My husband grew a beard. Overnight.
“YOU GREW A BEARD OVERNIGHT?!” I was shocked by the fuzzy face in the mirror as we brushed teeth, side-by-side.
“Babe, it’s been growing all week.” He flashed his gorgeous smile and his eyes sparkled as he laughed at me. “Haven’t you looked at me at all this week?”
It was a horrible shock. But, no, I guess I haven’t looked at him at all this week. I was distracted. Face buried in tissues. Feet smothered in eucalyptus oil. Hacking cough. Excruciating sinus pain. I’ve been down for the count for all week. And while I was out, my husband grew a beard?!?!
I look around our home and our lives and I sadly realize, it’s not just the beard. A lot has been happening lately. I am suddenly feeling very left behind.
My baby potty trained himself the past couple of weeks. Our big girl got a “MOY” (middle of year) assessment letter and I realized her first year of school is half done. My paperwork inbox is overwhelmed. Let’s not even talk about my email inbox. My health treatment regime has been getting only half-hearted attention. Our garage storage is mysteriously full again. And my list of urgent to-dos is giantly unachievable. All around me there are things that deserve more of my attention. Friendships. Writing. Projects. All falling by the wayside. Heck, my little house plants are dying. It’s a miracle my husband and children are alive and well.
Sometimes life gets away from you. Sometimes you can’t do everything you have to get done. And that’s why, sometimes you have to let go of the life you “should” have… so you can have peace in the one you do have.
This morning I considered how far behind I am because of the past week of sickness. And the past 2 months of our life on pause while my husband has been without work. And the past year(s) of life that have whizzed by because, well, life whizzes by. This morning as I considered all this, I felt I had two choices: continue to be overwhelmed, disappointed and left behind… or… just let it go. And His Hope breathed into my heart. “Just be present today. Breathe. Enjoy. Have Peace.”
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Our daughter came home from school today with a birthday goody bag from a classmate. She had so much fun pulling out all the plastic prize toys, until she saw a little red spinning top. For some reason it triggered great disappointment and initiated an attitude meltdown. “Everyone else got flat ones. I’m the only one that got this yucky tall one.” Her ability to compare is already well tuned. “It is too hard to use. I wish I had the other kind.”
“My love, we don’t get to choose what we are given but we do get to choose how we enjoy the things we are given.” I had to smile as the words flowed out. Clearly the Holy Spirit is highlighting this for me today.
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I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again: Today, I’m choosing to make peace with my life. Beards. Big kids. Demands. I’m making peace with it all. Making peace with the clutter and unfinished chores. Making peace with failed plans and dreams and projects. Making peace with the pain and regret of not having time with my friends and time for myself. Because holding onto what I “should” do, “should” have, and “should” be everyday is exhausting. Instead, I embrace God’s freedom, and joy, and peace.
The best I can be today is simply be who I am today with the power of the Holy Spirit, and not measure myself against who I “should” be.
The best I can do today is simply to embrace the opportunities Yahweh gives, and not bully myself with a list of what I “should” get done.
The best I can experience today is simply to enjoy the life I have with God, and not allow expectations of what I “should” have steal my joy.
Life is happening today. Time is ticking by. Lungs are moving in and out. Beards and kids are growing. Beauty is unfolding. We can’t change time. We won’t be able to keep up. We can’t choose what we get. But we can choose whether we enjoy today or not!
Be present today. Breathe. Have Peace. Enjoy Life.
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (Matthew 6:33 MSG)