Last time I wrote about the rainy days. I know we all have them. Well, today, was one in a long sequence of rainy days.
Just in case I’m tempted to forget that life is complex, my son reminds me by becoming obsessed with flushing the wipes down the toilet. Now, we live in an old farm house. Very old. The plumbing is old. Very old. It doesn’t handle the flushing of normal things, much less wipes! My husband did the ‘Mr Fix It’ routine yesterday already, so I wanted to spare him, and all of us. But I unwisely ignored the problem with obsessions. They are hard to stop mid-stream. So while my son is fantasizing about flushing the wipes, I’m trying to stop him and hide the wipes. Sidebar: he’s 17, bigger than me and significantly stronger. So, a tussle occurs. I hate these tussles because they happen at the top of the stairs (really, at the door of the bathroom, but that’s the same thing) and I have to resist the panic of imagining myself thrown down the stairs. A few moments later, and I’m giving him some space to resolve his angst while I sit quietly, I’m shaking, and wondering why? It’s been a rainy day.
It’s raining and I’m supposed to go about life as usual. I make a different choice. I closed up the umbrella, ignored the proverbial water boots, went back inside and decided to start the day later. I crave some solitude, ostensibly to figure things out and bring things back under control. As i take a few minutes to sit quietly, it’s hard to even focus purposefully, intentionally in prayer. I’m so happy that God calls us to rest, and so took a minute to veg out. While I think about the perpetual question, ‘Why?‘ deep down I know the purpose of the chaos and dysregulation in my life. It’s a reminder.
Reminder of what? Two gigantic realities!
God LOVES me!! (This means I can rest)
I went away for a few days last week to attend class and it was as surprisingly beautiful experience. Aside from the opportunity to mono-task (a very beautiful thing, you should try it!) I met up with some friends that I had not seen in 15 years! When my husband and I were youth pastors at our church in Jamaica, the oldest was 9, and he’s now 29. I looked at the kids who had grown through all kinds of things, including a near death experience for one, and I felt … awe. They were beautiful, introspective, generous people. God whispered, “That’s in your future.” I was moved to tears. I had a weekend of generous conversations, time in the word and in worship at their church, and overall deliciousness, all disguised as a class that I needed to take. God knew I was going to have this encounter with Him. He planned this surprise for me, even before I knew I needed it. He loves me!
He’s the Potter!
Enter my 14 year old daughter, fighting imperfection with all she’s got. The struggle with anxiety has been real and persistent and I feel her becoming frustrated and tired. It’s easy to spout the platitudes and easier still to ignore the well meaning comments the come her way. Yesterday, at a loss for words, I said, “Who’s the potter?” “God is,” she said. “Who’s the clay?” I continued. “I am,” she responded with a mixture of relief and chagrin. I hear her rehearsing it to herself as I leave the room.
I am the clay. My primary source of regulation (sensory, emotional, physical … ) is the hand of the Potter on my life, holding, prompting, guiding. Today I came in out of the rain for a bit and just remembered that. I took a few minutes of solitude that were too few to fix anything anyway, and used it to allow myself to still, to be held, to let it be, to not fix. He is, after all, the Potter. A Potter who loves me!
More reflections on rain
And He has offered some great insights about both being in the downpour and avoiding it, with joy and peace. With the summer schedule madness coming up, I’m going to bend my ear to these insights. The persistent one for me today is peace be still. I better listen!
“The Lord Will fight for you, … you have only to be still” (Ex. 14:13-14)