Stress can downright make a girl do funny things.
Oh, those funny things may not be all too crazy on the bell curve. They might not be noticeable to the naked eye, but they lurk, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. Looking for any vulnerable crack in the system.
Loved ones may not be able to put their fingers on the exact problem, but they recognize the altered mood and when they can’t take it any longer they’re liable to burst with a pointed, “What’s your deal?!”
And you know what? I wonder the same thing. What is my deal? Why am I short with those I love most? Why does every request, every unforeseen change in schedule rattle my cage? A snarky response emerges from the black-hole of discontent, rather than a place of jovial humor. I’m not usually “like this,” I reason. Calgon, take me away! (Yes, I really am that old.)
At any rate, the winds of change always seem to catch me off-guard. You’d think I would know by now (seeing as the Calgon reference just implicated my actual age) how to recognize, master, and subdue this frequent offender, but alas. You’d think, after all these years, I would sense the not-so-subtle change in season coming and I would be armed and ready. On guard!
But somehow they puncture my Achilles heel – Every. Single. Time.
So here i sit, in a bit of a funk on the brink of another change of season; four tattered student planners chucked in the trash, early morning alarms safely turned off, winter soup exchanged for summer salads. Ironically, the tightly-wound, over-scheduled routine that threatened the end of me two weeks ago is now the very thing I wish I could retrieve.
Why? I wonder. We ran like horses vying for the triple crown just a moment ago and now – nothing. I think there is a certain safety in routine; in knowing exactly what’s going to happen when and where? For my kids and for me.
Then again, there exists a defensive barrier against vulnerability as well. I can hide behind routine. No one can ask me for help or need me to do anything for them because, after all, “I’m busy.” If I whisk around like Cinderella on a heavy work day I can float in my own personal atmosphere. Impenetrable.
Stripped of hard and fast routine I am exposed. Vulnerable. However, I dare to venture a guess that’s right where God wants me – available. For His higher purposes; His higher plan. May I embrace such a place. It is indeed a gift.
I pray He sees fit to use me in any way He likes in this summer season – for His glory.
Turns out my kids are capable of entertaining themselves. I am also capable of engaging with them in a new way, one that requires creativity, imagination and intentionality. Let’s do this.
Cheers to summer! Cheers to a new season mongered by freedom not stress, enveloped in heart connections previously unattainable in weeks covered in after-school sports and pop quizzes.
Now to dip our toes in the sand or the water or the sprinklers. Whatever comes, it will be good because it will be His.