Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Being Attentive to My Own Experience - Experiencing Afresh God's Joy

Dear Rachel,

Wow, first of all - thank you for taking the time to create this list.

I completely agree that “you rest really well” and I also admire the budgeting initiative you and Connor are taking on - something I want to tap into more! It’s so awesome that you were able to stick up for yourself through miscommunications at work - I’m proud of you for that and admire your courage and boldness to speak up about what you felt was right.

What a blessing this list will be for you to look back on, add to, and it seriously was incredible to see all the things you’ve been taught the past 22 years of your life! I will be excited when November rolls around to attempt to write out mine.

One thing I wanted to share with you, in light of reflecting on the past, was just some recent work I feel God doing in my spirit as I come up on my one year anniversary at my job!

Joy has been such a theme for me recently. I have felt it in the past weeks and months in a way I haven’t in a long time. For my first year out of college and into the working world, I felt like I was fighting for joy - doing what I could to muster up a good attitude, take on the weeks one uncomfortable day at a time, try and put on a good “I’m fine and confident” front - all the while, I was neglecting the deeper, inner voice telling me “I’ve never done this before! I feel uneasy and unsure. Can we take our time and enjoy the journey? Why do we have to rush and pretend like we have it figured out?”

Oh I’m sorry sweet soul. I drowned out your voice by listening to closely to honks on the freeway and blaring soothing worship music to quiet my chattery mind in the midst of a season filled with lots of BIG transitions - starting a 9-5, working with a new demographic of people (not people my age, but parents, new moms, and graduate students), beginning my first serious relationship, and having moved back home.

And God had been there the whole time. Seeing every part of me, watching me pretend to tough it out and  He stayed (probably giggling a little let’s be honest). 

I’ve grown to realize He sees me as a work in progress and just wants me to get up and see all that He can do in and through his creation.

I was running this morning as the sun was rising - in a new way this time. From the wear and tear of mileage the past year, I have developed bad running form. I have an anterior tilt in my pelvis and use my hip flexors too much. Running has been a safe space for me, mentally and spiritually, and I have always gained a greater perspective after going for a jog in nature, but lately I have been trying to really focus and listen to my body and what’s going on inside: going for how long feels good, stopping to walk and breathe, adjusting my pace so I run with a form that is conducive to supporting my joints as they rise and fall from the concrete. 

And this morning, I got to watch the sunrise while on a run. I couldn’t really believe my eyes - I was running toward the sunrise!!! There aren’t many things aside from nature that leave me completely speechless, but I just couldn’t believe the beauty before my eyes. I stopped to take pictures multiple times and take it in. God had invited me to another day and I breathed a sigh of relief and joy as I heard myself say, “I’d be ok if today was my last day alive.” 

This run reminded me that I listen more to myself and what’s going on inside, I can understand more about what God is trying to teach me. While I don’t want my focus to end there (inward), a firm understanding of who God has created me as allows me to steward the gifts he has given me and bear His image in a more embodied way. And to live in Christ and as Christ has made you - to see the ways He wants to shape you is to experience His sanctifying love - and that brings me JOY!

So rather than seeking pangs of comfort to accessorize my Christian life, I’m opting for carving out time to listen to my spirit and find a sense of contentment from an authentic state of belief that my God provides, wants to bless me, and has plans for me. This belief that I’ve seen mature and strengthen over time based on little of my own merit or effort and only on the faithfulness that God has allowed in my life, through the people he has put in my path, and through every sunrise. So whatever the season contains, I can listen to God’s still small voice and find that He is faithful and His joy is my strength.

Have you taken the Enneagram quiz? I heard about it through one of my favorite artists, Sleeping at Last, and also Bri G.! We met up a few weeks ago since she’s living in Irvine now. Basically it’s a personality test that characterizes up a person’s tendency by the heart, mind or gut/body. I found out that I am a 4, which is a very inward-focused romantic, who desires to be unique and special, but is able to empathize and see pain as it is - not having to step in and fix it. It was very interesting to read up on, as the Enneagram has roots in Christian thinking.

I wonder what you would be! Here’s a free test if you want to take it, I’d be curious.

If you end up taking the quiz, I’d love for you to share what you got and your reflections on the results.

