If you invited me over for tea and you asked me what's killing me right now, I would have a litany of answers for you.
They range from the minuscule that add up to that feeling of being pecked to death by chickens to the monstrous that can overwhelm even the strongest of people.
So much kills us each and every day, leaving us depleted, demoralized and downright despairing.
To be honest, I have not been known to sit well with what's killing me, much less talk about it. My natural persona lends itself to "looking on the bright side" and it's been very easy for me to diminish the hard.
That has not worked very well over the long haul, as it's just shoved what's burdensome deep inside of me only to leak out later in anxiety, abrasiveness, or anger.
I've slowly learned to sit in the difficult more often, and allow others to enter that space as well. In fact, so much of what I write deals with the suffering and pain that we as humans endure and how God meets us in that place as a co-suffering Savior.
Recently, I was posed a question that I would have jumped all over in the past, spouting off all my answers in a jiffy, without giving it much thought.
Here it is:
WHAT IS SAVING YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW?
When I heard it, it caught me off-guard as it felt unfamiliar and almost wrong, yet also gave me permission to entertain my bent, something I have put to the wayside as I've taken this trip down the "embrace the hard" lane.
So often, I swing from one extreme to the other, living in a world of opposites, instead of making room for the fullness of ALL that it means to be human, the "what's killing me" AND the "what's saving me," along with a myriad of other possibilities.
It actually feels like my next right thing to welcome the question and share my answers with you. I have 10.
My industrial-strength HEPA-filter air purifier that provides clean air and white noise as I drift off to fitful sleep.
Barilla gluten-free pasta. Having stopped eating gluten, but longing for spaghetti and meat sauce the way my mom always made it (with the secret ingredient of Worcestershire sauce added), this little box of goodness is just what the doctor ordered.
Podcasts in the car when I'm driving. My favorite is "The Next Right Thing" by Emily P. Freeman. I never miss it.
U-haul and their store. I'm helping my son pack and move (once again) and this place just does it right. They even gave me 50 extra miles just in case without charging me a dime.
My first-born daughter. She is so good at asking me how I feel about things instead of telling me how I should feel. This is gold. We both love to process out loud.
Spring-time in my garden. Seeing the flowers sprout in all their beauty speaks to my soul like nothing else can. It's the very presence of God in pinks and purples and yellows.
My online book clubs with other women walking on a similar path to a less rigid and more curious faith and finding Jesus in ways that light a fire in my heart.
Costco delivery. Enough said. We live in the middle of nowhere and this is huge.
Dark chocolate Bark Thins. YUM!
My weekly Sabbath (which I am taking as you read this). Permission to stop shoulding on myself for 24 whole hours. This one has saved my life for about 14 years now. (You can read more HERE about it.)
After engaging with this exercise, I discovered two things:
This invited me to stay in the present and call out what my is good in my life at this very distinct and unique point in time. And interestingly enough, what may have "killed" me in the past may be the very thing that's "saving" me now. That's simply part of being an ever-changing and growing human being.
Everything (from the minuscule to the monstrous) is sacred. God can be found in simple packing boxes and complex rhythms of rest and renewal. There is no where that God is not.
Thank you for allowing me to share what is saving my life right now.
I invite you to explore the answer to this question yourself.
And if you'd like, I would love if you shared just ONE with me by commenting below or filling out the "contact me" form at the bottom of this page. It's simple and I would be overjoyed.
P.S. One more fun thing. It's a great conversation starter. Ask someone sitting across the room from you and see where it takes the two of you.