Soulful Sojourning

I Choose to Simply Breathe. My Prayer for a New Year

Breathe .  .  .

It’s a simple word with a powerful intention.  Gone are the long lists of resolutions, gone are the goals and the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s. Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of lists and plans. There are grocery lists, to do lists, lists of things to buy, phone calls to make and bills to pay. My lists are typically much longer than my days.

This year I refuse to be defined by these lists. These lists do not prove my worth, my importance, my contribution. All those lists have helped me discover is that the longer my list the tighter the pain in my chest. I keep lists out of necessity because there are many demands on a day, many objectives in a week. It’s an essential part of being a mother, wife, writer, friend. My day is part strategist, coordinator, nurturer, and life organizer.

It’s a privilege to be my children’s mom. To hold their hands, listen to their fears, correct homework, find socks, turn their dreams into piano practice and robotics camp, nudge their friendships and feed their bodies, souls and spirits. As my oldest nears her teenage years I realize time is flying and these central tasks of my life will be over in a heartbeat. This year I made a list of all the needs that were on my plate and I prayed for the courage to cross off the ones that could survive without me. Honestly, only one really got a clean line through it. One idea I’ll leave for another year and another season. But this permission to be less gave me the gift of space. A little room in the schedule to seek wholeness, find renewal.

Last year was demanding. Portions of life overflowed and sucked dry all my good intentions. Simply surviving became the biggest need on the list. We’ve had years like this in the past, years that leave you weak kneed and weak hearted. Last year left a mark on my soul, it broke an essential part of my heart that desires to connect with others. Perhaps I over used it? Expected too much out of it? Simply didn’t believe that this part so central to my personality could unravel and fade away. Restoration now sits prominently on my list. This year was birthed in a deficit and it’s very clear that there needs to be room for being filled up, being fed, caring for my soul, body and heart in ways that honor God and brings life to my family.

A friend recently asked me if I had a vision for this new restoration. I was touched at the depth of her question and humbled to realize that I did. It starts with prayer and it spills into asking for help, admitting the needs and broken places. It rests on personal responsibility and prioritizing health, spiritual, physical, emotional. It’s remembering that all the little choices add up and become our legacy.

So today I choose to simply breathe.

  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”  Mathew 6:25-20

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The child of missionary parents, writing became a natural was to process my adventures across the world.

Ndjerareou means 'he who builds the road in Ngambai, Nate's tribal language spoken in Chad, Africa.

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  • Bon Appetite, Chris Morocco’s Spicy Sweet Sambal Pork Noodles .
Lazy Saturdays in our house we all gravitate to the porch or the kitchen. This morning I stumbled onto the Bon Appetite channel @bonappetitmag (think YouTube meets one of my favorite food magazines.) Editor Chris Morocco used simple ingredients I keep on hand and slowly built this layered dish that includes 8 cloves of garlic, giant chunks of ginger and a 1/3 of a cup of Sambal Olek (chili paste.) It was refreshing to see the technique bring out the flavor over hard  to  find specialty ingredients. Fresh basil from the garden helped too. I substituted rice noodles instead of Ramen b/c it was in my pantry but seriously this dish was SOO good and was probably $8. I promised my 13 year old I’d teach her to make it and her future roommates will think she’s a god. It’s like the best comfort food. Think Asian version of mom’s spaghetti. #thankyouChris  #adventuresinthekitchen  #thefamilythatcookstogether #noodles #fortheloveoffood #simplefood #goodfoodfeedsthesoul #sambalolek #lazysaturdaycooking #cookingtogether
  • “The greatest products of architecture are less the works of individuals than of society; rather the offspring of a nation's effort, than the inspired flash of a man of genius...”
Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
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. 
We grieve with the people who’ve lived in the shadow of this powerful monument. #notredame #ndjerareoujourney #sosad #heartbroken
  • Who’s your favorite dinosaur?? Dino’s Live at Texas Live today for Cubs vs. Rangers #gocubs #welovetherangerstoo  #dinosauradventure #dinosaurs #texasrangers
  • Happy Birthday Isaac! Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our boy! Nerf obstacle training course & operation piñata rescue! It’s a joy to see them all enjoy each other. Sophia nailed the cake and was a fantastic Nerf Drill Sergeant! (Nice to know they remember all the effort your pour into home made birthdays and return the love—her enthusiasm is best gift she could give her brother—he wears sister out playing but I’m so addicted to their laughter! My heart is full!) #happybirthdayisaac #nerfparty #homemadefun #marchbirthdaymadness #marchbabies #nerfornothing #gratefulforcousins #gratefulforfriends
  • “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” -Coco Chanel
Thank you Auntie Kirsten for helping me teach “How to be fabulous lessons” to Sophia for her birthday. We invested in self-care and the gift of friendship. It was precious time of laughter & luxuriating!  #howtobefabulous #brunch #spaday #shopping #macaroons #fortworth #girlsday #giggles #smartgirlspracticeselfcare #stickwithmesweets #grateful
  • Spring Break 2019 in the books! Thank you Arlington for a restful staycation. @freeplayarcade @urbanalchemybar @babeschickendinner @utarlington We explored our local UTA planetarium, the new Central library, perfected our pinball game at Free Play and loved spending family time at our favorite local food spots. Now back to real life! #groan #ndjerareoujourney #springbreak2019 #arlingtontx #staycation #texas #familiesthatplaytogetherstaytogether #notallwhowanderarelost #gettinglostinourowncity #gettinglostinourbackyard #readwithme
  • Happy Birthday Sophia! Joy in its purest essence is watching your child take flight and grow in the Lord. Very thankful for the lovely, feisty, tender, persistent person you’re becoming. Fly baby, fly! #ndjerareoujourney
  • Kindergarten Shenanigans! Happy heart day from our family to yours! Now to burn off all that sugar!!