In which this is saving my life right now

I re-read a book recently, and the author wrote about how she was supposed to speak at an event, and when she asked which topic they would like to here her expound upon, they said, well, just tell us what is saving your life right now.

I could write big long theological treatise about the saving powers of my trees out back and the sound of the creek and the Psalms and ordinary radicals and the Gospel in real life with the real Church. Maybe a paragraph about accepting the gift of Sabbath, avoiding anything that starts with the internal monologue of “should” or “ought to” or “must.” A bit about learning to write a book, contracts, publishers, and a new tattoo I’m planning on.

I’d tell you about church shifts and theological conversations, about hope and mercy and a shrinking world, a flattening hierarchy, a wild gorgeous family of God. a sisterhood, perhaps something about boldness and fearlessness and goodness, shaken, not stirred.

I could tell you about recipe cards turned translucent from buttery fingers, and my homemade pizza, and then I’d tell you about constant prayer, about Twitter, open windows, clean sheets. I’d tell you about how I read way too late into the night, always novels, and pay for it in the morning but it’s totally worth it.

Perhaps a few pages about the tinies, and their wonder, their antics, their stories, their tragedies, about bead necklaces and sloppy kisses, hugged knees, dirty floors, sand in the bottom of the bathtub.  I’d tell you about having friends in my house, and plates of food, about drained tea cups and wine glasses tucked under kitchen chairs, and raucous laughter that wakes up the baby. I could write about friends and enemies, about thinkers, philosophers and poets, I could write about baby board books and Bibles and a french press. I’d tell you about this song, and how I sing it loud, and I cry every damn time. Then maybe I would spend a few paragraphs on the art of kissing.

But today, this is the one that is saving me, all over again, giving me a soul-picture of Abba and this daily life.  So yes, this moment, the one in the picture there, is saving me, when she smells like sunscreen and pool water, her eyes so heavy with taking in the sunshine, and she’s warm with the exhaustion of a good day, soft baby curls to poke my finger through, wearing her golden hair like a ring.

And she lays across me, we’re together again, my pulse slows down, and her lashes fan out on her cheeks, and she nurses and we sit in the silence of the end of the day.  I’m giving something to someone, every day, every day, every day.

Let me be singing when the evening comes.

So, now I’m curious: what is saving your life right now?


enough, Evelynn, faith, family

62 Responses to In which this is saving my life right now

  1. Charlotte July 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Right now, it’s Doctor Who. I started watching over the weekend, and I’ve been meeting people who also like the show, and it’s become an oasis in the stressful mess of my life.

    Oh, it sounds like you are quoting one of my favorite worship songs at the end of this post. :)

    • Shelbey Frias July 26, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      Me too! How strange! Its also saving my husband and me from a thousand disagreements because we want to get over it and watch the next episode. Unfortunately, right now he’s the only one I know in real life that likes it.

  2. Carmen Lillian July 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Blogs and “counting the gifts” always save my life.

  3. Chrissy July 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Beautiful…so beautiful….thank you:)

  4. karen huber July 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    love this… i miss that sweet time…

  5. Melani July 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    I loved that question from the book. Actually thought about it a bit a couple of months ago. It’s a good one to ask periodically.

  6. hopejem July 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    His grace is saving me right now. No, not the grace He offered me at the cross, I received that long ago. I am saved by the grace He is teaching me to give. I am being saved by the love He continues to pour on me, causing me to rest in His love for me.

  7. Deetz Whichard Hanna July 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Discovering this blog is really helping me a lot right now. It’s been one of those things that comes unexpectedly onto my radar and which lets me know how I’m feeling is not isolated to completely me. I think I’ve perhaps already left a comment to that effect on another post, but your blog is so pitch perfect to my life right now. Where I’m at spiritually, as a mother to two young ones… it helps to know that I’m not alone.

  8. Jen July 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Thanks, Sarah, for a lovely post, as always. The thing that is saving my life right now is the Avett Brothers album I and Love and You. In a period of my life when there is so much going on that I can’t process anything very well and I feel like I am just stumbling from one moment and one crisis to the next, that album gives my soul breath.

  9. Katie July 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Bless the Lord oh my soul…

  10. JennaDeWitt July 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Can the same thing that is saving you be killing you? If so, mine is the Christian twitter/blogosphere.

    Know what I mean? :)

    But seriously, the community we all have here on the interwebs, posts from you and Rachel and Ann and Sarah Markley and all the other lovely writers I follow, you girls bring it all back to grace, to joy, to eucharisto, back to Jesus when it seems like so many of our Family members are bent on hurting each other. Words wound, words restore, words tear us apart and words build up.

