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Hello Bravehearted Beauties! Has it really been two weeks since I’ve sat down with you? Hard to believe considering all the posts I’ve written in my head over the last few weeks! If I could download my brain on any given day, I’m pretty sure the words would stretch from here to Texas. And during this season of healing…double that!

I’m 11 weeks into this broken ankle recovery and am finally walking with only a small brace. I look almost normal, but the pain, swelling and stiffness are daily reminders that more time, therapy and ice packs are needed. My doctor says it’s a four month recovery at best. I’d pay him big bucks if he could say the same for my heart! {Wink!}

In the last 11 weeks, I’ve discovered countless parallels between physical healing and emotional healing. Unfortunately, a timeline isn’t one of them. Heart healing happens on its own time. There’s no clear end, precise protocol or predictable trajectory. No wonder heart healing can be such a pain! But here’s what I’ve learned about both the body and the heart through physical therapy in the last few weeks: there comes a point when you have to push through the pain to get to the healing.

Here’s the deal: I want to walk. And not just well enough to go grocery shopping or make a Target run. I want to hike. I want abundant life! I want to follow a trail through the fall woods, scramble up and down the hills, and hear the leaves crunching beneath my feet. I want to hunt for God’s love and glory all along the way!

{Remember this heart leaf I found last fall?}

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But to walk in a way that allows me to enjoy life and beauty to the full, I have to do the work and push through the pain of therapeutic exercises. When my physical therapist gave me a new exercise last week, I couldn’t do it. Not only because it hurt, but because my ankle wouldn’t flex or bend enough to let me step down. I was frustrated. Was it mental? No. My ligaments, tendons and surrounding tissue are still healing. My range of motion is limited. But as my therapist reminded me, the pain of the exercises isn’t going to cause further harm. It’s going to bring healing. But if I avoid my therapy just because it hurts, I’ll be stuck with a limited range of motion.

And so it is with heart healing. If you avoid, ignore or refuse to press into the wounded, painful parts of your story, you’ll be stuck with a limited range of emotion

I spent most of my life thinking a limited range of emotion was a good thing. Too much emotion scared me. Too much of anything felt out of control, unstable, unpredictable and unwanted. So I learned to control my emotions. {And worked hard to control my life.} I wasn’t a cryer and was proud of it. {In a house full of females, I think my dad was relieved!}

But over time, I’ve learned that a limited range of emotions isn’t the way I want to live. I’m not even sure you can really call that living. I don’t want to shove down the tears and ignore the pain anymore. Why? Because I’ve learned that our capacity to feel joy is directly related to our capacity to feel pain. And I want the joy! I want to laugh…and I want to cry. Learning to embrace opposing emotions has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in my healing journey over the last few years. I’ll never go back to being the girl who doesn’t cry. I want to live life with my whole heart!

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Here’s one thing I know about pushing through pain: you need a helper. You need someone who knows the way of healing. Someone who knows the difference between pressing into pain that brings healing vs. forcing something that will result in further harm. Someone who can see your pain and can sit with you in it, but doesn’t see it as your identity or your permanent place.

Sometimes you need a professional helper {doctor, counselor, therapist}, and sometimes you need a friend {one who’s entered into her own pain and isn’t afraid of yours}. And then there’s the best helper I know: the Holy Spirit. God is no stranger to pain, and by the presence of the Holy Spirit, He can enter right into your most painful memories or current situations with real power to heal. I can hardly believe all that He’s healed in me in the last 11 weeks! The broken bone is almost secondary compared to the deeper healing work God has been doing in my story. SO GOOD.

So whether you’re in need of physical healing or emotional healing, I think you have to ask yourself: am I willing to push through some pain to get to the healing? Do I want that deeper joy that comes with facing my deeper pain? Do I want the full range of (e)motion that God intended for me to enjoy? If the answer is yes, I think you’ll discover so much beauty in your brokenness.

