Be Present.

I’m sitting on the couch with Ellie with her wild morning hair while she watches “Go Diego Go”. My world is as it should be. Troy and I got back last night from 2 whole days away. This is a big deal to me because we have never left our kids overnight since Ellie has been born (with the exception of going to the hospital to have Judah)

Catalyst!
We had the privilege of going to Catalyst West with our church staff. Catalyst is a leadership conference and we had a phenomenal line up of speakers. Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Donald Miller, Tony Hawk and Mark Burnett to name a few.  Worship was led by the North Point worship team and the Gunganater. There are few things better than watching my husband enjoy a Gungor concert.
Gungor

Though all these speakers are amazing my very favorite session was the one where Bob Goff spoke. His message was so full of hope and life. His premise was: When we are afraid we are not who God made us to be. When we are not afraid we do stuff. So simple but so powerful! The stories of his life reflect these statements and are inspiring.

As someone who has been very afraid, this message was like water to a thirsty soul. It brought the call not just of “Don’t be afraid” but “Get up and live brilliantly”.  I bought his book Love Does and am excited to read it! I’ll let you know how it is.

As I sit here and reflect over our few days away, I am reminded of how needed these times are. As someone who is a mom, a caretaker, it’s easy to be so consumed with my little world that I don’t come up for air. I have two precious little ones who need me, who I have the privilege of pouring my life into everyday.

I’m discovering however, that if I’m not intentional about feeding my spirit, if I’m not intentional about doing things that bring me life, I have nothing to pour out. Life becomes thin, narrow and exhausting. Somehow as a mama, there can be a sense of guilt for taking time away, or doing things that are just for you. I’m finding that it’s nobody’s responsibility but mine to make sure that I am getting this time. Taking this time makes me a better mom and wife.

I had this moment while we were at Catalyst after we had lunch one day where everybody headed off in different directions and I was left by myself sitting on the ground outside. I laid down in the sun and closed my eyes feeling the breeze and savoring the quiet. I had this sudden thought “I think this is the first time I have been alone in 2 years.” Sure, I have run to the grocery store while Troy watched the kids, or gone to dinner with the girls, but this felt like the first time I had been alone with nothing to do. No place to go, no one that needed me. For an introvert like me it was a little slice of heaven.

I have also noticed in my life that when I take time away from the daily routine of life my ears are a little more attuned to what Jesus might be saying. The theme for Catalyst was “Be Present” and it seemed so timely. In a day where social media can invade every part of our lives it can be easy for moments to be stolen away. I came home resolved to be more present. More attentive to the Holy Spirit. More alive in the moment.

You don’t have to go to a conference to have time to breathe or to have windows where Jesus can speak to you. It just takes intentionality. What are things that bring life to your spirit? What are things you can do to come away from your daily life and just listen – even for 15 minutes?

I am learning that I need time alone. It brings me life to flip through Better Home’s and Garden for 10 minutes in bed at night. I feel refreshed after spending time with Jesus. I am a better mom when I read books I enjoy. Time alone with my husband rejuvenates my heart. Buying a cool purse is a treat that I purpose to give myself every once in a while. And being alone with no demands makes it easier to hear whispers from my Jesus.

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