Free flowing

I was overcome with awe on Saturday at the capacity my body has to give of itself for the purpose of sustaining life for others. I was laying on a bed at the Community Blood Center in Gladstone giving a pint of whole blood cells. Far from my first blood donating rodeo, still this time I couldn’t help but be taken aback. I mean this in the most humble of ways, my body is a machine!

I am so grateful that something so freely given to me can be siphoned off to be shared with others. Without knowing the full science behind blood sharing (my medical friends are cringing…), I know I can give some blood away and go on with my day relatively unaffected. My body will make more to replace the slight depletion.

Drew and I believe giving blood is a good thing. It’s easy enough for us psychically and schedule-wise that we seek to be committed to regularly giving. I am less regular and inspired and held accountable by Drew’s steady commitment to giving every 8 weeks. The guy has his 5 gallon pin! It takes intentionality to make and keep the appointment, to drink water before and plan to ease back into workouts afterwards. When we show up however, our bodies take over and we simply sit/lay and give a little bit of what we have been freely given ourselves.

Before giving blood Saturday, I had fed Oakley 3 times. Once again, my body was producing a life sustaining force. By a completely natural process, one I had no hand in creating and have very little part in keeping up, I can feed my baby. In the minutes after Oakley was born, my body created the perfect nourishment for him. I feel very fortunate that breastfeeding works for me and Oaks and do not take for granted that sometimes the process is impossible or impractical for people who love and care for their babies with the same amount of sacrifice and intentionality with which I feed Oakley. I simply celebrate once again the presence of my body’s natural gifts that I can offer.

Intentionality and discipline is a theme of the sermon series at Jacob’s Well this season. Habits are mostly thoughtless, subconscious, repeated actions that shape a lot of our lives. Discipline, on the other hand, requires effort, planning, intentionality, and sacrifice. When we become aware of what we hold, what is innately bestowed upon us, we must take the next step and intentionally spend it.

I think of all the other things I freely have (to breastmilk and blood I can add: time, love, my undivided attention, energy, memory, a voice for speaking, and more importantly, ears for listening) and how I often unintentionally let them eek out, or sometimes hold them inside without sharing at all.

What do we hold inside and how might it freely but intentionally flow out from us? What has been given to you and how will you, should you, can you, share it?

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