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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My Insta-happenings

  • “Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn--that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness--that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.” -Jane Austen, Persuasion.
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#mainstayfarms #fall #takeawalkwithme #thoughtfulmoments #poetryinplay #wanderings #nofilterneeded #nothinglikefall #changeofseasons
  • “Being a daddy’s girl is like having permanent armor for the rest of your life.” – Marinela Reka
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This is the smile my father only shows a few people. It’s his silly, happy, smile, the one I see when he’s with his family (they make the same grin!) Honestly, my heart skipped a beat when I saw I’d caught it on camera. He’s a tender hearted man but making him laugh is like wings on my soul!  #daddiesgirl #loveyou #makingmemories #comeforawalk #letsgooutside #sunshineandlaughter #letsplay #grateful
  • Shenanigans with Nana & Papa! A little sunshine goes a long way. Our family was thankful for a way to play together while daddy was on a trip. We miss him terribly but the sheep races, zip line, swings, apple canon epic slides,  pedal go carts, hay rack rides and mazes helped. Thank you Nana & Papa for all the memories! .
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#mainstayfarms #pumpkinpatch #dst #letsplay #theyllsleeptonight #fall #texas #comeplaywithme #memories #farm
  • We voted! (Well one of us did!)The other learned a valuable lesson about civics and you’re never too old for a sticker. Last day for early voting!
. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 #vote
  • Wakanda Forever! Happy Halloween from the Ndjerareou’s #happyhalloween #blackpanther #shuri #allthecandy
  • “Your fears are real. You will fail. The critics will continue to earn their employment. For me, the joy far outweighs the risk of failure." -
@jonforeman
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Night of inspiration, celebrating all the risks creatives take for the simple act of touching another’s heart in sound, sight and word. Thankful I’ve found my tribe, one that pours all it has into the world and each other. Thankful for a community that values the power of expression and it’s ability to lift us out of heavy times, give voice to causes worth fighting or the joyful songs we sing to celebrate all that is good, human and beautiful in this world. .
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#arthousedallas #mytribe #jonforeman #arthouse #switchfoot #findyourvoice #tellyourstory #creativityforthecommongood #celebrate #joy #grateful
  • “Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain, 
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned, 
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand, 
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain! 
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne, 
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand 
Outstretched with benedictions o'er the land, 
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain! 
Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended 
So long beneath the heaven's o'er-hanging eaves; 
Thy steps are by the farmer's prayers attended; 
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves; 
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid, 
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!”
Autumn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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#longfellow #poetry #fall #pumpkin #mood #reflection #changeofseasons #enjoyingthewordsofanother
  • "I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable."
-Anthony Bourdain
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There’s a chill in the air here, it’s made me nostalgic. Once a year a try I to recreate the taste of my first soup de l'oignon. A French onion soup served in a little Christmas market at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. It’s been nine years but this weekend @thepioneerwoman recipe delivered all the nuance and flavor of that first, delicate memory. Maybe I’ve finally gotten wise enough to appreciate the importance of technique and time. Caramelizing the onions on the stove for 20 minutes, then in the oven for an hour, the flavors melt in your mouth. Invest in the Guyere, she said, and she was right. We found Paris, in our kitchen and a little bit of the glow of wandering, floated into our everyday. Here’s to discovery around the world and here at home. .
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#tastetheworld #surlatabletogether #paris #adventuresinthekitchen #thetasteofmemories #memories #warmfoodcoldday #greatfoodgreatcompany #takethetimetocreate #soupdeloignon #memoriesinthemaking #comeawaywithme #deliveradventureonerecipeatatime #thetasteofparis