This morning I opened my eyes and groaned, hoping for just a few more minutes of sleep. Instead, my husband told me that he would be taking a sick day. His back was hurting and he’d been wide awake in pain since 2:30 this morning. I immediately jumped out of bed and went into problem-solving mode. I rearranged my schedule – took all three kids to school, slammed down my breakfast, and by 7:30 had scheduled an appointment with our favorite massage therapist and friend, Kathryn.
Because it was painful for my husband to move, I drove him to the appointment. Kathryn and I greeted each other like long lost friends. She offered me the use of her sauna, a beautiful white robe, bottle of water, scrubbing brush, and some of her favorite conditioning oil to put in my hair while I “relaxed” as she worked on my husband.
Because we’re friends, we met at her house instead of her office. Her dog and the two dogs that she was house sitting began to bark loudly as she readied the sauna for my use. She was frustrated and tried to get the dogs to settle down, but as hard as she tried, they just barked louder. And I stood there, serenely standing in the chaos. Kathryn smiled at me and said, “This is one of the reasons why I love you. You’re not bothered by the chaos of my house”. And I laughed. Her dogs barking was NOTHING. I’ve routinely had a child that experienced huge melt downs accompanied by screaming, crying, yelling, going on for more than an hour in my house. So listening to a barking dog didn’t phase me.
We talked a little bit about the importance of being able to get through the chaos. Using tools that helped, like time with God, scripture, talks with friends, exercise, stretching, and various relaxation techniques. Kathryn shared that one of the things she will do is completely banish negative thoughts. When she sees that a negative thought is about to overtake her, she will pantomime crushing the thought like a bug by pulling it out of her head and crushing it at her feet- all the while remembering the verse 1 Peter 5:7 – “cast all your worries on Him, because He cares for you.”
And that’s when it hit me. As hard as I’ve tried to become more “patient and in balance” through the years, it’s always seemed to elude me. Like a mirage, just out of my grasp. I realized that a form of patience had snuck up on me. An earlier, younger version of myself would’ve been a bit irritated by dogs barking when I was trying to relax. But not me, and not today! Woo-hoo! Pretty cool to realize that I’m becoming the patient person I’ve long yearned to be. So here’s to finding beauty in the chaos and finding your own way to balance and managing through the stress of your own personal chaos.