Wishing you deep joy and a brave heart today,

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  • Amy Avery - Thank you for sharing this post Linsey! It’s something that really resonates deeply with me. I’ve thought a lot about you lately as I have just moved (about six weeks ago) from Knoxville, Tennessee to Charlottesville, Virginia. I’ve read back over some of your posts that you wrote after you moved from Franklin and have found them comforting knowing that my wide range of emotions I feel over our move are natural and ok. Thank you for always sharing your heart. I believe this is one of your best posts and really shows a contemplative heart and love for God.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Oh, Amy, I’m so glad you’ve found some comfort in those posts about moving. I hope you find a heart friend REAL soon! How encouraging for you to see this as one of my best posts. It feels so incomplete and only scratching the surface to me. I was wondering if it was even worth posting. Good to be reminded that we aren’t always the best judges of our own best. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

  • Jessi - Thank you for this post. I’ve been avoiding God lately … refusing to take the emotional risk of trusting him, hiding from my pain instead of facing him and receiving healing. I am struggling to believe that he sees and cares about my heart and the pain in my life. Your words encouraged me to risk trust.ReplyCancel

  • Rene' Taylor - Thank you for sharing your words of comfort. When I read what you wrote about “Pressing into pain…needing a Helper. someone who knows the way of Healing.
    Someone who knows what it is to press into pain that brings Healing vs Forcing something that will result in further harm. Someone who can see your pain and sit with you in it, but doesn’t see it as your IDENTITY or PERMANENT PLACE.The point you made is what so many people Need to hear in the healing Process. It positive reinforcement and a few kind, uplifting words goes a long way. Focusing on what is right with us and not focusing on what is wrong with ourselves is our way of helping and bringing hope and understanding. Some people tend to dwell on what is wrong with others too much and it is very destructive in uplifting someone that is already been through too much suffering. We all have different coping mechanisms. It makes all the difference in the World for someone to give us hope and not put salt on our wounds.Your words are a breath of fresh air! Yes! God our Father will show us his way, protect and guide us. From the words of Matthew & John “Come to me all ye that are heavily burdened and I will give thee rest”. Also, from the words of Mark” trust in the Lord, lean not always own your own understanding”. Thank you for your words of inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - You are an instrument of love, kindness, wisdom, and so much more. Praying you heal fully so you can do all those things you want to do. Our mobility really is priceless, much like all of our whole health is. Abundant life is appealing. While my ankle works just fine, my rising weight is slowing me down. I will take some walks this coming week. Maybe even a slow jog for a stretch. Thanks for reminding me I still want to do all those things too. Take care.ReplyCancel

Hello Beauties! I hope you enjoyed your long weekend. Don’t you wish three-day weekends were the norm? I sure do! I was feeling a little sad to miss out on a trip to Midcoast Maine over the Labor Day, but even after eight weeks of healing, my ankle wasn’t ready for boating, island hopping and heart rock hunting. I think this was the first summer I’ve missed in over twenty years. But I made up for it by creating a little comfort and beauty here at home!

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It’s been a long time coming! I first admired this porch swing at the Southern Living idea house back in 2013. {Funny that I was invited as a design blogger! I never really saw myself as one because of all the deeper heart things I shared, but beauty expressed through interior design has always inspired me.} Initially, I had my heart set on one of those awesome porch swing beds. But at the end of the day, I didn’t want to spend a fortune and didn’t want to make any of the design decisions required for custom work. {Decision making and depression don’t go well together!}

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Fast forward almost two years, and I was finally ready to pull the trigger on the “Sunday Porch Swing” from Ballard Designs. The $200 savings in April plus the fact that it comes with its own cushions finally convinced me. {Though I doubt these cushions will stay clean. I wish they were removable and washable like every other piece of furniture I own!} I love the way the Southern Living team wrapped the chains with rope. I may get around to that in a few years! Ha!

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{2013 Southern Living house.}

My handy husband assembled the swing, but threw a white flag on hanging it. Too many other farm duties that require his muscle power. So I had to find a handyman. Well, that took me another three months. And then, I broke my ankle the day after I contacted the handyman, so another eight weeks. That’s about how my design pace rolls these days. It’s almost comical! {I’m not telling you about the light fixture I finally selected for a hallway after three years of living with a bulb dangling down from the ceiling!}

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I tried to pace myself and took lots of breaks, but my ankle is pretty sore and swollen after sweeping the porch, laying down the rug, hanging the sign, and stealing the pillows from other areas of our home. I’ve had all of these items for a long time in anticipation of the porch swing, which means they’re all out of stock by now, so sources wouldn’t be helpful at this point. Nothing like a timely design post! {Another reason why I’ve never aspired to be a design blogger.}

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But to sit out here today {under a fan since it’s still pretty toasty outside} makes it all worth it. And over time, I’m sure all the time spent in this spot will make up for what I missed in Maine. Maybe I’ll place a few heart rocks on a nearby table. {I wonder how long it will take me to unpack the little table? Any bets?}

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{My once indoor console…awaiting the hanging of a clock above it.}

Oh, one decorative contribution my husband made to the porch: gin, whiskey and bourbon bottles-turned-candles. It’s like a Pinterest project for guys! All his idea. I don’t think I can reveal how many of these bottles we went through in three years. Lots of sharing people! Lots of sharing! Okay, and some coping. But lots of sharing!

