I was stuck.
This was just yesterday, but slowly, I’m crawling out of the sinking hole I found myself in 24 hours ago.
And this is how I found myself in that hole:
There was the taking down of the tree which had to be done since the tree hadn’t taken on any water since the day we bought it. Evidently it was a big bother to everyone else, but mother prevailed and somehow managed to persuade the boys to come and locate their ornaments before my husband literally sawed it limb from limb from the middle of the living room.
There was also the taking down of two small artificial trees and a few other decorations around the house. The plan – to get it all done by noon and still have plenty of time to break out the new popover pan and planner I got for Christmas while trotting from my kitchen to my office with my new, cozy slippers. It would all be done and I would get all that I wanted.
It never happened.
The sun was consumed by the clouds by noon. The boxing and putting away of all things Christmas rested firmly on my shoulders while everyone else around me put puzzles together, played endless hours of video games and asked me when lunch would be ready. Seriously? Lunch? The grey clouds outside seeped through the vents and rolled over my attitude as well.
Late afternoon I thought I saw some clearing and perhaps God looking on me with favor, when my oldest quietly crept into the downstairs, heaved a long sigh, and said, “I need a hobby… (big sigh).” So, as her mother, I encouraged her to not just shop for things already made, but to try her hand at making those things instead. All of which earned me a trip to town. I did my best to want to be there, and I did really want to be there with my daughter, I just had things calling me elsewhere. Like here.
Dinner time magically appeared, made mostly by my husband. After twenty years of marriage, he can recognize when I’m feeling foul and need him to step up and care for me with barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes, cleaning the dishes and otherwise leaving me the heck alone.
And so he did.
And so I folded up my plans and my dreams for the day. Football bowling, video gaming and puzzling wreaked from the living room and still, even after being cared for, the grey cloud hung around, refusing to leave.
At this point, all that could cure me was a good talk with God and a documentary.
And so I did both. God and I met in the semi-quiet of my bedroom (I could still hear the reactions from the football game) with a plea for time and courage to put myself aside and be a wife and mother. Then I found a great documentary called Minimalism, which was just what I needed to help dig through the greed I witnessed before and after Christmas. I mean, who was more minimal than Jesus?
And as I went to bed last night, I was light. I looked back at all that was accomplished and remembered this life, it’s not just for me. This Christmas let-down heaviness that felt like wearing shoes with lead soles wasn’t something that lasted. There was a promise that ran deeper and fuller and clearer. I remembered what it was. This meeting the immediate call of my day and embracing it. The hope that tomorrow would be new and the work accomplished today for others might clear a path for the other unique ways I am made. God has declared that he has great plans for me and my future (Jeremiah 29:11), and I rested easy last night in the knowledge and grace of this truth.
It’s all blue sky and a brilliant sun today. I’ve made those Rosemary popovers and I’ve planned and looked ahead to the new year coming soon. I’ve reflected and wrote about where I’ve been and what I hope for in 2017. Mercifully, I’ve been given hours for this and I am thankful.
I know it won’t all be according to what I want (“We plan the way we want to live…), but I know it will be good (…but only God makes us able to live it.” Proverbs 16:9). And I wouldn’t have it any other way.