I have been thinking about “grounding down” into my life in this new year, especially since our life has seemed like one big transition for the last 6 months. Traveling all the time, moving countries, and transitioning into a bus full-time while navigating the next chapter has been very unsettling at times. Shout out to all the other enneagram 6s out there that need security but find themselves in the most unsettling circumstances.
In the midst of this unsettledness, I was making cookies with Rowena and my nephew while we were in Washington State over the holidays. I was trying to manage a two-year-old and a one-year-old standing on chairs at a table while juggling the measuring and the pouring of the flour, baking soda, vanilla and sugar from glass canisters. Things were constantly flying off the table and I was just waiting for the canister of flour to explode all over the floor or for a child to take a tumble off the chair. Rowena dumped the box of baking soda all over the table while my nephew lifted a glass canister to dump it in the mixing bowl. Everything felt out of control because it WAS out of control. Interestingly, whole situation seemed to mirror everything that I was feeling about my out-of-control-life.
I suddenly got the urge to move our baking to the stability of the floor. At least then I wouldn’t be worried about children and glass falling and busting. So I made the move of children and ingredients to the floor. My nephew Cash cracked the eggs and Rowena used both hands to swirl the baking soda all over the floor in a cleaning motion. There was no more panic for me and I smiled at their joy in the middle of the mess. As I watched Cash roll the dough out on parchment paper on the floor, truth seemed to seep into the middle of my mess.
The last 6-9 months have been pretty stressful. In some ways, I have been coping and not thriving. I can’t count the number of times over the last 6 months I have said to myself, “just a few more weeks and you can get into a routine and find that peace you so desperately need.” In the midst of a crazy move from Ethiopia I constantly thought “once I get to America I can recover and settle.” Turns out that moving into a 250 sq. ft in a bus is more stressful that I expected and I found myself in another season saying, “after the holidays, you can get the routine you need to be who you want to be and get all the things done that you want to accomplish.” If you can’t tell, I’m a creature of habit and routine and my life as it is was not lending to any of these things. That routine and peace has been elusive to me and I have been merely surviving from one season to the next, telling myself that in a few weeks I can reground.
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I really had a lot of excuses as you can see. There were really a lot of reasons why I wasn’t settled in this life period. But in those moments of watching my nephew roll out the sugar cookies, I felt God speaking to me that it was time to ground down into the mess of my life. It was time for me to get on the floor and make sugar cookies. It was time for me to get down in the mess of my life and see what God had for me here and now. What does God want to teach me here on the floor that I am refusing to learn because I keep waiting for the routine and peace to find me again? I can’t afford to wait for that elusive-settled-feeling to ground down. I had to find a way in the midst of craziness, change, and unknown to ground down into God and into these moments I will never get back. I want to learn to thrive now. I don’t want to wait another day to start thriving. And so now I’m trying to ground down in this day to see what God wants to teach me in the season.
I was telling this to a friend in California a few weeks ago and her response resonated with me— “maybe all the things that you think are in the way of your life are actually the way of your life.” I guess that sugar cookies with my favorite kids aren’t in the way of my life, but actually the way of my life and I need to ground down.
Questions I am trying to reflect on daily: what is grounding down and what does that look like in my life today? What is God trying to teach me through grounding down in the mess?