I can always tell when I have a lot on my mind because, well, it’s my mind and I am well aware of all that is in there and, also, all that is not in there. Plus, I start to draw a blank when I try to write a post about random things and so I end up putting up a picture of Dreyer’s ice cream.
It’s that feeling of knowing I have something to say, but not knowing how to say it or how to start. So, instead, LOOK! ICE CREAM! PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM!
Since I wrote about letting go of my fears a few weeks ago, I’ve thought more about it. To be honest, there have been many times in the last month when I’ve felt fear and worry well up in me again. And I don’t really talk about it because it’s not fun to talk about. I’d rather think about cute shoes, my hair, and that everything is 40% off at Gap right now.
The important things.
I have just felt like I need to clarify that I haven’t arrived at some incredible destination of perfect peace and tranquility. It’s a daily dependence on God. Trusting and knowing that He can meet all my needs and that He has a great plan for my life.
I know it, yet I’m quick to fall into my old patterns and forget it.
I’ve thought so much about Paul’s words in Phillipians when he says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”.
I’m quick to get bogged down in the what ifs. I’m quick to worry and fret over things that are ultimately out of my control anyway. I’m quick to try to come up with my own solutions and totally discount His sovereignty in all situations.
I worry if I’ll regret not having another baby. I wonder if I should have another baby. I worry if Caroline will grow up to be happy and normal without a sibling. Who will she look at and roll her eyes with when she’s a teenager and I say embarrassing things? Which is inevitable, by the way.
I worry about our finances and if we’re going to owe money to the IRS this year. I worry that we’re not saving enough for the future. I worry that our property taxes are going to go through the roof now that our neighbors have built the Taj Mahal next door to us.
I worry about P and I flying to Florida in May and what if something happens. I worry about Caroline and if I’m raising her to the best of my ability. I have days where my patience reaches its limit and I forget that she’s just four. And then I feel guilty.
And then I worry about feeling guilty.
I worry because I’m speaking to a group of women in a few weeks and I don’t know if I’ll have anything to say beyond “Hey y’all. What’s up?” I’m speaking to another group of women in June and hope I say more than “Blogging is good”. What if I fail? What if I screw it all up? What if I’ve heard God wrong?
So, basically, there are days when I’m a big, hot mess.
That is a lot of information right there. I feel a little like that episode of “Seinfeld” where George bares his soul to Jerry and then says, “That is who I am and everything I am capable of.”
I guess my point is that I don’t have it all together and I have days that just really stink. But I try not to focus on those things because, most of the time, I try to refrain from hosting my own party full of woe and pity. And I know that in spite of all these worries I manage to manufacture, I am blessed.
A few weeks ago, I sat across the room from our former housekeeper, Cata. She is sixty-seven years old and has cleaned houses for most of her life. About a month ago, she and her husband lost their home and much of what they owned in a house fire. They have no insurance. Yet, I sat there and listened to Cata tell me in her broken English how blessed she felt and how God has been faithful to provide help throughout her entire ordeal. She looked at me with joy in her eyes and said, “Melanie, God is not old. He is still working.”
How much do I love that she said “God is not old”? It totally makes me think of when God asks Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short?” (Numbers 11:23)
God is not too old and His arm is not too short.
Everything you read here is a snapshot of my life. The days of monogrammed dresses and Easter baskets come once a year and make good pictures, but sometimes the reality is a lot messier.
I’ve been in a season of life where I start to feel easily overwhelmed. Doors have opened and I can see things on the horizon, but I’m not there yet and I get frustrated. And I start to doubt if any of it will ever really happen.
And then, of course, I worry about what it will mean if it does all happen. Because I am a fan of coming up with the worry material.
In fact, a few weeks ago I received an email with some really cool news and I called Gulley to tell her about it. She was so excited for me and there may have even been some jumping up and down. Meanwhile, I was all like “Well, we’ll see what happens.” She said, “What is wrong with you? Get excited, Coach Fran!”
The day before yesterday I got on my knees and prayed about all my fears, doubts, worries. Why don’t I trust God the way I should? Why do I go back to that place of relying on my own power? Why do I let the fear overtake me? When will I be the person I wish I could be?
I didn’t get an answer.
But then yesterday morning, I walked my dogs down to an empty field by our house to let them run. I stood there watching them and noticed one lone bluebonnet sprouting up in the middle of the field. I know from past years that in another week, the entire field will be covered in bluebonnets. But, for now, there is just that one.
And I felt God say to me in the still, small place in my heart, “My girl, that’s how it is sometimes. After a long winter, spring doesn’t always happen all at once. It happens one flower at a time. I make all things beautiful, one flower at a time.”
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11