Sometime this past spring, I found myself experiencing a rut that lasted for quite some time. My son had started to walk, climb, and run so I was being a spotter day in and day out for a very energetic and curious toddler. My daughter turned four, so her world view and interests began to expand. She required a different form of direction than my son and I felt worn out trying to meet her needs while simultaneously keeping my son out of harm’s way as he explored. Everything became the same daily routine and life was suddenly sunrise, sunset as the days passed quickly.
In between the rising and setting suns a lot of division began happening in this country. Social media and news headlines became a landmine of negativity and division. It seemed as if the terrain in our country changed drastically over night. People started casting lots in quite an uproar over a great many things. Many things may have been in need of a bit of an uproar, but the division is terribly palpable. There are a lot of injustices occurring across the globe and we are experiencing a time of great uncertainty the world over.
My spiritual walk was beginning to have too many exceptions until my feet were firmly planted on the Rock EXCEPT when…
- I was tired and cranky
- I was discouraged
- My feelings were hurt
- My attitude was slipping into the red zone
- I was feeling burnt out
- I was offended
- I disagreed with something
- My anxiety was turned up to 11
- An old wound needed some tending
- I was experiencing fear or uncertainty
- I was responding to an injustice
- I was uncomfortable with my circumstances or surroundings
I am sure I could keep going with that list, but I must digress.
I needed to turn the volume down on several things for my own peace of mind. I pulled away from media in many forms and spent some time getting myself recalibrated mentally and spiritually.
It is incredibly hard to get out of a rut when you’ve allowed way too many exceptions to keep you there.
I began to put into practice reciting Luke 23:24 anytime I came across something that contributed to all of those the things mentioned in the bulleted list above (and all of those things that weren’t mentioned!).
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
That verse constantly reminds me of what my main priority actually is: for my feet to remain firmly planted on the Rock EVEN WHEN…
- I am tired and cranky
- I am discouraged
- My feelings are hurt
- My attitude is slipping into the red zone
- I’m feeling burnt out
- I’m offended
- I disagree with something
- My anxiety is turned up to 11
- An old wound is in need of some tending
- I’m experiencing fear or uncertainty
- I’m responding to an injustice
- I’m uncomfortable with my circumstances or surroundings
I have been learning to let go without hesitation, forgive swiftly, and quickly fix my eyes on Him in all circumstances and situations.
For some mysterious reason, Luke 23:24 has been a huge part of recalibrating my head and my heart, making the air a lot clearer in general.
I’ve been trying to find ways to teach my preschooler how to cope with all of the changes she has been experiencing in her own life. We made a big move, her learning is advancing, her emotions are more passionate, and she is increasingly interacting with the world around her. All of those things are a lot for an adult on a daily basis, so teaching a four year old child how to deal has been challenging.
A coping mechanism I’ve been working on with my daughter to thwart a meltdown is to “blow out the uglies”, as I like to call it. We take a deep breath and blow it out like a raspberry as many times as it takes to relieve the pressure and calm down. Sometimes we even count to twenty and blow out more raspberries.
The other day both of my children were restless and frustrated and I was stretched thin with all of the new adjustments we’ve been going through. We moved to new town in a new state, my husband started a new job, and we have had new doors opening all around. My children started to meltdown and I wanted to meltdown with them. Instead, I sat on the floor and pulled my daughter into my lap while my son insisted on lamenting in a toddler squat across the room and on the verge of knocking his head into the floor. I began “blowing out the uglies” with such an exaggerated display both children became silent and stared in awe. Pretty soon all three of us were blowing out crazy, exaggerated raspberries and both children began laughing hysterically in the process.
After blowing out her “uglies” and laughing a good bit, my daughter jumped up to exclaim, “I feel happy now!” My son clapped with squealing laughter as if to say, “I second that!”
So, that’s where I’ve been all summer: blowing out all of the uglies and getting my feet firmly planted on the Rock without anymore of those exceptions.