Friday, June 24, 2016

Shaky planes.

The plane shook so hard that I bit the inside of my mouth as it dropped in a pocket of air.

I tasted the blood and knew that I was going to have to swallow it down because the stewardess had made it clear that passengers should remain buckled and that the weather might prevent beverage service (translation:  bumpy ride ahead).  I tried to read and found it to be impossible because the tiny letters were jumping all over the page making my eyes and head hurt.  I made the mistake of looking out the window and saw hazy and tall clouds--not the happy clouds that normally dot the sky.  I had seen the weather reports and knew that our state was going to be under a series of storm warnings today and I had switched my flight to avoid the bulk of these storms (but mostly to avoid an 8-hour wait at the airport for my flight).   

I also noticed that I was sitting directly next to the plane's spinning propellor and that I'd never know if it came off because I'd be immediately put out of my misery.  

That didn't bring me comfort, either. 

I finally put my book down and just closed my eyes and informally began asking for Peace and calm in my spirit.  I realized that my entire body was clenched from the stress of the takeoff and transition to the sky, and I felt slightly close to spontaneous tears for a few moments.  I sang songs in my head and tried with everything in my being to take deep breaths and relax.  

Normally I find flying to be exciting and fun, but this flight was not exactly normal.     

I had to let go of control, and ask Him to take capture of my anxious thoughts.

I worry more than the average person.  It's not pretty and it's caused its fair share of wrinkles and sleepless nights.  I worry about things that matter, and I worry about things that don't.  I worry about the future.  I worry about the past.  I worry about the present.  I stress and review and relive and work through things more than I'd like to admit.  I like things to be neat and orderly, and I like my life to be expected and routine.  I do not care for curve balls and I like to stay ahead of problems and issues.  I enjoy planning and considering situations before they occur, and I do not do well with making decisions under pressure.  

And on that plane, I was completely at the mercy of the pilot, the sky, and Jesus.  

I could not make decisions for the trip.  I could not ask air traffic control if anyone had looked at the radar map and agreed it looked safe to fly.  I could not check my phone to see the radar map for myself to determine the best route.  I could not tell them to put the plane down in Raleigh and that I'd figure out a way for someone to come pick me up.  I was going to have to sit down and ride it out.  

I didn't like it, but I also didn't have a choice. 

It occurred to me that the flight crew most likely did not have a death wish yesterday.  They probably had family and friends they wanted to return to, and they made these flights all the time.  While I was completely unnerved by the state of affairs, they had enough prior knowledge and experience to determine that it was a safe time to fly.  I was going to have to trust them and let them do their jobs. 

And when I'm anxious, I need to trust the Lord to do His job.  

If I know Him and I know that He loves me personally, then I can trust His decisions for my life.  I can trust He is good, and I can trust that He has a view that is bigger than any radar or history book.  I don't have to spend my time spinning wheels and wringing my hands and considering things over and over and over again--I can sit still and recognize life is often out of my control, and that my itinerary was set for me before I took my first breath.  

And if that knowledge doesn't calm the churning in my spirit, then I don't know what will. 

Friday, May 20, 2016


There aren't enough hours in my day.

I have grit and grime and a to-do list and a calendar.

I am running full-throttle at work and when I get home it's a different kind of crazy, and in a lot of ways I'm too tired to care anymore (like putting on house flip-flops while cooking because I don't have time nor the desire to sweep that floor one. more. time.)

And I'm racing to 40 and feeling the fatigue and the lack of youthful glow on my exterior.

I have highs and lows in my life, but I often center my thoughts on the past and the lows I created for myself.

So, I go to bed and find myself doing the same thing again the next day. 

In my quiet moments I just want some peace and order to my life and surroundings. 

I wonder if that is really too much to ask?  

But in my deepest corners of my heart, I'm listening to the Whisper.  The one who knows you by name and intimately knows your heart.  The one who gives me hope and puts peace in my spirit.

There's a book waiting to be written. 

And I have a message that resonates in my heart and a message I believe will resonate with others.

So, today I will walk in this chaotic life, often feeling very small and insignificant, but recognizing that in my smallness, He is greater.

And that when I am feeling small, I can be free.  

To be continued. . .walk with me? 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Because we're tired.

I seem to have run into a lot of people in the Tired Tribe recently.  Exhausted, unmotivated, unable to get out of the constant feelings of panic and go!, unable to get on top of that to-do list, unable to get it together and be awesome.  Part of this is because I surround myself with teachers each workday and we are all feeling the end of the year stresses and we're just burnt out on 2015-2016 school year.  Thank goodness for Teacher Appreciation Week and the sweet little gifts and moments that remind us why we put ourselves through it each day.

But I'm finding people outside of the classroom building who are feeling it, too.  They've wiped the warpaint on their faces as well and they are going at it with everything they've got, and sometimes it's still not enough.  They are killing it on the regular, and are getting killed in return.

It's hard to be "so done" when you can't even get started. 

I've had conversations with friends and we've all come to the conclusion that there has got to be a better way.  Our lives are operating at maximum capacity and then we see other people in the same life stage, and they are doing it all better with smiles on their faces and with clean-faced children.  They are working 9-5 with kids in sports and they go to the gym and still have time for their crafty hobbies.  Meanwhile, I'm struggling to get through my day with my cute little 7-9 year old students (who are so, so sweet but extremely taxing on my introvert meter), and then getting home to be a functioning member of the family who listens and does and cooks and cleans and exercises.  I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants and I'm going full-throttle and still not getting everything done with excellence.  

I told my husband last night that I'm handling the necessary things in life, but I'm not doing anything well.  I'm going to work, I'm feeding people, I'm ensuring underwear is clean, but I'm not on top of my game by any stretch of the imagination.  There is little time for things that fill my tank and my poor tank is nearly bone dry.  

And while I feel very sorry for myself, I don't have the time to sort through what it is I'm feeling sorry about. 

I don't want this to turn into a "woe is me" post, but there is something to be said for taking care of yourself.  We've all been reminded that we can't pour out of empty containers, and there is a lot of truth in that statement.  I have found myself daydreaming about dark rooms and blankets and no stimulus for a weekend.  I become grumpy and moody when my brain has time to disengage because it only knows how to operate on all cylinders and doesn't know what to do with space anymore.  I am anxious and overwhelmed and cannot enjoy downtime because my brain is quickly working through my to-do list.  

But, here's the thing I'm telling myself:  I'm not competing with anyone else.  I'm not trying to be like that other lady who apparently has it all together because her "together" is completely different from mine.  Having it together is on a spectrum and for some folks, just getting through the day breathing is all they need to handle.  And for others, they might be able to handle all of the spinning plates and smile without having lipstick on their teeth.  

And I'm very happy for and amazed by those people. 

And I think they are aliens. 
And very, very good at crafting themselves on social media.

So, get out there and handle your own business like a boss today.  Recognize that you do not have to compete with the world to validate yourself and your importance.  All of those people you are dying to impress are merely trying to keep up with themselves and don't have time to think about your achievements.  We are all handling our individual challenges, and there is no need to fight for position when you are in a race for one.  

Let's run alongside each other, cheer others on, encourage and fight the good fight, and let's manage what's going on in our own lives well.

Happy Saturday, xoxxo        


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