If we were face to face (and I wish that we were), I could show you the text message I just sent my friend Joanna.
“Seriously Joanna, I’m just staring at a blank computer screen. I have no idea how to start.”
Words aren’t something that usually fail me. In fact, at times, I’ve wished they would fail me more. Oh the countless conversations I wish I could unhave, the dumb foot-in-mouth moments I wish I could erase, the times I’ve daydreamed about cutting my own tongue out in hopes that it would just prevent me from opening my mouth. And yet, my gift and my curse tag me as a born verbal processor and a learned therapeutic writer….
So here I am….
…and I am rusty.
My husband and I have often joked that we are [what we like to call] “deep-end divers.” Meaning, that we often cannonball straight into the deep end and forego the more thought out and logical one-toe-at-a-time approach to life. In strange ways, I think we are comfortable there; in the deep end that is. We’re the let’s get engaged after three months, long distance relationship/engagement, move in with my parents, move out of my parents, have three babies in three years, while in grad school, poor and living on a prayer type of people. You feel me? And that’s all been fine and well because up until this point I’ve coped and processed (rather well) by simply writing about it all.
But lately I just cant do it…”it all” that is.
Painfully I am learning that I am finite. That I have limits; boundaries. That my patience runs out, and that my love lacks. I am learning that every “yes” to one thing is a “no” to something else.
I’ve gone to war with these facts for years. My modern womanhood tells me that I CAN have it all; that if I just dream big enough, strive hard enough, work long enough, then the world is my oyster; I will be limitless. Because the truth is, having to say no to things in life makes me feel really…. scared…and a bit out of control… scared that God isn’t knowable and that He doesn’t know me. I get scared that my life will lack color, and that I will be like Mr. Darling in Peter Pan and lock all of my dreams in a drawer never to be looked at again. I fear the simple life, the quiet seasons, because they make me feel unseen. And when those fears set in, so does the panic, and the untethered frantic of my heart bleeds out and I become the worst version of Brie, Wife, Mommy…I become hurried, selfish, self-focused, impatient, angry, distracted….because I am striving to live up to a standard I have created in my mind; a standard nobody is holding me to.
With the birth of our daughter, Shiloh, my limits are being confronted head on. True to form, I spent the first couple of weeks fighting them, but lately I have surrendered. Less out of desire and more out of need. And God…true to His form…met me in my surrender. Funny enough, her name–Shiloh– means “tranquil; the peaceful one.” In the Bible, the city of Shiloh was known as a place of rest. And that is what my Shiloh is teaching me in all her newborn form; rest.
This is a lesson that I am thick in the midst of learning. It is a lesson I gather I will learn over and over in my life. We sure love to pretend we are self-sufficient don’t we? Because I am in the midst of it, I don’t have all the insight that hindsight brings, so when I reread this somewhere down the line, I just want to remind myself: the dishes will always pile. The laundry will always have to be done. Life will always require discipline. But it will be my moments of rest, my limits, that stir my heart to worship…in the colorful seasons, in the simple seasons, and in the quiet ones.