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Concussion + Finding Balance

(This was written six weeks before it was posted. I'm slowly now starting to get back into life and the virtual world.)

At the end of April I suffered a relapse of my concussion from four years ago, and for the second time, God stopped me in my tracks and forced me to slow my roll. I was excited to spend time with my oldest son and agreed to explore a new venture. We went indoor rock climbing for the first time in years and when I missed a hand hold, a little jolt to my body and neck quickly caused all my yes's to became no’s and my to-do list to be put on hold. I am, once again, being reminded to be okay just being. Being ok when I'm not doing and going. Being okay when I’m not serving and helping. Being okay when I’m not teaching or creating. I have learned many times and often preach how God loves each of us just as we are. Now I’m being reminded how true it is. God loves me, and you, just for being.

I love to go, do, create, serve, and teach- it fills me up. And I believe God created me to do those things. But when I allow those things to be my identity and I’m not okay unless I’m doing them; they become a crutch and I know that I miss out on seeing and appreciating the gifts God gives me in the slow, quiet places.

Currently I’m writing this with pen and paper, as screens are hard for my brain. I’m lying in the grass watching my three baby bunnies explore the new home we recently moved them into. My cat has also decided she needs to lay on my paper, roll on her back, and purr for my attention until I run my fingers through her soft fur. The chickens are pecking around me in the grass, and the pond filter is slowly spilling water down the rocks. Listening to the birds, enjoying the sun on my skin and the grass under my feet is something I’m coming to love as part of my day. It’s something I’ve always loved, but often would forget to make a priority in my life. Not anymore.

The concussion I suffered four years ago due to a head on collision; literally my head and the head of a 17 year old boy collided when playing a game at youth camp; left me unable to drive, volunteer, work, or even fully take care of my family for over six months. It was a major time of learning to listen and obey God. I tried to keep pushing through the pain, but the more I pushed the worse I got, until I finally surrendered and allowed myself the time to heal. God taught me in that time how important rest and self-care is for our well being. And apparently God knows I needed a reminder when He allowed this recent set back in my recovery.

Over the last year I have slowly overfilled my plate once again and have overlooked my need to set boundaries with my time. I had a close friend recently say to me that it’s hard to hear me speak about the importance of letting ourselves rest when I’m one of the busiest people she knows. That hit me hard. It was true- again. I had forgotten, or chosen to ignore, my previous lesson from God. The lesson that I know helps keep me happy and functioning at my fullest capacity. The lesson I feel so passionately about that I consider it the mission of my life’s work: to care for our bodies the way God intends, so we can live our fullest life!

I feel sharing this with you holds me to some accountability. I am now working to reorganize my life to make and keep non-stressing tasks aka ‘selfcare’ a priority in my life. It is always hard to be told what to do and I am particularly stubborn. But when God wants our attention, I know it’s for good reason and I have learned over the years that it’s in my best interest to listen. My plan is to find the space in between crazy-busy and doing nothing and see how it feels. I know it will be a weekly or even a daily struggle of finding and maintaining the balance, but I know God will be helping guide me. I also pray this can be a lesson I don’t forget but continue to share and lead others to find their healthy balance as well.

Many of these lessons about rest are also included in our newest Faith Fueled Living Program, and I plan to practice what I teach!

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