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(I don’t in any way want this to invoke pity. I hate that.)

Last night outside handing out clothes to my friends living on the street, I noticed that night was coming sooner than before. Summer is in its last hurrah. Crazy! The weeks have flown by though honestly the summer days have felt all too long. Too LONG. There’s been a lot going on in my mind and heart. I don’t know if I could wrap it up in words…it’s not wrapped up in real time yet. But it is time to write and process a little because it is time to choose life over carrying anything that prevents joy and peace and love. That’s for me. But for you, I want you to know that when you question, when you fold under, when can’t see through the fog, you are not alone. (Email me, I’ll assure you.)

Yesterday I read one of my favorite blogger’s (and writer’s) entry, and it was something that I had to share. Ann Voskamp pens the truth in one of the most beautiful, touching, and heartfelt ways that I’ve ever beheld. If you follow me on twitter (@practicingjane), you will see I tweet many of Ann’s posts. I finally started reading her bestselling book, One Thousand Gifts, and it is everything I thought it would be in how a life of thankfulness (she calls it eucharisteo) changes your life. Seriously though, it may be the cure. So all that to say I love her, and I think you should read her stuff, but THIS story is truly powerful: How to Really Live. You may need a few moments to soak it in and get composed again.

This line, this line made me write: “It’s time to be tired of being the living dead.”

There are burdens that happen because we are human, and there are burdens that we carry when we could lay them down. So I’m telling myself it’s time to stop living as one who has no life or hope or freedom. One of my favorite things my friend and gifted writer Allison G. guides her life by (asks out loud) and teaches other women about is the power of “living in freedom.” That my friends, I have not.

I’m here to say that it’s okay to not have it together. It’s okay if you’re broken. It’s okay if your heart feels weary. Your life will have hard seasons because that’s how we grow and are reminded that we are fragile humans and that we are not in control. But there are times when you (I) must choose to live and dwell in the present goodness of the Lord, surrendering all else.

Even through some rough days, I’ve been thinking about what really helps in seasons of weariness because I want to share something valuable, not the “pray harder” or “think about this good thing” very unhelpful kind of advice (all well-intended I’m sure).

  • Read the Psalms and hold onto any Scripture that you have memorized (Psalm 23 is one of the longest I know by heart but oh so rich).
  • Talk to trusted people who can listen to your heart and not preach.
  • Thad Cockrell‘s EP To Be Loved. I hadn’t listened to it in over a year, saw him perform “Great Rejoicing” a few weeks ago, and boy this album is piercing me all over again (in a good way).
  • All Sons and DaughtersSeason One. I just started listening to this duo, but seriously this album has been a beautiful gift.
  • Do something you love. Bake, hike, sing, draw, run, dance. And if you can’t figure out what you enjoy, think about when you were a kid and start there.
  • Get enough sleep.

Praying for the courage to uncover the life that got tangled and covered in burdens, insecurities, and fears. Because “it is for freedom/I am set free.” –All Sons and Daughters.

Do you have any other suggestions for weary hearts?