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As for the rest of the porch, it’s pretty much the same since the day we set it up three years ago. {You can see that post here.} Once I get everything the way I like it {though lots of overthinking}, I don’t change it up very much. A new rug or pillow as needed….and an added accessory or two. But rearranging has never been my thing. Actually, change has never been my thing.

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But today, I’m actually craving a change. I’m ready for a new season. And by the fluttering and rustling of leaves on our country road today, I’m thinking that new season is coming real soon!

Bring on the beauty!

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P.S. For whatever it’s worth to those of you wondering how to decorate a screen porch, my advice is to view it as a continuation of your interior style. You can go more rustic on the outside {rougher wood and rusty metal}, but stick to the same style inside and out for a seamless feel. However, if you’re dying to change your interior style but don’t have the time or money, creating the look you desire on a porch could be an inspiring, affordable place to start.

 

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  • Tricia - It looks great Lins and I love the rugs out there!
    Miss you my friend.

    xo~
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  • Ashley - Just lovely!

    Sounds like you are on the mend and this looks like the perfect spot to recover strong.ReplyCancel

  • Lexi - That porch swing looks so relaxing! I had to laugh because I have those same RH outdoor pillows from years ago & still love them. What a peaceful and cozy space you have created! Thanks for sharing it with your readers.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - I remember buying those pillows for a great price on sale in the Houston store. Can’t find prices like that at RH anymore…even on sale. Love that you have them, too.ReplyCancel

  • Ardith - Truly gorgeous, all around, Linsey. I hope your ankle fully heals soon, so that you can enjoy the fall in all its walkabout beauty. Cheers, ArdithReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Thank you, Ardith! I can’t wait for fall beauty. Looks like I’ll miss out on hikes this fall, but I hope to get a slow walk n by October. I love the sound of crunching leaves!ReplyCancel

  • Alisha - I love this! So pretty:) Looks like a perfect napping porch!ReplyCancel

  • Bobbi - Love your porch! I really like your indoor/outdoor console table. Where did you find it? Thanks! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - I bought it years ago at an antique shop in Texas. The closest thing I’ve seen to it is from Wisteria. They have a catalog and website. It’s one of my favorite sources.ReplyCancel

  • chrissi - each piece is just so right. i can see days on that swing with the music of the house and all the ones you love. enjoy♥ReplyCancel

  • Rissy - Such a beautiful spot to enjoy the beauty of your farm and time with the ones you love Linsey- great job! Thanks a bunch for sharing!!ReplyCancel

  • Stacey - Beautiful!!! I absolutely love it and you did a beautiful job. It makes me miss Franklin! Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

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Hello Beauties! So much for getting back to the video last week! At this point, I don’t even know what I was planning to say. It changes day to day. Some days I feel chatty and ready to spill my heart out…other days, I just feel quiet. Over the last seven weeks, I’ve felt mostly quiet. It’s been a slow season, a deep healing season, a tear-filled season, a lonely season…and as I suspected, it’s been about a whole lot more than the healing of a broken bone.

But through it all, I’ve known the presence of God more intimately than any other season I can recall. I may be quiet, but He’s not! I hardly know what to do with all that He’s speaking. Do I write it? Do I speak it? Or do I just treasure it in my heart? All of the above, I’m guessing…different things at different times.

But today, on this first day of September, I feel like there’s a whisper He wants me to share “out loud” with you. In a nutshell, it’s this: presence over productivity.

For many of us, back-to-school season represents a kick in the pants, whether you have kids or not. There’s a palpable shift in pace this time of year, especially for women. Some of us give ourselves grace until after Labor Day, but then it’s time to kick it into high gear…before you fall too far behind and fear you’ll never catch up.