    Some days they destroy something inside me, all this hate, all this division, all this shame, all this side-taking.
    Other days they are fresh water, helping this little sister bloom into an eshet chayil as I see you all walk/write out your faith.

    I know I need “real” community. And I’m definitely working on it. But until God decides to open some serious doors into the hearts of those I’m trying to connect with “in real life,” this whole weird cyber-world is saving me. And some days killing me. But in the context of this post, saving me.

    • kim July 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm #


    • Louise July 25, 2012 at 10:49 am #

      I know what you mean…most days I wonder if I should spend so much time reading blogs, even if the content is fab. But then I find writers a whole ocean away expressing how I feel and I don’t feel like a total screw-up so i read on…

  11. Kim Van Brunt July 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    #1. I need to know about this tattoo.
    #2. I love your use of repetition lately. “every day, every day, every day.” It’s like balm, it feels like prayer, I can feel it healing me somehow. Probably because the post about the writers’ conference when you said “I believed them. I believed them. I believed them” is still ringing in my ears and echoing in my heart. That’s part of it, too — I hear echoes of myself, call and response. Anyway, I’m just writing out what it means to me, but thank you. It’s speaking to me.

    • HopefulLeigh July 25, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      I was going to ask about the tattoo, too! Fess up, Bessey.

  12. Jeniece Harris July 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Beautiful post. So glad I stumbled across your blog. So well written. I am a new mom and have a lot of long days with my little one, with my husband working 24 hour shifts, but when she looks at me like she knows I’m her Momma, I feel complete. Thanks for sharing.

  13. cortsa July 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    love. i’m so grateful that i got to experience that as a mom. your words are so true, “we’re together again, my pulse slows down”. love!

  14. Heather Swain Eure July 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Such beauty. Picture taking is saving my life right now. Awful, amateurish photography. It helps me see the loveliness in the mundane and the ordinary. Yes. A saving thing.

  15. dorothea78 July 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    This post made me take a deep breath and see, really see, the beauty in my days. Thank you for writing.

  16. andimae July 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Right now it is my sweet two week old daughter, Eliza Grace. Just a little over a year ago I had a miscarriage, and the birth of Eliza has brought me so much healing, joy, and hope. I am so grateful for her!

    P.S. I just discovered your blog during your book week and I am so glad I did! I am enjoying going back and reading some of your older posts- I especially loved your Practices of Mothering series. So many of your posts in that series resonated with me and my heart toward mothering- you put beautiful words to so many of the thoughts jumbled in my head. Thank you for sharing it!

  17. Deborah West July 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    “I’d tell you about this song, and how I sing it loud, and I cry every damn time.” me too, sister. thinking I want it played at my funeral. I hope it’s what I leave to my children. not because I succeed at living it, but because I want to so badly.

  18. Forever YoungWard July 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    I just started hosting a ladies night at my home to craft/read/talk–with the only rule being for our conversations to be positive and uplifting. Twice a month, I kick back and laugh and love with these women. Awesome.

  19. alyssa July 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    the only thing saving my life right now is my hope in my Savior.

  20. Sandy July 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Books, books and more books. We have just returned from three years in China where we had books but not enough. Used book stores, library sales and my mother’s reading group have all supplied me. Books are saving me!

  21. Elizabeth July 25, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Thanks for the song. I am facing medical tests and heart surgery, and quite frankly I am scared. I was sent a lovely Journal from someone a few months ago. In it I write things that have encouraged me or made me laugh; anything positive. The act of writing down (and actively looking for) positive things is helping me take one day at a time as I walk the journey to something that I really would have said I couldn’t face. I have learnt all over again that Jesus IS there with me; He is my salvation and light. And that the world is more positive than I have been living for many years.

    I am now off to write the lyrics of that song in my book, so thank you very much again.

  22. Joanne July 25, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    Thanks for the song link, really pepped me up.

  23. T Zee July 25, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    There is a family who has taken me in over the last two years who is constantly saving my life.
    They don’t have to love me and accept me, but they choose to. That simple fact stuns me every day.

    • Kathleen July 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      That’s such a wonderful story to share. You know, I bet they think you’re saving them too.

