“Where do we even start on the daily walk of restoration and awakening? We start where we are.”
– Anne Lamott, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers

My friend and I walk side by side, and she tells me about her struggle, how she doesn’t know how to change this behavior that tears her apart. She cannot see how to get from right here and this way of coping she knows intimately — the very one that robs her — to the picture of full life that is unknown and only a faraway glimmer out there.

She tells me about the next one thing, the incremental step she knows to take, the behavior she started to handle differently this week. I think how brave she is, how proud of her I am, how this process is filled with hard work and yet draped with hope.

She nearly shrugs her own words off as her shoulders rise, then drop.

“I just don’t know how to do it,” she says.

“You are doing it,” I say.

In the day in, day out, it can be hard to see why this small thing matters at all because we know we have far to go. But this next tiny right thing leads the way to the next small thing you couldn’t have seen if you hadn’t done that first step you knew to do.

In my right here, I must continually be aware of the words I speak to myself, the breaking of old patterns of self-critique and guilt. Often my next small step is found in thoughts, a choice to recall and believe truth: that God is with me, that I am not alone, that I am not responsible for the world’s turning, that I am loved.

We get up each day. We hold space for light. We release it.

These are simple things, but they are not.

Restoration and awakening, as Lamott calls them — living awake and walking in fullness of life (and then having something to offer someone else from that very place of pain!) — it seems nearly impossible to grasp when we’re in the middle of addiction, self hatred, apathy, shame.

“Where do we even start on the daily walk of restoration and awakening? We start where we are.”

I write these words in my journal and hear Michael’s footsteps in the hallway upstairs and then the creaking of the girls’ bedroom door as it opens.

“Rise and shine,” he calls.

“Rise and shine.”

This is Day 5 of Right Here. Throughout October, I’m joining with a community of other bloggers (over 1,500 strong!), who are writing for 31 days about the same topic. To find all posts in 31 Days of Right Here, click here, or see the listing below.

To continue receiving these daily words, subscribe to this blog on the sidebar at left, click here to Like Draw Near on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @AshleyMLarkin. I’m immensely grateful to have you on the journey with me.


An introduction: Welcome to 31 Days of Right Here
Day 1: For You, Too
Day 2: Fear’s Invitation
Day 3: My Portion
Day 4: Five Minute Friday – Write
Day 5: Rise and Shine

Photo credit: Sici Larkin

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