Sound familiar? For some of us, we don’t even know we’re doing it. But all of a sudden, we feel this pressure to knock out to-do lists, ramp up the exercise routine, clean up the signs of summer around the house, organize the stacks and piles, sign up for everything under the sun, and run the kids all over town for every kind of sport and activity known to man. Without even slowing to ponder if all of this is needed, we jump in with the masses and run the race we think is required of us. For awhile, this fast pace of productivity and busyness feels good…and looks good, too. Until you realize you can’t run like that anymore.

But as soon as you jump off the treadmill to catch your breath, you notice that everyone else is still running. And here you are, not moving at all. You feel both taunted and paralyzed by productivity’s lure. Sometimes paralysis wins, and now all you can see is another day without much to show for it. It’s so easy to look at how productive everyone else appears to be during this fresh new season, and to shame ourselves for not getting things done.

I bet you can guess which camp I might fall into with a broken ankle. Yep, shame. I’d rather call it frustration because shame sounds so…you know, shameful. But let’s call it what it is. That’s our only hope for healing…to tell the truth about ourselves to God and others…and to let them tell the truth back to us.

The truth is, there are things I want to be doing…ways I want to be productive. For starters, I’d like to wash the slipcovers…especially the one I camped out on for five weeks straight. And I’d like to move my body so I can lose the pounds I gained while lying on the couch. {God, help me love myself if those pounds are here to stay.} I’d love to declutter all the signs of summer that are stacked and piled in every part of my house. Or even better, I’d love to say I used all this down time to do something incredible…like write a book!

The truth is, all of those desires are really fine and good. Productivity feels good. Sitting on the couch every day does not. But when we feel like we have to do something in order to feel good about ourselves or should do something in order to avoid feeling bad about ourselves, productivity can become a merciless slave driver. What began as a good desire can quickly become a demand. And when we’re not meeting that demand, shame can creep in faster than a fox can steal a chicken! {There’s the farmgirl talking!}

But then there’s God’s truth…the goodness He speaks back to us no matter which end of the productivity spectrum we find ourselves in today. I love your presence. I value your presence. I look forward to your presence. If all you do today is spend time with me, that’s more than enough. Your presence here with Me is the only thing that’s needed today.

How hard is that to believe? Presence is the only thing that’s needed? Really? But isn’t productivity what makes the world go round? Doesn’t someone have to get things done? Wouldn’t the family fall apart if a mama sat on a couch all day and did nothing?

And God tenderly whispers, “Not if that mama is spending the time in my presence.”

And just in case you think I’m making this stuff up, God’s whispers to our hearts are always consistent with what He’s spoken in His Word. Just look at the Mary and Martha story to see what I mean. {Luke 10} Martha’s busting her tail to get things done while Mary just sits at the feet of Jesus. She’s practicing presence while Martha practices distraction. Martha wants Jesus to put Mary in her place. Surely every woman needs to be bustling around getting things done! But God. He always thinks about things differently. And this is what He said: Only one thing is needed. And Mary is doing it.

That one thing is presence. As much as this world, our flesh and our enemy try to convince us, productivity is not the one thing needed. It’s a distraction from the one thing.

In the last seven weeks, I’ve learned that presence is a practice. It’s not something that comes naturally, even when you’re forced into a state of stillness by a broken bone, bedrest or sickness. It’s not something that introverts do better than extroverts. It’s not something homebodies do better than adventurous souls. Because the truth is, we’re all prone to distraction, even it it’s just mental distraction while sitting still. Case in point: over the last seven weeks, I scrolled Facebook more times than I’d like to admit. We can jump right out of presence and into distraction in an instant. Distraction comes naturally to us.

But God so lovingly invites us back into presence…day after day, moment after moment. He invites us to lay down the idol of productivity with all of its demands and invites us to enjoy the freedom of being in His presence.

Practicing presence is uncomfortable at first. You may feel restless, agitated, unproductive, and if you’re honest, worthless. It will feel like nothing is happening. Nothing you can measure or point to anyway. For people who like to make things happen, check completed tasks off a list, or relish in the fruit of their labor at the end of a day, practicing presence will feel downright undesirable.

So why practice presence at all? Because it’s the one thing that’s needed. The only thing that’s needed. And if the One who made us says that’s all that’s needed, surely it’s worth practicing. Surely goodness will flow from this one thing, even if we can’t see the immediate results.

