A cup of tea barely serves to keep me grounded on this windy, gray day. It is the sort of bright gray teasing one into believing the sun may peek out any minute. But it doesn’t and the gray presses down on my spirit pushing out the joy. I do what I can to find a sweet spot: drink Good Earth tea, read a delightful book, look for places to go on vacation, and then give up. It is challenging to keep myself braced against a blustery, fast-paced year pushing me so totally out of a comfort zone I may not recognize it if ever I see it again.
I feel like Piglet, in The House at Pooh Corner, being blown about by the wind right past Eeyore; and Eeyore shouts, “Good-bye. Mind you don’t get blown away, little Piglet. You’d be missed. People would say, ‘Where’s little Piglet been blown to?’ --really wanting to know. Well, good-bye. And thank you for happening to pass me.”
I do feel blown about, hither and thither, right past the small life I find meaningful. I am dotting i’s and crossing t’s to be able to do the work I love, and feeling oh so disconnected from people, missing all of you terribly. The life I keep trying to create seems to have been torn to shreds, blustery days whipping it about as I cling to any remnant I can of my normal life in hopes of not losing it altogether.
And to think I thought last year was busy. The details of all this craziness has become quite laborious in the sharing, so I will spare you; but I will say the challenges I am pressed up against are taking a toll. I miss having time to write, see friends, go to Bible study, take care of our home properly, work in the yard, spend time with my husband and so forth. I miss my normal life. I find myself saying in a small voice, “Is it ever coming back?” Will all my days be blustery ones? Will there ever be a gentle spring zephyr filled with the scent of jasmine and hours in a hammock under the tangerine tree listening to the song birds?
About now, some of you are saying, “You think you’ve got it bad,” and others are feeling sorry for me. My woes are probably not worthy of either reaction, but I am lapping up the pity; it is so much better for you to be feeling it for me than for me to be wallowing around in this alone. In the gloom of it all I believe God has been trying to get me to stop all the striving and allow Him to break down walls and open doors. It is hard for me to get my head around the balance of letting go and the responsibility of required steps to move forward. I would love to just sit on a log and wait for things to get done right before my eyes, but I don’t think that is how it works. Where does one go for the perfect recipe between resting and responsibility?
At this moment I think of the Israelites busting up walls with marching and circling seven times around a city and blowing trumpets. I ask God how I’m to deal with the challenging forces in my life. A light finally sparked and lit up a neon sign of truth in my heart this week, and I was reminded: I am trying too hard to please people; and He has given me the power to choose and prioritize. It isn’t easy, but I began by saying “no” more to people whom I had given power over my future. LOL! How can anyone hold power over the future I had placed in God’s hands? Placing this calling and all it requires back into His hands, I am reminded this is His deal, not mine.
Then I opened up space for ordinary tasks. Chopping, stirring, cleaning, baking a birthday cake, weeding, planting and (the cherry on top) with the help of my husband, rearranging the living room furniture. We opened up space which allowed more light into the room. It is exactly what I needed in the living room and in my soul: space and light.
Spending time with the Father, seeking His face, has braced me against the strong winds of change. In the seeking I have strength to endure what my fragile, scared self says I cannot endure. Of course I have to return to look into His eyes several times a day for reassurance and to listen to His reminder He’s got this or I quickly slip back into striving and feeling as if I have been buried under a load of bricks.
What helps you put off working too hard to please others? How do you find your way through all the things you feel you should do to a place of strength taking the next step He has called you to?
P.S. Photos taken by my husband, Jim.