Taking a Breather

Thank you all so much for your prayers….they made a huge difference!  The pace I have been running the last few weeks was something that I used to do all the time – but after learning so much this last year about slowing down and being present and savoring the quiet moments, I have really discovered that when I hit that pace again, my breathing gets faster, my heart starts to race, my anxiety level starts to rise, I start to get angry at the kids, and I am a slave to my to-do list, and I DO NOT LIKE IT. So, this weekend, in an effort to change where things were going and to get off the merry-go-round that never stops, I deliberately took some time off (having kids not at school and Ed not being home made it not optional!), I spent time with friends, practiced self-care, and spent some time with Jesus. While this week is just as crazy, something inside me feels so much calmer. So here are some pictures of the moments that saved me.

This is my friend Joscelyn. I have known Joscelyn since college, she was in our wedding, I was in her wedding, and we have done pretty-ok at keeping in touch and remaining intentional to see each other. We used to do excellent at this and then multiple kids between us happened. When she messaged me and said she was going to be in NYC at Columbia University for a conference, we made sure that we made a priority of getting together. Dinner at a ramen restaurant, dessert at a cookie shop, and lots of talking was just what the doctor ordered. I love how it is so easy when we get back together and we can just jump back in like no time has passed. Thanks for fitting me in to your schedule, sweet friend!

With Ed at a discipleship class all day, I ventured with all the kids (on the bus!) to a friend’s house and then to a park with said friends. We had a blast in the WARM (finally!!) weather letting the kids run around in green space and catching up on life. It is rare to find friends where all the kids get along well and will switch off playing with each other, not to mention the adults really enjoy each other. I rewarded our trip there and a fun morning by taking an uber home 🙂

During our staff meeting Friday morning, we had a guy named Doug come and share with us about the things he has learned doing ministry with Jewish people for many, many years. He also brought a guy named Scott who is a messianic Jew (meaning He is a Jewish person who believes in the Messiah Jesus) and has a really fun story of how the Lord brought him from darkness to light and opened his eyes to the truth of Jesus.

I have a HUGE heart for this Jewish community the Lord has placed us in and we are finding that ministering to Jewish people can be challenging for so many reasons. It was so humbling to hear from them the things that have been done to the Jewish people by Christians and even mis-steps we can avoid when ministering to them. I could have heard them share all day long about how they have seen the Lord move among Jewish people and the things they have learned along the way. We are praying the Lord allows us to establish significant relationships with some Jewish people in our neighborhood in the next year.

Sunday, I was supposed to help a friend move but figured out the Lord had different plans when I woke up with my back hurting again (it has been hurting on and off through the years but I have been having more issues with it lately and carrying kids up and down subway steps and around town and in carriers is not helping at all). While I was bummed not to be able to go, it was a sweet reminder from the Lord that I needed to spend that day resting with my family.

And check out this picture….this happened this week:

One of the ladies on our team texted us at 10:30 at night with this text: “Hey, there’s a fire in our building. We’re all okay, Courtney and I are shaken up. We had to run through smoke to get out. I’ll keep ya’ll updated but please be praying. I’m watching as flames pour out of a first floor unit.”

Thankfully, all three of the ladies we know who live in their apartment were fine and none of their stuff was damaged. But, it did cause major damage to the building and definitely confirmed my fear of “what if a fire breaks out?” It is so crazy that when you live in an apartment building, you are depending on all those who live around you to do things safely so that nothing happens to any of you.

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