It’s that time again: BLOG TIME!
Welcome back to our CraviAwesome blog!
Here in Eastern Washington/ North Idaho, the weather has been COLD but beautiful.
Social media has been littered with praises and complaints about “record breaking snowfall for the month of February.” I would be lying if I said I haven’t tapped my foot and crossed my arms at the weather. Icy sidewalks and pregnancy don’t get along!
We feel a huge transition brewing in the weather as Spring approaches, and in my belly as Resa is only 1 month from her due date!
We’ve ordered baby gear from various websites and had packages delayed or damaged due to severe weather and human error. It’s small disappointments like these that can remind me of a greater disappointment- the loss of our first baby, even though we are SO excited for the future.
Have you had a disappointment so deep, that it tints your view of life a little darker? In my experience, unmet expectations can build a defensive barrier around my heart.
A divorce or death in the family, a group of friends torn apart, a job lost, or maybe just distance from loved ones can thicken that barrier if they're not properly addressed.
It can feel like I’m just waiting for something bad to happen even when I’m waiting for something good. To combat that fear, we love our lost one.
We think of him often and remember him always! One practical way we chose to do that was a maternity photoshoot with our good friend Susan Johnson (https://www.cdabirthphotographer.com/).The only date that seemed to work out happened to be the second anniversary of Anthony’s original due date (February 2nd). Sue did us the honor of photographing us with Resa’s shoes, stuffed toy, and alongside her big brother Anthony’s memorial stone.
That day was sweet music to my heart. We got to celebrate Resa and remember Anthony. I could’ve stayed frozen in that moment forever...especially because I was without a jacket for about an hour! BRR!
When we choose to redirect the love that would go toward those we have lost to God instead, we have seen light break through our darkened vision and new colors come shining through. A beautiful rainbow of promise becomes our focus.
(If you’d like to give financially toward our journey or give Resa a gift she can have forever please check out or photo registry with CDA Birth Photographer)
Practicing the Presence
You might remember, in January, we learned a bit about the spiritual discipline of “Detachment.” This month's discipline is called “Practicing the Presence,” and it is a doozy- precisely what we need to grow in as we wait for Resa, Spring, and even our packages!
The idea behind “Practicing the Presence” is to disrupt the normal pattern of life and allow myself to become more aware of the reality that God is constantly with, around, and within me.
It’s based on the biblical concept that, with “stillness,” we can begin to sense God's presence and a divine exchange can take place. Fear can be traded for peace, repentance for righteousness, and even sadness for joy. Whenever I’ve spent time doing this kind of thing, I seem to forget about my stressful agenda and find victory where I least expected. Sometimes these moments even lead me into super passionate times of personal worship to God!
Calhoun’s amazing handbook on Spiritual Disciplines gave us some really helpful prompts to activate this skill. She quotes C.S. Lewis’s book Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly of Prayer by saying,
“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito”(72).
The whole idea of God being ever present and wanting my engagement is hard for me to imagine. I don’t feel worthy of, to be honest. As I employed her tips of practicing fix hour prayers and daily or task related prayers, bringing myself back to the remembrance of God’s presence in my life, I noticed that I haven't dealt with nearly as much anxiety during the day!
When I wake up, I have begun saying, “Good morning God, good morning Kyle, good morning Resa.” It actually clears my mind and cultivating gratitude first thing in the morning! It opens up a dialogue with my three favorite people and reminds me that I am loved.
Another practical way that I’ve embraced this idea of practicing the presence is going to bed early and waking up early with Kyle (while I still can!). Thanks to a very helpful vlog by “Pick Up Limes” on Youtube, I’ve begun some great scheduled habits like waking up my body through stretching, then listening to calming music and the Bible. I try to learn something new everyday and engage with at least one person in a meaningful way.
Instead of breaking plans, I am making them because they are plans I’m excited about. It feels dignified which is the opposite of insecurity!
Speaking of insecurity... let's talk about money.
Growing up, I experience a sense of shame in desiring things, guilt in spending, and buyers regret afterward!
Patrick Annotti brought a powerful sermon to Real Life Post Falls (link) that spoke about King Saul’s Fear Of Missing Out aka #FOMO. Patrick asserted that fear is often the motivation behind a hurried lifestyle and that nothing truly good will come from a hurried life.
I knew by the almost physical sting in my chest when he spoke about it that many if not most of my choices haven’t been out of a joyful heart that wants to live a full life, but more out of a fearful one that doesn’t want to “miss out.”
By jumping the gun and trying to provide satisfaction and comfort for myself (through spending money), I have probably missed countless intended provisions from God!
We have resolved to look critically at our motivations and I already see how it’s decreased my fear of spending and impulsive buying habits. We are learning the balance of feeling afraid but then choosing to trust God and wait on His timing.
This #FOMO thing is huge as I become a mama, too. Missing out on doing the things I could do before or looking a certain way are two fears that have been projected onto new moms like myself.
I'm so glad I get to choose to say “no thanks” to that fearful mindset and say “yes please” to all the fun and timely changes that come as Resa does!
So how about you? I challenge you to KonMari your motivations! Make a big pile of them and look at them one by one, deciding if they spark joy or just feed fear. What things are you afraid to miss out on? Remember that this is a “no judgment zone” and every feeling is valid.
We can’t wait to hear back from you!
Don’t forget to comment or email us and start this conversation about “Practicing the Presence.” Thank you for walking with us through all the ups and downs and for taking time to read about our journey. We love you and are praying for you.
God Double Bless,
Mrs. CraviAwesome + Resa
Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook. ReadHowYouWant, 2015.
Pick Up Limes. “HEALTHY MORNING HABITS » Printable Checklist.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 Apr. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx_veZygQkU&t=74s.
Patrick Annotti's Sermon, Game Changers Part 3: http://www.reallifeministries.com/page/1788?Item=267