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“I’m not doing anything fantastic. I’m just trying to live well. Before chemo, living well was easy, effortless. I had freedom to move, hike, snuggle, and keep pace however I chose. Now, I’m sidelined, and feeling bad.”

Kara Tippetts~And It Was Beautiful 

It’s another one of those mornings. Heavy with dark and dreary. Rain, tapping its rhythm on the window, keeping time with the soft ticking of the clock. Biting wind blows fierce across our little ridge.

I sat on the edge of the bed, gulping gatorade, swallowing a sodium tablet. My first thought of the day, “Lord, you know how I hate the rain, how it muddles my brain. The cold, how it drenches me in pain. A biting wind rattles my bones, nearly tipping me over each time I open the door.” ~ Sigh~

My feet, not yet on the floor and already I am feeling less than enough. Complaining. Whining. Not one uttered thanks for a new day passes through my lips.

Was it just the other night, there shuffled in with the mail, I found this card? Words of love that reaffirm.

“I will love you forever, forever is a long time.”

My man, he knows me well. Each day I meet him at the door, hand him the leash for Lola’s long awaited walk. He passes the mail over to my greedy little hands. What better place to slip a small token of grace, an expression of love, than to tuck it in the mail.

Earlier in the day, I had a conversation with a loved one on feeling less than enough. How we perceive the sighs and looks as disappointment. Disappointment in who we are, who we have become. Not quite feeling whole or adequate in our “new normals.”

Honestly, I have grown weary in the over~use of new normal. I have come to think of it as my normal~abnormal.

Yes, I am blessed to be treasured and cared for in the most tender of ways by my man; but that does not change the fact in the dreary and hard, I feel he has been cheated in some way. He did not sign up for this any more than I chose it.

Most of what I thought defined me as a woman and helpmate has been stripped away. Redefined.

Am I enough? Enough in this different way of life? Enough when I am sidelined and cannot keep pace?

In her book 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit, Nicki Koziarz poses the question, “Will you let this place refine your life to make you a stronger woman?”

Refinement chooses me in the redefining. 

Some days I lean into it and surrender, others I fight it, toss around hateful words.

Fighting, robs me of strength. Surrendering meets me with grace. Makes me stronger.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2Corinthians 12:9~NLT

Grace leads as I find footing in the redefining. Mercy meets me in the refining.

No, Precious One, we are not less. Our stories, the wilderness we walk through, has grown us to be more. Strength, wrapped in softer quieter ways, has replaced all that we thought defined us. Made us better. Made us whole in ways we never imagined. Brought healing in raw places.

We found peace.

I suspect the imagined sighs and perceived looks are thoughts placed in our heads by the enemy. He’d love nothing more than to see us give up. Give in to the hard. To blame. To harden.

We are more, so much more.

In Him, we are enough. We are beautiful in the messy. We have found provision in the hard.

When grace seems out of reach, it finds us.

We are enough.

~Resilience~

Though bowed,

You are not broken.

Though stretched, 

You’re strong, my friend.

You are resilient like a willow~

You’ll find your spring again.

Though your branches

Now weigh heavy,

Your roots go deep and true.

This is just a change of season~

God has better plans for you.

~Sharon Hundell

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn

Other places you may find me…

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