From Encourage

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

autumn background with colored leaves on wooden board

Sometimes, there are days when having it all together is clearly not a phrase that describes me. Actually, lots of days. When there are places to be, a husband and children to love on, work to be done, chores, more chores, and an Irish temperament to go with it, all sorts of things can go wrong, and wrong in so many ways.

When days like those come along, I really have to make a choice. Do I beat myself up for every single thing that I didn’t do perfectly, every choice I made that turned out wrong, wallow in regret for words I’ve spoken in a pressure-packed moment, drown in guilt over a parenting choice I made, or do I make a decision to remind myself that we’re all learning, here. I’m pretty sure I know which I would have chosen not so long ago.

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1H9A2508 copyB&W She sits back and presses in to her father’s familiar warmth. She knows what’s coming; she’s been here before. And there I stand beside her, offering words of comfort underneath my conjured smile;  words that I know she will trust completely despite how helpless I actually feel. It’s as though my words are not even words but empty space in time, designed to pass the seconds and distract her from what waits in the minutes ahead.

She braces, and then winces with the pain. It’s not excruciating, but enough to feel unnatural about leaving her arm out in a way that invites more. Her father holds her tighter, as I anxiously apply more words to ease her mind, trying looking past the moment and simultaneously praying for a miracle. She wants to pull away, I know it, but holds still… because she’s in her daddy’s arms.

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What Do You Dream About?

dreamingWhat do you dream about? What do you aspire to? What elements of life stand out to you, like swirls of brilliant colour, when everything else in comparison seems like a boring backdrop of pastels and greys?

When I was a little girl, I used to tell myself stories. Apparently, I had a vivid imagination… and I would get lost in it daily.  Often I’d disappear for long periods of time, and after a while my mother would go searching for me in every corner of our house. When she’d find me, it was always in a quiet place… a place where my imagination could run wild.

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