The Spiritual discipline of pulling away


I got hungry for their faces today, in the middle of my workout in the garage.  It came upon me suddenly like the crashing of the wave that took my children under at the beach last week.  And I ran to them through the whitewash, to find them laughing, unharmed, faces speckled with sand.  And I ran to them this morning, and found them criss-cross-applesauce around Legos, singing Jungle Boogie. Working out on my solitary machine is a discipline, not because it's exercise, but because it takes pulling away and doing something healthy for me.  And that's so hard. But it's good and right and balancing, like dropping anchor. It's the spiritual discipline of pulling away, so that I can rush back to them refreshed and ready.

I wish I had a formula to give you, packaged pretty and ready to be applied to every home, family, and unique brand of busy life.  But I can barely figure it myself, this pulling away and checking in with me, then dashing back to find them happy with their Legos, their Daddy, their Nana.  But they are... happy and safe.  And the healthier and happier and more grounded we are (Physically, Spiritually, Emotionally) the better we are for them.


Here are 3 daily exercises

to help grow our roots down,

so that we can raise our branches high

to support the fruit we've born.


1) Do something for your health -

This can be as simple as drinking a glass of water before every meal, stepping on your treadmill, or calling your dentist to set an appointment for a cleaning.  This can be the walk to the mailbox, up and down the driveway a dozen times instead of one.  Or making snack baggies of veggies and almonds for later today.

one appointment set.

one treadmill stepped.

one healthy snack prepped.


2) Do something in your home -

Forego the mound of laundry, this isn't about the dishes in your sink, only find a place you think is lovely and inviting.  It may be in the presence of your children or all alone in the empty guest room where everything smells of linen and lavender and Grandma.  Sit in the chair you never sit in, but chose specifically for it's comfort.  Sit there long enough to recognize the need for a rose, then go pick it from your garden, or pen it on the last line of tomorrow's grocery list.

one moment.

one chair.

one rose.


3) Laugh out loud -

It's the gift we give our husbands, this saying yes to laughter, and we give it to the children who dance to our laughter's lyrical, "I love you."  But today I invite you to laugh for your own heart's health and happiness.  So, take a deep breath in each day, and be all there with your children, him too, in your guest room and your garden.  Be all there in the laundry room when you find marbles in their pockets, and laugh out loud, spilling over gratitude.

one laugh

one marble.

one gift.


Wendy Speake — Welcome To My Living Room


For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. (2 Timothy 4:6)


Pulling away only to rush back in, daily like the tide.  Morning and evening, high and low tide.  Like a rhythm that becomes a habit, a way of life.  This expected pulsing in and pouring out feels safe.   Dropping anchor and pulling it back onboard.  Returning so easily as though you were never gone.  Gone for a haircut, as they played with friends.  Back from the doctor for your annual check up.   Thumbs up, you're healthy.  Out for a coffee with an encouraging friend.  Back in with fresh bread from the bakery. Nourished and nourishing.

In and out like the tide.

Tell me now, what did you do for your health today?  What did you do in your home for the sheer pleasure of being at home?  And can't you, will you, won't you... laugh out loud?  Close down your screen, find those little ones and chase them like the wave upon the shore.  Rushing back in.