Also, I’ve been wanting to ask you some questions about new married/CO life! I’ve loved hearing what you’ve shared so far, but here’s a few questions that I’ve been curious about…

What hobbies or passions have you embraced or let go of as you have bonded with your spouse?
What has your relationship Connor taught you about love? About yourself? About God?

I deeply value your advice and wisdom - so anything you want to share about love and relationships I’d be intrigued to hear!

Love you Rach!!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feeling...

Dear Annie,

Wow, it feels like forever since I last wrote you. Big things have happened/are happening my friend, it's crazy and exciting. The most recent of which was my birthday yesterday! I can't deny that Connor and I blasted Taylor Swift's 22 with the windows down whilst driving through Denver. That's just what you do, right?
I'm not what you would call a 'birthday person'; I'm not one to want a huge party with all the fixin's, but a dinner with my loved ones is right up my alley. However, I am a rather sentimental person on my birthday. I like to think about the past year, what I did, any accomplishments or trials, and moments of personal growth. While it may seem kind of cheesy, I love the "____ things I learned in ____ years" videos/blog posts people make that correspond to whatever age they're turning. So in that sentimental/contemplative mood I've found myself in a just went for it! Warning: this letter is long long long, but it felt so good to sit and really think about each of these! It may be best read in stages ;)

22 Things I've Learned in 22 Years:
1. Part of God's nature is a deep and unquenchable desire to bless his people -- In the OT God covenants himself to Israel, promising to be their God and Israel to be His people. When his people turned toward him in faith and trust, He just absolutely poured out blessing upon blessing in the from of those covenantal promises (descendants, land, and everlasting kingship). I saw this in my own life as well: for so long I was going through the mere motions of faith, but as soon as I took one baby step away from my own plan and towards God in faith He blessed me beyond belief with forgiveness, deep joy, and the faith to trust him more.
2. Self care is so important -- When asked if there was anything surprising Connor learned about me since moving in together/being married he answered, "You rest really well." I was stoked he noticed! From painting my nails, to watching an episode of Chef's Table on Netflix, I learned how important rest and self care are to me.
3. The altitude here is no joke -- Hello 10:30 min/mile pace at a max of 4 miles. Hello humility ;)
4. Going off of that, 14er's are no joke. I hiked my first 14er on Saturday and completely underestimated how hard it was going to be. Easily the hardest hike/physical activity I've ever done in my whole life, but also such a rewarding accomplishment. Praise God for a healthy body!
5. Friendship is such a gift from God -- After leaving SB and my nearest and dearest friends I realized how much of a blessing those connections were in my life. Connor and I recently hung out with a group of friends from our new church, and I felt so encouraged and built up by their friendship. I'm excited to see how He brings new people into our lives in this next year and how old friendships continue to deepen, even with the new distance.
6. Similarly, my sister is one of my best friends -- We don't talk everyday or even every week, but she supports me so well, we love each other unconditionally, and I know if I'm ever having a bad day she can crack a joke that changes my whole attitude.
7. I need a lot more sleep than I once thought -- During the second semester of my junior year of college I was getting anywhere from 5.5-7.0 hours of sleep per night and felt lethargic, hyperemotional, and highly irritable. That semester was hard for a lot of reasons, but nowadays I push 7.5-9.0 hours of sleep per night and think to myself 'DUH! Of course you felt all those things with how little sleep you got!'
8. Tim Keller's classic saying on marriage is so true: 'When your marriage is strong, now matter how hard life's circumstances are, you're going to move out into the world in strength. When your marriage is weak, no matter how great life's circumstances are, you're going to move out into the world in weakness.' -- I have felt so confident in myself and in some hard decisions I've made in this past month, and I think I owe a huge part of that to Connor and our marriage.
