I recently shared with my church family how thanksgiving snuck up on me. It seems as though I was just walking up and down Jackson street with our youth group and kids, racking in the candy. Then all of a sudden I found myself standing in the packed lines at Safeway with a cart full of all the fixings needed for the one day you forgive yourself for consuming 4,000 calories in one sitting. I recently learned that little tidbit at our church’s outreach event. 4 k is the average amount people eat at thanksgiving, um…That alone is the reason why you find family members showing up in loose fitting pants. Me, I rocked a pair of running shorts that were well loved while growing Veil and I had absolutely no shame as I enjoyed my stuffing with a side of turkey.
Our evening was just the way it should be. I don’t get to see my sisters nearly enough. We have different schedules. We are married with husbands and kids to keep us pulled in too many directions. My mom and great grandma also join us as well and the kids take turns deciding which grandma will get the most questions or better yet be their audience of one as they tell stories or want to show their favorite things.
It’s funny how so much time, money, energy, focus and intentionality goes into just a few hours.
Even though last night was more then I could have hoped for, thanks to watching Ezzy slaughter us all in a game I thought she was too young to comprehend, I found myself wake in a funk this morning.
The high was over, the week of planning, prepping, brining a turkey, making stuffing from scratch to fill tummies that have been finding healing since the big dietary changes started a few months ago, it all was over.
A quick slice of pumpkin pie shared with bean and some black coffee fueled my mid morning run as I pondered over why I was feeling the funk.
You know what I realized?
I spend so much time in the preparation of something, trying to get to the promise of the end goal and completely disregard the PROCESS it takes to get there.
I think I do this, because most of the time the process is the hardest part to be in. It usually calls for things to be uncomfortable. It usually requires more endurance then you think possible. It usually comes at the cost of yourself, something has to give.
Running for me is Holy time. Yes, as I write that I realize how silly that sounds. But it’s true. My mind, heart, ears, and eyes are never more clear then when I am running. So when this realization hit me, I went to the Lord and said “ok, now that you showed me this, what am I suppose to do with it?”
Immediately I was brought to a photo that brought tears to my my eyes.
That photo summed up my entire year. Folks, it’s been a hard year. It’s been hard to fight exhaustion, loss of identity, and yes, frustration when it has come to marriage. My little man has faced things I know I can’t fight for him. Ezzy’s health status has had fluctuations that literally shook the foundation we stand on. Kyre has tested my limits to love when irrationality is her only language. Boo and her independent spirit has caused me to be late to many things. Veil, veil has made me see to often that I operate out of self preservation and it’s not until I hold and nurse her that I see I am not being present in the day to day stuff. Mothering has just been plain hard.
It’s in the process that I can say that even though marriage is hard. Especially when new business ventures start. Especially when dates seem to far between. Especially when I just want to be seen as his wife and nothing more. The process of marriage has been the very thing that reminds me that love is a daily choice. A choice that I can say without a sliver of doubt we will always make for each other.
The process of working through big issues with my son this last year has challenged me to be in the word and pray more fervently, but also to involve him in those things. I have also realized after watching him run the half marathon in May that I have to allow him to find ways that challenge him, even it is scary and too big for my heart.
The process of coping with a fatal chronic disease, I don’t believe will ever get easier. I believe we will have seasons of manageable and then seasons of operating on pure blind faith. The latter has been it with Ez. It’s been hard. It’s required me to say something I can’t handle “I can’t do it anymore”, more times then I want to admit. Yet it’s in the process we have found an amazing family counselor. Someone to help us work past the trauma CF has done to us all.
The process of having an irrational child has forced me to look within and see that the “stuff and stack” method I thrive on is so incredibly broken. As soon as her hurts are released and she is heard, she is better. How funny the power of being heard, brings healing.
The process of accepting leadership skills seen so clearly by her preschool teachers, reminds me that I have a little girl that is watching her momma and says “I CAN do that!” She helps me see that leaders need others who see their strength and foster it. It also means that I am careful to add extra minutes in my day, knowing little miss Me Do will need them. I have learned that by stepping aside I am empowering her to take the lead and lead others.
It’s in the process, that I tuck her close too me and stroke her head and hold her little fingers in the early mornings or before naps that I shake away the “gotta go” and instead breathe in the now. Every first is cherished, in doing so, allows me to walk down memory lane and see how far I have come in this mothering journey.
To my friends out there, rushing to the next preparation of life: CHRISTmas, job, dream, etc. I want to encourage you to not be afraid or angered at the process. The promise of things to come, most likely when they get there will be short lived and you will be looking at the next preparation of something. Isn’t that true? Very rarely to we enjoy the end goal before we start looking for the next thing.
The process this year has been hard. BUT believe or not. I am in no hurry for the promise of yet to come. The process has not only drawn me closer to God, but it has allowed me to finally break free of things that want to hold me down to the earth instead of letting me be lifted by things that only come from above. The process helped me see that the new job I will be entering into at the new year is something he created me to do so long ago. I had to go through a lot to be ready for this job.
Rest in the process. Be THANKFUL for the process.
“God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he WONT STOP before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns” – Philippians 1:6
photo cred: the AMAZING stephanie brissette (my dear friend who has been documenting my life as a mom and as our family has grown for the last 3+ years)