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.


  1. Oh, honey! This is hard. And GOOD - you are remarkable. Believe it, hang onto it, live it. And you are loved. You're doing a fabulous job. Fabulous.

  2. He will continue to lead you. I remember the seasons my mom waited tables after a full day of teaching to put food on the table for my brother and me. I look back and see such the sacrificial love she had to persevere. Praying your kids will see the love in all that you do for them.

  3. Brandee,

    I can remember that panic of too many tables at a time, but I had forgotten that's what it was called: the weeds. Hmm, sounds like some sage waiters around you, coaching and helping you through that. What good advice for any of our crazy moments to slow down -- so counter-intuitive some moments. Thanks for your honesty. Hang in there. It's worth it. I've worked part time through most of my marriages and parenting days too, and waitressing was one of those jobs too.

    Thank you for how you are serving and loving your family. It is not passing unnoticed, and it's worship to your God, and love with skin to your family.

    Jennifer Dougan

  4. I would think with 4 young children you would be 'in the weeds' fairly often...lol!

    Just wait 'till the girls become boy crazy!



    1. I will say that I've gotten better at multi-tasking since having the little kids: so many people needing things at the same time. It's been fun/funny to realize this while waiting tables. :)