So, Your Heart is Beating, But Are You Alive?
So it all started when the snow unexpectedly began falling in those big, snow globe flakes. We didn’t really see it coming during our weekend visit with my family. 3 inches of snow fell in 3 hours while Josie was napping. All of it was glorious (especially the napping toddler).
When she woke up, we thought our thrill would be to help her experience her first round of snow tubing, being pulled behind my Dad’s Kubota (utility vehicle). Turns out, she wanted to love it but didn’t appreciate the snow flying up in her face. So off she goes to warm up inside while my sister and I got pulled (and whipped) around for more than an hour, through the yard, accidentally through the field, on the country road, and eventually in the ditch. I’m pretty sure we giggled most of the time. And as you can see from the pictures, my mouth was in that goofy wide-open, I’m-a-kid-again smile. Pure joy, my friends.
The discussion that followed afterwards with my sister was centered on the realization that what we had just experienced as adults was more fun and exciting than when we were kids. Probably because our fun to stress ratio was a bit lower when we were barefoot girls on the farm, finding adventure building forts in the tree line by our house or jumping into the hay piles in the barn.
But whatever happened that Saturday afternoon on the tube really struck a chord with me. I began to think through all of the other things that make me feel ALIVE like that. Of course, I’m an adventure junkie and LOVE to go fast on roller coasters and jet skis, I’ve jumped off cliffs and out of a plane (though that was one and done for me). Camping, hiking, and traveling.
But what else, in my daily life, makes me feel like I’m really living?
Here’s what makes my eyes light up and my heart beat a tiny bit faster:
- Radio Theology – being on the radio has always awakened the storyteller in me, and I’m so so grateful that every week I get to share real-life and usually-hilarious stories of faith, hope and love to tens of thousands of people in Central Indiana.
- Writing – yep, doing exactly what I’m doing right now. I love sharing my stories in blog-form. Not only does it help me process through my junk, but I hope my vulnerability helps other mamas somehow.
- Singing – in my house, in the car, in any public bathroom I’m alone in because the acoustics are AMAZING. On a stage with a mic in my hand.
- Running – speaking of making my heart beat faster! Running has been my favorite form of exercise and emotional relaxation for the past 6 years.
- Dancing – I’ll be the first person (and sometimes only person) and the last person out on the dance floor. I don’t have super amazing moves, but I shake what my mama gave me with the best of ‘em and don’t care at all how I look doing it. (Shameless plug: I will be your party-starter. So, if you’re getting married or throwing a party and worried people won’t dance. I’ll be there.)
The list may go on and on for me. And I guess I count myself lucky because I know what these things are for me and I do them all regularly. To fill myself up. To get outside of my job, my mothering, my Netflix-watching and to a place of joy and peace.
My hope for you is, whether you’re a mama in the trenches of raising littles (like me) or a mom of teens (read: chauffeur), that you haven’t put aside all of the things that fill you to the top for the sake of caring for those around you. You are worth every bit of effort and time it make take to discover or rediscover your joy! And every bit of sacrifice to be able to make those things happen regularly in your life.
Not sure where to start? Try this:
- Ask Yourself: Take a few minutes of solitude to think back to the last time you felt alive and truly joyful, even if that moment was fleeting.
- Ask A Friend: Ask someone close to you to start paying attention to when you get excited as you talk about something. Maybe they already know what those things are!
- Ask God: Ask God to show you those moments of joy throughout your day so you don’t miss them! Life moves by so quickly, especially days of laundry and diaper-changing that you could just be missing moments by speeding through your to-do list and praying for the children’s bedtimes to arrive.
You deserve to be fully alive. Your kids deserve a mom who's living. Your hubs deserves a wife who is full of joy.
Maybe it’s not snow tubing or any sort of adrenaline-type activity at all. And maybe that's for the best, because that kind of sounds exhausting. But find it, friend! Whatever it might be for you. Chase it down and then protect it with all you’ve got!