I’ve spent the weeks since Ukraine trying to find my footing. Picture a sailor on roller skates in the perfect storm. The first several days I’d glide smoothly and then without warning BAM! A side-rail and bruises. Tears splashing.
I stayed home and didn’t see or call anyone and when I did have to go “out there” I saw good friends at Hobby Lobby and squinted in complete confusion as they called my name. Disturbing! I thought I was having some sort of break with reality but decided my mind was just hadn’t caught up with my body yet. (I wrote about that here)
Engaging with my children has been especially challenging as they’ve needed more than I’ve had in me to give. There’s mail piled on the counter that I haven’t sorted through and the armoire in my room is stashed with boarding passes (a story for another time) and Russian candy, ear plugs, bug spray, all remnants from our trip.
In Ukraine, God made it clear that He isn’t asking me to dig deep. This is beginning to make sense to me.
I’m a dig deep kinda girl. I mean, gritted teeth, curled toes, white knuckles and all of my short gray hairs standing at attention. Head lowered, eyes focused, get it done. No matter what is it is. It’s the way I’ve been able to navigate through the waves of loss I’ve experienced in my life.
But I’ve grown and life changes and I’m learning to navigate differently. And as I wrote that last sentence, I instinctively reached for the word “desperately” describe how I’m learning. But the thing is, I’m not digging deep any more. And desperately implies tears, misery and a struggle.
I’m not gasping for air or hanging on for dear life or rolling around on a slippery boat deck right now. And it’s not because life has gone as planned since I’ve been home. There have been plenty of opportunities for me to jump back into familiar patterns of coping.
But settledness is winning. My instinct is beginning to lean a little more toward responding rather than reacting. I can conceptualize beyond my two week calendar and if you know me well, this next tidbit may leave you wondering if I’ve developed some sort of psycho split personality.
You’ve been warned.
I let my 5 year old play in the 4 loads of clean laundry that had been piled on my sofa for 3 days.
Yes, I know. 5,4,3……Unbelievable!!!
Laundry flung on the piano. Hanging off the cushions. Piled on the floor, people.
I was working yesterday and he just went all sling-shot laundry on me. He stepped on it and threw it and generally had a fabulous time. My client and I left my studio and simply stepped over the maze he created. I don’t even think I apologized to her for the mess.
Those clothes stayed there through dinner, baths and a quick chat with my sister. A chapter in the book I’m reading and a good night’s sleep seemed more important than folded laundry and that’s when something supernatural happened. I came to the kitchen to get some water and my older children were sitting on the floor.
Let’s just stay in that moment a bit longer.
Quite simply, astounding!
In fear of ruining the sacred moment we just shared, I have to say that I love the color of my soul right now. My people are calm, my sleep is sweet and I’m ok with the messiness of life.
As long as we are breathing there will be a mess in our lives.
Chaos in schedules, heartbreak that’s unexpected, children who’ve made poor decisions, people who disappoint, guilt that intimidates, and dreams left unfulfilled.
I’ve got a snack mix of metaphors here, but it’s a mess we can’t dig our way out of with a brigade of backhoes. A mess that cries for direction and begs for intervention. There is but one way to have an ordered soul in the middle of the perfect storm that is life. His name is Jesus and when we see him in our day? The storm in our souls can quiet.
Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep! They roused him, pleading, “Master, save us! We’re going down!”
Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass.
The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea come to heel at his command!
It’s taken a month for my words to push up from the deep, but they’re breaking the surface and I’ll be back here soon. Thank you for hanging in there with me!