Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Weeds

My head is swimming with all the things I want to tell you and can't. What I want to tell you and can is that I'd forgotten so many things in the twelve years or so since I'd waited tables. I'd forgotten, for one thing, about being in the weeds: those moments when you've been "triple sat" (gotten three tables all at once) and it feels like you're stuck in place, spinning your wheels.

It doesn't help that I'm still learning the locations of all the menu items on the computers. The more frazzled I get, the more mistakes I make. It's nothing for me to push the wrong button three times in a row. Another server was standing behind me, last week, watching. "Chill out," he said. "Damn." Then: "Calm down. Shit."

This is the way most all of them talk. I'd forgotten about that. They mean no harm, mosttimes, and this particular server has been especially helpful. He came up to me later and said: "A guy at another restaurant told me, once, that the best thing to do when you're in the weeds is to slow your pace. Just slow down, and you'll remember all the things you need to do and know in which order you need to do them. Just slow down. It works."

I'm going to try and keep this in mind. The truth is that it had been a long time since I'd been busy in that way. The closest I'd come in years and years was getting all the children out the door for church, Sunday mornings. Trust me: it's not the same.

It's good to be physically active: to remember the strength of my arms, back, and legs; to fall weary into bed at night; to sleep so deeply that, if I have dreams, I don't remember upon waking. The children slip into my arms without my knowing; I never know whom I will be holding when I open my eyes.

It's good to be seen, even by strangers, as someone apart from those with whom I live. It's good to miss my family, sometimes, and it's especially good to appreciate my time with them. It's good to feed cash into the ATM at the end of the night.

I don't know how long this particular season will last, but interestingly, I'm experiencing less anxiety than I had for a while, including before Jim lost his job. I have the sense that God wanted to wake me up, to help me recognize how blessed I was to stay home with the children, to remind me that I can function when apart from them. I'm thankful for my job, also for work as a photographer. I'm thankful for those friends who've been friends during this time. I'm thankful for my Bible study on Isaiah and for the ways in which God keeps leading me into Romans. I'm praying and asking Him to fill my needs and voids, to help me put one foot in front of the other, to lead me not into temptation,

to lead me safely through the weeds.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review: Every Little Thing

It was a beautiful, exciting thing to read the nonfiction words of a real-life friend, someone in whom I believe wholeheartedly. I didn't need to read Every Little Thing to stand behind it; I know the heart of the author. I have rifled through her kitchen cabinets and slept--after she turned down my bed with her own hands, praying for my rest--on her pull-out sofa.

I could tell you a lot of things (all of them gorgeous) about Deidra Riggs, but my favorite thing about her is this: she really just wants to leave you further along than she found you. She's too wise to think she can carry you or fix you, and in fact, she seems to have a healthy detachment from how your story will end. If you spend a moment with her, you'll inevitably feel it: she's fully present and thinking about how she can illuminate your path with the one moment she has. She'd like to see you take your next step. For now, one step (in Christ) is plenty enough.

I found Every Little Thing to be a beautiful reflection of and from the heart of my friend. If you're feeling short or shy of a calling from God, or if you think you know how God is calling you but feel inadequate, fearful, or overwhelmed, this book is for you...not because it includes a detailed plan, but because it will help you take your next step. For now, one is enough.

Every Little Thing will help you believe that you are loved, that God has created you to love Him and other people. If you're willing, He can and will do amazing things through you...and "amazing" has little to no relationship to size. I do recommend this book, but more than that, I recommend this writer. If you're unfamiliar with Deidra Riggs' blog Jumping Tandem, you're missing out. She's hosting important conversations there, and she's doing it with almost unimaginable kindness and grace.