31 Days of Brave: Showing Up

Nourish is working on a women’s conference for next year – most of you know that already. When Shaunna and I began daydreaming about what the conference would look like, what kind of speakers we wanted to invite to join us, what kind of topics we wanted to discuss – we just felt like She’s Brave encompassed all of that.

We use ‘brave’ a lot in our interactions with the Nourish community.

Have you ever sat with someone as they shared something deeply painful or shameful or guilt ridden or secretive?

I have. And at times, I’ve been the one doing the sharing.

There is a quiet, still, kind of holiness in those moments. A build of tension, where fear is almost palpable as this person begins to speak their truth. This moment is when a lot of people shut down or shut others out. We become scared of facing truths with someone….unsure of what to say, how to react. Will our facial expressions give us away when they tell us what they’re about to tell us?

There is no doubt this fear is exactly what intercepts an authentic, real relationship between two individuals. If we let ourselves be known, will we be rejected?

Within Nourish, we challenge ourselves and our groups to explore this more. What does true acceptance look like? What does it look like to let someone speak their truth and be met with love? What does it look like to sit around a table with 7 or 8 women who are different in personality, age, background, lifestyles and feel accepted?

We’ve had some precious, scary, hard, redemptive moments around our tables.

It isn’t a perfect formula. At times we’ve stumbled, made mistakes, messed up. At times the message of acceptance gets muddied or lost. In the spirit of honesty, I myself have had moments that I have handled incorrectly despite my best intentions.

We are learning to love regardless. To say sorry, to hold a hand out and pull someone else up. To forgive and to understand.

And that’s when the brave comes in. It takes some courage to be a part of this community. You have to commit to a dinner group where you may not really know someone. Then you have to show up and hang out with women who are different from you. And if you really want to get the most out of Nourish, eventually you’ll have to share a little bit of who you are. And once you do that, we hope you’ll keep coming back. And to keep coming back to a group of women who are getting to know YOU takes courage.

But we hope it also brings comfort and relief: to know and be known – to love and be loved even when it isn’t easy.

My heart has been so touched, my soul so encouraged by the women who show up every month, yearning to be brave and fighting through the fear of letting someone else know who they are.


So proud of my girls who show up each month, ready to be brave. 

Interested in attending She’s Brave 2016? Buy tickets HERE.


What’s up with She’s Brave?

14 years, 7 months and 5 days ago I became an unwed mother.

It’s been a winding road since then, full of self discovery, mistakes, heartache and pain but there has been plenty of sunshine, happiness, joy and celebration as well.

And yet, I spent so many years feeling like an outsider, an oddball, less than…

About 6 years ago I felt God nudging me to reach out to women because most of them felt the same way. Perhaps for different reasons, but what I came to know was that there are a lot of women struggling in silence. Avoiding sharing their true selves because of guilt or shame or feeling like they were the ‘only one’ who felt the way they do.

Addiction.
Eating Disorders.
Depression.
Abortion.
Anxiety.
Rape.
Molestation.
Exhaustion.
Infidelity.
Broken marriages.
Single parenthood.
Infertility.
Single-hood.
Loneliness.
Fear.
Hopelessness.
Overwhelmed.
Heartache.

Have I named something you, personally, have struggled with? I personally have been affected in some way by addiction, infidelity, single parenthood, a broken marriage, feelings of hopelessness and being overwhelmed, heartache and exhaustion to name a few.

Is that embarrassing to put out there? A little. But I know that there are many of you who are dealing with the exact same issues I am because you’ve told me. And there are others who are struggling with things I’m not, but I also know you’re not alone.

Something that has become very clear to me is that women who are united for Christ are a dangerous force. The enemy knows this, and he desires so much to drive a wedge in between the meaningful relationships that we can have with one another. Not only does he try to attack our families and marriages, he wants nothing more than to drive a wedge in between our friendships by making us feel as though we can’t share ourselves with other people. When we feel like no one else could possibly understand WHO we are, we begin to isolate ourselves from the very people who could help lift us up and help to heal our pain.

It began as a nagging thought in the back of my mind as I noticed the women’s conferences going on around me. There are some amazing ones that address finding your purpose and how to be a great mother. There are conferences about how to be successful professionally and conferences about being a Christian.

What we felt was lacking – or at least not as easy to find – was a conference that said HEY. HEY YOU. YOU AND I ARE ACTUALLY THE SAME!

