It’s been so long since I’ve blogged, I may have forgotten how to blog. Things have been rolling steadily along. I’m picking up just the right amount of new consulting clients, taking on some limited branding engagements, doing some coaching, and planning Stationery Academy. The orders for the August version of the Day Designer continue to astound and delight me, and I’ve even hired and trained an awesome new production assistant to help me with some graphics work.
I was looking for my zone this afternoon (usually found at the bottom of several cups of coffee), when my phone rang. I looked down at it, surprised to see my husband’s phone number pop up. I knew he had appointments, and it was odd that he was calling, so I picked up. He heaved a heavy sigh.
Never a good sign.
And then it came. The rug. Out from under. My feet. AGAIN.
My almost four-year-old son has this thing he does when he wants us to stop doing something. He stomps his feet and shakes his head and says vehemently, “No! No [insert offensive thing here]! No!” We tell him not to act that way, but I completely understand the impulse to act that way, because when I got off the phone with my husband, I felt like screaming at God: “NO! No more instability! NO!”
I realize that screaming at God is a debatable subject, but I wanted to be honest. And honestly, I am tired. We have been trying, for what feels like EVER, to just get back on top. On top of the debt. On top of job security. On top of things that “normal” people have under control, like their kid’s dentist appointments, eye doctor appointments, ear infection appointments, speech lessons and summer school.
I am TIRED. I have HAD IT. Up to HERE, as my mother would say. I give up.
I read a blog post this evening, written by the assistant of my friend and photographer, Shannon Ho. Shannon’s assistant, Kelsey, is battling a rare form of cancer right now. While my trials don’t come close to relating to the fight for life, reading Kelsey’s words made me feel NORMAL. Her blog post reminded me that none of us signed up for this “valley of shadow and death” stuff that life throws at us, in so many forms. Most of us grew up dreaming of the big house, the cool car, the husband, kids, family. That’s what we signed up for, right? On the sign-up sheet for lives, I made very sure I put my name on the clipboard that said: “House 4,000 square feet // Car: Mercedes, any style, white // Kids: obedient and charming“. But in that vein of honesty, getting that life that we signed up for isn’t normal. So why do we start to feel so short-changed?
This life that I’m living, I don’t like it, God. NO! No valley of shadows! No creepy ugly scary stuff, God! NO NO NO!
As I scoured the kitchen later in the evening, looking for an onion to chop up and relieve my stress on, the thought occurred to me that He might be trying to teach me something. (Huh. Ya think, Sherlock?) That this might be a gift. That there might be a silver lining that I just can’t see right now. The reminder that there’s a bigger picture, a better something, if I will just CHILL OUT and let Him manage this stuff.
Instead, I demand phone numbers from my husband and switch into “fixer” mode, scurrying to find something to put under my feet. Something that tells me it all will be OK.
I have joked with our marriage counselor that I’m not one of those people who gets excited very easily. Especially about Bible verses. I grew up going to a private Christian school, and we memorized a verse every week. That’s twelve years of at least 40 verses a year. The knowledge base is definitely a great one to have, but there are still times when I’m rifling through that rolodex going, yeah, already used that one. Come on, God. Philippians is great. Can you stop and add a new chapter soon?
Please forgive my sarcasm. It’s a transparent by-product of dealing with a less-than-savory and unexpected hand in this journey called life.
If you’re working on your own set of problems or dealings, big or small, I’d encourage you to hop over and read Kelsey’s latest post. Not only is she a skilled writer, but she writes from the heart, and it’s compelling. Say a little prayer for her, too, please. Cancer is a mean booger.
The final words of Kelsey’s post, a quote from Sister Sue Tracy, are what have resonated with me tonight: “…all that is happening is worthwhile for my growth and for Your glory.”
[Sigh.] OK, God. If you say so. Oh, and thanks for putting up with my tantrums and sarcasm. That’s pretty great of you.
Lots of love for You, but thankfully not near as much as what You’ve got for me,