Find Rest My Soul

I didn’t realize until earlier this evening, but:
I’m tired.

Not just long day tired.

Exhausted of resources tired.

Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically.

Tired.

A year and five months ago, I packed up my car & moved my life 1300 miles away, in answer to God’s call – a move I knew from the start was temporary.

For the last few weeks, I’ve felt this desperate pull to rush it. Get out of here. On to the next thing.

Because I am tired.

I have not been faithful to myself & providing self-care.

In my chosen field, it’s no wonder my Clinical Supervisor emphasizes self-care as part of our evaluation of ability to do the job.

And, I’ve been neglecting the biggest area of self-care in my life.

My greatest source of self-care is my spirituality. I cannot let that go.

After all, my soul, the deepest parts of me, finds the greatest rest in God alone:

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from Him.”
-Psalm 62:5

I say kudos to anyone who can do this job without any kind of self-care routine.
Because, I absolutely cannot.
I will run out of life.
Run out of resources.

I get restless.
Get ahead of myself and my plan.
Get ahead of God’s plan.

I suffer in the areas where it matters most…this likely makes me less effective, less affective, with clients.

So, tonight, I put away the studying for the biggest test of my life in order to take a little time to re-focus & care for my soul.

If you have been neglecting self-care, or have no idea what works for you to recharge your soul & your life force, let me offer some of my favorite ideas below (you can also check out my self-care pinterest board):

  • Spiritual activities
  • Music
  • Painting/sketching
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Drinking Water
  • Chocolate
  • Walking
  • Cleaning/organizing
  • Therapy, when needed (yes, even mental health professionals need someone from time to time)

So, it’s time to take my soul seriously. Finding my center once again.

Resting in the arms of my Abba.

I’ll leave you with the song that always kick-starts the process:

Still – Hillsong Worship – their live video is here.


What are some ways you make sure to take care of yourself & your soul? Share below.

Choosing Hope

“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.” – CS Lewis

There have been so many times in my life when things aren’t exactly as I’ve expected….and recently, I find myself in a whirlwind of times like that…

I feel like therapy sometimes lacks/neglects an integral piece – connection on an “I’ve been there” basis.

I love what I do (about 95% of the time) and most of that 5% of time is made up of paperwork no one told me I would have to do & I hate it…but a small portion of that 5% is that piece that I feel is missing:

Our professional decorum often prevents us from getting further down into the muck of people’s lives with them, giving them a glimpse into what we’ve struggled with.

I know my kiddos (the older ones, especially) have a hard time connecting with me at times, because all they see most days is the successful counselor who got a 3.8 GPA in high school, graduated, went to college & grad school, and has lived a great life. They see someone well put together & seemingly without struggle.

What I never get to show anyone – what regulation dictates I keep to myself is:

The success was born out of many sleepless nights, when I did homework, read, or watched TV only because I was not going to sleep anyway.
That many nights are still spent this way – how most of my creativity & studying comes about.
The amount of nights tears stained my journals, all with similar messages: God, why is this my life? Don’t you love me? Why am I so worthless and unlovable?
The work was all about being enough just in who I was, and I could never seem to get that.
The only reason there are no physical scars is because by the time I knew what self-harm was all about, I had one “acceptable” form, along with knowing how to do it without leaving any marks. So the scars only live in my soul.
The amount of days the only reason I made it out of bed was out of anxiety for what people would think if I didn’t…and some days even that wasn’t enough.
That I was so traumatized by my middle school experience I have since never set foot in the school building – and am not sure I ever really want to.
That I cried so many tears in my high school – their high school – and didn’t know if the future would be as bright as I always pretended it would be.
That the only reason I am where I am today is because I refused to quit fighting, even on my darkest days. I chose to believe in hope and then live each day as if that belief were true.
The bullies didn’t stop, the pressure didn’t loosen, and the pain was with me day in & day out, as I made the choice to do something different, hoping one day it just wouldn’t be there any more.
That faith was more of a fight most days than a given…and it is that precise faith & walk with Christ that is the only reason I am where I am today. He didn’t give up on me, even when I was ready to give up on myself (and on Him).

I mean, my clients & my kiddos know a little bit of my story, but professional guides would limit what they have access to; and in the therapy world, that makes sense.
So, I will stick with this, as this is the path I am currently on…

I just don’t know if this is the exact place God will always have me.
As a matter of fact, I know it’s not. I know His call for my life involves so much more.

