Being Still

I need to preface all that I'm about to write with the fact that this is not a lament. This is what I signed up for when I chose to become a wife, a mom, a photographer, a friend...it's an understanding that the journey can sometimes be exhausting, but it's not impossible...just wanted to put it out there :) I also want to say that I know and fully comprehend that the "hardships" I may mention are minuscule in comparison to others...it doesn't make them any less important, but I do know that there is always something or someone that has a more difficult challenge than what I may or may not be facing...and vice versa...again, wanting to be transparent...

Monday started like any other beginning to a week...

it's a Monday, therefore I need the coffee to do the things...

we made it through the day...it was fine...it was good...

Although, oldest child came home from school with a massive headache and basically was out of commission for the remainder of the evening. She has a strong case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), like her mother, and was devastated that she wouldn't be able to participate in the extended family dinner at Nana & Popi's that evening with cousins that were in town from Tennessee. But, we persevered...

The evening was filled with visits and stories and pasta...lots and lots of pasta...because this is what you do in an Italian family...you eat pasta and red sauce and you talk, and sometimes use your hands...voice levels elevate and laughter reverberates on the walls...prayers of thankfulness are said, hugs are shared, and cousins build forts and play videos games...

it's family...

And for some reason later that evening my brain would NOT shut off.  From time to time I have bouts of insomnia...or maybe better termed: anxiety that won't leave me alone!

I get consumed with "what ifs" and "worst case scenarios" of situations that are either so far into the future, or so far-fetched that it's ridiculous...

try explaining that to my brain at O'dark thirty in the morning.

And so it was that night...laying awake after 1am, willing my heart to give over the worry to One that had things under control.

You see, peers/friends recently discovered stage 4 brain cancer in the Dad of 10 children, AND
young leaders in my photography business world are waiting for their baby's heart to stop beating while still trying to soak up every moment that he's still alive in her tummy because of multiple life-threatening diseases he has in utero, AND
young students were murdered earlier this year in Florida and a walk out was staged in schools across America and in our personal, little world, lack of information & discussion turns into bullying of those that don't follow the masses...

my brain couldn't process everything and yet wouldn't stop trying...

Just as I lay there on the precipice of sleep...as my conscience reached for the string that would pull me into a slumber...

our bedroom door opened to my youngest complaining of a tummy ache...

In my semi-drifted state, I told her to climb in with us and maybe she'd feel better
(read: mommy's too tired and can't think straight so maybe if you lay here, it will all go away and I can escape into the nothingness)

About 5.2 seconds later, she decided the bathroom might be a better choice and it's at that moment that the sound coming from the bathroom jolts you from whatever semblance of sleep you may have attained and you sprint to hold back her hair and rub her back and realize that you are now going to carry out an all-nighter, the likes of which you haven't seen since college days!

Eleven vomiting episodes later, the fever finally reared it's ugly head and thus began more hours of cool compresses and soothing words. Let's just say I'm not quite sure how my noodle-loving Italian girl is going to move forward for future traditional meal gatherings.

Hubby was by our side as much as possible, regardless of the fact that his plane was leaving around 6am and he had a full day's worth of work ahead of him, not to mention planes, travel and hotel stays.

Zombie walking through the next 48 hours, with cup after cup of coffee, my tired brain took the lack of reasoning opportunity to plague me, once again, with fears and the whole "when is the shoe going to drop"mindset.

If you watched "This is Us" this week, you will understand how fully I relate to Randall's & his wife's game of "worst case scenario"...I can't begin to tell you how that resonated with me...and I also agree with his brother, Kevin, in one of the scenes, in that, "it doesn't make me feel better!"

I don't want to consider myself a pessimist...I like HAPPY...I like laughing and encouragement and victory and big hugs and goofing off...

which is what brings me to this:




I don't mean the "being still" part where I begin at bedtime and try to fall asleep...

I am a "keep busy" type of person.  I don't like conflict and I don't like feeling yucky...I want to avoid it, and so I keep busy...I work out, I read books, I eat, I move around...

Being still means I have to come face to face with what I hold True, what I truly believe and whether it can stand the test of my anxiety, my lack of control, my exhausting days, the injustice in the world, the unfair deck of cards dealt to friends...

And sometimes I have to force myself to face the stillness...

I have to deny the lies that plague my head...and sometimes I have to deny that even though reality is scary, even though awful circumstance "might" actually come to fruition...I have to cling to what is True...and not allow fear, regret, shame or any other condescending notion to take root and fester in my heart...because it paralyzes me...which is exactly what the enemy wants to happen!

Being Still IS actually still being active...it's still "moving", but not in a direction of avoidance...it's being willing to shut off the other noises, it's shifting direction and focusing hard on what is right & wise...

Because, "There's nothing better than being absolutely sure that the most powerful Being in the universe adores you as His own child." ~Francis Chan.

And so we've come to Friday in this week...and sleep still hasn't really caught up with me yet (I could perhaps attribute that to the plethora of coffee I have ingested, but let's not digress) and circumstances haven't changed for those around me...daughters all went back to school and they face the everyday and their own battles...and I'm here...and I'm trying to take time to be Still...

I'm doin' the things...still drinking the coffee...but, being purposeful on what my mind settles...doin' my own battles, in the midst of happy :)

I hope you take some time to be Still this weekend :)

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