CHAPTER Twelve:

Alignment

And for me, that centered connection starts with a simple prayer, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit– align me spirit, soul, and body today. Fill me afresh with revelation from Your heart and confirmation in your Word.”

I go to the chiropractor as a regular part of my health routine.  It started mostly after I had children because my body and mind has shifted into so many awkward positions. As a wife and as a mother, I need an adjustment at least once a month to keep things aligned, to help my body keep good posture, and to give my body some electricity.  It’s true that when we are in line, with all of our circuits opened in the correct way, that our bodies become a powerful force to be able to heal themselves while also bringing healing to our environment.  This is the basis of worship: our beings responding to the glory of His goodness. This helps me live more in the Song of Songs and also in Proverbs 31.

Isn’t God so beautiful in His design of our physical nature?  It makes so much sense, and it’s a simple and rooted way to allow us the opportunity to live life more fully.  Of course, it’s even better to then follow up with food that nourishes us and exercise that brings us strength.  It boosts our immune systems and also gives us real rest. I almost always want to fall asleep after getting adjusted because as a young mom, we are constantly becoming misaligned by picking up kids, or doing chores, or carrying heavy grocery bags, and more.  Once my body gets into that place of alignment again, all I want to do is fall into it fully.  It’s something I look forward to once a month as so many demands compete for my time and energy.

Isn’t it the same in our time with God? I have known few things better in my small side of the world than to be aligned with Him daily. Whether it’s time in the Bible or praying or simply just drinking my cup of coffee while listening to the birds, it’s the best way to start my day and to fill me up for what lies ahead.

Raising children is a huge task.  It requires presence, patience, energy, and strength.  It has taken me so much work simply to be able to balance it all and keep my body healthy, and I’ll always be growing in that balance because each age brings new challenges.  

We had three kids quickly.  From 2009-2015, I was either pregnant, nursing, or pregnant and nursing. I had a four month break after we miscarried in 2011, but other than that, my body was constantly being shared. It was consistently being used to hold babies, feed babies, carry car seats, and provide rest for others.  Though it is a beautiful time of growth and nurture, it is also an exhausting time of pain and grief.  To give away your full self to another person is an act of submission and grace, and I wasn’t always able to do that with a full heart because it was simply so tiring.

All moms relate to this.  And this is why the journey into being a noble woman does come with real, hard life and with setbacks.  It’s not easy all the time; it’s prophetic instead.  It’s constantly nurturing, reconciling and redeeming what is in front of us.  It takes supernatural rest and supernatural grace AND truth.  This is where we learn to use our voices again in honor to God and in honor to ourselves and others.  I don’t know about you, but I like to speak. I like to be in communion with people, share life and stories, and hear other people’s voices as well. But as a mother, this all takes a different shape now.  Speaking now comes with constant interruption; it also comes with listening to a lot of crying and a lot of whining.  It comes with some overwhelm and sensory processing, and what comes in always has to make its way out.

And as soon as those kids start throwing their food in the midst, or getting into cabinets, or trying to cross the street, it can make even the most patient and healthy person in the universe feel frazzled. And then in the middle of learning how to navigate this, it’s easy to want to take a break and check out for a moment by sitting down on the couch and checking Facebook to “relax”.  And low and behold, there are millions of other women in the world seemingly NOT wearing baby spit-up, those who have showered and are taking road trips with girlfriends, and then those who make their lives look so amazing that they have 1M followers.  They also seem to have time and money for organic makeup and professional headshots from every aspect of their perfect lives.  It’s in these quick but mindful moments that I may forget all about Shulammite lady and might start to doubt everything that I’ve just learned about the Proverbs 31 whoever. And if not careful, I might just start to de-value myself.  What was held in good esteem in alignment might start to plummet and plummet quickly, kind of like starting your period at a swimming pool, with a bunch of Victoria’s Secret models gathered all around the diving board sharing all their secrets.

All of a sudden, these types of scenarios make me feel very unaligned, malnourished, and perhaps ugly. Angry even. I start to wonder if I really do have purpose other than rearing children from my private parts, wiping booties, and over-spending my grocery budget.  I start wondering if what I’m doing matters because maybe no one seems to see it or acknowledge the tears I might need to cry or the sleep I need to get. I just start wondering…all the things. 

Children are naturally self-centered, and sometimes so are women. And so it’s a daunting task to help teach them self-control instead; it’s also a daunting task to sometimes teach me that as well.  And this is where my outside chaos daily needs inner alignment and strength and rest.  It seems like high expectations and mental disaster can be the two poles to balance for this young season of life, with a side dish of overhanging mom guilt that gets thrown in when it just doesn’t seem to go well for the day. Our Scriptural friends did have bad days and not just romantic, organized, or productive ones; I needed to remember this in this stage of life. And so this is where I started, more than ever before, to intentionally bless myself in spirit, soul, and body. Early motherhood calls for this.

Personal peace is the result of grace and truth combined in love.  It’s a day in age where mothers are deeply searching for this supernatural form of empowerment.  As the world continues to modernize, we see more and more opportunities for ourselves to “get connected”, to “make a difference”, and to “be someone”. It’s ironic that even “young” mothers feel this tremendous pressure at an increased measure simply because popular culture enhances our feelings of worth or our feelings of shame.  How can it be that we even think to struggle with purpose when we are creating and nurturing life in our midst? But we do.