So how on earth do we start practicing presence? Baby steps. Just like bravery. Start with just a minute or two. Just you and God and your breath. He’s closer than your breath, so even if you don’t hear or feel a thing, you can lean into the promise that He’s right there with you. Want to feel something? I’ve been known to hold my hand up close to my face just to feel my breath. If He’s closer than that, He’s real close!

Another way to practice presence is through beauty hunting. This is my favorite way. You don’t need a fancy camera or stellar photography skills. Just hunt with your eyes and seek to find the beauty in the very spot where you’re sitting. Beauty is all around us, even in the most unlikely places. Taking time to notice and give thanks for beauty creates a sense of presence over productivity like nothing else I know.

Practicing presence over productivity with you today,

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P.S. I learned that if you sit still and present long enough, butterflies will consider you a safe place to land. This one stayed for nearly 30 minutes!

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  • Julie - Love this Linsey! The Lord has just begun speaking this message to me as well… So your words were confirmation and also like sunshine to the seeds that God had planted in my heart. You have a gift of writing. Thank you so much for sharing what God has been speaking to you. I appreciate the practical examples of how to be present with Him! Beauty hunting, feeling your breath, etc. Sometimes it can be hard to think of ways to be still with Him when we’re not praying or worshipping. Take care friend! ~julieReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Don’t you love it when God gives confirmation and repeats Himself so gently just so that we get the message? He doesn’t give us just once chance. Such a patient Father! I love knowing my words were like sunshine to the seeds. What a beautiful image. Thank you, Lord!ReplyCancel

  • erin - Such a beautiful message. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Becky Mullowney - Awesome post, Linsey! After the craziness of buying another house and getting ours ready to go on the market…I am more than ready to just sit and be still and know that He is God!ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Wishing you some really sweet spots of stillness with Jesus in your new home. I can almost picture it! (Congrats by the way.)ReplyCancel

  • Eden - I have never forgotten what a priest said at the funeral of a dentist, who had lived 17 happy years after a devastating stroke took his “busyness” away: “Remember, we are born human BEINGS, not human DOINGS. Being is enough.”ReplyCancel

  • Dianne - You were talking to me today! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Gracia @ Gracious Offering - Linsey, Beautiful post! As I was viewing all the photos on Facebook of the first day of school, feeling a little down because that season of life is long gone, your reminder that I can practice his presence (Brother Lawrence :))through every season of life was a needed one. Love your heart!ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - I can only imagine the sadness I’ll feel when that season is gone. A different kind of sadness than the feeling I get now. Just knowing that Jesus wants to meet us in that place is so comforting to me. We don’t have to do sadness all on our own. Hope you’re beginning to feel some crisp fall air!ReplyCancel

  • Rene' - Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom and showing us the beauty in your photo of the Butterfly so we can see these special gifts.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - Hearing the same words this season! But I have had a hard time acting on it because it takes courage to stop and be present when the world is telling us to go,go,go… Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts. Not feeling so guilty now for just being and enjoying the stillness.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - I love it when I hear the same thing others are hearing. Just makes the message all the stronger. And yes, it IS hard to practice presence and stillness in this fast moving world. But worth the courage it takes. Hope you’re finding some sweet still moments!ReplyCancel

  • jennifer - Thank you, Linsey. This is a timely post. I’m heading into a rare 4 day weekend. I will shorten my to-do list. The one in my mind, and the one on my desk. Not even sure if I know how to do nothing and just be still. God bless you and yours.ReplyCancel

Okay, y’all. This is funny. I was sitting on the front porch thinking it might be fun to connect with you through a video {crazy to call such awkwardness “fun”}, but just as I took a deep breath of bravery and pressed record, a big ol’ landscape truck pulled in the driveway. Thank God for the warriors who’ve come to slay our Jack and the Beanstalk-sized weeds, but I wasn’t about to let them see me talking to myself! Because that’s what it looks like when you do these videos. The only ones who get to watch me “live” are Aslan and the chickens!

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As silly and seemingly uninspiring as this short little snippet feels to me, I think it’s worth sharing because of what it represents: a baby step of bravery. Just pressing record at all felt brave today. It doesn’t matter if I didn’t say much…or if what I have to say on any given day makes a big impact. Sometimes the bravest thing is just showing up.

