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

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Running On Empty

I’m the kind of girl who plays Russian roulette with her gas tank. You know what I’m talking about, right? The game where you try to see how far you can go before your gas actually runs out, versus what that silly pessimistic needle tries to make you believe? It drives my husband – a very Type A, methodical, former soldier – batty. I will admit that on more than one occasion, we’ve had a spirited “chat” when he’s gotten in the car to go somewhere (running late, of course, because kids) and the needle isn’t just AT Empty, it’s BELOW Empty. I will also concede that it’s more than a little inconsiderate on my part, too. Almost always, my deviant behavior stems from the overwhelming desire when I’m in my car to just get HOME ALREADY, be it from work, the grocery store, or soccer practice.  I despise adding one more stop on the way home.  It’s not that I don’t believe the needle; it’s more like I believe I am smarter than the needle.  I’m well aware of the fact that without fuel, my minivan ain’t getting’ anywhere, no matter how many Rosary bumper stickers are plastered on the backside. In all the years I’ve been driving, the needle has only outsmarted me once.

Until last week.
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