9. Not having coffee every morning makes me a more enjoyable person -- I quit drinking coffee every morning the month before school ended and haven't looked back. I don't feel dependent on the caffeine (even when I get up at 4:45 for work!) and I enjoy it so much more when I have it as a once-in-a-while treat.
10. Kindness is never an inappropriate response and rarely goes unnoticed -- The patients I work with on a daily basis have a hard time showing themselves kindness (as they work through recovery from an eating disorder), but have shown me/verbalized how far a word of kindness really goes when it comes from someone else.
11. My adulting life requires budgeting -- I'm not a huge shopper by nature, but when it comes to new ski gear or those tasty snacks at Whole Foods I definitely need personal restraint in the form of a budget. Connor and I use the You Need a Budget App (YNAB), and it has already proven invaluable to our married life.
12. Speaking of tasty food, cooking for two is hard (but very rewarding) -- I can be a total monotonous eater; I used to make one jumbo pot of soup for a whole week's dinners and one gigantic salad for a whole week's lunches without batting an eye. Connor likes a little more variety (understandably), so it's been tricky but fun to keep things new/less repetitive and challenge myself to try new recipes and methods of cooking.
13. Ethical consumerism is not an easy choice but it's really important to me -- From ethical meats for Connor to ethical clothing from REI, there are so many categories of consumerism that require research and thought before making a purchase (hello Lighten Project!). It's not always easy to spend the extra $$$ but I like being able to 'vote with my dollar' so to speak and support those brands and the ethical consumerism movement as a whole.
14. Cycling is so fun -- I've talked about intuitive movement in another blog post, and cycling is at the top of that list for me right now. CO has some amazing bike paths and I might even be biking to work here in the next few weeks!
15. Weddings are only as stressful as you make them -- In planning our wedding, Connor and I and my whole family adopted a very go-with-the-flow attitude when issues arose and only used pinterest for specific ideas (ie: searching for 'seating chart ideas' instead of 'wedding inspiration' in general). I honestly only felt stressed twice for maybe one day at a time. Not too shabby if you ask me!
16. Sauternes dessert wine is one of the tastiest drinks on the planet -- Connor and I had it for the first time on our honeymoon and are now OBSESSED. If you ever get the chance to try it/see it on a menu, give yourself that 2 oz. gift. :)
17. Reading the Word frequently and intentionally really does ingrain God's truth in your heart -- I know this intellectually, but this year I feel like God reminded me of this truth once again. When I regularly read God's word in scripture I feel like I can truly agree with the psalmist when he says, "I delight to do your will, O God; your law is within my heart." (Psalm 40:8)
18. I am a total mountain person -- I loved living near the beach in SB, but nothing beats seeing the rockies on my way home from work.
19. Saying 'No' or 'No thank you' is not necessarily letting someone down -- I'm a people pleaser and often fall into the trap of thinking I'm the missing piece in everyone's puzzle. In reality however, that opportunity I feel pressured to say 'yes' to might actually be the perfect opportunity for someone else's gift to shine in way that blesses them and glorifies God.
20. Getting ice cream on a Saturday night is my happy place -- From McConnell's in SB to Little Man's in CO, I gotta have my go-to spot for my ice cream fix. PS: Little Man's ice cream gives puts free rainbow sprinkles on your ice cream on your birthday woo!
21. It's good and necessary to stick up for yourself sometimes -- In the past few months I've had to negotiate my work schedule and salary, be honest with my boss's boss about a pretty big miscommunication, and talk to HR about that miscommunication. Not easy, not fun, but necessary and good for my work-life balance and self-confidence.
22. I am SO blessed -- I am married to the man of my dreams, we both have full time jobs, I have a healthy body, we get to live in a place like Denver, we have supportive and loving parents and siblings, etc. etc. etc. I was reminded of these things throughout this year and NEVER want to take them for granted.