{Email subscribers: visit the blog to see the video.}

Remember my first video? I didn’t start out feeling brave that day, but one of you taught me how important and life giving baby steps of bravery can be. One of YOU inspired that act of bravery in me. One person’s baby step of bravery {delivering flowers to my door during a hard time} launched me into my own baby step of bravery {recording a video when I couldn’t find the words to write}. Who knew that bravery is contagious?

Never underestimate the power of a baby step of bravery. Not only because your baby step may inspire someone else, but because someday, all of those baby steps will add up inside of you …until one day, BRAVE isn’t just something you do, BRAVE IS WHO YOU ARE!

Actually, BRAVE is who you are TODAY. I know you may not see in yourself right now. I know you may not  feel brave in this moment. That’s why we need others to call it out in us. We need someone to call out what we can’t see in ourselves. I want to be that person for you today: the one who calls you BRAVE. The one who calls out what God sees in you…what He’s placed inside of you. He called me brave when I didn’t feel like it. That’s what He does. Because He sees you as you really are. Now you get to decide if you want to believe what He sees!

Maybe today, your baby step of bravery is just daring to believe that God calls you BRAVE. Don’t look for evidence in your past or ways to prove it in the future. Just see what happens when you choose to agree with what God sees in you in this present moment!

Celebrating baby steps of bravery with you today,

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P.S. Speaking of baby steps, I’m learning to walk again! After six weeks of broken ankle blues, I finally got to start physical therapy. It’s painful, but good. My youngest says I look like a granny the way I hobble awkwardly {feels like I have a peg leg!}, but I’ll take it. And besides, I adored my Granny, so I’m just just going to receive her funny granny comments as a high compliment! Anything is better than being on that couch. I may never sit in that spot again! Thankful for porch sitting weather this week…and a way to hobble out and enjoy it!

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  • Suzanne - Linsey- so happy to hear that you are on your way to recovery and walking again! I will be praying for you and want to thank you for being such an inspiration! Blessings! SuzanneReplyCancel

  • Dianne - So happy you made it to the porch alone. So disappointed you could not film an entire convo. I love your videos. Please try again soon. hugs!ReplyCancel

  • Inga - Glad to hear you are back on your feet! Take it easy now!
    You look and sound great in the video, no worries!ReplyCancel

  • Angela - Linsey, you are just too cute! I’m hoping to have a little more time to read your blog now that the school year is about to start! It’s hard to enjoy your beautiful photos and words when two young boys are fighting in the next room! I met a Sheltie last week that looked so much like your Aslan. She was such a sweet dog that it almost made me want think about adding one to our family one day. That is, when I could tolerate the dog hair!ReplyCancel

  • Jessi - I could feel Spirit’s presence even in your short video :). Your words and your videos are delightful and a big encouragement.ReplyCancel

Here’s what happens when you blink…

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7th and HIGH SCHOOL!

I’ve always been sentimental and nostalgic, but it’s been while since I’ve felt this emotional on a first day of school. I’m talking tears, y’all! And it’s not like I’m doing this for the first or last time! I checked over a few other first day posts {2012, 2013, 2014…wow they’ve grown!} just to see if this year is any different.

In some ways, this year is like any other. I’m never ready for summer to end and the school schedule to begin. I love our school, but I always feel a sense of loss when a new year starts. Sometimes I feel bad saying that, because I know there are mamas who can’t wait for this day. I have close friends who feel that way, and I honor their feelings. But I’ve always been a different bird. So what feels like freedom to a whole lot of mamas, feels like loss for me. And I’m okay with it. There’s room for all of us to have very different feelings about the very same thing. 

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Aslan might be sadder than I am today. He misses his playmates.

So why the tears? Maybe because I have a  high schooler and know how quickly these last four years at home will pass. It feels like just yesterday that I was the one starting high school! I was quaking in my ballet flats because I was entering a whole new world of intense academics, all new faces, and an unusual amount of wealth and privilege. I felt like a fish out of water on all fronts. {And then did something only a mom would think is cute: cut my hair crazy short and wore brown lipstick! Girls said they liked it…only to tell me how awful it was years later. Let’s just say…not a great start for a new girl.} I’m pretty sure my daughter’s first day of high school will be better than mine! She’s going in strong with long hair {ha!}, kind friends, rock solid faith and a school that helps her to flourish in her gifts.

