Thursday, April 30, 2015

On My Shoulders


My goodness.

I've been busy.

This last month has been so wonderful, so exciting, so hard, and so tiring.

So many days I have felt overwhelmed by the task of caring for other people. It isn't the right way to think (and somewhere inside I know it) but I pile everyone up on my shoulders and promise to carry them wherever we go even if they didn't ask for it (metaphorically of course). I know everyone has legs and their own lives and they can walk through it without my help, but somewhere along the way I have rested into the notion that it all depends on me. The lives of so many people depend on me. And even if my legs fail, I will carry them until it kills me.

Well that is quite a burden to carry and it's rather impossible, especially considering that I don't have the time or energy to carry everyone and they don't really need to be carried. But I walk around with them all on my shoulders anyways as I cry out to my friends, "Why am I so tired? Why am I so overwhelmed??" They look up at all the people I have thrown over my shoulders and say, "Is that a real question?"

I'd almost forgotten they were there I've been carrying them for so long. But it's hard to put them down and run for myself.

So in light of smarter solutions I just decide to worry. Smart, right? And lately I've developed a trend of anxiety attacks which is so not cool. Sitting at a restaurant eating with Cameron, brushing my teeth at home. . . the timing never makes sense but my heart starts to beat too fast and I begin to freak out that everything is falling apart.

Failure, that's what I am afraid of. Control, that is my problem. 

I want to control things and fix them, but no matter how hard I try I cannot fix it. I cannot change things. And that feeling of helplessness, of fear, that lack of control makes my heart beat too fast as I sit on the ground in despair.

I don't want to feel this way. I want to be able to let it go.

So I put a hairband on my wrist as the wise Pam suggested and every time I begin to fear, every time I begin to freak out, I move the hairband to the other wrist and I say a prayer. "God, please take away my fears. Help me to trust in you." It makes me conscience of the pattern. It makes me create a new pattern. And I try to take a deep breath and be ok with the fact that I am not perfect and that's ok. I am not going to be perfect, I am not going to have it all together, and that. is. ok.

It's hard to be ok with being human.

I know the pressure I put on myself is all self-inflicted, so I think it's time to stuff it all in a balloon and let it float away into the heavens because my goodness. . .

Freedom > Fear

Grace > Guilt 

I'm a work in progress.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Shawarma and a Boyfriend

A few months ago I was walking around Barnes and Noble, single, with just my greek food beside me. (You can read about it here). It was pretty epic. Fast forward to yesterday and I’m eating the same greek food and perusing the same aisles of Barnes and Noble (what can I say, I’m a creature of habit) but this time there was something different. This time I was there with someone, and that someone calls himself my boyfriend. 

I know. It’s weird to put it in print. I have a boyfriend. We all were a little worried it would never happen, we can be honest about that. I live in the woods, I work all the time, I have a weird need to prove my independence and love men that are imaginary. . . not quite a recipe for success. 

But there he came. Riding in on a white jeep, the knight in shining under armor. He pursued me relentlessly with kind words and gushy looks. I fought back with comments like, “Don’t look at me!” and “Stop being so nice!” Its a surprise he stuck around. But eventually I realized that complaining about a man being too chivalrous wasn’t really an excuse and I should give the boy a chance. So I purposely mentioned I was free on a Sunday and he said with uncertainty (I suppose I was giving mixed signals) that he would like to take me out. I responded with something like, “I wouldn’t mind” and walked away. I guess I was a little nervous. 

Guys, I’ve got to tell you. You would like this man. He makes me laugh and says gooshy nice things and always makes me feel good about myself. If you were a fly on the wall when we are together you might get grossed out because its so sweet. Oooshy Gooshy kind of stuff. He’s all kinds of wonderful. 

So together we are walking around Barnes and Noble and he doesn’t even complain that I’m taking forever sitting on the floor reading poetry and checking out the newest children’s books even though he is hungry and he wants to leave. He lets me read him quotes and point out all the books I’ve read and listens to my reviews. I want him to think I’m smart. He wants me to be happy. 

But let me tell you, despite the cutesy goodness, this thing is hard. Just a bit ago it was just me and the shawarma all independent and focused and now I’ve got to consider this other person and I have to be kind and I can’t just shut him out with everyone else when I want to believe that everyone is annoying and I’m the only sane one. And just when things are going well I start getting all up in my own head and I start to worry and then I worry about my worry and goodness gracious the cycle can be exhausting. Poor guy. Good thing he thinks I’m cute. 

So after over an hour in Barnes and Noble I finally put the books back and grab his hand and ask if he would like to eat some shwarma with me. I’m a creature of habit and I would like to introduce him to my former love (just kidding). So we eat and we talk and then we buy a hammock and go lay in the sun. We read poetry and C.S. Lewis and I know that this is a crazy adventure that I want to be on. Each day won’t be perfect and many days will be hard, but I know that letting him in brings me closer to knowing and understanding the goodness of our Savior. I know that each day that I try to run, and he patiently tells me the truths and reminds me of the good, that God is saying, see? I’m never going to leave you. I love you and I provide for you. Take joy in my goodness and stop worrying about it all

I take a deep breath and I decide that this is how it is going to be. That one day at a time I will let go of the walls I’ve built up and let him read books with me and make me laugh. One day at a time I will come to terms with my flaws and then realize how grateful I am to be loved. One day at a time I will look up to God in amazement as I realize that He really did bring me someone to peruse the aisles of life with. And goodness, if that's not lovely and oooey gooey I don't know what is! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Prayers for a Little One

About a week ago I was sitting in a hospital holding a baby that had been born less than 24 hours before. He was tiny and perfect with a head full of hair, enough to make into a baby mohawk as we sat together. He was so innocent and untouched by the world. I loved him from the moment I held him.

He was the baby of one of my students and I had come to visit them. She is only 15 and we ended up spending 24 of those first 48 hours of the baby's life together. Together we tried to figure out his needs, his sleep, and how to get her rest through those midnight hours. We were in this together and I wasn't going to leave her alone.

When he was a little over 24 hours old I took him out of the bassinet and held him close. My student was finally asleep and as I looked at his little face I began to pray. I prayed for his life and his future, that God would raise him up to be a good man, one who served Him and treated others well. I prayed into his little self that he would be a great and responsible man, despite any of the circumstances that would surround him in the years to come. I prayed in those first moments of his life hoping that the prayers would envelop him, that they would become the words that formed his life and that God would honor the requests for his protection.

It felt so important to cover his little self in prayers and love, to have those words seep into his heart. 

I've still been checking up on baby and mom as the days have passed since then. And each time I hold him I whisper tiny prayers into his ear as I kiss his baby face. And every time I think that I most certainly have the best job in the whole entire world.

I am so grateful that I can walk with students through these things. I am so thankful for God's provision and for the way He has honored the prayers spoken over my own life. He consistently proves Himself to be faithful and I know He will be faithful to these young ones.

God is so good. Even in the moments that are tough, God is so very very good.