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When you need to strengthen your recovering soul...

September 13.  It’s always amazing what a little change of scenery will do for the soul, and family. Because we all had the covid virus starting in late August, there hadn’t been a time where I was both out of my house and alone.

I love my home. It is like a little sanctuary on a hill, surrounded by some of the biggest trees you can imagine, and simple landscaping that is pleasing to the eye.

The inside is cozy, mostly not cluttered and relatively clean but warm. Lived in.

It’s like walking into an old friends’ house with predictable sights and smells triggering happy memories and hunger all at the same time. The lighting is always soft, natural like the way the sun falls on the earth at dusk.

Each area of our home feels this way with earth tones on the walls and décor, soft lines and simple artwork.

If you prefer a modern or eclectic style you likely would turn your nose up at the mismatched antiques and brown wicker bar stools, but the light fixtures might catch your eye.

I love my home, its just right for us. And I love my family too.

They are people I cannot imagine ever not having in my life. They were perfectly placed in my life, hand picked by God and sent for us to guide through life without any instructions.

They are beautiful.

Stunning really, each one of them. When they walk in a room I can’t help but look at them and smile and say something cute like their baby nick name. It’s automatic.

Sometimes I catch myself staring at one of them in the car (well now two are driving so this will happen less off :(). Usually I am completely struck by this adult sized creature sitting next to me and then overwhelmed by the sheer beauty. It brings tears to my eyes.

But sometimes, some seasons of life can feel like you are underneath a giant tidal wave looking up at the surface trying your darndest to get there but you just can’t catch your breath.

It’s a smothering feeling similar to what I imagine it would be like if a stranger came into my house and covered my face with a pillow to suffocate me but occasionally let it off a little so just enough air could get through that I would stay alive longer.

And that’s a bit what the past three weeks or so had felt like.

We survived it of course with all hands on deck including my extended family who generously brought over food and Tylenol sinus. And now everyone has scattered like ants when you lift up a heavy rock. They have returned to their lives and the craziness of our schedule has taken over.

This weekend I was able to get away for about twenty four hours to a local beach with some girlfriends. And you would have thought I had been offered a winning lottery ticket the way I was acting on the two and a half hour car ride.

I was energized, singing, daydreaming about sand in my toes and a good night sleep. And about halfway there I realized this was the first time I had been alone (besides being quarantined in my basement but everyone was still in the house) in weeks.

No one changing my radio station, arguing over social plans for the night or criticizing my hair.

The change of scenery was just what I needed to revive my soul. Conversations with four other women was a welcome change as well. It was a simple trip. A relaxed stroll through the local art festival, a couple hours on the beach and a taco bar for dinner.

Sounds like the adult version of a Disney vacation to me. 

Many times in our lives we are so focused on doing all the things required of us. If you are a mom and a wife, there are tasks and expectations known to you. If you are a single career woman, your role has its own responsibilities. And we take them on.

We layer them on our lives little by little and go through the motions. Sometimes we might stop to smell the roses, or have a coffee but mostly its auto pilot.

Doing this consistently over time blocks us a little from the sunlight of the spirit. It prevents us from noticing the way the air smells during seasonal transitions, from hearing the rooster you didn’t even realized lived down the street or from looking at your child right in their face to see what their eyes are telling you.

We just miss it and before you know it your kids are driving off to school in their own car and its almost another Christmas.

This lifestyle, if not also nurtured with good, tender care can be soul crushing. We don’t mean it to be and often we don’t really notice until we experience something that feed or nurtures our soul.

Those moments you realize how much time has passed, that your body is hurting, just how long its been since you’ve called that friend who moved out of state or that you’ve only had a single cup of water in the last twenty four hours.

Without self-soothing and reparenting, our souls get tired.

But it’s not a death sentence. You can give yourself what you need with simple tasks like intentional and active meditation. Going for a walk without your phone or other distractions and using every sense to experience the world.

Walking outside without shoes for a few minutes a day, allow the energy from the earth to penetrate your skin

The gentle reminder I got from a little car ride, a couple hours of sand and sun and the fellowship of other amazing women was satisfying. Similar to licking an ice cream cone all the way to the very bottom of a cake cone and then popping that last bit in your mouth.

My soul was tired.

We can always jet set off to beautiful lands, or sit on couches with homemade soup talking out all your parenting struggles, but we can take a walk.

We can gaze out a window, stop and pet a dog, or simple lay in your bed and take a nap.

XO,

Shelby

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