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So is it 7th grade that makes me cry? We all know 7th grade is a hard one, even at the best of schools. But no, I’m not crying over it, and neither is she. Because the truth is, my 7th grade girl is absolutely equipped to thrive this year. She’s every bit as sparkly and shiny as she’s ever been, and even on her moody days, I can see that she knows who and whose she is. She’s a radiant daughter of the King, and there is no one else like her.

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Here’s a significant factor that’s all new to me: for the first time in a month, I’m on my own with this broken ankle. My sweet girls have made me breakfast, lunch and lattes every single day for the last month without complaint. Not to mention all the extra farm and house work they did while I was on the couch. For them, school must feel like freedom! They deserve it!

I couldn’t have survived the last month without my sweet girls. I still can’t walk, but I’ve got this geriatric looking knee scooter to help me get around. The basket is a huge perk! Not quite as exciting as the big basket I had on my banana seat Schwinn in the early 80’s, but it allows me to take a few things along with me as I move about the house.

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Also, thanks to the scooter, I’m off the couch for the first time in weeks. And friends, let me tell you, four weeks on the couch is not as enjoyable as it sounds. All that lying around feels too close to the days of depression, and hello…when all you do is eat and lie on the couch, your clothes start telling you it’s time to move! {You know it’s bad when your undergarments don’t fit!} And while learning to walk again feels painful and scary, I’ll do it if it means getting off the couch! {What I thought would be an 8-week recovery is more like 4 months. I had no idea. But good news: I can start physical therapy in two weeks!}

This post wouldn’t be complete without my first day of school picture:

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Now I’m laughing! My youngest snuck this shot early this morning. I’m wearing the Jackopierce tshirt I’ve had since college…with my geriatric knee walker in one hand and crutches in the other. I hardly know what else to say. At least I put shorts on? {I’m still wearing this as I type.}

So now that I’m laughing instead of crying, I can stop writing and let you get on with your day! I hope it’s a good one. And if it’s not, I hope you’ll find someone to be with, to talk to, to make you laugh or to let you cry.

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We can do this day, Bravehearted Beauties!

Lots of love to you,

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P.S. I think I’m going to pick up my phone and call a mama who just moved here two weeks ago. Her kiddos started school with mine today. I’ll never forget that new girl feeling. If you hear of someone who’s brand new at your school this fall, try reaching out with a phone call or email. Even if she’s an introverted homebody or too overwhelmed to commit to social things right now, she’ll appreciate being seen and noticed.

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  • Kelly - Hey there. I find it so interesting that 99.9% of the things that you write is so spot on with the way my life is. I remember a couple posts ago how you wrote something about how hard it is to fully love something to possibly have it walkaway. And then today you write about crying when your kiddos go back to school. OMG that is so me every year since kindergarten I sob. I think part of it is because all I ever dreamed about was having babies and now here I am and one is in seventh grade and one is a sophomore. And I don’t like the fact that they’re getting older and I’m getting older. Yikes!
    Anyway I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your honesty and your posts. God truly has given you a gift on how to touch other people’s lives!
    Maybe one day I can come to one of your classes at the farm. I moved here from Fairview Texas about a month and a half ago and I’m in Franklin now (ivan creek off peytonsville rd)
    Take care Braveheart of beauty!
    KellyReplyCancel

  • Gigi - Thank you, Linsey, for your real heart and for how you point me to Jesus. I am so sorry this injury has been so debilitating! You are brave and beautiful! Your girls are lights! Much love!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - I’m with you Linsey. The first day of school is an emotional one. My daughter just entered into the 3rd grade. It’s always hard to let her go from our loving embrace into the arms of another, even if it is only for 6 hours. We always look forward to 2:05pm each day when she can come back to us. I’m amazed at how similar our hearts are. I lack your incredible faith but am looking forward to the day I catch up to yours. Thanks for always reminding me to look towards God, to talk to Him often, and pray. I need that in my life. Have a blessed day.ReplyCancel

  • tara - loved reading this post.
    i cried ugly cries for days after my kids went back to school.
    who knows what made this year harder than others…i think, like you, i realize how FAST it’s going by. Luke is in 10th, Seth is in 7th, and Lydia is in 3rd. It’s going by too fast!!

    i haven’t read blogs in forever, and i’m so glad i came back to yours….gonna spend a few minutes catching up.ReplyCancel