Thursday, July 27, 2017

What is saving your life right now?

I've been absent from the blog for a while. I'm having a hard time making space for myself to write. I've been overwhelmed by travel for work, church commitments, and the typical day-to-day demands of a family of five. But one thing I've been making time for is listening to podcasts. They're amazing--I can listen while working or driving or cleaning or walking the dog. I learn something new every time I listen. My current favorites are Pod Save America, Lovett or Leave it, Pod Save the People, With Friends Like These, No Place Like Home, The Shauna Niequist Podcast, and For the Love.

Each week on Jen Hatmaker's For the Love podcast, she asks her guests the same question (originally from author Barbara Brown Taylor): what is saving your life right now? And each week when I listen I find myself answering along in my head. Though the question sounds a tad dramatic--my life isn't in any danger, after all--it's been a helpful mental health check-in. I'm not sure about you, but since last November I feel like the world's turned upside down and I'm still trying to get my bearings and decide how best to respond.

So, here are 5 things saving my life right now:

1. Cookbooks. I'm learning to use the food I get every other week from my CSA share so nothing goes to waste or the compost bin. I've been exploring how to incorporate a plant-based diet into my normal cooking habits and have been eating vegetarian for most of the summer. My favorite right now is The CSA Cookbook.

2. A new skincare routine. I'm bad at makeup. And I've struggled with my skin off and on since Ava was born. So I made a commitment to start taking better care of my skin and learn how to do a basic makeup routine. But of course there's a catch: everything I use must be non-toxic. My current routine is washing my face with Norwex makeup removal cloths and applying Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer with a Beauty Blender. I'm also trying to regrow my over-tweezed eyebrows by applying castor oil twice a day. So far, it's working.

3. Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea and Tranquil essential oil blend. These are my go-to items when I'm starting to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Works every time.

4. The West Wing. I started at episode 1, season 1, on November 9. It helps me remember that this country is greater than the person in the oval office.

5. Water. Being near it just heals my soul. I've been able to breathe in the waves of northern Michigan, Seattle, and southern Illinois this summer and I cannot explain why, but it grounds me every time.

What's saving your life right now?