I am pretty chill.
This is a miracle.
For a long time, family members were suspicious that I was going to be my Grandma Jean incarnate. And Grandma Jean was a hot mess. In all fairness, some of the lunacy was spurred on by shock treatments. That is another story in itself.
My dad used to call me “shaky-jake.” I get a tiny bit worked up now and again, and if I have a little anxiety and a lot of coffee, sometimes I pack up my kids and luggage and leave a family lakeside vacation 4 days early to go paint a bathroom this lovely purple color I saw on HGTV. Incidents like this leave folks dazed and confused. Then you earn a “reputation” for being intense or easily rattled, perhaps even “clinically insane.”
But the truth is, sometimes you just need to paint your bathroom purple.
Come to think of it, Grandma Jean did love purple.
Aside from episodes where I lose it and drive 90 to nothing to Lowe’s to buy paint with six, very upset kids in life jackets, I find myself in the loveliest state of rest lately. Well, it has been an ongoing process. Back in another lifetime, before I was even less certain what I wanted to do with my life, I was a florist and wedding planner. I recall that the real theme of every wedding was hysterics.
Complete and utter meltdowns that if they were in any way indicative of the marriage that was about to take place, I am fully culpable for not going to the groom and telling him, “Run for your life man… run I say! And do not look back!!!”
Poor innocent man-babies.
Seriously, you cannot believe some of the bridal tantrums and mother-of-the-bride freak shows that I witnessed. Back then I just remembered thinking… no way, not me. And maybe that is when I began to attempt to be less of a hot mess. At my wedding, my groom forgot his pants… HIS PANTS. I still love this story. Like the worst case scenario would have been we got married and he would have been in his sweats instead of his freshly starched Wranglers.
This would’ve been epic.
Alas, someone brought his pants, not a tear was shed and we lollygagged into wedded bliss without so much as a ruffled feather.
Sunday night my oldest daughter got engaged to her boyfriend and right in the midst of the whoops and hollers and celebratory joy one of the soon to be groomsman, now dashing, fast thinking hero, form tackled one of the celebrants, who was on fire.
The damsel, with flowing brunette locks got too close to the candles, strategically set for ambiance and she caught on fire.
My eyes scanned the room for my newly engaged daughter, we spied each other and Cheshire cat grins spread across our faces and we met and high fived.
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???
Someone caught on fire at her engagement party??? This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Instead of vanilla incense and sparkling wine the room reeked of burning human hair! You couldn’t have planned a better memory. No one got hurt, no one got arrested and from now until they lay us in the ground… we have a monumental engagement story. We have texted or called each other 18 times today, not to talk about flowers, dresses, or cake… I don’t even think I saw her ring? Someone caught on fire!
And sure, parts of our wheels off personalities provide allowances for such crazed behavior, but more than that, I am finally free.
Tonight I had an entirely different scenario with another one of my kids… much less fun. And I found myself on the bathroom floor sobbing. First of all, no matter how hard I try, when they mess up, I feel fully responsible. Second of all the belief I am responsible, that is a lie from the pit of hell. They are entities. They are individuals. Sure, in my carefree ways I yell that I will kick their lung out, and if they threw up in track practice, I would cheer and holler, because if you run until you vomit… you’re a winner. #whoeverthrowsupfirstwins
But I hardly believe this causes them to make stupid decisions.
Stupid decisions are just part of the ride called life.
But here is the evolution: I blew my nose, wiped my eyes, and decided to let it go.
If I did nothing else right from now on, I planted seeds of truth in them. Some of it I was wrong about, some stuff they will have to figure out for themselves… but I taught them about the Cross. And the truth of the Cross is simply – It is done.
The freedom that comes from knowing this is so fantastic that I can’t stop smiling. What is there to lose if I believe it is done?
No, I don’t literally give up on the child, but I also gain nothing by grieving the what-ifs. Yes, the failures are hard to watch. Surely, I wish it could be easier. But if these are the trials that sprout the seed, and allow the roots to form, the fruit to bloom, so be it.
The work is done.
And love protects, but it is not fearful, hysterical, or irrational. Christ died, in such a perfect act of love, I can now walk in the freedom of letting Him be the God of my children’s hearts, even when they are ignoring Him.
This causes room for the ruckus. This is the true joy of my life. The worst case scenario is death, and Christ conquered that too. Therefore I find I have evolved, in spite of the hardships and stupid stuff that I encounter, I am pretty chill.
The consequences of stupid choices may be hard to watch, but I trust my God to make it all work together for perfection.
Perfection, like someone freaking catching on fire at your engagement party.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. Hebrews 4:9
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