 I’m depressed and I feel hopeless or I can’t take my children for one more second today and I feel guilty. I’m sick of being single and I’m so lonely. I had an abortion and I feel shame. I’ve been betrayed in my marriage and I feel heartbroken. I was abused and I feel so much fear.

It started as a daydream, a fleeting thought, a hope, a yearning to provide a safe place for women to talk about the hard stuff without dwelling on it – a place to be vulnerable and hear other women share their painful stories and walk away feeling hopeful because suddenly they realize they aren’t alone.

When Shaunna and I started Nourish – we hoped on a small scale our monthly dinner groups would become a safe place for women to discuss tough stuff alongside celebrating the joy to be found in day to day life. And that has happened in so many ways. But we also daydreamed about a culmination of all those dinner parties happening in the form of a conference. For women involved in Nourish and women who aren’t – to come together in one place and look around the room and feel brave.

The She’s Brave Conference is the very heart of what Nourish is about. It is about being vulnerable and showing up to a place with a lot of other people you probably don’t know. It’s about looking around the room and saying to one another “You’re not alone and you matter”. It’s about safety in numbers as we begin to peel away the layers of armor we have put on to protect our hearts.

It’s about finding the joy that can come with releasing the shame and the guilt you feel. It’s about acknowledging that none of us are alone and that together we can become an amazing, beautiful, powerful force for good. It’s about standing up to the mean girls stereotype and refusing to buy into it. It’s about forgiving the friends you’ve had that have hurt you and betrayed you and finding hope in community again.

It is, at the very heart, about encouraging each other.

Tickets are on sale now! Early Bird ticket purchasers will get a discount, but those are limited availability so don’t wait!

We know it’s expensive. We know it’s an investment. We promise we aren’t making a dime off this conference. Truth be told, Shaunna and I will end up footing the bill for some of it ourselves. That’s how passionately we feel about what we are doing.

We hope you’ll join us. You’ll hear from some amazing women including a Q&A and meet and greet with Momastery’s Glennon Doyle Melton, and from author and blogger Sarah Mae.  You’ll hear from other talented local speakers that are women just like you and me. We truly want this to be a conference that sets you free.

For more specific info about what is included in your ticket price, please visit us on our website. You don’t have to be a current Nourish attendee to come but email us at nourishclt@gmail.com if you’d like to get involved with one of our monthly dinner parties.

Come, be brave, be filled up, and rest in the knowledge that you are seen, known and loved…just as you are.

What a Privilege

Sometimes, wow…I seriously love my life.

Y’all. This week has been hard. From start to finish (and it’s not even over yet!) It’s been hard physically, hard emotionally, hard spiritually, hard from a parenting perspective…

But in the midst of my exhaustion and moments of fear and doubt, God whispers to me that He’s got this.  Why do I fight that so much? Why do I doubt?

I went to bed about 2 hours ago – and have already been woken twice by little people in utero and out (ha) My mind was working overtime and I picked up my phone to see messages that had poured in after our Nourish Friday night dinners ended.

By the way, for all of you who attend or host a dinner, this is probably my favorite part of the weekend so keep reaching out to us.

I read messages, I scrolled through pictures and I just burst into tears.

My heart is so full.

I am so thankful.

Women of Nourish, I haven’t even met most of you! But my gosh…You. Are. Inspiring.

Thank you for being brave and for showing up. Thank you to those of you who open your homes and welcome in strangers. Thank you to those of you who leave your house or work on a Friday or Saturday night and step into the new and the unknown.

Thank you fighting back against the stereotype that all women are mean girls. Thank you for taking a risk.

6 or 7 years ago, working with a large group of women like this would’ve been the last thing on my mind. If you’d told me about Nourish then, I’d have laughed in your face.

This passion we have, for seeing each of you connect and be part of something…I just never would have seen it coming.

Shaunna and I – we don’t know what we’re doing here. We just felt God had put this passion in our hearts so we jumped. We are figuring this out month by month, day by day. If you knew how much we talked about you, prayed for you, thought about you – well you’d probably think we were crazy stalkers. But really, we LOVE each of you.

It isn’t easy keeping tabs on a group of women that spans across the city, that isn’t focused on any particular group or church or religion or age, etc. It makes my head hurt sometimes, worrying that we’ve dropped the ball on something or missed someone or something or hurt someone’s feelings accidentally. Have we been too churchy or not churchy enough? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken in a panic in the middle of the night sure that we’d forgotten to respond to an email or put someone in a group.

