Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Time for Tea?

Courage. 

I spent 2015 trying to dive into that word. I thought courage would feel like never being afraid. Always being sure before charging ahead, full of confidence. Assured.

Instead I found courage to be about trust and faith. Courage is hard as you stand still shaking in your boots with questions bouncing around your head. But you take those shaky steps forward trusting yourself and trusting God. Even if you meandered down a detour. Courage is showing up and living in the face of fear, even though you are still afraid.

I am proud of what focusing on this word has pushed me to do this year. I took some risks, faced the dark corners and learned that night has its own beauty. Nick and I sold our home which was the hardest and best thing. I still feel a bit lost at sea - bobbing around hoping to catch a glimpse of a palm tree. I thought finding courage might mean finding solid land to stand on, but I think courage is accepting that being lost at sea has things to teach me too. It's still a mysterious word, a daunting word - but I am grateful for the journey so far.

The last 4-5 months I built a bit of a cocoon around myself exhausted from the first half of the year. Letting the darker days and longer nights lull me into a bit of hibernation. A different kind of courage - a courage to allow myself this quiet. Allow myself to withdraw from the noise and lights and parties of the Christmas season. The quiet of grace surprisingly took some courage.

Heading into 2016, I've again chosen a word. This continues to be one of my favorite traditions - recognizing that each word stitches itself into my being - continuing to unfold, but God always takes the word I've chosen to focus on and waters it and nourishes it so that I am never prepared for what it has to teach me.

Selah. 


Selah is a Hebrew word, it's meaning debated. But it is usually thought to be a musical instruction to pause. It is found in the psalms and in the book of Habbukuk. I think it's a beautiful reminder to stop and reflect. Let what you're reading, doing, seeing actually sink in. 2016 will be about pausing - go slow as the world continues to grasp for lightspeed. To pause as days seem to slip by faster than ever. To encourage mindfulness, intentionality, compassion - all things I tend to run right over in the attempt to hurry up. Which mostly leaves me irritated, hungry and bone-weary.

To help my focus and attempt to embrace Selah I want to do another picture-a-day project. But this time I plan to take a picture of what I'm sipping each day. It is incredibly rare that I don't have at least one steaming beverage a day and I like the symbolism of pausing to make a cup of tea or savor a cup of coffee. It's a natural pause - heating water, steeping, sipping.

As December bounces along, I wish you lasting peace and joy and a very Happy New Year!

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