I’ve been feeling like I just can’t keep up lately. Not the kind of can’t keep up where things just are sort’ve pushed back a little and eventually you’ll catch up and everything will be okay.
I’ve been feeling a deep aching and grieving, because the things that I can’t keep up with are bringing a change of the seasons.
I think in the early beginnings of summer I began to notice the things I didn’t have time for and maybe a deeper alignment God was calling me into. Along my feeling a deep God-sized nudge to homeschool our kids in the fall, planning was the beginning of my frustration, if I’m honest. Because I want to do this thing He is calling us to and I want to do it in the comfort of last season and the comfy home I built myself. I want what He has for me now, but I think if I would’ve known that our being led into this would mean also everything that I had grown to love and keep in its proper place to grow all swirly and tornado-like,…
I don’t know that I would’ve been able to let go.
Heck, I’m still struggling to let go of certain things. I see doors closing and it makes me sad. It makes me want to stick my foot in the door to keep it ajar. It makes me want to tear at the knob and do all I can to keep it open. It makes me feel things that I’m not used to feeling, because for the first time in a long time, I feel like I have something to lose and I’m feeling it.
I sit on the couch in my morning prayer time as my mind slips away into the things that feel like they’re on there last thread, and He whispers, “You don’t have to keep up.” I lay awake in the night when the tv is off and all is quiet, listening to the loud echos of the grief of the fading season, and I hear it again– “You don’t have to keep up.” I sit on it through the day, finding my mind winding back down that path of all the things I had built in other seasons that aren’t falling in line in these days we’re walking into– “You don’t have to keep up.”
I remember a year or so ago listening to a Walk in Love podcast where T.J. and Brooke talked about all the plates they’re carrying. Every thing in life- a big balancing act of trying to juggle plates. And I think for a long time I thought that as more things came, I had to keep all the other plates spinning, too, in turn just taking on more plates. But maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe the Father is actually asking me to set some plates down.
You don’t have to keep up, friend. And that’s hard to accept. It’s hard to miss out, it’s hard to lose good things, it’s hard to trust that things can be good and maybe even better without the presence of those comfortable, pretty things you’ve held in past seasons. But here is today and if we keep longing, getting lost in the trace of what we used to have and the uncertainties about what exactly will be able to enter into and remain with us through this new, dense season, we won’t be able to see any of the beautiful things He is building now. If we keep trying to mold it into yesterday we will never get to experience the good, better, best of this season- only the grief of what we’re missing.
And there is grief and grief is okay. It’s okay to see the back to school pictures and be sad. It’s okay that when the school lacked a bit of communication and the elementary secretary called you to ask why your child hadn’t been in school the past couple days, you felt the sting, imagining the empty desk with his name on it.
We can’t be everywhere at once, and because of that there will always be good things happening all around us that we simply won’t be able to be a part of. But don’t let that steal the joy the Lord has set the table for in your own home and life.
In this season where it’s starting to get dark earlier and we’re beginning to feel the crisp, autumn mornings, as well as those stormy, foretelling nights, maybe it’s time to stop waiting for a holiday or a season to practice thankfulness. There are things on your plate- a feast- and it’s time to dive in.
What are some things you are grieving in this season? What are the good things the Lord has brought you in this season that He is asking you to make room for?