But as each month passes, one thing I know for sure – God is placing each of you in your group for a reason. He is orchestrating your lives, your friendships…He is weaving together a beautiful and rich story of love and acceptance and Shaunna and I get to see it happen. What a privilege.

I. Love. You.

xoxo

Why Does Nourish Work?

Last year when I wrote this post about my desire for a community of women that was authentic, so many of you responded with your own desire for the same thing.

So, a friend and I listened. I sifted through all the comments and private messages and we prayed and thought and decided how we wanted to proceed.

We presented a CRAZY idea.

We wanted women to get together and…have dinner.

That’s it. Just dinner. Ok, maybe drinks and something chocolate too if you insist. But mostly? Dinner.

No forced discussions, no book studies, no bible verses to read and memorize. It wasn’t going to be a group for young women or old women. Not a group for moms or singles. Wouldn’t matter if you believed in God or not. The only way we intended to organize groups was by location.

It was risky, so we were told. No common denominator? No big goal? No mission? How could that possibly work? Why would women jump into a group with strangers and open up?

And to be honest with you, we didn’t have all the answers. At all. We stammered and stuttered and confessed we weren’t exactly sure but we DID know this is what we were being led to do. God was in control of this.

June is our 5th month meeting together as a community and growth has been amazing.

Obviously, we are where God wants us to be because it’s kind of as baffling to us as it is to you that this concept is working. But in addition to the whole God thing, here’s what I’ve discovered as I sit around the dinner table with other women.

We are all fragile in our own ways. There isn’t a woman I’ve come across in this process who isn’t insecure in some way, broken in some way, afraid in some way and dying inside to share her true self without fear of rejection. This is buried so deep in who we are as women, and it is screaming to come out.

When we presented this idea publicly, we tried to make it pretty clear exactly what it was about. And because of that, women have come to this group ready and willing to be open about who they are. They know they don’t have to hide behind discussions or books because there isn’t any of that. We are all here because we all want to be real. Shaunna and I worried that because we were planning monthly dinners, it might take months and months for bonds and friendships to form. But that fear has melted away as these things have happened in many cases by the FIRST meeting.

Because so many women have come ready to share of themselves and be vulnerable, a quick bond is formed. I don’t even know how to explain it other than – when one person starts and shares, another person feels like they can share, and then a domino effect occurs and suddenly everyone has been very open and vulnerable and no one dares mess with that. Somehow, so far, everyone seems to understand that this is a little golden pocket of community – a really special and sacred place and please, please do not destroy it.

As women, we’ve all been victim to someone backstabbing, lying, gossiping or competing with us. We’ve done it, and we’ve had it done to us.

I’m so BEYOND proud of this community because we strive to break free of those stereotypes and live in a way that is brave and free.

And when I say brave, I mean it. I have listened to women cry and discuss pain. Broken marriages, body image issues, blended family struggles, depression, suicidal thoughts, abuse…I am amazed at how brave you all are. And don’t worry, it’s not all hard stuff. At our last dinner, I laughed so hard my face actually hurt from smiling so much. And yeah, there were bras hanging from light fixtures (no, no one was drunk). We have FUN together but we do hard stuff.

Are we perfect at this? Of course not. Will there be hurt feelings at some point? Most definitely. We are women and we are emotional beings. It’s how we were created. But 5 months in, this community is growing in leaps and bounds and in the words of my co-founder Shaunna, “I don’t know how I haven’t known these women my whole life”

Me. Neither.

To all of you Nourish women: you make me laugh, you make me cry, my heart is bursting at the seams
wanting each and every one of you to experience true sisterhood. We can’t say it enough – thank you for trusting us. For jumping into an idea that a lot of people thought was crazy and going along for the ride. Thank you for being willing to set aside the temptation to be competitive, to gossip, to backbite, to judge. Thank you for looking at each woman in your group as an equal and taking a leap of faith in trusting each other. 

WE LOVE YOU FOR IT! Big things in store for you, Nourish. Big things. You can get involved by emailing us at NourishCLT@gmail.com

Hostess with the Mostest: Meet Holly

Shaunna and I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts where you got to meet some of our hostesses and members, to hear straight from them what Nourish is all about. We are kicking off this series with Holly! She has quickly become someone we just love and adore and think you will too. Can’t wait for you to get to know her.

