When God’s In The Wrong Seat

driver photoBetween the birth of Lil Bit last October and our enforced exile from our bedrooms last September, life has been chaotic, to say the least.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry…

My original intent was to have a set of Bible studies posted during December for the season of Advent and at least one message uploaded for each week in Advent. As you may have noticed, that didn’t happen. I revised that schedule and decided to go back to my regular monthly Bible study and monthly message starting the first of January. As yet, I’ve only been able to write most of the message. Recording it, however, is turning out to be wishful thinking on my part. As for the Bible study, I might still be able to post it by next Wednesday — maybe.

The same challenges have cropped up in regards to the next book in the Malkin series. I normally write the bulk of those during NaNoWriMo in November and finish drafting it in December, then start planning the novella in January. I just started the next novel in the series this month and I’m struggling to get the scenes drafted. The novella? I haven’t even begun to think about it.

Those are just my writing challenges. On top of those we’ve had to remove all the drywall from all the bedrooms and the bathroom downstairs within a few days because there was significant mold growth on the backing. And of course, one can’t ignore the piles of dishes in the sink or Mt. Washmore by the laundry room. Nor can one turn a deaf ear to the rumbling of stomachs, unless, of course, one enjoys a good mutiny. Oh! And let’s not forget the bills accumulating in the “to pay” file.

That’s where I was last Monday when at 5 a.m. God reached down and reminded me that I can’t do it all.

You can’t do it all…

I woke up to feed Lil Bit, as usual, but scooting to the end of the air mattress to get to her was painful. I noticed I was feeling a bit stiff and sore earlier in the night, but hadn’t thought much about it other than to make a note that I’d need a good, hot shower to work the kinks out in the morning. Despite the pain, I levered myself up from the floor (did I mention the air mattress has a leak I’m still trying to fix?) and took a step toward her bassinet…

and promptly collapsed back on the mattress. The pain shot through my body like lightening, making me light-headed and nauseated. I managed to gasp out to my sleeping husband that I needed his help and, thankfully, he was able to take control from there to take care of both me and our youngest baby.

When morning finally arrived, I took stock of what didn’t hurt. It wasn’t much. Everything from my neck to my knees screamed at even the thought of movement. The joints in my hands ached as if I had arthritis. My muscles protested like rusted cables.

“What am I going to do?” I wondered.

My husband needed to get to work. My mother wasn’t due to arrive for our girls’ day out until later that morning. I was going to have to disappoint my oldest daughter, Blur, and tell her Mommy couldn’t take her to get her hair cut today. And what about all the other things I had planned to do that day?

As my husband fed Lil Bit, I broke the news to Blur. She seemed remarkably calm, offering to take care of me until I felt better. She fixed me a bowl full of saltines and a cup of hot 7up, brought me my phone to call Grandma and proceeded to check on me every few minutes. I couldn’t have asked for a better little caretaker.

A few hours later, my husband had gone to work and my Mom had arrived to take over caring for the girls. I was feeling a little better, thanks to the Tylenol I’d taken earlier, and went ahead with my plans for a shower. As the water pounded out the rest of the stiffness, I pondered what could be behind the sudden onset. I couldn’t think of anything I’d done that would have elicited such a strong reaction by my body. One thought, though, kept running through my mind.

This was my body’s way of telling me I needed to take a break.

And on the heels of that, “You’ve prayed for God to take control of all these challenges. Maybe you need to hand the wheel over to Him.”

Moving into the passenger seat…

I decided then to just take the day one moment at a time and let God take care of the details. Since then I’ve done that each day, reminding myself when I start getting anxious that I’ve let God have the driver’s seat in my life. I won’t say my pain went away miraculously or that every day since then has been a breeze, but it’s getting better. The pain is finally gone and the anxieties are under control.

As for the work? I’ve decided to adopt the saying “progress, not perfection.” I will continue to post Bible studies, but they may not be on a specific day every month. My monthly messages will be uploaded as .pdfs, but the podcast may be added at a later date. As long as I’m getting scenes drafted I won’t worry about when I’ll have the book finished and ready to be published.

Progress, not perfection. Its about putting God in the right seat. So long as He’s driving, you’ll always end up exactly where you need to be.

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