This morning at 1AM, Wayne and I were sitting together on the kitchen floor eating the final scoops of Phish Food ice cream in celebration that it was officially my 32nd birthday. We have a birthday tradition of asking each other what our favorite moments were from the last year. As I sat there thinking of my favorite moment of the last year, I remembered a more recent moment we had. Wayne and I had been in prayer about a decision we needed to make and the Lord in his kindness gave us the answer at the exact same time! With the same confirmation! Honestly, these really are my favorite moments… the ones with Wayne and the Lord.
While I have many, many favorite moments, last year brought a lot of new lessons that I feel had a theme of protection to them. I’m going to share 4 of them with you!
Respect. Disciplining a toddler has been the most challenging thing for me! In the last year, I have learned to really appreciate our friends and family that protect our decisions when it comes to Ethan. We saw people step up that support us, partner with us and respect our word. Man, parenting is hard. Why not come alongside another parent and empower them as they are just trying to do their best? There is always the temptation of comparison and doubt that question our own abilities. Very much grateful for our village teaching us the pattern of respect, regardless of a difference of opinion or parenting style.
Committing to boundaries. Last year I learned a lot about resting and taking a Sabbath. While I did carve out a day off and was protective of that date on my calendar, I quickly realized that I also had to commit to the protection of the actual rest so that it was done well. For me, that meant filling my tank with the things and people that are good for the soul. It also meant that in order to rest my thoughts, I needed to eliminate distractions of the outside world and work. My temptation was that little red notification on the corner of social media apps and email. So I decided to began deleting all those apps on Saturday night and re-downloading on Monday. This removed the bait towards the disruption of really being present with my people. Recently our family had a stay-cation and we protected that time by keeping our phones on airplane mode the majority of the weekend. It was such a sweet weekend!
No guilt in No. This was straight up wisdom from the book “The Best Yes,” by Lysa TerKeurst. Learning to chase down decisions so that I can evaluate the time, emotional, spiritual and/or financial investment. One of my favorite lines she says is, “We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please.” Dang. This book reassured me that not every assignment is my assignment. My saying yes to the wrong assignment means that I may be taking away the opportunity for someone else to experience the joy of supplying the need. Plus, having the discernment to evaluate what to say yes and no to will lead to committing to something/someone better for that moment. Oh man, this rocked my world last year as it protected my family time, my days off and ultimately protected me from feeling burnt out.
Waiting on the Lord’s voice. This was the memory I briefly mentioned at the beginning…It was the moment when we felt like the Lord spoke to us about the associate photographer position. It had been four weeks since the final interviews and I asked Wayne if he had heard anything yet. We were waiting on the Lord to confirm a direction for the position. So many times in our marriage, when we are making a big decision, we have moments that we pray together and pray separately. And we will literally have moments of silent stillness, waiting to feel a tug from His Spirit. Or have a vision. Or a word of encouragement from someone. Or be led by a piece of Scripture. It’s happened multiple times before and is confirmed in being in accord with one another. These are moments where we “know that we know” and there’s just … peace. Recently, it happened. After weeks of praying, and waiting (… and waiting some more), we DID get all of that. Personally, I just feel like that month of waiting protected the decision. While the process was one of those that really tested my faithfulness to my word, at the end of the day, more than anything, I wanted His hand in this. All of it. And it was WORTH IT. The Lord was so worthy of every second and minute and hour waited. I CANNOT wait to introduce her to you guys! (soon, very soon!)
Psalm 23:1-4 | Thank You Lord for leading and protecting through wisdom. Thankful for another year. Thankful for 32.