In my laundry room I have a cute knick-knak that is a reminder to me. It says, “When life feels like a roller coaster, throw your hands up and enjoy the ride!” It is a good reminder for me because my natural reaction to difficult news or a difficult day is to fix it so we can move one. My natural response to stress is to cover it up, put a bandaid on it…keeping moving. I am not sure where I learned this response or if I was born with it, but it is my gut reaction to stress, difficult news, suffering, etc.
What I have learned in my faith journey is that I am really not in control. Period. I am not important enough or powerful enough to or smart enough to “fix” things. The fact that I believed for a long time that I could “fix” life is a little narcissistic. (Confession #10,784) More than a character flaw, it was exhausting! Very exhausting! Through faith I have learned that the first step I need to take is to let all of the pieces of the puzzle fall to the floor. Just let them fall. Just doing that one thing allows more space for breathing. Just breath. When I get to this point, I am able to pick up the pieces that truly matter and let the others ones stay on the floor…maybe forever.
This week I found that I could not stop the feeling of urgency all around me. I get tired of going to multiple stores for multiple reasons. The back of my car was full of different bags that needed to go to different places. My solution…a pound cake. I felt the need to throw some flour in a mixer with eggs and tons of sugar and butter. It felt good to turn on the mixer and make some noise. Some different noise. I didn’t share the bowl or the spoon with my daughters. I licked it by myself. It was good. The cake tasted delicious when we sat around our table at 7pm to enjoy a warm slice. A slice of peace.
I may not be able to stop the pace of life around me…but I can stop and make a pound cake. I did. It was good. Just like life is good when I accept there are some things I can’t fix! Today I am reminded that Jesus is my savior because He saves me from a life of control…daily.
Now…pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and find your mixer! Create some yummy peace. The shopping list can wait.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
I don’t know the day the hermit crab, Crabby Cakes, actually died. He (or she) has lived in our home for two and a half years. Before that Crabby Cakes lived four years with Mrs. Barbara, the science teacher at our daughter’s pre-school. When Crabby Cakes came to live with us I thought four years is a long time to live in captivity…surely this arrangement will only last a little while longer. How long can a hermit crab really live??? It lasted much longer than I expected. And over that time, I have to say, that little guy (or girl) grew on me and in its own way made a happy difference in our home.
But sometime over the past week of crazy in our home and schedule, Crabby Cakes moved from this life into the next. Sometime in the middle of homework, dinner, gymnastics, work, church, trips to and from school, Crabby Cakes stopped moving. It could possibly have happened while we were out on Wednesday to celebrate the arrival of Christmas with an-over-the-top Christmas Festival and up-close-and-personal firework display. Crabby Cakes might have fallen asleep then. Or it could have been one of my sleepless nights this week…maybe that is why I couldn’t sleep. Or maybe it was while I was sitting in Bible study and a prayer that I had been praying for over a year began to be answered with each passing minute. When did it happen…no idea!
Today, in his (her) little way, Crabby Cakes sent a message to me…stop for a minute. Check on my friend, Critter. (Time for pastoral care…crab style.) Remember that God is both small and big. God is present in the small, baby steps that we take towards a dream or vision and God is present on the big flashy firework days. When we remember this, we know that each moment of our lives is created and desires to be experienced fully. We also know that each little part of our life matters.
At the funeral for Crabby Cakes, I stood before the toilet (because we know from Nemo that all drains lead to the ocean) and said a quick thanks and farewell. Thankful for the tinniest part of my life sending a big message…all life matters. Itsn’t that the message of the cross too?
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” (Genesis 1:20)
Happy Tents is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families today. This is a place to share things we have learned growing together as a family. We hope you will stop by often to check your compass and share new things from your family’s trail.