  24. Suzie B. Lind July 25, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    I often think the same thing as I nurse my sweet boy. He is not a cuddler and is not often still so the only stillness we have in the day are those few moments in the rocking chair. It surrenders me to place of thanksgiving, of knowing God is present and provides as He helps me provide for the boy. Thanks for putting it all to words. I loved this post.

  25. Kelly @ Love Well July 25, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Lately, I find that song echoing in my mind when I wake up in the morning. I think something of David lives in me. I read the Psalms as I go to sleep and, even in an unconscious state, my soul blesses.

    What saves me? A group of friends who have become my very heartbeat and soul. Who pray with me and laugh with me and are Jesus to me. I am blessed beyond measure with gift.

  26. Ashleigh Baker July 25, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Took my breath. Love this.

  27. Ami July 25, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Tennis lessons (for the older kids) are saving my life right now. I sit with a book on a camp chair in the shade, feel the breeze, take deep breaths, and tell myself how blessed I am.

  28. Mallory Pickering July 25, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Brennan Manning.

  29. Jessica Stock July 25, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Beautiful, beautiful post!

  30. HopefulLeigh July 25, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Deep sigh. Right now, it’s my friends, my Irish Breakfast tea, and the comfort of a few good books.

  31. Katie Noah Gibson July 25, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    I love this question and this post. Right now, my solo lunches are saving my life, along with good books, quiet evenings, and the promise of vacation.

  32. Olivia Mawhinney July 25, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Ah, Sarah, you are my blessing today. What keeps me alive while I struggle through a painful day with my body is good books, an iced coffee, and the comfort of people like you who celebrate with joy amidst tears. Thank you for bathing my soul in kind words and beautiful imagery.

  33. Chelsie July 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    I am 31 and scared to death to have kids but every post I read of yours softens my heart a bit to the idea.

  34. Laurie July 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    I read this while nursing my baby boy. He’s twirling my hair as I type. I love this nightly ritual.

  35. Melissa and Jeniffer July 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    I absolutely love that song :) And this post is so beautiful! I love those moments with my nursling, where I really slow down and *see* them and the precious gift of this time with them. ~Melissa

  36. Renee Ronika Klug July 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    I’m being saved by the Holy Spirit, pouring from our hands effortlessly, as if He has been here all along, waiting patiently for us to believe.

  37. Tanya Marlow July 26, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Felt a little bit teary and nostalgic and kinda wished I’d taken one of those kinds of photos at the time- but I didn’t.

    The sun is saving my life right now. 9 months of relentless rain has given way to a few weeks of sun. That seems to be a fair reflection of my life too.

  38. Anita July 26, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    So beautifully written! My kids area bit older, and one of them is quite difficult, so right now – in the middle of summer – what’s saving me is counting down the hours until they go to camp next week. Blessings, Anita

  39. Amanda P July 26, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    Oh, Sarah… I’m so glad I found you somehow through the clicking. :) I first read this post yesterday, while pumping at work. And I clicked through to listen to 10,000 Reasons and before I knew it, I was standing in praise in an empty office and must have looked like a lunatic. I thought you might appreciate that silly word picture. :) Anyway, it’s been a hard, hard several months, and at the same time God has proven himself so faithful. He saves me through mommy bloggers like you who understand and help me find the beauty in the mess. He saves me through my hubby’s sweet help and hugs, emails from friends, and lots of coffee and chocolate. He saves me through baby smiles and cuddles, and the toddler telling me I’m pretty and making up goofy songs. He saves me through His Word, through the shereadstruth community. Thank you for pointing me toward Life and Gratefulness again today. You’re a gift.

  40. Sarah Van Beveren July 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Just beautiful. And in 30 minutes? You have a gift!

  41. path of treasure July 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    A cup of chai every morning. Staying up late and writing– totally worth it. The Psalms– which give me hope. These things.

  42. RachelGN July 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    I have no blog, but here is what is saving my life right now:

    Right now my husband’s compassion is saving my life right
    now. I could never be able to handle some of these relationship pains I am
    going through if he were not compassionate today. He holds my hand, he lets me cry, he
    listens. He’s quiet and we’re quiet, together. We did evening stress release
    yoga DVD together. We finished in silence and he went to start vacuuming while I rolled up our mats. He knows
    I need to be in my own head right now. He is vacuuming in his boxers,
    he loves a clean apartment. He drinks wine with me and sits back after dinner and
    lets me share how God consoled me today. He listens to me read from my journal
    and explain what God told me about growing in holiness, and how I need to be
    patient with the pace He chooses for me. My husband listens and nods and
    smiles.That is saving my life right now.


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