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Life's Little Lessons

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." – Emile Zola

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control

Trust

A couple of months ago, I pulled into my driveway and made a conscious decision to step out of the spin cycle. I call it the spin cycle because that’s exactly what it felt and probably looked like. Life was spinning largely out of control, but I quickly found out that was just an illusion.

I had a say.

Sometimes we do not have a say with what happens in our life. Life just has a way of throwing us a curve ball every now and then because for the most part we are riding the waves of each others choices. You do A and it impacts me in the form of B, not to mention how I respond in the form of C. And so on and so forth.

I do it back.

Vicious.

And that was where I was at, spinning around and around and around…

Mostly it was feelings. Lots of thoughts which turned into talk added up to be a whole bunch of continuous negatives…

Waves.

And they were drowning me.

So one afternoon I pulled into my driveway and I thought to myself, “I have a say and a part. I cannot feed this anymore.”

No more feelings or thoughts. I needed a break so I could breath and make sense out of life again.

And I did that just. I didn’t think about it and if I did, I certainly did not talk about it. I asked my friends not to ask about it. Some were understanding and some, not so much, and that was ok. I needed all the voices to settle IN and AROUND me so ultimately I could hear HIS voice.

Not everyone understands this concept.

To some of my friends I was either building walls or not open-hearted enough which was so far from the truth but again, their disapproval was just a distraction trying to keep me tethered to the bottom of the unpredictable sea.

Jesus shows me that is exactly what He does. He often removes Himself from the crowd and intentionally wanders to the wilderness (lonely places) to be with and hear from the Father. And if He does it, so can I.

And it worked. My emotions settled. My thoughts became clearer and less jumbled and I began to rest again. I gained weight and began sleeping through the night, both which were a concern.

But I had to carefully guard my heart. Certain topics or thoughts were off-limits when it came to my entertainment. My life got turned upside down back in December and for months, it was such a huge topic of conversation, for everyone. I needed a time out and I was the only one who could make that happen.

So friends, take it from me, some curve balls are a little rough and a little too unpredictable. I don’t know how anyone navigates the aftermath that they bring with calm and ease. Most flounder around a bit till they get their bearings again.

At least I did. I still am.

Every now and then, I feel myself slipping, spinning. I want to feed the frenzy. I want to dwell and get a good mad on which brings on all sorts of not great feelings and thoughts. I have to remember to guard, diligently guard, like VICIOUSLY guard, and place my focus on what my part is and what is good.

So I ask God daily to show me His perspective and He takes me far above the things in life that are spinning out of control. He takes me to my children. He takes me to my farmer’s field, to my writing, to my friends and to puppies.

And when I feel like life is too big and too weighty and continuously spinning, I envision myself in His hands, on the potter’s wheel.

He knows what He is doing with my life and when I am afraid, I trust Him.

let it happen 

We had two small dogs and one cat. Then we began raising puppies for The Seeing Eye and adopted the first one we raised back because she did not pass her testing. Then this cat got dropped off at our house and then and then and then…

Let me start over. We have three dogs and two cats PLUS we raise puppies for The Seeing Eye. This past weekend alone, meaning SUNDAY…we had several animal related incidents and when I say several, I mean way more than two, the worst being the Seeing Eye puppy was bit by a poisonous snake on a family hike. Long and short of it is, she’s going to recover despite the fact that her face is severely swollen due to the toxins from the bite plus she’s tired and a whole lot of sore but through it all, I’m keeping the main thing, the main thing….she’s alive.

So I crawled into bed late Sunday night grateful.

AND THEN…

Our four year-old lab, our adopted back wonder pet, crawled under our very large king-size bed in the middle of the night and made the most gut-wrenching of all sounds and I just didn’t have the energy or the can-do to wake up and hurriedly grab her, pull her out from the pits of hell, drag her heaving body down the steps and out the front door to glisten under the moon light.

So I let it happen.

And my husband says, “Aren’t you going to do something?”

No. No I am not.

So I went back to bed.

For those of you who don’t have animals, you are thanking God at this very moment for that decision. If you are not a pet lover, you may not get why us pet owners endure the things we do for our animals, but I liken the whole thing to having kids whom you love that wet the bed, throw up in the middle of the night or destroy freshly painted walls with crayons.

Pets and kids…sometimes there’s little difference between the two.

Point being, that massively large dog who army crawled under our bed in the middle of the night is an accurate portrait of what life looks like at times. It’s during these moments, I often find myself half asleep, trying to grab the dog out from underneath the bed by its hind legs, just hoping we make it out the door before a ginormous mess occurs. I step in and deal, adjust, fix, mend, plan.

I CONTROL.

And I just can’t anymore. I’m not that great at it anyway. In fact, I kind of suck.

I’ve become increasingly aware this past year through a series of events that I often step in too quickly with my actions and/or with my words because I am afraid. Afraid to let others be responsible for their own choices. Afraid to set limits that say “This is what I am and am not going to do.” Afraid the dog’s gut-wretching sound in the middle of the night means my carpet is going to be ruined, thereby destroying the look of the home. MY house. Do you hear what I’m saying? I am afraid how YOU and your stuff will affect ME.

REFLECT me.

Fear.

It’s lulled me to sleep.

And in my slumber, I’ve never fully allowed myself to BE who I was created to be so I can’t imagine extending you the honor.

Because living is messy. Pieces fall to the ground and clutter fills the floor with debris.

On my carpet. In my home.

And what if one day, on MY watch, you crawl under the bed and need help in the middle of the night…

Isn’t it my job to save you? To mend? To fix?

Will be enough if I just stand in it WITH you, responsible TO you and not FOR you?

Yes.

The other night my decline made space for my husband to get up and take care of the dog. In fact, I would have made space for ANYONE in the room if they were there. I didn’t have the expectation that he would get up and I wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t. I rested in knowing I was done for the day. If I were to become involved, it could wait.

I could. 

I felt empowered and free in that chaotic moment, in the bigger picture…in my life full of uncertainties late at night with that gut-wrenching sound happening beneath my bed. It is one of the craziest of all things but it grabbed my attention enough to wake me up. I made sense out of a whole lot of life in a moment and it was holy.

Friends, let it happen. Surely the sky will not fall on your head.

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