A new year just recently rolled in! And with it, new hope, new goals, fresh expectation. As the old year rolled out, I also let go of things I didn’t need. I let them roll right out like an ocean wave.
One of the things 2021 was already teaching me was my need to release and let go of pressure.
Life is full of learning and growing and changing. And most of my life I’ve felt like it’s a big hurry-up process with some place to get to. Some days, frantically looking for a destination only to get there and realize there’s still further to go. In the process of the pressure to get there and change, do, become, I startled to realize how it was coming out in my parenting. Gahhh. Don’t you just love when those ‘aha’ moments show up and you realize what’s going on in the soul is being mirrored in how you parent?
It wasn’t a good feeling when I realized a couple months ago that all the hurry and pressure of my soul to ‘quickly do and get somewhere’ was being mirrored in almost exact proportion in my parenting! Getting out the door, household chores, daily routine, character building…all of it tended to be laced with this hurry up! Let’s go guys! Pressure. Ugh. Somehow, I’d missed the memo that the journey of the soul IS the destination, and it is to be savored and enjoyed! Not pushed and pressured and rushed.
I’ll say it again because I need it myself: ‘the journey IS the destination.’ After receiving that memo from a spiritual father while in conversation one day, some of the pieces started coming together as to why my own children couldn’t be restful and peaceful when it came to family life and building of character. I told God, ‘I really want to change and let go of this piece. Show me what the new is and I’ll trade out this old pressure for the new!’ I told Holy Spirit I was more than ready to partner with Him in the upgrade Father had for me if He’d show me the way. And so, we set off! It’s been a joy! A decision I don’t regret!
As the landscape of my soul began to change in that area, the outer began to follow. I would catch myself trying to get the children on board with schedule or plans or training and start saying, ‘Hurry up! We need to…’ and immediately catch myself—stop, start over, omit the hurry up part. The atmosphere changed dramatically as I kept removing unnecessary pressure on myself and my family. Life is more fun, enjoyable; relationships delightful. Is it taking practice and intentionality to change? You bet it is! No worthwhile depth and growth of character comes easily overnight. But ‘He who began a good work in me WILL complete it.’ Always. And while He does that, I get to enjoy the relationship and savor the moment as I accept the journey and ever-changing landscapes of the soul.
So, wherever you are today in your journey, take heart! God is not wanting perfection. Or lightning-speed from us to get somewhere. He’s just wanting my ‘yes.’ Your ‘yes.’ He’s inviting us to savor the journey and enjoy relationship with Him there. There is no destination; just the journey to enjoy. Embrace that. Live in the moment fully aware of His presence right there with you. Go slow.
Turn your face towards Him often and just soak in the warm golden rays of His love shining on your face.
He is with you! He is for you! And that right there enables you and I to just stay in the moment and enjoy the journey. It takes the pressure off when we realize He’s not in a hurry, pressuring us to ‘get there already.’ When I can live in that reality and receive the gift of personal relationship with Him, I am filled with incredible grace and joy for the journey. Which in turn is what I give my children and everyone I come in contact with! So go ahead, Love, it’s okay to breathe deep of that grace and His presence. Hold it. Savor it. And exhale all the pressure and hurry-up of the soul to do, do, do and get somewhere. Turn your face towards His a little longer—a lot longer—a lot oftener, until it becomes the living, breathing reality of your life.
There are moments I forget. I get tied up in an anxious ball of pressure, hurry, and worry. But He is gracious! The minute I hear the gentle prompting of the Spirit to just turn my focus to Him and give Him the pressure of the soul, He is there with His peace giving me HIS wisdom and perspective in the moment. My anxiety dissolves and my heart calms. Not a bad trade off I’d say! And a much better gift to give my kiddos who are also each on their own journey. Today, I get to say ‘yes’ to enjoying the journey, ‘yes’ to letting His face shine on me in 2022. And that is what I hope to share with everyone He lets me connect with in this beautiful new year.
Be blessed and happy 2022 y’all!!!
January 6, 2022
by Vera Smoker
Hi there! I am Vera, blessed wife of one and mom to three wonderful little people who make my world go round. I am an unashamed lover of Jesus, passionate about authentic relationships rooted within the identity that comes first from my relationship with Him. I’m a lover of good books, fat journals, sunsets and sunrises, long quiet country walks, and time with my family around campfires or on our front porch. Growth and mentorship are high on the list of values for me and I always thrill when I get to celebrate the wonderful journey of growth and discovery with others. The Hubs and I both love hosting so come relax with us sometime and we will chat the time away and connect over a good cup of coffee or chai!
God Made All of Me Matching Games
This set includes 16 matching games each featuring 4 vibrant real-life images with life-giving identity statements. As children place each matching card on the corresponding photo, they are speaking out words of truth and life over themselves. For non-verbal children, allow them to match the card as you speak the words over them. This fun and interactive set is perfect for engaging your little ones as they use their brain and their spirit to learn, grow and love life!
What He Plants Will Grow
My 5-year-old has been so intrigued with seeds! For the space of several months now every time he eats a fruit or anything with a seed, he meticulously sets aside some of those seeds to plant. We’ve had conversations about seeds…and more conversations about seeds! He knows he will get what he plants when it’s harvest time and that excites him. It’s a dynamic law of nature and science that can’t be reversed. And so, he plants away in all good faith that whatever he plants will grow!
Summer is in full swing and everyone has been enjoying it to the fullest here on the farm! As a wife and mom trying to keep up with the demands, I often find myself asking the silent inner question, ‘Okay God, what character trait of Yours do You want me to lean into...
The Greatness of the Present
Gah. It’s good. The end of the week is almost here and I’m tired. But it’s a good kind of tired. I’ve been challenging myself to ‘stay present’ more lately and while it definitely takes more emotional energy, it’s been so rich. It’s easy to stay glibly present in good moments, but the hard ones? Those are the ones I have tended to run from.