My week began with ice cream–aka a sign from God that I am about to have one of the best/busiest weeks so far this year. Either that….or I’m just being buttered up because I’m going to be involved in a tragic bear attack later on. It’s anyone’s guess.
But my week began with ice cream, then promptly moved on to a mini taste of motherhood when I went shopping at a local store only to discover that 90% of the clothes there were sizes Small and Extra Small—neither of which I have ever found myself in. However, those were the exact sizes of my dear friends Clara and Olivia–so with me shopping for Clara and Hannah and Jessie for Olivia–we joyfully shifted through racks of clothing looking for adorable/modest outfits for our friends and all the while bemoaning the sad decline of the clothing industry’s taste. Meanwhile Clara and Olivia stood a safe distance away from us and patiently nodded in agreement with us as we held up blouses and argued over whether the colors looked good on them or not. Either they are the sweetest souls on earth–or they were too afraid to attempt an escape.
But things became more interesting as we approached a row of headless manaquinns. Piece of advice: Either make sure the clothing actually fits the dummy–or don’t make the figure SO detailed–thank you. As we were walking by, there was a loud bang and we turned to find that someone in our party–though never discovered–had accidently knocked a headless torso off the wall. The sad figure of the dummy lay chest down on the floor with its tiny sundress falling off it–gives you an idea of how absolutely impractical those dresses can be. It was then our job to quickly redress the dummy and put it back on the wall before the management discovered our vicious attack. Our well intended action, however, soon looked more like a mugging rather than a rescue mission. But at last we managed to put the figure back up. Thank heaven it only took five girls to do it.
But “interesting” story aside, this week has had me thinking. For a while, I was stuck in an ‘in between stage’, a place where I was waiting on a new stage to begin. One phase/wave of blessings had already rolled through, and I was waiting on the next one. Like a surfer who waits for the next really good wave to come. It was tedious, yes, but most of all it was boring. I’m an active person, if I’m not busy with something–be it trying out a new and exciting job or scrubbing out a milking barn–I’m not very happy. I have to be busy. The extreme nothingness, the boredom that came from cleaning your room for the thousand time this month or re-organizing your bookshelves again because you feel Lord of the Rings is a much more significant piece of literature than World War Z–was about to drive me insane.
So there I was, sitting in the ocean, waiting for the next wave to come at me–without even a wind to indicate there was a possibility of another wave.
Boring, tedious, depressing.
I began to read Joyce Meyer’s book Straight Talk during this time. The first chapter I turned to was one about contentment, about “Being happy where you are, on the way to where you’re going” (paraphrasing Joyce here). This idea was huge to me. I mean, I’d always heard about how to be content–about not wining about the lack of this or that in your life–but I’d never once learned how to obtain that level of spiritual maturity. But Joyce put it very bluntly.
Part of it was trusting God that he would provide what you needed. Making your request known and then trusting that he would provide in His way and timing. Now, we can sit and spout of a million and one reasons to trust God because there are literally a million and one reasons. Thinking about all the times he has provided for your before alone should make you more comfortable with trusting him–but for us control freaks this just isn’t the case. We don’t like to give up control, it makes us feel helpless, and above all useless. If we’re not making a conscious effort to better our situation then we are a failure and we’ve just set ourselves up for a fall. While none of us would openly admit that we weren’t giving God control over our lives, underneath it all we realize that our mental sanity is based on the false image that we are in control. As a child, though, I thought that people who weren’t giving God control were literally NOT giving him control. To use the well known image: They were sitting in the drivers seat of their car with Christ in the passenger’s, all the while shouting out “NO NO NO!” whenever He tried to suggest that perhaps they should trade places. When I thought of it that way, of course I’d say “Oh no, I’ve given God control.” I even prayed for him to be in control! But in reality,I may have given him the keys but I never moved out of the driver’s seat.
So the first step for me, was to trust that he would provide, that he was going to make everything okay and I should trust him the way a child trusts their father to take care of a difficult situation. Little by little, He showed me that He was providing. When I emailed my teacher with an important question–and was concerned they wouldn’t email back in time–He provided and the teacher emailed me back promptly. When my truck was on the fritz and I was concerned it would either be a really BIG fix or the untimely death of my beloved Ruby (my Dodge’s name–see Supernatural)–He provided and my truck ended up being perfectly fine. But in both of those scenarios, I began to pray and say that I was trusting Him above all else. For the first time a peace filled me, and I was able to go about my day in a good mood and without worry.
Another was actively thinking positively about your current situation and understanding that while parts of it may be unpleasant, it is temporary. Hence the “Being happy where you are on the way to where you’re going.”. We’re going somewhere–we’re just not there yet and that doesn’t mean that we’re stuck. We’re just not there yet, and it’s very liberating to realize that God’s moving you and you can relax. I mean, we need to do our part to get where we want to go–but we shouldn’t run out ahead of God.
For so long I felt like that wave wasn’t going to come. But once I began to relax and enjoy the calm–using the time to focus on things that I hadn’t gotten to work on in a while–the blessings started to come.
Within a day that intermediate period ended. New relationships popped up suddenly and abundantly, I got a call to preform in a show I’d wanted to preform in for a while, I started back to work and was given some wonderful career advice and opportunities from someone who I really admire. Things began to bloom, and
I guess my point is that blessings come in waves, and even though we may be between them for the moment–another wave will come. It’s a huge relief to know that, and to have the pressure of finding that next wave (moving and trying to force things to happen) taken off us.
I went from a period where I’d start the week without having anything to look forward to other than going to sleep at night, to having a busy schedule full of joyful days and starting the whole thing off with ice cream.
My week began with ice cream.
On Tuesday I Skyped my dearest friend Jamie, and we talked for about three to four hours collectively. There was a flurry of different topics, including everything from analysis of our favorites shows to our deep and mutual love of Basil Rathbone–an extremely talented British actor from the 1940’s back. It was a beautiful way to spend the day, chatting with a “sister” from another state.