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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Learning to Breathe Again

My precious daughter, Emma, my only child, started kindergarten a few days ago. The school we have chosen for her is about 25 minutes away, when traffic cooperates. She attended Preschool at the same school the past year and a half, but for the most part I drove everyday she had school and then kept myself busy for the three hours she was in school. We were fortunate to connect with another family, living less than a half mile from us, who make the same drive. We began driving together about once a week last year, in anticipation of truly carpooling this year.

 After driving/riding together the first few days of school, carpooling for real began this week. The first day I didn't drive, I felt a little lost. I definitely missed my daughter, but I am so sure she is in good hands, both on the drive and with her teacher, and I know this is the very best for her. I am never without a "to do" list and used the time productively, but I had this unexpected feeling of breathing deeply and freely for maybe the first time since my daughter's birth. It sounds crazy, but it is the best description I can come up with. I worked at tasks at my own pace, with a focus I just don't usually have when my daughter is nearby. It seems like, most of the time, when we are together, at least half my brain is processing where she is, what she is doing, what she might need and working at not feeling guilty because I am doing something other than giving her my full time and attention.

This was so different than that. It felt odd and wonderful at the same time. It reenergized me and replenished me in ways I had not expected. I was so excited and ready to see Emma when she got home. I had more time and the desire to focus solely on her for a while. I feel like I was able to be more fully present, not just with Emma, but in a variety of situations I encountered over the next couple of days. I wish I had learned to breathe again - more deeply, more fully - before now, but for whatever reasons, I did not, at least not with this level of awareness. Now that I have experienced it, I look forward to it. I am determined to revel in it and use these times to become a better mom, wife, sister, friend and person. Really breathing again, ahh.... Who knows what this season may bring. Whatever it is, I feel like I will embrace it and have the energy and the stamina to embrace it with abandon. Oh oxygen, how I have missed you.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Azimuth Check

Lost - That is how I have been feeling lately - adrift, directionless, getting through the days, one by one, but lacking intentionality.  My years in the military provide me a wealth of experiences and resources to draw from - an in this case I knew what I needed as an azimuth check.

When finding your way on land with a compass and map, you determine your route with two factors, direction, and distance.  The direction is expressed in degrees, which you then convert to an azimuth on your compass. So for example you may determine you need to go 500 meters at an azimuth of 240 degrees. You then pick some key feature or landmark on that azimuth and set out, keeping track of your distance by counting your steps and applying what you know your step measures.

If you try to go the entire 500 meters, without verifying your location along the way, you are likely to miss your goal.  So you do an azimuth check, or checks, along the way, to ensure you reach your desired location.  One degree wrong at 10 meters makes little difference.  But one degree wrong over 500 meters and you end up in the wrong place.

So it is with my life.  Every so often I need to do an azimuth check to make sure I am still on course  for the life I believe God has called me. In my recent azimuth check, I realized one of the things I have not been doing, that I feel is central to the life God has for me, is writing.  So here I am again, after way too long, sharing my thoughts through the written word.  It is baby step, but at least I am on the correct azimuth.