Q. Hey Holly! Thanks for doing this – why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
A. I’m a 38 year old mom of 2 and stepmom of 2 that live with us half time. We are the modern day Brady Bunch of sorts, minus the Alice! (Sure wish I had an Alice) I got married at the wise old age of 19 and quit college.That lasted 6 years and I have 2 beautiful kids to show for it. I was a single mom for 4 years, and they were the toughest of my life. But I decided I wanted more for my life, whether I got remarried or not, so I went back to school and became a Nurse Practitioner. During my last year in grad school, my life changed forever when my 8 year old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was a whirlwind of a summer and I barely finished school but I made it and met my now husband shortly after. My son has gone through a lot, but he’s alive and well at age 17 now and stable according to the last scan (my, how time flies). I’ve been in Charlotte for 7 years now, came here after I met my husband online and fell in love. He is a chiropractor that owns a small business and I work both in his office and an outside job. We really don’t have a lot of time for hobbies, but in the last couple years I have made it more of a priority and we have taken up shooting guns. I attend a ladies night at a local range and I can’t tell you how therapeutic it is! I am a Christian and believe solidly in God, although I have strayed many times. I have run away from him, not the other way around. I was raised Southern Baptist but now we attend a great non denominational church. My husband was actually born and raised Catholic and left the church when he was 36 to pursue a closer relationship with God. I believe we are all here for a purpose and part of that is to be the hands and feet of Jesus and love one another unconditionally. I think the “church” can drive so many people away with their legalistic views, shallow and fake facades and part of the reason I love this concept is because it strives to break free from those chains.
Q. How did you get involved with Nourish?
A. I am Facebook friends with lots of different people, and one of those is a pastor, Robbie McLaughlin, who posted something on his page about being real and encouraging that thought. For many years I have felt out of place and frustrated because I see so much shallowness and superficial crap in every venue from church circles to female circles, moms at school, etc. So I posted a comment about how I felt like nobody wanted real and that when people see “real” they back away. He acknowledged my feelings and we were having a discussion about it when a Nourish member chimed in about Nourish and that it would be a great place for me. She and I did not know each other, but struck up a conversation and it felt so right. I was invited to the March dinner and I was ecstatic! I did not know anyone on the guest list, but reading the mission statement of Nourish literally made me cry because I felt like somebody else “got it!” When the week of the dinner came around, the host and her family got sick and had to cancel. After asking if anyone was willing to volunteer in her place, I took the leap and said “I don’t know a soul, but I will!” It was a great decision and such a wonderful opportunity.
Q. What about the concept of this community resonated with you?
A. Being real as a female in this world is so hard. From every avenue, from the time we are small girls we are told we need to be different. Just take a look at media, fashion, movies…we need this product, this item of clothing, this type of house, this type of education, I could go on forever. And never mind the Pinterest ideas for making the best, healthy, organic snacks for your angels. You get my point – but none of this is real! We are not always beautiful, not always nice, not always on time, our kids eat junk sometimes, our house is a mess, our relationships are strained in many ways because of this pressure we put on ourselves. The concept of Nourish resonated with me because I’m tired of it all! I want to be real. I want you guys to know that I sometimes lose my temper, my house is a wreck most days, my hair is not naturally like this and is 50% grey. I have to spend an ungodly amount of time on it to look this way. All these things, I am suspecting and taking a chance on, are things we all struggle with. And if one of us just stands up and shouts to the world, “I’m so tired of this! Can’t we just be real?” maybe others will hear and open their hearts too because they are not afraid.
Q. Tell us about your past experiences with trying to find a group of women who are authentic.
A. Ohhhh, this one touches a nerve! I’ve attempted to be a part of groups with my kids schools, groups at church, etc and never felt comfortable. I would reach out to someone, only to have her brush me off or not come through like she said she would. It really hurt me and caused me to almost give up. I have attended some local parties and never really heard anyone be authentic. I hated it! And I guess it showed because I didn’t get many invitations. I’m not very good at shallow, small talk. It’s like when you show up at church and everyone is saying hello and how are you and everyone says “good, and you?” when in reality we are NOT fine. We are broken and need help! Especially women, the pillars of our families, one of the most important pieces of the family unit and so influential.
Q. What do you hope to gain by being a part of Nourish?
A. I want to learn about other women, learn to share with them openly and honestly, to support one another, learn to be myself, laugh, cry, love and learn to be truly authentic. I want to show them that there IS a place you can go where you are loved and accepted, even if you are not perfect. Actually BECAUSE you are not perfect! It’s here, with us.
Q. To the woman on the fence about attending her first Nourish dinner, what would you tell her?
A. Go for it! Don’t wait! It will be the best thing you’ve done for yourself in a long time, I guarantee it!
Q. What about someone thinking about hosting for the first time? Is it difficult or time consuming?
A. Hostessing to me is a privilege and a gift. My kids are older and I enjoy giving the mothers of young ones a break. I don’t think it’s difficult because the women that come are only seeking acceptance. I tell people, leave the mask at the door! I enjoy trying to make my home a place like that and hopefully people feel that. I spend a couple of hours on Saturday getting ready between cleaning, shopping/cooking. I really should stop the cleaning part, I guess I’m a hypocrite! I’m a work in progress too, that’s the point of Nourish, to help us grow and support one another. To nourish one another in body, soul and spirit and band together as sisters on this amazing journey of life and womanhood. It doesn’t matter if your house is large or small, new or old. Love doesn’t care! When you are vulnerable, you open the door for others to be vulnerable and that’s what starts the chain reaction of sharing, learning and healing. 
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, Holly!