Phew! Easily the longest letter I've ever written. I know we still have a few months until your birthday, Annie, but I would LOVE to read about 22 things you've learned when that time comes!
Any from my list you feel like you've been learning/have learned recently as well?

Love you lots,

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Becoming Cozy in the Discomfort of New

Hi Rachel,

So you're married first off. And second off, your wedding was so glorifying to God. So many veil thin moments. Aside from seeing you walk down the aisle as a bride and your husband preaching the gospel at the reception, I just felt his peace and presence the whole day. Thank you for inviting me and every person you interacted with that day to look beyond the trivialities of a celebration into the greater celebration we will one day experience - in Heaven with our Maker.

And now we're back in our respective spots, living another day, and for you - living into an entirely new season!

For me, this entire year of working I've experienced "new" and "change" and "transition" and "different-than-what-I'm-used-to" - as we've discussed being one who likes control and predictability, this ain't so cozy. I feel like I'm wearing a scratchy sweater and all I want is my bathrobe. But alas, it's noon and I still have 5 hours of work before heading home and "changing-into-pajamas" time.

Being involved in new projects and being assigned new roles has brought with it both excitement and a tinge of fear. Fear, mostly, that I might fail and be seen as I truly am - a human in progress. That's uncomfortable. I'm comfortable when I know how others will perceive me. But in this season I have had to get much clarification. Which doesn't come from me guessing and being right. It has come from being dependent on my superiors, my mentors, my co-workers, and asking questions. It takes admitting that I don't know what I'm doing. But how do I expect myself to know? It's new. The baby isn't expected to walk across the room when she just learned how to take her first step. She steps, falls, and everyone laughs! She's trying and it's cute and it's okay.

Overtime, this scratchy, uncomfortable sweater I call Change, that was once "new" has become worn and I've learned to like the way it fits on me. It continues to shape me and refine the way I perceive my circumstances - God can do new as I step into the discomfort, trusting Him because He's gone before me. And along with that, it has truly humbled me - it's been my daily dose of humble pie - "how do I say this? what do I do if I need this? is this wrong? can you help me?" I'm learning and it's new and that's uncomfortable but THAT IS OK.

We're all new to something and can learn from one another if we allow ourselves to be seen and give others the opportunity to expose themselves as they truly are. God's beloved work in progress.


P.S. sorry if this letter contains errors. it's from the heart and i've been copy editing so much that I just wanted to give you my raw, unfiltered, creative spirit. Thanks for grace in that.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Meet my Newness

Dear Annie,

Where to begin... It has been weeks months since I've sat down to write and weeks months since I've felt the mental space to do so. Surprisingly, it's not the wedding that has clouded my thought processes (the ten-day countdown begins today!!!!), or really any specific change that has occurred in the past two months. The only thing I can really put my finger on is the Newness of it all. I haven't settled into a rhythm with my weekly work schedule, I haven't nailed down the things I need to do everyday (or most days) for self care, and I don't have a list of my favorite places, restaurants or hikes.

Soon, possibly very soon, Newness will fade and Normalcy will take it's place; I'll have my routines and preferences and most likely feel more settled than I do now; this fact is neither good nor bad, just the ebb and flow of life. With this fact of life in mind, however, I feel proud of myself for allowing Newness to take up space in my mind. These types of enormous life changes are rare and, to an extent, sacred; they deserve to be fully embraced. And truthfully, I believe I have...

For example: I have waited in line for 50 minutes for my first taste of the best ice cream in Denver (Little Man's), taken free swing dancing lessons in public, spontaneously searched for the best wine bar in Denver to celebrate the simple fact that it was a Friday night, hosted our first guests for dinner our apartment, and ran my first marathon! (Just kidding on the last one, but it's on the bucket list for sure).

Granted, my everyday life is not a cannonball into the deep end of Newness that fills my life, but my days are significantly different both from one another and from my days 2 months ago, and for the most part, I've embraced that. (Disclaimer: I haven't figured out how or why yet- any thoughts?)

The acceptance I feel about my life and the changes that have occurred also give me a deep sense of hope. Things are going to keep changing: single to married, living alone to living with someone else, and I might even be starting a new job soon (that's a whole other topic). But I have hope that the Lord will use that Newness, as he uses all things, for His glory and my good if I trust him with those changes and ask for His guidance and wisdom. I have A LOT of learning to do, and probably a lot of mistakes to make, but I feel more equipped to fail and to learn than I ever have in my life. Maybe that's a newfound maturity or a new sense of open mindedness regarding God's plan for my life--who knows? All I know is it's new, and I'm trying my darnedest to live into it.

In which areas of your life are you experiencing Newness? (if any)
Have you found yourself becoming more spontaneous or more planned/orderly as you've gotten older?
Any new experiences you've had in your own hometown recently?

Love you tons,

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Carry On, Warrior

Dear Rachel,

You got that right - forced rest is a helpful kickstart to those who are high functioning and performing (at least for me it was!). Especially in light of the "residual stress" you talked about and the feelings of anxiety it allowed to linger, what has rest felt like for your mind, body, and spirit? Can you name noticeable changes in your attitude or overall perspective since you have rested in this season? Do you think this period of "resting well" will allow you to also transition well?

How cool that you associated the idea of rest with the anticipation of a transition. I feel like often times I view the time before change as a space for me to gear up, get ready, and actively prepare - to worry and to hustle. But I love that God commands us to rest! He knows we need it! And I love that he has given you this time of rest before a few big changes in your life...He knows what you'll need and He'll be the one to carry you through those transitions.

