With Open Hands

“Stay as long as you want – we’re so thankful for your help,” my sister and brother-in-law in Virginia assure me.

“When are you coming back home? We miss you,” my sisters back in Ohio tell me.

“If you come into Kentucky you must quarantine for fourteen days,” Governor Beshear’s website declares.

I feel lost and adrift as I drink my lukewarm coffee. It’s like my dreams – the ones that felt so real and good in January – have dissipated. Now they’re like a fine mist floating over my head that I’m chasing – grasping – missing.

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What I really want to do is jump in my car and drive, drive, drive. Maybe to Florida. Then Alaska. And of course, Yellowstone is a must. Or maybe I can go to sleep and wake up on the other side of all this craziness. Or go back to January and make it last – snow and all – for twelve happy months and then magically be in 2021.

What I want to do is escape. To find my happy little nook where I’m in control, things are good, and my plans, dreams, and hopes play out before me like a happily-ever-after book.

Recently in my prayer journal I’ve been doing an exercise where I write How I Feel on one side of the page then fill it will the emotions that are bumbling around inside me. Then I flip my notebook upside down and write The Truth on the other side. I take each of the emotions that I’d rather ignore and work my way through them, figuring out why I feel that way, then remind myself of God’s truth.

Then, as those emotions pop up throughout my day, I’m able to name them, remember the truth, and conquer them. Yesterday was enlighting to say the least.

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My feelings fell in two distinct categories – joy, fulfillment, and thankfulness when I thought about where I was at the moment. The fact that I could help my sister’s family as they deal with some of the same health issues I’ve had over the years made me downright happy.

But then when the future loomed in front of me feelings of restlessness, despair, confusion, and even anger took over.

When I stopped to ponder what the difference was, the answer was glaringly obvious and horrifying at the same time. What is going on now I can control. I’m choosing to be here. I’m choosing to stay and help. I’m choosing to be a good sister/auntie and make a difference. I have faith in myself to make my here and now good.

The future though? That I can’t control. I can’t change the health, the minds, the laws, and the outcomes. I can pray and wait and trust, but I can’t control. Only God knows what will happen. Only He can do what I desperately want to be done. When it comes to the future I can’t trust myself because I have no power – I have to trust God, and only God.

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I’ve always thought of faith as one of my strong suits – I’ve never been overly concerned about my future because I knew God had it all under control. I work hard and prepare and God does the rest, right?

But what happens when I work hard and there’s no guarantee that God will follow through with what I’ve always thought was His part of the bargain? One thing I’ve been learning this year is that the future I thought God and I agreed on might actually be wishful thinking on my part.

So here I sit. And stand. And work. In a place where I’m learning to rest and breathe in deep with open hands. In a place where I’m learning to be still and know that God is. In a place where I’m learning that my view of the world is minuscule and His view is all-encompassing.

I want to know what the future holds. To know what normal will feel like in the coming weeks. To know what to expect and count on and look foward to. But I can’t know. And at the end of the day, that’s okay. Because I do trust. Not in myself, but in the God who holds the future.

7 Pioneer Secrets You Won’t Learn in School

Growing up, my dad often gave us history lessons as we drove through cities or while on vacation. His “history” was full of outrageous stories that made us children peal with laughter and beg for more.

Today, I decided to put mimic my father and give y’all a delightful lesson in history that you won’t find in any of the books. I hope this video brings you some joy, and if you feel inclined to share it with your friends, that would be amazing. 😉

 

 

Watercolor and Fabric {reaching outside my comfort zone}

Day Twenty-Nine dawns with lukewarm, day-old, decaf coffee, scrounging through the refrigerator for enough protein to count as breakfast, and the hum of the lawnmower under a gray sky.

During the last week, I was able to step outside of my comfort zone and do some things I’ve thought about doing for a while but didn’t really fit into my life. It’s been fun to branch out, surprise myself, and spend quality time with people I love.

And now, I’m off to clean the house, make lunch, and mow the lawn. Have a great day, my friends!

Hello, Day 25

Like probably everyone else I’m ready for this craziness to be over. I’m on day 25 of quarantine and it’s been quite the ride. I can hardly wait to be able to go back to work. To be back in my little home in Kentucky. To see all my co-workers and friends and fall into a rhythm and routine.

This morning while sipping coffee and spending time praying and thinking about the next couple of weeks, a surprising thought entered my mind.

How in the world am I ever going to accomplish everything I want to before this quarantine is over? 

And then I was like yikes, because if I’m piling more on my plate than I can accomplish during a nearly 50-day-stay-at-home-by-law order, well, that’s intense.

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Letting go isn’t something I’m a natural at. There’s a system of boxes and rows in my brain where everything makes sense and the urge to make sure they’re organized, neat, clean can sometimes be overwhelming. But letting go is something I’ve been working on daily.

Everything doesn’t have to make sense.
Everywhere doesn’t need to be orderly and clutter-free.
Everyone doesn’t need to have the same line-up of non-moral values that I have.

When I look back at this unique time in history, I want to make sure that I can do so with a satisfied nod – that I used my time well. This includes quieting the urge to do something so I can sit quietly and seek God’s face. This means throwing out my to-do list to play games with my siblings. This means that if my writing goes on hold for a day so I can spend extra time helping with big cleaning projects, then so be it. This also means accepting that rest is important – and that having so much uncertainty surrounding the future really does mean my adrenals need extra downtime.

In the quest to use my time wisely and make good memories, I have some pretty fun things that I’m looking forward to doing in the coming weeks. I can’t wait to share them with y’all.