If you are interested in attending or hosting a Nourish dinner, please email us at NourishCLT@gmail.com

If you want community, you have to show up

At the beginning of this year, my friend Shaunna and I launched a new community of women called Nourish. The idea behind this community is for women of ALL backgrounds to meet monthly around dinner tables all over the city of Charlotte, in various homes. We envisioned a community of women who, without the stress of weekly gatherings, studies or books, would eventually build real relationships with each other. We envisioned laughter around a table of food, drinks and delicious desserts. We saw women opening up about who they were, who they wanted to be, what their dreams and hopes were and what their struggles and secrets were.

May marks our 4th month, and I am so excited with the growth we’ve experienced. We have more than quadrupled in size since we launched in February and the stories we are hearing make me grin like a fool from ear to ear.

So as we move into the rest of the year, here is what we want you to know.

If you want community, you have to show up. And show up, and show up.

What do we mean by that?

Life is crazy busy isn’t it? I don’t know about you but most days I feel like I’m drowning under the weight of all my responsibilities. Most of you know that I’m going through some really hard personal stuff. My husband and I separated at the end of last year, and have been struggling through some really crappy junk. I’ve got 3 boys at home and am pregnant with a little girl. I work part time doing some admin work and some social media work for a non profit organization. I’m in the process of obtaining the last of 3 certifications in health coaching and I’m the co-founder of this Nourish community. It requires monthly planning and we are looking forward to next year when we hope to launch a really BIG community wide event.

I’m so busy y’all. There probably isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel on the verge of tears from sheer exhaustion and being absolutely overwhelmed by life.

But what I know, and what I’ve learned – is that I NEED other people. I need support. I need laughter, and

friendship and I need to know that I have a few people I can talk to when crap falls apart. I need a break from my kids, and I need to give myself permission to just have fun once in awhile.

My personal struggle and temptation is to shut everyone out. I’m naturally pretty extroverted, but the more difficult my life feels and the more balls I’m juggling, the more I tend to withdraw and isolate. And in turn, that makes me feel painfully lonely, sad, and resentful of how easy other people’s lives appear to be. It’s a slippery slope friends, and it’s a really difficult thing to balance.

Can I tell y’all a secret? I LOVE my Nourish girls. Like, hardcore love and respect and admire each one of them. Our dinners are full of laughter and funny stories and also painful moments and even tears sometimes. But I come away from each one on cloud freaking 9 and looking forward to the next month.

BUT…but…but…when the next month rolls around, and the Nourish dinner weekend approaches I feel that same tired feeling…that feeling that tells me hey, stay home this time. Phone it in, say you’re too tired, no one will be upset. You can stay home, sit this one out, take a break.

This is a big confession since you know, I co-founded this community.

And truthfully no one would care if I took a month off. If I stayed home and binge watched Netflix or ate ice cream or slept. And I reserve the right to do that at some point as my pregnancy progresses because hey, we all need to take a weekend off from time to time.

But every month I have rallied and put on something other than pj pants. I’ve done my hair, put on some make up and hired a sitter. I take that mommy guilt and I shove it aside and I push down my exhaustion and I go to dinner with some of the most beautiful freaking women I’ve ever seen (side note: ladies please. can you show up looking frazzled just once? just for me??!! Haha)

And I am so encouraged every single month by these women. All of them bring such beauty and light to my life and all of them teach me a little something. And each time we meet as a group, we strengthen relationships and we trust each other a little more. Each time a woman shows up, opens up and says something she is scared to say and is met with love, kindness and support we are shoving aside darkness. We are saying to each other “You matter enough for me to show up tonight after my crazy week. You matter enough for me to kiss my kids goodnight and leave them behind. You matter enough for me to spend time making a side dish or running to the store for dessert. You matter enough for me to get out of my yoga pants and turn off the Netflix and get in my car to drive here. You matter”

Now, this does not mean that there won’t be months you can’t come. We know you have lives and commitments and sometimes there just isn’t a way for you to be there. And we understand that. It’s ok.

