It was a Friday morning a few weeks ago. We slid into the worn booth of a local coffee shop, my friend and I. The air was full of that heavenly, earthy, roasted smell of ground beans and hot water. It’s my favorite smell God ever made. We sat there with an hour to fellowship and a million little things to cover. She asked, “How are you?” And it was not the kind of how-are-you that you can skirt with an oh-you-know-same-old-fine. It was the kind of question that deserved an honest answer. And the honest answer is that I’m doing things but feel like I’m getting nowhere. I am afraid: afraid that I’m not productive enough.
It was a Monday evening last week. I sat with my feet dangling off of the doctor’s exam table, a fevery and mostly delirious mess with a heavy heart. My body ached and I was sure I’d never been hotter than that moment. Tears came easily as the nurse swabbed my nose, pricking my eyes first and flowing freely as she turned to leave the room. All of the sudden the weight was more than just my sick body. The exam room became a sanctuary and the place where I sat–feet dangling–an altar. It was the flu and it came without reason but there was more than just a body sickness. As I waited for the doctor to come in masked up and prescription ready, I went over all the corners of my life and how they have been left untended lately.
My expectations were too heavy for me. My expectations are too heavy for me.
And so I did what I’ve learned to do. One by one I placed all of the things in God’s lap. Is this for me and from you? What about this? And this one, too? That one? That one I want so much. But You can have it if I’ll move forward in You. You can have it if it will unparalyze my heart. You can have it if You want it: the most painful but productive words I’ve learned in my 19 years of walking with Him.
It was last night and the water bubbled over dirty dishes. My husband stacked his oreos up on the counter, crunching through them one by one. The water bubbled and the cucumber soap smell filled the kitchen and I let my heart things flow out. We almost never come at a problem the same way so I tried to make my words the kind that he hears well. He listened and I fumbled my way through, how I’m like my children on a latent snow day: waiting and waiting and waiting for the promised thing and realizing that it’s a not yet. It’s still a not yet.
I took two weeks off from this space. I didn’t mean to, but the flu stole a week and then I just couldn’t make words form. It’s mostly because I need to do some heart work about my expectations. I don’t know how but I want to drag all of my stuffs and things under the umbrella of grace. Surely there is a place where productivity is covered in grace. I’m not sure what that means for this space. I’ve learned to be unafraid of putting precious things on the altar. The truth is that this is a precious thing to me and I have a story I want to tell. It’s a story God is making my very heartbeat. It’s my story but you are there; I see you all around the edges. But. There are other corners of my life and I’m trying to decipher what all of that looks like in tandem.
This isn’t an announcement, just so you know. I have some fears about this space: that I think too much, that I write too many thinky things, that I don’t write enough happy and how to posts, that I’m too small. One thing I’d like to say about 2014 is that I stopped using fear at the foundation, that instead I hoped and planned and dreamed and tried out of God’s great love for me. I’m going to be working on that.