Yesterday, I had an interesting realization during my normal walk at work. I was listening to worship music and all the sudden got this feeling that this time of praise was preparing me for "battle." I think about Joshua and how their weapons as they were surrounding the walls of Jericho were instruments to sing praise to God. However, I wasn't sure why I was considering the remainder of my day a "battle"... seems a little extreme for a corporate job. But little did I know! The remainder of my day was marked by little battles for my mind as several overwhelming demands and difficult situations were presented to me by coworkers. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I felt prepared and cared for - that God would prepare me to fight well for His truth and that I would cling to His promises as I was trying to navigate these difficult circumstances and work through the overwhelming demands. In the midst of the business, I felt protected because my identity was secure.

"Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable than they are?" - Matthew 6:26

When I rest and worship, I take God's truth into my outer world. When I hustle and worry, I live by my own understanding. Rest and worship seem to both prepare us well for the battles ahead, big or small, anticipated or unannounced, as Scripture affirms.

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding....

Both this season of rest and these times of worship have allowed me to approach the outside world with a clear head and a patient heart, which I only am given by the grace of God and the hope His redemption provides.

Cheers to more rest and worship for our good and His glory!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rest Up, Buttercup

Dear Annie,

I absolutely loved hearing you (laughingly) tell me over the phone that 1) you had mono and 2) that those weeks were some of the best of your life and then be able to read you beautiful reflection on the "why" and "so what" parts of that experience. I loved how you saw God in that whole experience too; you didn't assume he struck you with this illness out of his dissatisfaction with your lack of restfulness, but you were able to see the peace of His rest in spite of a pretty miserable situation. I felt terrible when I heard you had mono, but I now have a new form of sympathy after my own pretty miserable situation...just days after we talked on the phone I had a nasty bout of food poisoning! Although my sickness was gone in a matter of days (nothing in comparison to mono), I had a little snap shot of that forced rest you mentioned and felt grateful for it as well!

Throughout all my time at Westmont I experienced a phenomena I labeled "residual stress." I would study my butt off for weeks at a time in preparation for a massive test, but then, even when the test was over, I would experience a decently high level of anxiety about whatever I was doing. The days leading up to the exam I would cram every waking moment with a flashcard or a practice quiz, training my brain to fire on this go go go frequency; it's no surprise, then, that the feeling of I-must-be-doing-something-at-all-times left me stressed out for the next few days. All that to be say: I did not rest well. Not to say I never rested, but it just wasn't a normal part of my life as a college student.

Life today looks a lot different than life back at Westmont. As you know I'm in a kind of interim period in life. I graduated at the beginning of May but will not start my new job until the beginning of June, leaving me with about 4 weeks of family time and necessary relaxation. It's also odd because in a matter of days I'll start the process of moving my entire life to a new state, begin a new job, and finish up the wedding planning for the last seven weeks of our engagement. With all these changes on the horizon I truly feel like these 4 weeks have been such a sweet gift, a time to rest up, dig in to family and life in Pleasanton, and transition well to this new phase of life.

Rest right now looks like reading in my local coffee shop (that my sister also works at), catching up on my favorite TV shows (like Survivor, duh), and doing summer-y things like walking a mile or two to get froyo with my family (original tart is my fav). However, my mom and I start the drive to CO tomorrow morning, and I have to admit, I have absolutely no idea what rest is going to look like when I'm living alone in the new apartment and starting a completely new job. On top of that, a couple times a month I will be working a 12-hr weekend shift, completely throwing a traditional 'sabbath' day out the window. While I have no idea what rest will look like after I settle in to CO life, your letter reminded me how grateful I am for this time of rest and how focused I need to be on resting in the upcoming weeks. The 'rest' of my thoughts are definitely in a to-be-continued phase. I have no idea what life is going to look like, but I would love to talk about rest again...maybe in 4 months? ;) With a kitchen all to myself, though, I know cooking will be a big part of my rest/self care routine--maybe some new Rachel approved recipes will make an appearance in a letter pretty soon!
Next letter comin' at you from the big CO!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Why Mono Was One of This Year's Greatest Gifts

Dear Rachel,

What cool observations of yours! I loved your letter and am excited with the direction you took it. I have several trains of thought around intuitive movement that I'm still learning how to articulate, but they would be fun to dialogue about with you. Case in point, my processing below: I only scratched the surface of the questions you asked.

