Let me level with you: Life is full these days. I purposefully chose not to say "busy", "crazy", or "chaotic". I just want to say that it is full. Full like a dish at a potluck where you keep trying to slide just one more item on your plate. You might even take a self-conscience glance around, and dump some brisket on top of the potato salad and then shrug and say, "It's going to the same place anyways."
That's my life right now. It isn't bad or stressful, because I choose to believe that it is exactly how God designed it to be. The reality of it is, my husband is in veterinary medical school, I'm teaching and designing curriculum, Adela is active with a dozen interests and projects, and Micaela remains a cute complicated kid. Throw in the farm and keeping a home and my potluck plate has started dribbling juice on the floor.
I did though, have a moment where I almost...almost...lost my grip. I had carefully choreographed my evening and believed I could get two loads of laundry done, dried, and sorted between cooking supper, helping the girls with homework, and putting out some home fall décor. I pulled the soggy clothes out of the washer and dumped them into the dryer. I smiled, enjoying the scent of clean clothes and the wealth of shirts and pants my girls have been blessed with. Then, prepped the machine and pushed the button. Expecting to hear the bumps and whirls as it got into motion, I froze when I heard a single bump followed by silence.
My world came crashing down.
Frantic, I opened and closed doors, flipped breakers, checked settings, and pushed the button like a monkey.
I backed away, as if the machine were a snake. I fell into a chair. My choreographed dance of work transformed into a failed disaster. I bowed my head and prayed, asking God for peace or a new dryer. What he delivered instead was Adela, wanting to know what I was doing (she doesn't see me sit down much these days). I explained the dryer's condition and from her wise nine-year-old lips she shrugged and said, "Well, we can handle that."
I gave her a half smile. Yeah. We would handle it.
We don't get to pick what our days throw at us, but we need to learn how to give life and loved ones space. Accepting, loving space. Instead of demanding that things continued to go in the direction I had planned for the evening, I needed to be loving and accepting toward myself, replacing my fear and anger with trust that God's plans are always good.
The concept of giving space actually comes from psychologist recommendations for good listening. When someone is telling you their problems, you give them space to talk, to sort out their worries and feelings. You do not fill the space with your own ideas. You listen with concern and curiosity. You do do not listen while mentally deciding what you are going to say when they take a breath.
We must give our day space too. Whatever happens, whatever needs to be cared for, whoever needs to be loved, we must to give those situations space and acceptance.
After all, God's will is that we love one another beyond agendas.
This week as you welcome the chaos of family and holidays, I pray you give space to your life so that it might be filled with love.
Are you frustrated by a person or situation right now? You might need to trust God with your time and give the situation accepting, loving space to simply be part of your life.
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"...and God was already there with me."