I was recently in a situation where I needed to remain calm, I could sense anxiety triggers presenting themselves, I could have easily gotten in my head.
What compels you to rest and take easy breaths?
What gets you out of your head and allows you to stay present for the moment –or the season — you’re asked to step in?
I closed my eyes briefly and thought about water.
I’m not kidding.
I did the visualizing thing that so many friends have encouraged and so many times I’ve said no thanks to, because it sounded weird, it sounded like my birthing class all over again, and I didn’t even have the baby the way that I planned.
But isn’t that the point,
we need to get out of our own control.
I thought about water.
How it is finite, but never the same.
We are finite and never the same.
If you step into a river it completely alters the water within.
I’m simplifying, but you’ve essentially changed millions of little baby water droplets.
You’ve changed their home, their direction, the purpose they are serving.
The water in the river may taste the same, feel the same, even look the same from your eye, but your foot has caused a ripple of change.
Step again, and you’re now standing in a different river, even if the river has the same name.
We are the same. I am the same.
But I’m different then I was yesterday.
With all the feet that keep stepping on me. And all the steps my feet take. And whether or not I choose to take a step to begin, I’m changing.
Maybe that analogy could use some work, but in the moment, it helped me relax and surrender a bit further in this living brave thing.
In this living my actual life thing.
The more people I walk beside, the more people I invite into our home, the more rivers I wade in with others, the more I am convinced that
We cannot be afraid of our life.
It is only one life.
With one name that will daily be called and spoken to. A name that carries meaning. A name known for how it lived.
How are you living?
Does your life even look like living?
One body that will daily be set into motion.
With all of its joints and aches and scars and beauty and wrinkles of time that are constantly at the hands of what God will birth through it…and He will birth something through it, even if it’s not what we had planned.
Whether we show up or not, whether we like it or not, He is going to pull the good things out of you.
Exactly what He had planned for you, and exactly in His timing.
The river will always carry something, until the river ends and the water is no more.
And some day, like the river, I will die.
Is this hard for anyone else but me?
I think what’s harder is trusting that everything He brings through me is life-bearing and glory-singing both for this life and the next one, when His homesick-for-us heart gets to have us back at the table.
But I have to let Him. Or at least be at a place of receiving His giant, ol’ feet. Or else it feels invasive and scary and unexpected. Or else it can look wrong and defeated and confusing.
I’ve had to learn to live expecting the unexpected.
If Jeff and I have learned one thing together, if we learn one (same) thing every day, it’s that nothing actually ever goes according to our plans.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t good, and sometimes I need his scruffy-bearded face reminding me.
We can either get with that program or live with fists clenched, anxiety pounding at the door of our chests and our minds in a spiral of self-doom, denial and disappointment.
We were kayaking yesterday, without babies — and even though they are marvelous little miracles, so is peace and quiet — and I asked Jeff what he wanted this next year to look like.
I looked back at him and we were on the same page, at the same time, which is always a happy day.
In our own ways it came spilling out of our mouths, but that’s where we ended up at in the water.
Living freely in this time, in this body, with this name, for our adventures, in our story
Even in its finite, changing, shaping, birthing and some-day-dying glory.
I found a quieted peace for the first time in awhile as I pictured the water like me.
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain; a time to seek and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet no one can find out what God has done from beginning to end.
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1-12)