Sunday, July 17, 2016

don't look down

Just keep walking.  Just keep walking.  Baby steps.  Slowly.  Keep moving.  And whatever you do, don't look down.

As is evident in a few recent posts, I am in a rather emotional and transitional season of life.

I have this vision of myself walking, one slow, shaky step at a time, along a narrow, windy, cliffside path - mountains towering on my left and a two thousand foot drop to my immediate right.  Holding my breath and forcing my eyes to look ahead, I carefully lower my body weight into each step before committing to the next forward movement.

No need to pity me. 

This is a cliff I've chosen, one I've expected and have even been looking forward to. No one has forced me here or dared me into an act of stupidity.  This isn't an example of uncontrollable life circumstances that have suddenly flipped my world upside down.  I am a willing participant. 

So far this journey has been alright.  I'm still pretty motivated and energized, but I can feel reality starting to creep in.  I have suddenly become very aware of the fact that this cliff could go on longer than expected and my composure is wearing thin.

This is life right now.

For months - maybe years - I've been eagerly awaiting the thrill of change, and oh boy, it has arrived. The well traveled, clearly marked trails have disappeared, the path has narrowed, and it is just me, the rocks, and a long way down.  

I have wanted to take a pause from a twelve-year career to stay home full time with my young children.  Check.

I have wanted to live in an actual house, not a landominium (and yes, that is a real word despite that red, squiggly line Microsoft Word insists upon) but an actual house with a yard, a garage, and enough rooms that my son's Pack-n-Play won't need to be set up in the bathroom. Check.

I have wanted Stephen home by five rather than commuting an hour plus each night. Check.

And it's happening. It's all happening - like right now, at the same time. And as thrilling as these changes are, this path is dangerously narrow, and I am very aware of the potential to plummet to an untimely insane asylum. In less poetic terms, I am very aware of the potential to freak out, scream the f-word, and start throwing everything we own into the trash. I could so easily be overwhelmed and scared, and rightly so. I've got a lot on my plate.

In my moments of greatest clarity (AKA - when the children are sleeping and the dishes are done),  I would also describe this terrifying, narrow edge as a sweet spot. There is a rush in knowing I cannot do this on my own. I know I will never make it past this cliff to the other side of this transition with even a shred of grace and dignity left if not for my Jesus. Oh, and I mean it. If left on my own, I would literally be a heap on the floor crying over every detail that turns into a unexpected bump.

Moving truck not in Oxford the day I scheduled it to be? Me. Floor. Tears.

Hot water heater not working? Me. Floor. Tears.

20-month-old not napping? Me. Floor. Tears.

Screen door on the new house breaks during move in day? Me. Floor. Tears.

You get the idea.

Oh, thank you Jesus for being a God of details. I believe you can move mountains, but so often I don't need mountains moved, I need details to fall into place. I need the moving truck in the right city. I need friends available on moving day. I need a babysitter on closing day. I need the screen door fixed so I can get some natural light into this new house. I need to find the damn peanut butter aisle in a new grocery store that was clearly designed by someone who has never shopped with children. I need energy to be productive in the evening. I need creativity to engage my children. I need a friend. I need a nap.

It's terrifying. It's exciting. It's exhausting. It's challenging. It's refining. It's revealing.

But I am determined to not look down, to not focus on the potential for failure. I'll keep moving along this sweet spot, even on the days it doesn't seem so sweet.

I want to love it. I want to be a woman who thrives on the adventure, the unknown, the possibilities that come with change. But today, I look forward to the other side, to a bit more breathing room to stop and take in the view.

Until I get there, I just can't look down. 


  1. Joy! I know this "sweet" spot and how not sweet it can be sometimes. You are a fantastic wife and mom and as you take one day at a time (maybe one minute, or one 15-minute cartoon at a time!) be encouraged. On your loneliest days, you're not alone. You have a great God who knows you and sees you and loves you, and you have friends all over the country (world!). We love you, from however many miles away, and you will find some new close-by friends, and that stupid peanut butter, I'm sure! I want to see your house! Let's FaceTime soon! 😊

    1. Thanks, Megan! You know these feelings all too well, huh? :)

  2. LOVE! (came here from Known fb group.)

    1. Yeah for Known FB Group!!! It's been a great month of writing! Thanks for visiting, Lisa!

  3. I truly love your writing. I think we can all relate to wanting things and then being anxious/excited/stressed once we have it. Enjoy this season - you are a wonderful mommy!

  4. Thanks for giving me some perspective to get through my crazy day! Great writing! (came here from Known :)