Do you ever sit there at the breakfast table of life and think, “Damn, I sure do have it all together”? And then, like 45 seconds later, everything goes to shit, and you wonder where in the world the last 45 seconds went to? No? Just me?
Y’all, I’m not going to lie. 2017 is throwing some curveballs.
I was sitting in my office (aka living room) the other day working on some projects when I decided to take a break and tackle folding a load of laundry. Mindless, repetitive motions to just check out for a while. Since I needed a complete brain shut-down, I switched on the tv to some random tiny house show on HGTV.
So, if you haven’t seen these shows, the basic premise is that you sell everything and downsize into a 300ish square foot home on wheels. No place settings for 12. No more 9 pairs of jeans. Forget about the wall of heels in your closet. No more needless kitchen gadgets. Just the bare, absolute minimum that you truly NEED to live your life. Nothing else. Nada. Nil. Zilch. Zero.
There’s something dangerous about watching these types of shows when you are eyeball deep in life. There is a clear point when you look around and start mentally selling off half the crap you own. Honestly, by the end of the show, I had completely sold off almost everything we owned in my head, drawn up the plans for the tiny house (still trying to figure out where the two dogs and two cats fit in..maybe a tiny house tow-behind?), and had my speech written on why we needed to do it. Open road, here we come!
When you are eyebrow deep in life (see, it keeps creeping up), your brain begins the process of purging the unimportant to make room for the important. Because, honestly, is there truly room to process it all? If it doesn’t, the sheer volume and weight of what we place on ourselves can drown us. The average person has a house or rent payment, maybe a car payment..maybe 2, insurance payments, bills, kids, extracurricular activities, relationships, friends, your own mental baggage, personal health..oh and that little thing called work. On top of ALL that, we pile on the societal need for more, the need to do this and do that, to have this and that, to be seen here and be seen there. Before you know it, you are on a crazy ass ferris wheel that is spinning so fast that you cling on for fear of being flung into space. And the thought of stopping it seems overwhelming and, frankly, impossible.
I truly believe many of us function as this level. We may mentally check out and fantasize about the tiny house, but the fear of changing is, at best, paralyzing and overwhelming. We long to be something else or to be somewhere else, but step one is often impossible. So here we sit, years passing by, afraid to change or unsure on just how to do it. And to find the willpower to trust in a process of change or to believe it is possible is the greatest challenge of all.
Yesterday was one of those eyebrow deep days.
As a family, we are chewing on some big things and trying to walk our way through them to figure out the best path for our little nest and everyone in it. Big things have a sneaky way of either pushing you to the breaking point or forcing you to stop the ferris wheel, crawl out of your bucket seat, and reevaluate. I truly believe God throws tiny pebbles at you for a looooong time, trying to get your attention and guide you in your right direction. When you simply choose to ignore those or flat our refuse to acknowledge them, a few bricks fly by. If the bricks miss you, it won’t be long before the boulder comes your way. It always does. I’m not sure if we are at the brick stage or the boulder stage, but whatever it is, we are listening and have made a decision to really pay attention to the stones being thrown our way.
Funny how when you make the conscious decision to let go and trust the process, the universe just steps right in.
After an afternoon of baseball practice yesterday, my youngest bound inside, his hands holding a large painted stone he had found on some steps at the baseball fields. The island has recently started a tradition of hiding painted stones in different places for people to find. We’ve looked and looked and looked, for weeks, but never have found one. That is, not until yesterday. Not until we were eyebrow deep and trying to make big decisions on big things. Not until we were at a point that we needed guidance from somewhere.
As my son handed the painted blue stone to me, I flipped it over, and saw, there painted in simple black letters with a tiny pink heart, was a single word. Believe.
We're not ignoring this one.
We finally believe.