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That feeling has been rising up within me...

That feeling has been rising up within me.

The pressure to

do better, be better...




It happens to me every new year.

I'm going to get organized. Finally.

I'm going to eat healthy. Finally.

I'm going to exercise. Finally.

The list hiss-whispers to me as each day passes that I don't do those things (here we already are on Day 9). The pressure simmers and guilt and shame bubble to the surface, spilling out in all kinds of yucky ways.

It happened yesterday as my husband asked me a simple question about what our plans were for getting some outside work done.

I snapped at him.

Talk about bubbling and spilling.

You see, there's this tension that lives inside of me (and you).

Who we are now and who we want to be.

Our current story and the one we think we should be living.

Right now, the call of "new year, new you" rings out loud and clear everywhere we turn.

do better, be better...




We can't keep it up for a day, much less a week, or a whole entire year.

We eat some left-over red and green M&Ms.

We put something where it doesn't belong (or God-forbid, leave clothes unfolded in the laundry basket).

We binge-watch a show for an entire afternoon, seemingly wasting precious "get-er-done" time.

Thankfully, as author Liz Milani reminds me, "growth is not linear and the good and holy work of becoming winds up and down and backwards and forwards and around in circles, weaving a story of wonder and grace, color and shade."

The most important work for me, for you, is not to become better, but to become true.

Because, in Jesus' words, "the truth will set us free."

And instead of all the Go!Go!Go! into places that are not meant for me, I can P...A...U...S...E...

Reach deep down inside where God tenderly meets me...

Gently ask myself who I already am...

Question what things in my life serve me (and what do not)...

Create a space to become my truest self, not some strange, convoluted version that looks nothing like me...

And instead of my shoulders tightening and my mind racing and my soul heading down the road to guilt and shame, I can breathe.

Long. Slow. Deep.

And listen.

To myself.

To the God who loves me.

To the future that beckons, "Come, be yourself, in all your beautiful, messy glory."


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