The Lost Art of Sitting Still

The kids are back in school. And for me, that means I have relinquished responsibility for two thirds of my charges for approximately 6.8 hours per day. Not that I'm counting. 

The combo of summer break and three kids gave me a run for my money. I kept my head above water but just barely, as I described here. But suddenly, my daughter started sleeping through the night which happened to coincide with the start of the school year, and I feel like a new woman. I can breathe.

So, during my first week of freedom, err the boys being back in school, I decided to take advantage of a chunk of time between clients and go sit by a lake. And by sit, I mean only sit. Typically, if I take the time to sit by a lake I am also doing something else like eating or reading or sending emails or scrolling Facebook. Because let's face it, my life is one long massive string of multitasking moments. 

But I decided I would see if I could just sit. Still. For five minutes. When do I ever do that anymore? Never. I mean, when sitting down to a meal by myself which is rare in and of itself, I am usually also doing something on my phone. When I watch tv, I'm folding clothes, ordering clothes, or online attending to some details in my tinies' lives. Even when I pray, I'm usually also showering, running, driving etc... Multitasking. Always. So, there, on the park bench I just sat.


You guys, it was hard. Really hard. My mind kept wandering. I started fidgeting with my fitbit. I meal-planned for the week in my head. I struggled to turn everything off. But as I sat and stared, I began to sink into the moment. I observed a host of cool cloud formations dancing in the sky. I witnessed geese splashing about. I soaked up the beauty of sunflowers standing tall, waving in the wind. I sat.

And for five minutes of my day, I felt like a human being rather than a human doing.

I think I will practice this art more often. When was the last time you sat still for 5 minutes or more?

Be still and know that I am God.

Engage, Enjoy, and Expect

It happened, my first official postpartum run - 4 miles in a canyon, with the company of a sole sister, a rushing creek, and big horn sheep. At a balmy 20 degrees, it proved to be wintery and wonderful. There's dirt on my ankles and sweat on my brow, and hot tacos it felt good!!

I'm almost 6 months postpartum and this is the slowest I've ever returned to consistent exercise after having a baby, but I'll be honest, a little slow feels good and right amidst a fast-paced life.

The older I get, the more grace I have for myself and my body.

The more I am embracing the phrase, engage and enjoy, when it comes to exercise - choosing to walk my son to school rather than drive because it facilitates movement and connection; choosing to go for short hikes with my baby girl, and evening walks with my family; choosing to ski, ride bikes, and shoot hoops together - they all move me toward health, though perhaps not at the pace I've moved in the past. They also move me toward relationship, a higher priority in the present.

My blog is called The Expectant Life, and I chose that name because I aim to live expectantly.

But a shift has occurred and the aim of my expectancy has evolved.

Rather than expect results, I find myself more often expecting quality in the journey - adventure, joy, relationship, health, and even some pain - moving a little more slowly, that I may engage, enjoy, and expect along the way.

Her Story Unfolding

Stillness. I'm captivated by her tiny being. I see her. And I wonder a wonder so big.

That heart. The many colorful emotions she'll feel. That heart, big enough to hold love and hope, sadness and rejection, joy and fear, peace and disappointment. And who all will she love with that heart? 

Those ears. All the messages she'll hear, for better and for worse. May she hear them through a filter of grace and the unshakeable knowledge of her belovedness. Who will she lend her ear to? Who will she know because she listened? What stories will those ears hold?

Those lips. They will one day birth words, giving substance to her voice. Prayers for life-giving words of love, truth, and encouragement to cascade from those lips. Words that bring change, change of the best kind. 

Those hands. Hands to create. Hands to welcome. Hands to build. Hands to hug. Hands to give. Hands to hold. 

Those feet. Those long, flaky feet. Oh, the places she'll go. To think of the far off lands, highest peaks, lowest valleys, and driest deserts those feet will take her to. And through. 

Her story so new. May she keep loving, listening, speaking, giving, and walking on, all the days of her life. Her story unfolding