On a recent day in May, I roused myself for a painfully slow jog at the bright and early hour of noon. Exerting energy felt impossible, but I was desperate for relief from anxiety that had gripped my insides since 4am. As I walked down the driveway, I spotted a bird sitting peacefully beside my car. I inched closer but still, it did not flinch. “I cannot deal with an injured bird today.”
I went back inside and called my husband to examine the bird while I endured my jog.
“The bird’s fine,” he told me when I got back. “It flew away as soon as I went out there.”
Not being an ornithologist, I can’t tell you why a bird sat motionless in my driveway as I inched closer. Nor do I know why it finally summoned the strength to fly away.
I only know that I’m the bird. (You knew where this was going.)
It’s May 23rd and I am losing altitude. Perhaps you are too.
Family + home + a graduate + jobs + eternal to-do lists + sports + phone reminders that never rest. Yet somehow still forgetting things and / or showing up at the wrong time.
Laundry? Dinner? Those tasks are for people who are not mothers in May.
And why is it that the seasons with the least margin invite the most mayhem? My vehicle breaking down in the middle of nowhere. (Shoutout to Ronald’s Garage in Kings Mountain, NC.) Vandalism. Grief. The general overwhelm that comes with parenting teenagers. Jury duty.
It’s a lot.
This morning I’m still thinking about the bird. Perhaps she just needed a minute to gather herself before heading back to the nest. Who can blame her?
I have zero life hacks to give you. No “Best Life” mantras. I only know that when life’s at a fever pitch, I can be still—if only for a few moments—and anchor myself in what is most true: “The tender heart of the Son of God is shining on me. This is an unflappable affection.”*
The love of Jesus for me and within me provides strength to do small tasks with great love, to collapse into his sustaining grace and get back up. And in those moments when I cannot, in fact, get back up, I remember that his affection for me has not wavered in the least.
May it be so for you too.
*Dane Ortlund from his book, Gentle & Lowly
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