The Purge Continues!

Happy March, folks! I hope this month finds you well! Over here, The Purge continues. My husband and I bid adieu to some of our most cherished possessions: books and records. This process has been so interesting because it happened in layers. We parted with no-brainer items first, and while it wasn't fun, we were able to be more detached and pragmatic about it. As time passes, thought, we've begun to dig deeper into letting go, thus increasing the intensity. This past weekend, we each sold or gave away things that meant something to us. Each item had sentimental value, and yet, we pushed ourselves to release it, pressing into the discomfort of separation. We found that this particular grouping represented a bygone era: our early days of marriage. Not too long ago, we were a couple of (barely!) twenty-somethings with the time to listen to records or sit down with a book any time we felt the urge. It was a beautiful, carefree time, but we don't need tangible proof because we lived it. Those precious memories are ours to keep, long after the stuff is gone.

Image via Twenty-Somethings


Becoming parents naturally means our priorities—and our free time—have drastically changed. For example, just now, I had to stop writing in order to tend to a screaming child who'd thrown up in his bed (and the floor and himself and his toys and...). It was super gross, but you know what? I wouldn't change a thing about my current season of life, even on nights like this. The more I unload possessions, the more I learn about myself. I feel blessed and humbled to have the opportunity to become better than I used to be. What a priceless gift that is!

So, here's to a new month. My prayer for March—and beyond—is to continue to evolve into someone I can truly be proud of.

Y'all, I've had a daughter for 10 months old, now, but I still can't believe it.
Love this girl with my whole heart, I tell ya!
Linking up with the awesome ladies of the Mommy Monday Blog Hop! If you're interested in joining me, please feel free to do so right here

The Revival.

This week went by really quickly, right? I'm not complaining, but sheesh! Anyhoo, I'm happy to be hanging out with the lovely folks at Kate Motaung's for Five-Minute Friday. It's the first link-up I ever participated in and I can't seem to get tired of it. If you're interested in joining the fun, head here for the (short) list of guidelines. 

Prompt: Visit

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When I'm going through something, I tend to recede into myself. I get quiet, disconnect, and put all my energy into whatever is challenging me. I don't know that it's particularly healthy to do this, but it is what it is.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago, right in the midst of My Hardest Season Ever, I agreed to host a get-together at my home. My mind was screaming, "What in the wide, wide world of sports are you doing, Dara?! You don't have enough space to have 4-5 couples plus their children in your house at once! And what about the kids' bed times, huh? And how will you feed all those people? E is working that night, so you'll be doing all of this by yourself? What is wrong with you?!"

I can't really explain why I did it other than it was simply something I needed to do. My spirit needed a change in order to guarantee a different result.

I, rather honestly, explained to the folks coming by that I didn't have much more to offer other than the house, water, and ice. Due to a sudden lack of funds, I didn't have the resources to host a gathering like I used to.

The response was overwhelming and humbling in the best way. Everyone brought something to share, creating the biggest, tastiest impromptu pot luck I'd ever seen. And afterward, while the older kids watched the younger ones, the adults laughed and sang and wept and prayed for one another. I have never experienced this level of outpouring of love, trust, humility, understanding, and honesty. People shared their vulnerabilities and were met with tender care rather than judgment. It was simultaneously a powerful unburdening and a sharing in each others' struggles.  

To call it a visit, though accurate, seems inadequate; it was a revival.  

Image via LoveGodGreatlyOfficial (Instagram)

The Breakthrough Has Begun.

I used to be so afraid of experiencing seasons of difficulty. I think that's a pretty common mindset because hard times are, well, hard. Frankly, being a human being can be downright painful at times. However, what I'm learning as I lean more deeply into my current stage of life, is that adversity really does create strength. In the last few months, I've managed to tap into a reservoir of resilience I didn't know I had...and that feels amazing! Instead of shutting my eyes and cowering in the corner, I am walking through this valley, looking squarely at my circumstances, and saying, "Okay, this is the truth of my past and present. Now, what?"

No more denial.

No more sugarcoating.

No more acquiescing.

In my 33 years on the planet, I've never asserted myself in this manner before. The breakthrough I've always wanted has officially begun.
 
Image via Cuded

What I've Always Wanted.

It's Friday and I'm actually finishing this Five-Minute Friday post?! It's a winter miracle! If you have no idea what the heck I'm blathering on about, head here for details. Have a blessed weekend!

Prompt: Open
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I'm a bit of a wallower. I'm not particularly proud of this trait, but there it is. I envy folks who can react to trauma with a witty retort and/or angry outburst. I collapse in an effort to make myself a smaller, less prominent target. I've found that I've used this method as a means to keep myself closed off, protected from future attacks. These days, I can see that logic in it, but see how it has kept me from truly living, as well.

Image via Sadie & Dasie

Thus, I have begun to leave myself open, running toward the eye of the storm rather than attempting to find shelter. It's downright terrifying at times because I am going against every instinct I've ever known and every worry I've ever constructed. Almost daily, I am facing one of my worst-case-scenarios, willing myself to really see my life as it truly is and not how I've longed for it to be.

Another reason to get my act together? This little gal right here. 

The secret I'm discovering, though, is that each time I do this, each time I take in the fullness of my reality, it gets a tiny bit easier. It's a muscle I'm not used to flexing, so I'm trying to give myself grace, but I can feel the growth happening. As I let go of the tangible items I thought I needed in order to live a successful life—bags, shoes, clothes, furniture—I'm an open vessel for the intangibles I've always wanted: strength, wisdom, joy, courage, faith, gratitude, humility, self-respect, love.

Image via PopSugar


Wordless Wednesday: Beyond Blessed

Lots of changes are on the horizon, but these four precious souls right here are a constant source of love, strength, and security. Beyond blessed to be riding through life with 'em.

Forgive the picture quality. I haven't been taking many pics with the "good" camera, lol!
If you're new here and have absolutely no idea what Wordless Wednesdays are, head over here to Mrs. Tee's place for more info on what it entails and how to participate. Hope to see you there!