I said a hesitant yes to swim team and with one word I lit a match to my quiet mornings, writing time. It felt scary. A different brave.
I’m not even the one getting in the pool each morning, swimming until long after dark. And yet somehow, I am; treading water, trying to find a rhythm, refine this awkward new stroke.
Discipline is both my strength and weakness. I can meter a routine like no body’s business but am left with a clunky form of vertigo when the plan gets rattled. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s personality, maybe it’s the 4 kids (and 4 kids worth of housework) that fill the nooks and crannies of time and space, but I don’t pivot as quickly as I would like to.
I am an old dial-up internet connection, complete with unfavorable stalls and funny noises, in a super speed wifi summer.
Maybe you are feeling this too?
My first response was to flex.
When life pushes, we push back harder, right? I quickly negotiated options in my brain.
I could stay up later. Although I don’t really like later. I make less and less sense, later and later.
I could write in the crack time, the fringe moments of my day. Although, that feels forced. I’m not casual and natural with crack time. I get all aggressive and focused and grab a sledgehammer and start creating my own cracks. (Not advisable).
I could form a new schedule, writing in the afternoons or evenings on slower days of the week. Except, this is summer. This is the season where we get to say yes to swimming more and yes to traveling more and when we do come across a slower day of the week it’s nice to keep it slow. Slow helps me catch up on laundry or a book. I don’t want to trade in my few slows.
My second response was to whine about it.
Yeah. I wish I had a more biblical and righteous and endearing step two for you here, but this is the real stuff. And my husband gets the brunt of this beauty. All of the “what was I thinking?” thoughts spill out behind closed doors and he remains mostly quiet. Because he is wise and knows my heart. He is keen to my method of processing and without pointing it out (again, wise), he understands that a quickly lit match to my quiet mornings, even for a short season, requires a bit of dying to self.
But a few weeks into our summer, I land here.
This is a short season. A sweet one, if I can see it for what it is rather than what it is not. So much sweetness depends on our seeing, doesn’t it?
I have a swimmer who is growing in and out of the pool. I have a front row seat for what God is doing in his life, how he is growing his own brave, and would I trade that for more quiet time in the mornings? More minutes in front of a computer? Not a chance.
The real fruit He is growing in this season shows up less frequently in a post or on a page, but more in my perspective.
It takes courage to cultivate what is in front of you rather than resist it, rather than wish it looked a little different.
It is brave to embrace a season, a story, a life, that is different than you hoped, planned, or expected, with a wild faith that it is still good.
Courage is choosing gratitude for what is different, having patience with your own slow learning and remembering that His grace is sufficient for our slow pivots.
It is wise to number our days, to invite Him to continually shift our perspective, shift our gaze, make us more like Him.
This is the formulation of faith, the building of brave, in the averageness of our daily lives.
It is messy. There is tension. But I was reminded today, that music is created in tension. Isn’t that a beautiful reminder?
So I’m stacking up stories in bits and pieces over here, making scribbly notes in all my places and trusting that when this season slows, really truly slows, when long and quiet mornings return, there will be time to tap it out on the screen.
And in the meantime, I will choose to see the beauty of this wild and crazy season.
Waiting is brave, friend. It is cultivating hope in His timeline, not ours, trusting fruit is growing in unseen places, uncomfortable places, we barely recognize. It is believing and living out that belief.
This is summer here. And it is good.
I hope yours is as well.
This post originally appeared IChooseBrave.com and was republished with permission.
Katie Westenberg is a wife and mother to four, who is passionate about fighting fear and living brave. Married for 15 years, she lives in Washington state, enjoying life outside the city limits and any adventures that involve friends and family. She writes at IChooseBrave.com encouraging women to fear God and live brave.