I want to say that again because this isn’t meant to be a guilt trip or make you feel like this is ‘just one more commitment’ to deal with. If this makes you feel burdened and resentful, this isn’t for you and it’s ok! But if you are someone really struggling to find community with other women we hope this IS for you.

And the bottom line is that if you want community, you have to show up. As often as you can. There will be months you can’t come – we DO understand. But if you can be there…Be. There.

Shaunna and I cannot tell you how passionate we are about what we are doing. How thankful we are for the women who open their homes monthly to welcome guests. How thankful we are for all of the women who are committed to coming out and being a part of this growing community. It’s AWESOME.

And we believe wholeheartedly that community is vital to our being. We are created for relationships with one another. In this age of social media, it has become far too easy to sit behind a screen and feel as though we have friends. But we are pushing each of you to close that computer and get into your car and show up for a dinner where you get to sit across the table from other women and learn from them. It is truly a beautiful thing, and something that cannot be replicated through a computer screen.

We have big dreams for this community and a deep desire to see women grow in relationship with one another. I believe that one of the greatest ways Satan destroys women is by making us feel as though we are not as good as other women. I believe women who are united are a force to be reckoned with and will do great things for the Kingdom of God. It is my desire that we stop seeing each other as the enemy and start seeing each other as sisters and friends and valuable gifts.

We hope you’ll join us. If you’re interested in being a part of Nourish, please email us at NourishCLT@gmail.com.

Nourish

If you’re my real life friend, you know that one thing I’m pretty passionate about is finding good, healthy food for my family.  I’m fascinated with learning about nutrition, different ideas about nutrition and how to eliminate the majority of processed foods from our diet.

But something about pregnancy makes me throw all those ideas out the window.  Well, not ALL of them – but a lot of them.  I’m way less ‘strict’ when it comes to what I buy at the store – and while I still stick to Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s and the farmers markets…you can find junk food anywhere.  “Organic cookies” are still cookies.

I find this pretty interesting actually – because you would think when you are growing a tiny human, there would be a stronger desire to nourish yourself better.  Especially during this pregnancy because I haven’t had weird food aversions or too many cravings, and I haven’t been sick.

But – I have been tired.  And overwhelmed with some life stuff.  And when those things happen, I find that my defenses are down.  My willpower goes to sleep and I can justify cookies from EarthFare because “THEY’RE VEGAN and made with ORGANIC CANE SUGAR”  True story!

On Saturday night I ran to the store and loaded up on fresh produce and avoided the aisles with the

‘healthy junk’ so I wouldn’t have it in the house.  I’ve been feeling ick, and I know I need to be nourishing myself and this baby better.  So for lunch I made a colorful salad with my homemade lemon tahini dressing and am remembering how much I love fresh food!

It also got me thinking about how to nourish my soul.  As a mother, a wife, a friend – it can be easy to drop the ball on taking care of that aspect.  It can be easy to become overwhelmed, tired and shut down.  To sit down at night and stare at Facebook or mindlessly watch a reality show.  I find the more overwhelmed I am with life, the less motivation I have to rely on God for support.

If you want a good reality check, think about where you spend your time and what you put your efforts towards in your loneliest, darkest, emptiest moments.

Where am I allowing myself to indulge, chalking it up to ideas like ‘I deserve it’?  ‘Just one of these ____ won’t do too much damage’

God is begging us to turn to him when we our defenses are down, when we are most tired, when it is easier to turn on the TV than to turn to His word.  Nourishing your soul isn’t easy – it takes time, commitment, effort – just like learning to nourish your body properly.  You can gloss over the hard stuff and feel somewhat ok about grazing on organic cookies all week but the bottom line is, a cookie is still a cookie.  And grazing on God’s word will only get you so far.  You have to dig into the meat, into the heart of Him and His desires for you.

Where do you turn when you are most tired?   Are you looking for someone or something to fix you, to fill up the void you feel or are you looking to pour yourself out, to give yourself to Him?