faithraider faithraider

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faith ann raider  Reader, writer, photographer, Jesus follower. Married, mother of 6 living in Augusta, GA. My first book is now for sale on Amazon!

Some thoughts from my yoga practice yesterday afternoon ...
In order to get better at something we have to practice the thing we are “bad” at, and to be honest, that is super awkward and uncomfortable.
I was practicing “folds” (forward bends) which I used to love back when I was a ballet dancer lo these many years ago, but am now not very good at - like at all. It does not make me happy to put my body into a fold. I would rather do a pose that makes me feel strong, graceful and powerful NOT one that reminds me how far away I am from my ideal. But if I’m going to make progress then that is the pose I’ve got to practice.
In this awkward, uncomfortable, slightly embarrassing place I remembered to melt into the fold. I can bend so much farther if I melt gently and relax and release into it instead of trying to push myself as far as I can go without straining a muscle. I melted, let go of expectations and reminded myself “this is the body I have now. This is where I am at right now. I can get better if I continue to practice.”
I love yoga because when I am practicing from a good place I’m loving my body and have appreciation for what I am able to do with it. I am noticing my strength and flexibility and not the extra inches. And I believe that it’s so much better to exercise out of a place of friendship with my body than making my body the enemy.

My newest project releases in less than a month! It’s a 6 week Bible Study that I’m leading at my church. Here is what I’m noticing this time around: resistance.
It’s hard work to push through everything that distracts me, everything that makes me doubt if this work is good enough, everything inside my mind trying to drag me down. It’s a roller coaster ride, for sure.
However, to look at the resistance and name it has given me power to push through.

It’s a beautiful day.

I’m wrapping up work on a new project. This is the moment when my insecurity RAGES and I have to just push through. It’s a skill I’m learning, to work with and through and past the fear. To be a beginner, and to keep moving forward anyway.

At yoga, a couple of nights ago, Annie said “healing is painful, and it takes time”. I am pretty sure she said a third thing but I can’t remember it.
I have been carrying her words in my heart all this long, exhausting, beautiful, ordinary week. I think there is an extraordinary bravery in stepping across the threshold and surrendering to the pain of healing, knowing it is going to take awhile, knowing it’s going to be hard and that it’s going to hurt but that it is going to be worth it.
God does not abandon His work in the middle of it like I do. God never hurts out of a place of hurt like I do. God is faithful to bring everything full-circle, sooner or later.

Seasons change.
That’s one true thing about life that you can count on.
Whatever season you happen to be in,
you can be sure it will change.
The long lonely winter
melts into spring.
Spring will drive us crazy too,
in it’s own way.
Every hard season eventually gives way to a new season.
Every easy season eventually turns a corner into something more challenging.
This is just life.
Not because we are doing it wrong, just because that is the way that it is.
Season by season by season we grow,
we change,
we become...

This weekend I did something very new for me, very hard and scary, yet it was also one of the best weekends ever. ❤️I was a speaker at a women’s retreat.
It was terrifying. It was wonderful.
When we arrived at the retreat center I was having a full on allergy/stress episode. My nose was pouring, my head was stuffed up, my mind was foggy and there was a pretty big piece of me that wanted to run back home to bed. But I was surrounded by women who loved me and believed in me and were confident that God would not fail me or abandon me in my moment of need.
God was faithful to meet me, to help me feel better, and to speak through me. When it was over I felt a bit like I’d ridden a horse that was too big for me and wilder than I’d expected, and like we’d gone galloping down the coast, into the light, dragging everyone else in the room along with us. So yeah, terrifying, breathtaking.
I can’t wait to do this again.

I’ve had this text on my mind for a couple of weeks now. I have heard these verses before but they have just meant so much more to me lately... “As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'" "And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"”
‭Romans‬ ‭9:25-26‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Sometimes we are really aware of feeling isolated, alone, not belonging, at the edge of the wilderness but this promise - in the very place where you were called “not my people” you will be called “sons of God”. There are a lot of people who feel like they have been told - explicitly or it was implied - “you don’t belong here” and I want to remind you - that’s not true. You might have been told “you’re out of place here” but I’m learning that those are the places where your presence is most needed. The lies that you have been told are on them - it’s not your fault.
You - with all of your beautiful oddness, unique quirks, your own story of hurt and healing, your passions and sensitivity- you are so very needed. You may still be trying to figure out where you fit, and you might be in the process of transitioning from one place to another, but you do belong and you are so very dearly loved.

I have been getting some really good DMs about this quote. Some agree, some disagree, it’s been great. What do you think of when you read this quote? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Starting a conversation in my stories today...

We all just want to be known
to be seen without being exposed
to love and to be loved.
Thank you for the love and kindness I have received since my last post. I have appreciated every one of your comments/texts/messages. I had a really bad pain in my back that wouldn’t go away, and the pain in my body was triggering all kinds of weird pain internally/emotionally. I am feeling a lot better, overall. Still a bit foggy. Definitely feel loved.

I have been in so much pain today.
Physical pain and emotional pain
I honestly have no idea why.
It’s a lot of things, but also nothing.

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