be something that she has for a very long time.

Sarah

Art Projects, Creativity

Art + Dreaming of Seattle

May 24, 2013
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Something totally new, completely unexpected and very exciting has been happening in me over the past 6 months or so.

I have completed one painting. I have a project I started 5 months ago that has finally come together in my head and just needs another evening to be completed. I am painting something for Rae for her birthday and have another one in my head that just needs materials buying for me to get started on it. This is weird behaviour for me. I’m not usually like this.

I think I have previously painted one thing my whole life, and I didn’t like it at all. In fact I have written before about how art and creativity have been intimidating subjects for me. I don’t know if it is the newly freed up creative space in my brain (I have spent the past 4 years on a design team for King’s House and Ground Floor Coffee Shop and am now on maternity leave) or the influence of our housemate (she is an artist and is so casual and prepared about her art that maybe it has ceased to look like an intimidating process for me) but whatever the reason, I am having a lot of fun creating and seeing the things that are coming out of me. It is so invigorating!

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This is my first completed project. The idea was swirling around in my head for a couple of days and, as I had all the materials on hand, once I sat down it literally took me about 20 minutes to complete. It is acrylic on canvas.

As I was walking past to wash out my brushes, I glanced down at the painting and my first thought was of Seattle. I suppose the black lines could have reminded me of the buildings of the city next to Lake Washington? Seattle was not in my thinking at all whilst painting it as it was a totally abstract idea, but I am calling it ‘Dreaming of Seattle’ anyway.

Happy creativity!

Sarah

Creativity, Faith, Family

my underground resistance

May 18, 2013
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remember when i wrote about how crazy things have been recently? they remain to be so–and have actually gotten a bit more mental due to my darling girl swapping nappies for knickers this week–however a sweet friend re-introduced me to a powerful poem yesterday that has brought yet more encouragement and awesome perspective.

i have written about poetry only a handful of times before on the blog so you may or may not know that poetry is one of my secret loves.

good poetry is cathartic (for both the author and reader), emotive, inspiring and encouraging–even if that encouragement comes in the form of realising that another human has indeed felt the deep pain and sadness that you feel. it puts words to emotions we ourselves may not be able to find and can call us to something larger and grander. and, as chris henrikson points out in this AMAZING talk, poetry can literally change a person.

poems like, you are my wild and the resistance, have touched me to the core and brought me to tears numerous times.

this poem that i share with you below is no exception. i heard it spoken out a few years ago and since being re-introduced, i have read it over and over and each time i have wept as i realise how off my perspective on my position is, and then i find new hope, new life and new encouragement in my identity as a woman and a mother.

things are indeed crazy in this season of young children, but, like christianna reed maas points out, ‘i birth the freedom fighters. in the great war i am a leader of underground resistance… [and] heaven stands in honour of my mission’.

here’s to walking in THAT identity!

i am a woman by christianna reed maas

My willingness to carry life is the revenge, the antidote, the great rebuttal of every murder, every abortion, and every genocide. I sustain humanity. Deep inside of me, life grows. I am death’s opposition.
I have pushed back the hand of darkness today. I have caused there to be a weakening tremor among the ranks of those set on earth’s destruction. Today a vibration that calls angels to attention echoed throughout time. Our laughter threatened hell today.
I dined with the greats of God’s army. I made their meals, and tied their shoes. Today, I walked with greatness, and when they were tired I carried them. I have poured myself out for the cause today.
It is finally quiet, but life stirs inside of me. Gaining strength, the pulse of life sends a constant reminder to both good and evil that I have yielded myself to Heaven and now carry its dream. No angel has ever had such a privilege, nor any man. I am humbled by the honor. I am great with destiny.

I birth the freedom fighters. In the great war, I am a leader of underground resistance. I smile at the disguise of my troops, surrounded by a host of warriors, destiny swirling, invisible yet tangible, and the anointing to alter history. Our footsteps marking land for conquest, we move undetected through the common places.

Today I was the barrier between evil and innocence. I was the gate keeper, watching over the hope of mankind, and no intruder trespassed. There is not an hour of day or night when I turn from my post. The fierceness of my love is unmatched on earth.

And because I smiled instead of frowned the world will know the power of grace. Hope has feet, and it will run to the corners of earth, because I stood up against destruction.

I am a woman. I am a mother. I am the keeper and sustainer of life here on earth. Heaven stands in honor of my mission. No one else can carry my call. I am the daughter of Eve. Eve has been redeemed. I am the opposition of death. I am a woman.

BOOM.

Faith, Family

dancing my way through the crazy

May 12, 2013
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remember all those posts in the first weeks of max’s life? yea… my mom AND richard were around then. one post a month since they both returned to America and work respectively… this, my friends, is my new reality.

strangers see me out with my three littles under five years and say things like, ‘wow, you’re brave,’ or ‘you’ve got your hands full,’ with either disapproving glances or eyes full of pity.

and they are right i do have my hands full. but i don’t feel brave, i feel in over my head. when friends ask how i am doing, half the time i have no idea what to answer, mostly because i haven’t thought about how i am doing. instead, i have been triaging. all day.

you know that film, ground hog day? my life feels a little like that. waking up each morning to the same day as before. except in my case, without the time, energy or brain power to improve it from day to day. it sounds depressing when i write it out like that, but in all honesty, hopelessness about ever feeling ‘on top of things’ has started to creep in and i wonder when i will have a day where i feel i can gain some ground, get some space and strategise about better ways to do my life. i feel like it is survival right now–and barely so.

however, last week, when a group of friends from church were hanging out at our house, on of the guys said something so encouraging that my perspective on my situation shifted almost immediately.IMG_7014we were praying together as a group and one of the guys said this:

sarah, i know you have said that you feel like a hamster in a wheel, just doing the same mundane thing day in and day out. but in my head i see a ballerina pirouetting, moving constantly and so fast and doing the same turn over and over again, but so beautifully and with such grace. i know you feel like your life is crazy right now and that it never stops but i feel like god wants to remind you that what you are doing in loving these small ones is a beautiful thing and that you are doing it beautifully.

tear jerker! it was so what i needed to hear and also lead me into a real moment of understanding god’s grace for me in this season. things are crazy. mental in fact and at the end of most days i feel slightly disoriented, just from all the needs and tasks at hand. i don’t feel i have chunks of time to eat or go to the bathroom, much less to spend with god to get the energy or grace to love these little well.

yet, i think about those ballerinas who spin. most pirouettes involve an action known as “spotting”, where the dancer fixes her focus on some stationary point in front of her and brings her head round to see that spot at the end of each rotation. this constant focus on a focal point is how the dancer keeps turning without getting dizzy.

it is a short–often less than a second–but deliberate refocussing on the same unmoving spot. most of the time, i only have less than a second in my crazy days, but that is all i need! god is my rock, his love never fails and his goodness is unchanging. no matter my day, my success or failure at self-control, or my children’s behaviour, his goodness, faithfulness and love for me–and them–does not waver. the perfect father is my perfect focal point.

knowing that he sees my crazy spinning as beautiful and elegant and not at all hamster-like has changed my feelings about my days and my kids a ton. but knowing that his expectations of me in this time are only to keep fixing my eyes on him, the dad who has everything that i need for each day, even if only for a second, has changed my feelings towards myself entirely. that is something that i can do and he will give me what i need for everything else.

game. changer.