I've been listening to birds more the past couple of months. They sing their songs all day long: in the morning I rise and hear them, during my walks at work I listen for them - they each sing such beautiful, spontaneous songs.

But, through listening to them, I've also learned from them. Their songs have taught me the beauty of restful contemplation - living slow in tension with my inherently ambitious rush-filled routine.
Rachel, I think my journey towards intuitive movement has stemmed from this restful contemplation. I want to share with you how having mono allowed me to realize my longing to return to dance.

On Easter this year, I starting feeling mono-like symptoms, took a test and it proved positive. Mono took me in and out of work for three weeks and quite often plopped me on my living room couch. The first Monday morning when I realized I wouldn't be going to work that entire day, amidst the puffed up eyelids, and filled up sinuses, a smile emerged across my face and my heart slowed down as I sunk into the couch: REST. Finally. My mind was at such odds with the reaction of my body as it found a space to just be… 

Lesson learned//loud + clear: I hadn't been giving myself nearly adequate enough rest. 
I had been giving time-heavy doses of energy to the routines of my life that I thought were making me my most productive and useful self. I made plans so that I could keep the energy moving, keep the momentum going. With the ammo from enough penciled-in friend times, Gilmore Girls episodes, workouts, healthy meals, COFFEE, ministry, I could make this stressful workweek the most creatively life-giving! I could squeeze every nook and cranny of time so that I was giving my all for the glory of God! And then I got Mono (and God laughed as a father might at their infant trying to run across the room after just learning how to take her first step) - God’s always teaching me things at a slower pace then I’d like. 

I thought I was being creative by creating plans for productivity, but at the end of the day my inspiration was dry, my mind was fried, and my body was fatigued. All along, my poor little body, my poor little creative self. I wasn't giving it any voice. I was giving it a job. I wasn't listening to what it was asking of me. I was telling it what it should want and giving it that and only that. And its response? "I can't do this anymore Annie."
So Mono was my scape goat. No movement, no initiating plans to match ambition with action - just REST. This rest not just allowed me to heal from mono, but it invigorated my creative spirit. The time I spent on the couch simply being a human (in a decrepit state) reminded me of my overwhelming need for God every moment for every provision (of health, of energy, of life, of joy, of love). I realized that at the end of the day, I can try and control my health and my energy by allocating my plans and productivity, but without acknowledging God's role in sustaining my life for another day, I have worked myself out of the opportunity to truly live in the present: creating and reacting to how he is working inside of me.
It was such a challenge to honestly force myself to stay still, lay down, not jump to and fro. The depth of challenge made me realize just how intensely I had been externally moving, operating, and stressing myself out to the point of exhaustion and fatigue. The internal neglect of processing life transitions and work happenings had me starved for a fresh outpouring of rejuvenation. My weeks with Mono were some of the best weeks as I looked within myself to see how to make more margin for restful contemplation and how only a healthy understanding and practice of that would pave the way for intuitive movement.

To me, pre-mono, rest had been the scarce moments between my head dropping on the pillow and falling asleep at the day’s end. Now, rest looks like an unfamiliar friend reminding me that stewarding my body is both rest and work. I am a human, I need both and God has given me both. 

So the only way forward: leaving behind the ambitious plans I had for my body and coming home to how my present body is feeling and the needs it voices. People say listen to your body and learn its language, but my body doesn't operate as quickly and conveniently (input, enter, output) as Google translate. After going months without engaging in dialogue with your body, it takes time to relearn the words it voices to you and respond appropriately. Just like the bird's song - though I may not understand its meaning at first listen, once I begin the mindful practice of listening, I am simply amazed at its ability to vocalize its needs. I truly am fearfully and wonderfully made - my soul knows it very well (Psalm 139). The wonder and curiosity that sparked in my spirit as I began sensing this image-beardedness, reminds me that amidst the struggle for work-rest balance acknowledging my Creator for the creation he has made in me is very good, and honoring it with rest is the pathway to expressing praise to Him (dance being one of the ways I am excited to be in the process of practicing again!).

First off, what do you think about rest? What does rest look like for you? Do you still try and keep a sabbath, or do you find little "sabbath moments" throughout your week? How do you relate your practice of rest with your practice of movement?

Blessings to you as you pack up and prepare for the upcoming move!