Many of us have been trying to gather the pieces of ourselves back with minimalistic strategies, getting rid of clutter and also negative emotional patterns in our lives, so that we can attempt to recapture the song of our hearts again. And it’s in this song that we will eventually slowly birth what we have been looking for.

It’s true. Our circumstances and our culture can perpetuate anxiety, depression, and the cluttering up of the heart. And we’ve often gone after the bait. We’ve gone after the big picture instead of slowing down and being present enough in the small things.  And in the midst of it, without alignment, we see our immune systems and our bodies crumble.  Our ability to fight off disease or to keep our minds in truth or our hearts full becomes a bit more challenging.  

One of the personal mottos I’ve given myself in the midst of this potential emotional turmoil is to make room for the simple supernatural. My goal every day is not to get a million things done or to make the world go round, it’s to live in Presence. Present with God, present with myself, and present with the people and situations around me, especially the ones not on a screen.  When I’m present, purpose isn’t even a thought, because it is the reality.  When I’m present, I’m always in the right place at the right time. I may not be the most successful mom, I may not be the most polished in a variety of ways, I may be awkwardly vulnerable, and I might even make more mistakes (gasp!), but I’d rather nourish those things within my original process and heal all the way through than to rush through my day without acknowledging the gratitude of this season.

This is living our life’s song; everything in our surroundings can now become affected by this truth and this honesty. It doesn’t mean that every day is happy, and it doesn’t mean that life still isn’t busy.  It is busy and it is hard, but I also don’t lose sight of what’s important in the midst of those things because every day I can gain strength and purpose from God’s truth over me.  Life was meant to be lived, challenges were made to be conquered, and dreams were made to come true! We get the opportunity to live divinely lined up with the will of God for us, in every stage of our lives, even the quirky ones with more bodily fluids than we could ever imagine. 

This is what I want to teach my children as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother, and this is what I want them to emulate.  But in a culture that can lead all of us in an opposite direction, one that may gain the world with followers and a fake sense of power but could very well steal their soul, I want my center to be strong. I want my spirit to lead me, my mind to be sound, and my body to be healthy. The quiet spirit starts here. Women’s rights start here. The beauty of connection, emotions, mental health, and physical strength begin here.

And for me, that centered connection starts with a simple prayer, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit– align me spirit, soul, and body today. Fill me afresh with revelation from Your heart and confirmation in your Word.”

It’s in these simple two sentences that I daily, and even several times a day, get my spiritual adjustment into supernatural rest.  And from that place of rest, my purpose comes alive.  My life as a woman, wife, and mother comes alive. I feel beautiful and am.  I feel powerful and am.  I feel gracious and am.  I feel like a leader and am one.

Try this prayer this week as you go grocery shopping, or as you change dirty diapers, as you listen to world news, and as you participate in sharing your resources inside and outside your home. I believe He’ll meet you exactly where you are and that you will be refreshed in the stillness. It’s beautifully ok to be you, in every facet of your process and in every avenue of your life.  It’s where He meets us–within the true humility of the heart. 

And in this process, it’s beautifully perfect to set boundaries on your space for solitude, on your time on media, and in your relationships that can feel a bit difficult to navigate.  Because our life is now flowing from presence instead of from strife, we protect those places as best as we can.

We can learn how to re-structure our days from this place of peace instead of serving the unsettledness of the world around us.  We all want a strong center.  I don’t know one woman that likes feeling disheveled, and yet we have to look at ourselves in honesty to calibrate what needs calibrated in our lives. We need the humility to take breaks, to say no, to look for our validation and our purpose and our encouragement from the God who made us, through every season He takes us, trusting that His care over our lives will line us up in order to be full, to live well, to give with generosity all while keeping our heads on straight.  Well, for the most part.

He teaches us patience, and He teaches us true fulfillment. We share that honesty and that presence to the world from these places of alignment.  And we remember that we don’t get from the world, we give to it.  Alignment in us will always bring about the best way to share healing with others.

I won’t paint myself as the perfect picture to exemplify this because I said in the beginning that I see my chiropractor every month, because there are still days of exhaustion when my husband has to take on extra hours, or I knock my head really badly on the swing set and my neck becomes totally out of whack, or I see another mom with it seemingly all together and I start to sigh. But what I know in His alignment is that my days are easier, I receive His grace with more simplicity and depth, and my joy and self-control for all other parts of my life increases.  I even desire all the other things less because the reality of the meal is so much better than the sugar-rush of the dessert. Though both are fun, there is beauty in the waiting and sustaining. 

So, give yourself some time here to tarry with Him.  Take this prayer and post it on your wall or chalkboard; teach it to your husband and to your kids.  Walk in alignment in personhood, marriage, and as a family and see how it shifts the trajectory of your days and your years.  See how it shifts your cravings and your desires, how you see success and how you see beauty. God is good, and every perfect gift comes from Him. Sometimes we just need to set the stage in our hearts to see it clearly.  And with that alignment in us, we get prepared to serve our testimonies and share our joy with the world.

Twirling Tips for Chapter 12:

How can you align yourself for success today?

Memorize the alignment prayer so you can use it when needed.

What is your favorite way to feel refreshed and awake? Treat yourself this week!

A Prayer:

God, thank you that true peace comes only from you.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit– align me spirit, soul, and body today. Fill me afresh with revelation from Your heart and confirmation in your Word. Amen.

Copyright Sarah Elizabeth Humphrey 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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