don’t freak out

You know how things that make you roll your eyes or shrug when you’re above a neutral emotional level can make you want to hide under the bed when you’re in a fragile emotional state? Well. I’m trying to encourage myself and everyone around me to refuse to hide under the bed. 

Listen to Megan. Like, really hear me.

DON’T FREAK OUT. 

Yoga breathe (4 seconds in, 4 seconds out; repeat; try to use your nose) or SQUARE BREATHE if yoga breathing doesn’t work (4 seconds in, hold 4 seconds, 4 seconds out, hold 4 seconds; repeat).

When the kids keep dumping shovel loads from the $13 bag of potting soil, don’t freak out.

When you find the rice sock. Ripped open and leaking rice. IN THE WASHING MACHINE. After it’s washed the laundry.

Don’t freak out.

When the caterpillars are eating all the things, and you know they’re eating all the things, and you can’t find them, don’t freak out. Try again in the morning or evening. And then don’t freak out if one poops corn sprout on you. 

Don’t freak out *again* after you freak out because the kids are freaking out because it’s hot and everyone is tired and no one wants to do the next thing so everyone is so mad that they are ready to just quit doing this fun thing and never have fun again. I might have missed a step or a condition. But. Don’t freak out. 

Just be miserable together.

It’s way easier to say it than to remember it, and way easier to remember it than to adjust course and follow through.

But.

People.

I am tired of being confronted with the idea that it’s okay, it’s FUNNY, to be miserable and ragged and frustrated and frantic and angry and exhausted. We get in that space. And it is terrible. And then we need to arise and go, because it’s no place to stick around. AND WHEN WE REALIZE WE ARE STUCK THERE, we need to know that when we announce it, we are going to be met with encouragement and helping hands. Not with shrugs and “That’s life.”

Did you know that even busy, complicated, tough, stressful life can be beautiful? Did you know that when you can’t FEEL the beautiful things, you can still acknowledge them?

It’s not wrong to want your life to feel less chaotic. It’s not wrong to look for better answers. It’s not wrong to truly rest. It’s not wrong to need help. It’s not wrong, it’s not wrong, it’s not wrong. 

Don’t freak out.

Or, do freak out. And then keep moving.

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astonished at his teaching

The story of Jesus cleansing the temple is familiar to me, but when I read it this latest time I noticed something.


Let’s take it apart and work backwards:

  • all the crowd was astonished at his teaching because it was fresh and new 
  • the chief priests and scribes feared Jesus because he was telling truth and it stripped away their power
  • priests and scribes heard and were seeking a way to destroy him because he just had to go
  • the temple had been made a den of robbers not obvious robbers, but cups that were washed on the outside and still filthy inside, and people who deliberately took advantage of worshipers
  • “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.” was already establish as a holy idea
  • Jesus was teaching them he didn’t just pitch a fit and wreck the established order
  • Jesus would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple – Can we agree that it’s no great stretch to imagine this included mental baggage? LET IT GO, or go make it right, and then approach God with empty hands and a ready heart. 
  • he overturned the seats of those who sold pigeons at what I imagine to be inflated prices, because it was more convenient to buy Level: Basic than to bring an offering with you
  • he overturned the tables of the money-changers because, again, the reason they were even there was to take advantage of a need; things that should have been taken care of prior to approaching God
  • he began to throw out those who sold and those who bought in the temple – he pushed them back to their proper place
  • Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem and he did so to clear up the clutter and the wrong attitudes that had encroached on that holy space

I’ve heard lots of good things about this passage, but somehow I had missed the idea that Jesus didn’t just clean up the temple and kick BAD people out and shout a lot. He upended what had become normal, and he explained. He utilized a teachable moment, and he wrecked the pay-to-play power system that had been established. 

In some ways he made offering sacrifices and paying temple taxes more complicated, which stinks for the poor people who had journeyed to Jerusalem to do right things. But in so many ways he showed how to simplify and clarify the process. 

mother’s day

I am propped on my bed in the sunshine.

 It is Mother’s Day. 

Mother’s Day is not my favorite.

 I know too many people who hurt extra hard for Mother’s Day.

It took me a long time to admit out loud that I don’t love Mother’s Day. 

I love Mothers.

I love families.

I love people who hurt because of mothers and families and broken hearts and busted dreams and hopes that keep on hoping.

So, as Mrs Rachel says to Anne, “If you can’t be happy, be as happy as you can be.” or something like that. 

We can pick good things for today, even if they feel fake and we want to hide under the bed.