Restore. Renew. Revive.

I’m weary, y’all.

The last time I posted was December 11, a mere two weeks before Christmas, and five days after learning we {happily} are expecting our fifth kiddo.

During the past several weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed with liturgical celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, separation from family over holidays, a life-threatening incident with dear friends of ours, the beginning of a new college semester, tensions in my oil-industry employment, the prospect of an upcoming move, planning my sister’s wedding, a lingering cold, and of course, first-trimester wrapping all of the chaos in a cozy blanket.

So…yeah. Weary.

For the past two years during Lent, my internet friend Elizabeth Foss has offered an online workshop for weary women called “Restore.” With Danielle Bean, Elizabeth co-wrote my favorite devotional, Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Elizabeth’s writing is calm, peaceful, and sprinkled with the wisdom of a woman with nine children who has been mothering for almost 30 years. Her posts on family life helped saved my marriage when Superman and I struggled with reintegration following deployment.  I have wanted to participate in the Restore workshop each time it’s been offered, especially the year my hormones were abnormal and affecting every breath I took. I felt so completely oppressed. I watched longingly as other women on social media, most with far more crushing life circumstances than mine, commented and photographed their experiences with the program. Elizabeth integrates prayer, reflection, and daily creativity-stimulating activities to administer a healing balm to souls. I know the program works, because I saw friends like Bobbi find their way out of burned-out chaos into the beauty of New Life in the springtime of their souls. Elizabeth talks a bit more about the workshop here: Video from Elizabeth on Restore

Still, something’s held me back. The first year was the cost. I don’t begrudge the need to charge for a workshop like this, which Elizabeth has spent countless hours crafting, discerning, and culling her resources to create. I am a firm believer in fair compensation for the energy poured into such a project, but no matter how convicted I was that Elizabeth has earned this money – the family budget simply wouldn’t allow it. Last year, though I was tired, I felt the need to hold back. When I went on my first ACTS retreat, we were told that God had brought us to that particular time and place for a reason. It was our time. Well, last year, I knew it wasn’t my time, and I didn’t want to take the place of someone who needed it more than I did.

This is my time. Is it yours?

New for 2016, Elizabeth is offering two different versions of Restore, at two different price points. You can find out more here (affiliate link.) Additionally, there will be tangible support in a private Facebook group, and you can interact on social media with designated hashtags. I plan to post my reflections and revelations on Instagram and here on the blog.

In this Year of Mercy, why not begin with showing a little mercy towards yourself? My wise pastor reminded me not long ago that I can’t help others put their oxygen masks on without putting mine on first.

I’m looking forward to breathing deeply.

Won’t you join me?

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