But, right now, He is teaching me so much where I am. And, for that, I am thankful.

I am also praying for doors to open and opportunities to present themselves for me to walk in others’ mess & share the hope that I’ve always had, but sometimes had to consciously choose. I am praying that, even with the proverbial “hands tied,” I get to be hope in a hopeless world, as I am tapped into the ultimate source of hope.

I wish more of my clients would understand Lewis’ words, and that I would also embrace them…instead of feeling “stuck” in the choices I’ve made that got me here, I’d like to trust that after I’ve mastered this step, lived this dream, God has another one ready & waiting; and the same for those around me…

Hope in a Hopeless World

I was talking to a family friend tonight, a fireman, and I made a joke as I always do about single Christian young men (you know, just in case the one I’m waiting for fights fires 😉 )

I’m not sure he understood the reason for the question but his “uh, not really Christians” answer gave me pause.

Recalling that Cousin’s husband, a paramedic, had once commented that his field & the fire fighting field you wouldn’t find a lot of believers.

And, I thought, how sad. For my field, which is notoriously lacking in faith filled people, and for their fields.

Surrounded by hurt, pain, brokenness, darkness, hatred, evil, and unknown each day, how do these people do it without faith? How?

image

“The work is too heavy…you cannot handle it alone” – Exodus 18:18

As I shared on Instagram with my Bible study time last night, I know I can’t do it alone. It’s in my weakness, His strength is shown; in my limitation, His limitlessness is revealed.

Though some see faith as weakness, I have to be the container for the hopelessness of the hopeless. I’ve sat with & cried with so many who have no hope. I have wrestled with knowing my life may be the only light in theirs. And, it takes an incredible amount of strength to stand in faith at those times.

This field He has called me (and my firefighter friend, and Cousin’s husband) to is not for the faint of heart. And, sometimes, those of us in it need support and/or extra faith.

And, honestly, I can’t imagine being hope in a hopeless world without the Source of Hope. It just wouldn’t be possible.

Rainstorm (Ascent from Madness)

Time for another flash fiction post 🙂 I am quite enjoying using the 5 minute time-frame to write something not only flash in length, but time written in.

Also, doing these little flash fiction posts has re-ignited my  love for writing fiction, so I’ve decided that once our #Write31Days challenge has ended, I’m going to once again participate in NaNoWriMo…which will likely mean less blogging, but perhaps more flash fiction.

Both challenges are a good distraction from the depressing world of online dating…which I really needed this break from (it’s hard out there for a single girl, guys!)

Below is my final flash piece of this challenge


Rainstorm (Ascent from Madness)

I cloistered myself in my room. My work nook all ready for a cozy afternoon of writing.

The rainstorm outside surrounded me with a mysterious air. What perfect writing conditions if ever there were. The quiet was a welcome change from the madness of the world, and the rain offered an even greater sense of comfort.

The trees cast an eerie shadow on the walls.

It’s like my mind, in reality. Some days, it really is hard to know which is which, though.

I know my deadline for the newest piece, and I am not even close to finishing.

Since I’ve gotten “better”, the writing doesn’t come as easily. I have a harder time tapping into my creative side since most of the madness seems to be gone.

Why does it seem all the best artists are mad? Like they tap into some oft forgotten creative energy field just through their brokenness.

How do I get that back…? I wonder to myself as I stare at the rain trails on the pane.

I glance at my reflection…Can I remember that time well enough…Can I tap into it now…?


 

Sky (Ascent from Madness)

Tonight’s prompt is sky…and after a long day, I’m not sure I can come up with anything for that…so, more flash fiction…enjoy


I lay looking up at the sky. Always a good way to be grounded.

I love this journey I’m on, experiencing new places. And looking at new pieces of sky.

Boat…I tell myself looking at the clouds above. Crane…

I am enjoying these brief few hours to myself while he’s out. Much of my business is at home, in front of my screen. For me, it works.

It would drive him insane. So, he goes in search of human interaction. Meanwhile, I find activities of solitude, or search for canine interaction. Since we’re on the road so much, he refuses to let me get a dog of my own.

Ooh! Puppy! I exclaim happily in my own head.

I honestly don’t know how we found ourselves here, but I’m so glad we did. I never thought someone would love me this much, or that I’d be open to someone as I am him.

Bzzz. I look down, a client calling. I answer kindly, and after a quick chat, I’m brought back to the reality of life around me.

A life I’ve become so grateful for, after all the struggles, and finally feel at peace in.