Encouragement · moment of truth monday

Moment of Truth Monday

Whales intrigue me. Just ask my family, my favorite pastime is whale watching. Their behaviors and instincts fascinate me because they create amazing backdrops for life lessons. Whales follow a specific pattern {a rhythm, if you will} that I would like to emulate.

Whales feed in the cold waters of Alaska before making a six-week journey to Hawaii to mate, rest, and give birth. It captivates me that they know when to move from one region to the next. Talk about being in tune with the rhythm of your physical needs, and being cooperative with necessary environmental changes.

Did you know that whale-watching in Alaska is not ideal in summer? Unfortunately, that’s when I was there, and no one was going to convince me a whale-watching excursion wasn’t a worthy investment. So, we bought tickets, boarded the boat, and set off. I was eager for a dramatic breach moment, and I {definitely} came off much too enthusiastic for some in our party.

Sadly, not long after taking off in the open waters, the guide put his pin in my balloon by saying the whales were busy feeding to prepare for the long swim, and we would not likely experience a strong showing beyond a tail or two. While imagining dollar signs and dreams swirling down the drain, I developed a new resolve to spot a whale and defy the said norm. So, I started praying-which should be understood as incessant childlike begging. I know, but I told you I was overly enthusiastic about whales.

Twice. Two times I saw a whale breach on our excursion. Both times-I screamed in excitement startling the less enthusiastic passengers on board. Though they were in the cold waters feeding, and would soon begin their swim to Hawaii, I saw a whale emerge from the water! It was everything I’d hoped for and imagined.

Whales follow a rhythm. Feeding in one area, and then off to another for mating, birthing, and resting. They instinctively know when to begin the six-week swim from one region to the other. They adhere to this rhythm without resistance. It’s a picture of balance-rhythm without resistance.

I see a glimpse of this rhythm in my own life. With writing and speaking, I pour out for a spell and then retreat to a feeding place. In the feeding season, I consume non-fiction books at top speed, listen to more podcasts than I can recommend, watch sermons on repeat, and write my guts out. In the pouring out season, I teach a bible study in my home, speak at events, and write blog posts. I can only pour out for so long before it’s time to return to the feeding waters.

One season cannot exist apart from the other. Nourishment is required to sustain life. You must be fed to feed. Of course, there are innumerable times I stayed too long in the waters of pouring out. They are the months characterized by soul weariness, relationship strain, and martyr language. Times when I failed to be kind to myself because I was too consumed with earning approval and validating my own worth through works.

Are you floating in dangerous waters, friend? Don’t forget to move from the feeding waters. Maybe you are serving others to the point of personal malnutrition, but feel guilty about tending to your own feeding needs. Lean in, friend. Can I remind you we need both? Feeding our souls and feeding/serving others matter and both are necessary. Together a rhythm of balance can be achieved, but it is up to us to pay attention to timing.

I’ve heard it said that you cannot give what you have not received. Ruminate on that for a minute. It underscores the value of striking a balance between giving and receiving. Have you been feeding others through ongoing service and sacrifice, but find yourself longing to rest? It’s okay, friend. You have permission to do both.

#MomentofTruthMonday #GiversandReceivers #Balance #FeedtoFeed #RhythmWithoutResistance #SoulNourishment

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